Peter the Great Bridge
Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge is a bridge across 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...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. The bridge's length is 334 meters, the width is 23 meters. The bridge features only three spans, the central one can be drawn.


The initial idea to build a bridge near the Okhta river
Okhta River, Neva basin
Okhta River is a river in Leningrad Oblast and the eastern part of the city of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is the largest right tributary of the Neva river. It joins the Neva 12 km upstream of the Neva's mouth, within the city limits of Saint Petersburg. Rzhevsky reservoir has been built on...

 was circulated in 1829. Even before the Saint Petersburg was founded, there were settlements in the Okhta region, and with the growth of the city, it quickly grew to become big industrial center. Powder factories and shipyards existed here. However, in XIX century, Okhta district wasn't officially part of Saint Petersburg. The bridge was essential for the developing industry, and Nicholas I
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

 approved the bridge as part of strategic city development plan. However, at that time the necessary funds were not found.

Next time the possibility of building a bridge was raised in 1860-th, when the Emperor approved the decision to join the Okhta district to Saint Petersburg. The city Duma
A Duma is any of various representative assemblies in modern Russia and Russian history. The State Duma in the Russian Empire and Russian Federation corresponds to the lower house of the parliament. Simply it is a form of Russian governmental institution, that was formed during the reign of the...

 organized international contest. There were total of 16 projects submitted including projects from France, Germany, Austria, Spain and USA. There also were three projects submitted out of
contest. And one of these out of contest projects was declared winner. That was the project by professor of Nikolaevskay engineering academy
Military Engineering-Technical University
The Saint Petersburg Military Engineering-Technical University , previously known as the Saint Petersburg Nikolaevsky Engineering Academy, was established in 1810 under Alexander I...

 colonel Krivoshein and military engineer Apyshkov. But even after selecting the winning project, the work didn't start for a long time.

In spring of 1907, the passenger ship Arkhangelk which transported people from the left bank of Neva to the right bank sank. This tragic event set things in motion, and on September 24, 1907 the contract for building the bridge was signed. The ceremony of bridge founding took place on June 26, 1909 - exactly two hundred years from the Battle of Poltava
Battle of Poltava
The Battle of Poltava on 27 June 1709 was the decisive victory of Peter I of Russia over the Swedish forces under Field Marshal Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld in one of the battles of the Great Northern War. It is widely believed to have been the beginning of Sweden's decline as a Great Power; the...

. Hence the bridge was named after the triumphator of that battle - Emperor Peter the Great Bridge.

As the result, the bridge itself was manufactured in Warsaw (Firma Braci Ruckich - Rucki Bros. Metalworks in Warsaw), and components were transported to the construction site and assembled. This is described by the bronze plaque (120 cm by 180 cm) that can be seen from the pedestrian walkway on the right pylon if crossing from the left side of Neva.

The bridge was open for traffic on October 26, 1911.

In 1956 the bridge was renamed Bolsheokhtinsky after the Big Okhta
Okhta River, Neva basin
Okhta River is a river in Leningrad Oblast and the eastern part of the city of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is the largest right tributary of the Neva river. It joins the Neva 12 km upstream of the Neva's mouth, within the city limits of Saint Petersburg. Rzhevsky reservoir has been built on...

 river, but in 2004 the original name was partially restored, although the title of Emperor was dropped from the name. Today people call this bridge both Peter the Great Bridge and Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge.
The city rumor has it that one of the clenches in the bridge is made from pure gold, and colored to be the same color as the rest of clenches. Unfortunately it is virtually impossible to verify, since the bridge has more than one million clenches.

In 1963, an Aeroflot
OJSC AeroflotRussian Airlines , commonly known as Aeroflot , is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year...

 Tupolev Tu-124
Tupolev Tu-124
The Tupolev Tu-124 was a 56 passenger short range twinjet airliner built in the Soviet Union. It was the world's first turbofan-powered airliner.- Design and development :...

 landed on the Neva
Tupolev 124 ditching in Neva river
The Tupolev 124 ditching in Neva River was a notable case of water landing that occurred in the Soviet Union in 1963. A Tupolev Tu-124 of Soviet state airline Aeroflot took off from Tallinn-Ülemiste Airport at 08:55 on August 21, 1963 with 45 passengers and 7 crew on board...

 just behind the bridge in what remains one of the very few successful controlled water landings in aviation history with no lives lost.

In popular culture

  • The bridge is a target of an allusion in the following phrase in song "Sailor" from the Aquarium's
    Aquarium (group)
    Aquarium or Akvarium is a Russian rock group, formed in Leningrad in 1972 by Boris Grebenshchikov, then a student of Applied Mathematics at Leningrad State University, and Anatoly Gunitsky, then a playwright and absurdist poet.-History:...

     album The Triangle (1981): Beautiful as Okhtinsky Bridge. (Also used in Sergei Debizhev's Dva Kapitana II with nightly footage of the bridge and nonsensical comment)


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