Palace Bridge
Palace Bridge is a road traffic and foot bascule bridge
Bascule bridge
A bascule bridge is a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continuously balances the span, or "leaf," throughout the entire upward swing in providing clearance for boat traffic....

 spanning the Neva River
Neva River
The Neva is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part of Leningrad Oblast to the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length , it is the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge .The Neva is the only river flowing from Lake...

 in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 between Palace Square
Palace Square
Palace Square , connecting Nevsky Prospekt with Palace Bridge leading to Vasilievsky Island, is the central city square of St Petersburg and of the former Russian Empire...

 and Vasilievsky Island
Vasilievsky Island
Vasilyevsky Island is an island in Saint Petersburg, Russia, bordered by the rivers Bolshaya Neva and Malaya Neva in the south and northeast, and by the Gulf of Finland in the west. Vasilyevsky Island is separated from Dekabristov Island by the Smolenka River...

. Like every other Neva bridge (except for Big Obukhovsky Bridge), it is drawn by night, making foot travel between various parts of the city virtually impossible. It was built by the French firm Société de Construction des Batignolles
Société de Construction des Batignolles
The Société de Construction des Batignolles was a civil engineering company of France created in 1871 as a public limited company from the 1846 limited partnership of Ernest Gouin et Cie....


The total length of Palace Bridge is 260.1 metres, width is 27.8 metres. It is actually composed of five spans, the southernmost joining Palace Embankment between Winter Palace
Winter Palace
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

 and Admiralty
The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the Kingdom of England, and later in the United Kingdom, responsible for the command of the Royal Navy...

 and leading to Palace Square
Palace Square
Palace Square , connecting Nevsky Prospekt with Palace Bridge leading to Vasilievsky Island, is the central city square of St Petersburg and of the former Russian Empire...



After Emperor Nicholas I lifted Peter the Great's prohibition to construct bridges across the Neva, a temporary pontoon bridge
Pontoon bridge
A pontoon bridge or floating bridge is a bridge that floats on water and in which barge- or boat-like pontoons support the bridge deck and its dynamic loads. While pontoon bridges are usually temporary structures, some are used for long periods of time...

 was set up about 50 metres downstream from the current structure.

Construction of the cast-iron bridge was started in 1912 to designs by Andrey Pshenitsky, but the work was delayed by World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and the bridge was not opened to the public until December 23, 1916. The history leading up to the construction of this bridge was tortuous with 54 proposed designs rejected between 1901 and 1911. The design was subject to strict controls so as to prevent the bridge from obstructing the view from Palace Embankment
Palace Embankment
The Palace Embankment or Palace Quay is a street along the Neva River in Central Saint Petersburg which contains the complex of the Hermitage Museum buildings , the Hermitage Theatre, the Marble Palace, the Vladimir Palace, the New Michael Palace and the Summer Garden.The street was laid out...

 towards Kunstkammer, Imperial Academy of Arts
Imperial Academy of Arts
The Russian Academy of Arts, informally known as the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, was founded in 1757 by Ivan Shuvalov under the name Academy of the Three Noblest Arts. Catherine the Great renamed it the Imperial Academy of Arts and commissioned a new building, completed 25 years later in 1789...

, and other structures on Vasilievsky Island.

A year after its inauguration, the bridge was renamed Republican Bridge , but the original name was restored in 1944. Various improvements and embellishments of the structure continued well into the Soviet times. In 1967, the bridge was repaired. The tramway tracks were removed in 1998.

Drawing mechanism

The engine which opens up 700 ton of each bridge flights consists of motors, huge gears (some of which are still the original ones) and thousand ton counterweights. The mechanism works reliably, but sometimes small incidents occur. In October 2002 one of the gear teeth broke off, and consequently, the drawing was halted in the middle, and the ship passage was delayed.

External links

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