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Bridges of Saint-Petersburg
For the traveller St-Petersburg offers much more than just architectural splendor of its exquisite buildings. The beauty of the Northern capital has often been compared to that of Amsterdam and Venice due to unique fountain complexes, numerous charming canals and elegant bridges that have become an undeniable symbol of the city and accounted for its name "The City of Bridges". Originally situated on more than 100 islands, Saint-Petersburg was meant by Peter the Great to become the Venice of the North and that is why initially there were hardly 10 bridges constructed. In summer citizens were supposed to move from place to place in boats, and in winter when the frost covers all waters ice sledges should have been used. But after the tsar's death much easier ways of shifting were chosen and numerous bridges started to appear. Nowadays Saint-Petersburg boasts over 300 different bridges varying in size, construction, material and decorative compositions that span the Neva River with dozens of channels, rivers and rivulets. There are narrow pedestrian Bank and Lions chain bridges as well as unique Medieval and Modern style gigantic Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge. Here you will find not only English, Italian and Egyptian bridges, but also bridges decorated with towers, lions, horses (Anichkov Bridge) and even magic animals - griffins. There are 'coloured' bridges - the Red, the Blue, the Green and the Yellow, as well as there are Post, Theatre, Bank and even Kissing Bridge. Although each of these miracles of engineering has its own character, its own legends, and its own life that adds a page to the history of St-Petersburg, the city's undeniable claims to fame are the gorgeous drawbridges. Throughout the day and evening car traffic circulates over all bridges while every night during the navigation period (April - November) St. Petersburg bridges across the Neva are drawn according to a certain timetable of bridge opening for the ships to pass up and down the city's waterways. Of course, the breathtaking view of drawing bridges is particularly impressive within the period of White nights (May-July) when the light evening dusk merges with morning and there is an overwhelming feeling of magic all around the city. Even if you are lacking romanticism at all, you will be charmed by a stunning view - the city's marvelous architecture complemented by the peaceful smoothness of water and exquisite beauty of all these bridges >>>.
1. There are now 308 bridges within the city proper and the total reaches 534 bridges if Petersburg's suburbs are included.
2. The total length of the city's bridges is about 16 kilometers.
3. The widest bridge in the city is the Blue Bridge on the Moika River - about 100 m wide.
4. The longest bridge - Alexander Nevsky bridge - stretches across the Neva River for 1000 m
5. There are 10 bridges across Neva, across the Griboedova canal - 26, 15 of them stretch across Moika and Fontanka rivers.
6. The number of islands as a result of engineering work to develop the marine facade was reduced to 42
7. There are 22 drawbridges, which are regularly opened 3 seasons out of the year to allow ships and boats to pass.
Timetable of bridge opening:
Palace Bridge - 1:35-2:55 am, 3:15- 4:50 am
Alexander Nevsky Bridge - 2:20-5:05 am
Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge - 2:00-5:00 am
Finlyandsky Bridge - 2:30-5:10 am
Liteiny Bridge - 1:50-4:40 am
Troitsky Bridge - 1:50-4:50 am
Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge - 1:40-4:45 am
Birzhevoy Bridge - 2:10-4:50 am
Volodarsky Bridge - 2-3:45 am, 4:15-5:45 am
Sampsonievsky Bridge - 2:10-2:45 am, 3:20-4:25 am
Grenadersky Bridge - 2:45-3:45 am, 4:20-4:50 am
Kantemirovsky Bridge - 2:45-3:45 am, 4:20-4:50 am