Anichkov Bridge

The Bridge over the Fontanka River in Nevsky Prospekt is framed by four horse sculptures, it is one of the most famous bridges in St. Petersburg.

The total length of the bridge is 54.6 m, it has a width of 37.9 m with three lanes and pedestrian paths. Its official name is the “Nevsky Bridge” but this was discarded. The name “Anichkov” came from the name of lieutenant colonel engineer Mikhail Anichkov, from the battalion of work that had been incorporated into the Agreement. He also participated in the construction of the bridge. The Stories tells that some person named Anichka or Ana built the bridge, but of course, these are only urban legends.

The first wooden bridge on this site was built under the command of Peter I in 1716, and it had a length of about 150 meters. Subsequently, over time, many of the bridges were expanded and reinforced, as well as rebuilt in stone and wood. The modern form of the bridge was acquired in the middle of the 19th century. Three spans overlapped with soft arches, built of brick and stoned granite. There were precious iron grilles, made from sketches by the German architect Karla Shinkelya which represent the sirens and seahorses.

In 1841 appeared the famous sculptures of Klodt horses, cast in bronze. First, on the west side of the “horse to reach the young men” and the “young man, taking the horse by the leash.” On the eastern side, the symmetrical sculptures were installed five times. The first pair of gifts of Nicolas I were given as a gift to the king of Prussia, and now they are in Kleist Park of Berlin. The second was in Naples, in gratitude for the hospitality of the King of the Two Sicilies by the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. The rest are “scattered” in Russia. After Klodt, it was decided not to repeat the same sculpture, so new ones were created and produced, which show the four stages of taming a horse.

Curiously, the two horses that are seen in the Admiralty are connected to land, and the other two do not have horseshoes. They say that in the 18th century, they were made in the forge. It turns out that the horses are in the casting without shoes.

The Anichkov Bridge belongs to the cultural heritage of the Russian Federation. At the moment the operation of the same is monitored, controlled by the wear of bearings and coatings, reason why it is planned to carry out the reconstruction of the buildings and sculptures. During the site in Leningrad, the manipulators of fire were buried in the garden of the palace Anichkov, in one of the pedestals and now we can see the mark of an artillery shell.

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