Palace Bridge

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Coordinates: 59°56′28″N 30°18′29″E / 59.941149°N 30.308105°E / 59.941149; 30.308105

Palace Bridge
Дворцо́вый мост
Dvortsoviy bridge 04.JPG
Night view of Palace Bridge is one of the most familiar images of the Northern capital of Russia
Crosses Neva River
Locale Saint Petersburg
Design Bascule bridge
Total length 260.1 meters
Width 27.8 metres
Opened December 23, 1916
Coordinates 59°56′28″N 30°18′29″E / 59.941149°N 30.308105°E / 59.941149; 30.308105

Palace Bridge (Russian: Дворцо́вый мост, Dvortsoviy Most) is a road traffic and foot bascule bridge spanning the Neva River in Saint Petersburg between Palace Square and Vasilievsky Island. 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.

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 and Admiralty and leading to Palace Square.

History[edit]

After Emperor Nicholas I lifted Peter the Great's prohibition to construct bridges across the Neva, a temporary pontoon bridge 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 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 towards Kunstkammer, Imperial Academy of Arts, and other structures on Vasilievsky Island.

A year after its inauguration, the bridge was renamed Republican Bridge (Russian: Республика́нский мост), 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.

One of the motors used to open the bridge

Drawing mechanism[edit]

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[edit]