Monday, March 28, 2016

St Petersburg - An evening walk along the canals and Neva river

Date of visit: 21st October 2015

We had a lovely lovely walk on our very first evening in St Petersburg. In the very first entry, I would like to share photos collection that we snapped along our stroll that evening by the Neva rivers, canals and the bridges that reminded me so much of bridges in Venice and a moment spent at Paris-Pont Alexandre III bridges plus a canal cruising in Amsterdam city. While passing by the Neva River, from the railway station towards the hotel, I started to count the many bridges along the way. My thought wanders to the 37 bridges in Paris city. St Petersburg has many more than that and the history of the city construction is shared hereby for my forever references and for your enlightenment.   

Panorama view of Neva River

The Neva River connects Lake Ladoga to the Baltic Sea, and during the summer navigation season tens of cargo ships per day follow this important route, making it necessary to open the bascule bridges across the Neva in central St. Petersburg. This is done after midnight, and during the White Nights especially it has long been a tradition for crowds to gather along the embankments to watch the raising of the bridges. The raised arches of Palace Bridge make for one of St. Petersburg's most famous views, and am glad that I at least had step on the bridge while I was there. Suffice though we did not get to stay to see when it is actually open in real. That what makes St Petersburg as a very attractive city to visit beside many other things that they have to offer to its tourist. 

Must be a professional photograper, I guessed. I snapped this at Blaooveschensky Most to record his passion. Take note that "Most" mean Bridge ya!

A city was built over 42 islands, St. Petersburg is surrounded by water and interlaced with a complex web of rivers, canals and channels that seem to bind the city together, while also marking the borders of its different districts and neighborhoods. St. Petersburg's low-rise classical architecture means that great vistas of the city are often visible from the water, and therefore an essential part of any exploration of the city is to get out in a boat and cruise the rivers and canals of St. Petersburg. Therefore, one of a must do thing when in the city is rivers and canals cruising which we didn't do due to so long list of attraction to cover. 

Blaooveschensky Most

Dvorisovy Most

Before I get you yawning with the bridges story, I hope you like photos that I shared in this entry of what we get to see along our lovely walk within and around the city worth sharing in my opinion. My favorite is still from where we started, i.e. river bank of Bolshaya Neva, we crossed the first bridge "Dvorisovy Most" and crossed "Birzhevoy Most" to arrive at Peter & Pauls' Fortress. After we have satisfied our tummy with Tajikistan meal and declared that we had enough for 1 night, we crossed the river back to the hotel vide "Troisky Most". 

There are 342 bridges in the city limits of Saint Petersburg, Russia. This is a partial list of most famous ones. Peter the Great was designing the city as another Amsterdam and Venice, with canals instead of streets and citizens skillful in sailing. Initially, there were only about 10 bridges constructed in the city, mainly across ditches and minor creeks. By Peter's plans, in the summer months, the citizens were supposed to move around in boats, and in the winter months when the water froze to move in sledges. However, after Peter's death, new bridges were built, as it was a much easier way of transportation during the last centuries. Temporary ponton bridges were used in the summertime too. From the city record, it was discovered that the first permanent bridge of bricks and stones across the main branch of the Neva river appeared in 1850.

Rostral Columns, where the River Neva split into 2 - The Bolshaya Neva and Malaya Neva

The old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange building behind where Anne stood in the photo

Today, there are 342 bridges over canals and rivers of various sizes, styles and constructions, built at a different periods of monarch. Some of them are small pedestrian bridges, such as Bank and Lion bridges, others are huge transport arteries such as almost one kilometer long Alexander Nevsky Bridge. There are about 800 small bridges across hundreds of smaller ponds and lakes in public parks and gardens, and over 100 bridges in various ports, marinas, yacht clubs and private industries. The total number of bridges in Saint Petersburg is over a thousand. So, therefore should you an Engineer who were given an assignment to design bride, I guest this is the best place to do your research. I would, if I am one :)

Kronwerk Bridge, the wooden bridge of 9 spans built in 1938 connecting Kronwerk strait to the island 

There's a Blue Bridge, built nearly 100 meter wide, claimed to be the widest in the world, spans the Moyka River but we did not explore that part of the city. You may click the link provided HERE to see how it looks like, where those who opted for canal and river cruising are highly likely to view the blue bridge in person. There are bridges designed in various styles with such decorations as statues, lamplights, lions, horses, sphinxes and griffins, and there are modern styles lacking any decor. Thanks to the intricate web of canals, Saint Petersburg is often called the "Venice of the North" which is a popular poetic name for the northern capital.

Troitsky Most seen from the main entrance bridge to Peter & Paul's Fortress as can be seen its detail n below photo

The names of the bridges are of a great diversity as well. Some take their names from geographic location such as English, Italian and Egyptian bridges. Other names refer to the places such as Postoffice, Theater and Bank bridges. Many bridges are named after famous people such as Alexander Nevsky, Peter the Great, Lomonosov bridges. There are "colored" bridges Red, Green, Blue and Yellow bridges.

A familiar view of Saint Petersburg is a drawbridge across the Neva. Every night during the navigation period from April to November, 22 bridges across Neva and main canals are drawn to let ships pass in and out of the Baltic Sea into the Volga-Baltic waterway system. A calculated schedule with precise time of consecutive opening and closing for each bridge is maintained to guarantee passage of cargo ships and tankers at a precisely controlled speed, in order to have at least one bridge at a time staying connected to ensure passage for firefighters, police, ambulances and other ground transportation.

Canals and canal bridges that can remind any person who has been to Venice

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