The beauty of the northern capital is often compared to that of Amsterdam and Venice thanks to its complex of fountains, canals, bridges that have become an unmistakable symbol of the city and made it “the city of bridges”.
Spread over more than 100 islands, St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great to become the Venice of the North, and for this purpose from the beginning were built 10 bridges. In the summer, the citizens were moving from place to place by boat, and in the winter with water frozen in luge.
Now St. Petersburg has more than 300 bridges of various sizes, construction, material, and decoration. There are the bridge of the Lions as well as Bolsheokhtinsky bridge. They are not only Italian bridges, but also British and Egyptians, bridges decorated with towers, lions, horses, and magic animals like the griffin.
There are colored bridges, red, blue, green, and yellow, as well as that of the post office, theater, bank, and of lovers. However, each of these engineering miracles has its own character, its legends, and its independent life that contributes to the history of St. Petersburg.
The city’s traffic passes over the bridges day and night and during the navigable period (April-November) they are opened at night for the passage of ships. Of course, the view of the bridges raised during the period of the white nights (May to July) is breathtaking. Even if you’re not a romantic you will be impressed by the magical views, stunning architecture surrounded by calm waters and its bridges.
- There are 308 bridges inside the city and 534 if we consider the suburbs.
- The total length of the bridges is 16 km away.
- The widest bridge is the blue bridge on the Moika River, with 100 meters wide.
- The longest bridge, the Alexander Nevsky, crossing the Neva by 1000 meters. There are 10 bridges on the Neva, 26 on Griboedova, 15 of Moika, and Fontanka.
- The number of islands in the result of big engineering work has been reduced to 42.
- There are 22 movable bridges, which are opened from April to October to allow the passage of ships.
Bridges’ opening hours:
- Palace Bridge – 01:35-02:55 AM, 03:15- 04:50 AM
- Alexander Nevsky Bridge – 02:20-05:05 AM
- Bolsheokhtinsky bridge – 02:00-05:00 AM
- Finlyand Bridge – 02:30-05:10 AM
- Liteiny Bridge – 01:50-04:40 AM
- Troitsky Bridge – 01:50-04:50 AM
- Blagoveshchensky Bridge – 01:40-04:45 AM
- Birzhevoy Bridge – 02:10-04:50 AM
- Volodarsky Bridge – 02-03:45 AM, 04:15-05:45 AM
- Sampsonievsky Bridge – 02:10-02:45 AM, 03:20-04:25 AM
- Grenadersky Bridge – 02:45-03:45 AM, 04: 20-04:50 AM
- Kantemirovsky Bridge – 02:45-03:45 AM, 04:20-04:50 AM
…are there such nights in Petersburg in summer? It was not night; one ought to have some other name for it – as half-night…” (A Common Story)
So the writer Goncharov in describing the White Nights, the charming atmospheric phenomenon that on summer nights paint St. Petersburg’s sky with a special light and wraps the city in a magical, surreal atmosphere.
Since the Russian city is located at a far north latitude, from late May to mid-July, the sun remains high for a long period and even when slowly descends below the horizon, “sunrise rushes to replace the sunset giving the night a half-hour” (Pushkin, Introduction to the bronze Horseman).
In practice, it is as if the day would never end. The city does not sleep, there are many people around, bars and cafes remain open, a full calendar of events, festivals, and night festivities, celebrating the extraordinary event that, is one of the symbols of St. Petersburg and which attracts tourists from all over of the world.
At that time of year in fact, the city is more beautiful and charming than ever. The twilight holds a pink veil the facades of buildings, domes of churches shine in the orange sky, reflections on the waters of the Neva illuminate the monuments. Everything takes on a romantic aspect in the rosy frame of the night sky. Impossible not to fall in love.