Friday, 31 July 2015

Palace Bridge

St Petersburg must be the ultimate destination for bridge lovers for there are an amazing 342 inside the city limits and this one, Palace Bridge, provides the perfect frame for the spire of Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral when open. Part of the original design criteria was that the height of the bridge would not obstruct the views of the monuments in this, the oldest part of the city.

The reverse of the card is the type I like because it provides all the essential details of the scene:
Neva River. Palace Bridge. 1912-1916
engineer: A Pshenitsky
architect: R Meltser
1939, architect: L Noskov 
As can be seen from the 1912-1916 dates this was a time when bridges were being blown up rather than built in World War One. When the Palace Bridge was opened just before Christmas in 1916 it was a low key affair and the decorative elements envisioned were incomplete.  After the Russian revolution the bridge was renamed Republican Bridge and in 1939 cast iron railings, lamp-posts and lion sculptures added.  Yes that is another badly timed date.  Europe was descending into war and St Petersburg, or Leningrad as it was then, in two years time was about to come under siege from 1941-44.  So our bridges next key date is in fact 1944 when it reverted to its original name of Palace Bridge.   At one time the trams crossed the bridge but now it is only cars, pedestrians and tourists taking in the view. One of the quirks of St Petersburg is that the majority of its drawbridges bridges are lifted at night to allow navigation along the Neva River and this provides a spectacle for those night owls enjoying the white nights of summers.

My sender, Galina, dreams of travelling around the world but as she can't afford to lives the dream through postcards.    
The card came with two definitive stamps showing the Ryazan and Astrakhan Kremlins. 

1 comment:

VioletSky said...

With all the postcards I seem to get from Russia, I should amend my profile to request St Petersburg bridges! I had no idea they quite so many bridges.