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The Bridges of St. Petersburg

Updated on July 11, 2011
The Kanal Griboedeva and bridges at night. Photo by thisisbossi.
The Kanal Griboedeva and bridges at night. Photo by thisisbossi.

Factoid

The Russian word for bridge is "most" (мост), which rhymes more with "tossed" than "boast."

St. Petersburg, Russia is known as the "Venice of the North" for very good reason and the city's many rivers and canals are decorated with some of the most beautiful bridges in the world. In fact, St. Petersburg is also sometimes known as the "City of 300 Bridges," though there are actually 342.

Some of these bridges can create quite an inconvenience for travellers if you're not careful. They are raised at night (a spectacle well worth staying up for) when the Neva River isn't frozen over to let ships pass through and if you get stuck on one side of the bridge, well, you may have a long wait if you need to get to the other. Generally, they stay up for about three hours, from about 2 AM to about 5 AM (though a few go down for about half an hour in the middle), and during that period your only other alternative is a long, complicated and expensive taxi ride. If that. The metro closes around midnight and doesn't reopen until 5.

In general, however, they are a beautiful treat. During the four months I lived in St. Petersburg I visited my favorite bridge, the Anichkov, more days than not, even going out of my way in sub-zero weather for the opportunity, and it was always a delight to stumble across a new one.

The Bank Bridge

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bridges_in_Saint_Petersburg
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bridges_in_Saint_Petersburg

A perpetual favorite with tourists, the golden griffons of the Bank Bridge are located near the Kazan Cathedral, on Griboyedev Canal. It is a narrow footbridge created by Pavel Sokolov, who also created the lions of the Lion Bridge and the sphinxes adorning the Egyptian Bridge.

The Anichkov Bridge

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/breixopazos/247486448/
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/breixopazos/247486448/

Horse lover that I am, the four magnificent Horse Tamers adorning the Anichkov bridge along Nevsky Prospekt made it my favorite.

Legend has it that the sculptor, Pyotr Klodt, replaced the genitals on one of the four stallions with the face of his wife's lover and there really is a face there, though it took me most of my four months to spot it. (I was self-conscious about standing there in the middle of the sidewalk and craning my neck at the oversize genitals of a bunch of stone horses, so sue me.)

During the terrible siege of Leningrad in World War II, the statues were buried in the grounds of the nearby Anichkov Palace to protect them, and they fortunately survived intact.The bridge itself was seriously damaged by shelling, but has been restored.

The Lomonosov Bridge

Photo by NorthJoe
Photo by NorthJoe

One of the oldest bridges in the city that still survives intact, the Lomonosov was built in the 1780's, during the reign of Catherine the Great. It crosses the Fontanka River near Nevsky Prospekt. The handsome Doric pavilions once housed a drawbridge mechanism that raised the bridge like the larger bridges across the Neva, but it is no longer raised due to its age.

More Bridges

The Palace Bridge (Dvortsoviy Most) across the Neva. Photo by thisisbossi.
The Palace Bridge (Dvortsoviy Most) across the Neva. Photo by thisisbossi.
The Egyptian Bridge. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Bridge
The Egyptian Bridge. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Bridge
The Lion Bridge, or Bridge of the Four Lions. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridge_of_Four_Lions
The Lion Bridge, or Bridge of the Four Lions. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridge_of_Four_Lions

Comments

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    • profile image

      Cindy Brayer 8 years ago

      Love your pictures! This is a neat article. I've always found bridges to be fascinating.

    • Wanderlust profile image

      Wanderlust 8 years ago from New York City

      St. Petersburg is truly most beautiful city in Russia. I've been there a few times long time ago and feel like have to revisit very soon...... Good pictures!

    • ronthoughts profile image

      ronthoughts 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Beautiful Russia. Well composed!

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 8 years ago from USA

      I agree, kerryg. We should fill in the gap. I think Hubpages will benefit from having more info about Russia. I am in the Hubtrail project, but only with my hubs about Israel and Wisconsin. I will do some on Russia, and you, please, write too. It is very interesting how foreigners see Russia.

      P.S. Anichkov Bridge is my favorite too.

    • kerryg profile image
      Author

      kerryg 8 years ago from USA

      Whoops, thanks for catching the typo! Figures it would be on my favorite bridge, too. :)

      I just finished another hub about St. Petersburg for the Hubtrails project going on in forums right now and just in case you've missed it, I wonder if you would consider writing a hub about St. Petersburg? (Or any other Russian city.) I had a look around while I was working on the latest hub and there is a sad lack of high quality information about Russian travel on this site!

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 8 years ago from USA

      kerryg, thank you for a great hub! I am from Soviet Union originally and I was in St. Petersburg many times (I still have friends there). It's an amazing city and have lots of great sightseeings.

      I have a note to do (I hope I will not offend you by doing it). There is a misspelling in one of the bridges names. It should be Anichkov Bridge (not Anchikov).

      Thank you for a great read. I felt nostalgic.

    • kakenetit2 profile image

      kakenetit2 9 years ago

      Nice Hub, Thanks

    • Netters profile image

      Netters 9 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      The pictures are beautiful. Thank you for the information.

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