There are several drawbridges in St. Petersburg, but the most famous of them, of course, is the Palace Bridge. It is not the longest and most impressive, but the most majestic and beautiful, going from the Hermitage to The Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange over the beautiful Neva.
In the middle of the 19th century, a temporary crossing was in the place of the bridge. The residents of St. Petersburg did not like insecurity of it, and they asked the authorities to build a permanent bridge. For a long time, these requests were not heeded but it was finally decided to build a wooden bridge.
A project competition which had been announced in 1900, was delayed for 10 years. At first, the city government could not choose a worthy architect, and when he was chosen it turned out the city budget could not afford the project. As a result, the search for the developer was delayed until 1909, when, finally, an agreement with a civil engineer Andrzej Pshenitsky was concluded.
During the repairing in the 30s, the wooden railing of the bridge was replaced by cast iron . The author of the new artistic design was sculpture Igor Vsevolodovich Krestovsky. And no, his name is in no way connected with Krestovsky Island, located in St. Petersburg.
The total length of the Palace Bridge is 250 meters, while it is divided into five spans, the central of which is the largest. The height of the arches is about 6 meters above the water, and in the opened state is about 30 meters. This distance depends on the water level in the river.
St. Petersburg is famous for its numerous marinas and piers, but “Lion marina”, also known as Palace, Parade, or Admiralty marina, is perhaps one of the most famous ones. It is located next to the Palace Bridge, from the side of the Winter Palace of the Hermitage and the Admiralty.
Many boat excursions start from this place:
- Canal tour
- River cruise with live music and dinner
- Raising drawbridges night tour
Opening time 2019
The bridges are raised during the summer navigation which lasts from late April to early November. Dates depend on the weather and the conditions for freeing the river from ice in spring and covering it with ice in autumn. Each bridge has its own schedule.
In 2019, the palace bridge is raised daily from 1.10 AM to 2.50 AM and from 3.10 AM to 4.55 AM
The best place and time to observe the drawbridges
The best place for observation is the deck of a small boat, for example, a ship. There are a huge number of water excursions that offer to watch the drawbridges from the river.
It is better to come there in advance, at least 30-40 minutes before the start of the raising, otherwise, a good place with a good overview will not be found. Some tourists also observe drawbridges from the neighbouring Trinity Bridge.
Pay attention Trinity Bridge is opened half an hour after the Palace Bridge
If you come earlier and do not know what to do, you can visit the Museum of Illusions – it is located on Palace Square and is open until midnight. You can also admire the Palace Square, from where a beautiful view of St. Isaac’s Cathedral opens up or go to some cosy 24-hour cafe on Nevsky Prospect.
There are Trinity and Blagoveshchensky Bridges next to the Palace Bridge as well as the Exchange Bridge across the Malaya Neva. There are also many small bridges across the Moika River.
Landmarks are the Palace Passage and the Exchange Square: the bridge is located just on their axis.
How to get
- From the Admiralteiskaya metro station at the Hermitage side to the bridge about a 7-minute walk
- From Vasileostrovskaya metro station – about 20-30 minutes
The Palace Bridge is located in the historical and cultural centre of St. Petersburg, so there may be some problems with public parking, especially before the start of the bridge opening. You can try to leave the car on Millionnaya street or on the Moika Embankment, and from there walk to the Neva Embankment.
- The name of the Palace Bridge was due to the Palace Embankment, and that, in turn, was due to the Winter Palace, located on the banks of the Neva. From 1917 to 1944, the bridge had a different name – Republican, but after World War II, the Soviet government decided to return its original name.
- The drawbridges show is very impressive and attracts a lot of tourists On festive nights, the divorced wings of the bridge are also used to broadcast video projections.