The History Behind St Petersburg's Bridges

Palace Bridge
Palace Bridge | © Julius_Silver / Pixabay
Photo of Olga Glioza
29 January 2018

St Petersburg is sometimes called a city of channels, rivers and bridges. Well, in some way this is true: there are 93 rivers in the city, crossed with more than 340 bridges. Long and short, wide and narrow, there are numerous varieties of bridges, and each of them is absolutely unique.

For a long time, during the reign of Peter the Great (who founded St Petersburg), no bridges were built across Neva and other smaller rivers. Building the Russian fleet was the major priority of that time, and the bridges were considered as obstacles for navigation. Moreso, the citizens of St Petersburg were encouraged to learn the rules of navigation and use boats instead.

Later, after the death of Peter the Great, as the city was growing, some badge bridges were first introduced to improve the transportation between banks of the river.

Lazarevskiy Bridge | © equolipt/Pixabay

The first constant bridge across Neva River was introduced in the middle of 19th-century – it is Blagoveshenskyi Bridge, near the Mars field. After that, Dvortsovyi Bridge was constructed. It is now one of the landmark bridges in the city as it is just near the Hermitage and connects the city center with Vasilievsky Island. Currently, all the bridges crossing the Neva River are drawbridges, participating in navigation.

Over many years, the bridges have truly become a part of St Petersburg culture, and watching the bridges divorce and get back together at dawn is one of the most romantic experiences on offer. A lifehack for those travelling in summer time – if you are out clubbing, make sure to check the bridge divorce times, not to get stuck on one island … or just party till the morning as most locals do.

Culture Trip has prepared a selection of some of the most inspiring bridge shots taken by local photographers. These images will surely make you book your ticket now!

Троицкий мост, Санкт-Петербург, Россия.

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Большеохтинский мост, Санкт-Петербург, Россия.

A post shared by Sergey Louks (@sergey_louks) on

Вид на Аничков мост. Санкт-Петербург, Россия.

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