Peter the Great, founder of St Petersburg, while visiting Amsterdam during one of his many trips abroad, fell in love with the Netherlands. This fascination and appreciation can be seen all about St Petersburg: thus his idea was to create a new Amsterdam, a city where everyone had to sail along rivers and canals and not walk or ride along the streets. But actually it was only a legend as already in the times of Peter the Great, in 1707, the very first pontoon bridge was constructed for military purposes. By 2002 there were more than 500 bridges in St Petersburg connecting numerous small and large islands with the mainland. Sometimes we call St. Petersburg the “museum of bridges.” They are made of many different materials: wood, steel, stone, cast iron, reinforced concrete, even aluminum, and built based on different engineering ideas. Alongside outstanding engineers (it is enough to mention the name of French engineer Eiffel, famous creator of Eiffel Tower in Paris) the remarkable St Petersburg artists and architects took part in the creation of many of bridges. When crossing the bridges in daytime have a look at the amazing bridge railings. In many places they are covered with numerous locks of different size left there by newlywed couples as symbols of their everlasting happiness, keys of which (that is keys from the locks) were thrown down in water below.
Today in St Petersburg there are eight giant drawbridges across the Neva River. All of them are opened at night, allowing navigation from Ladoga Lake into the Gulf of Finland (which lasts from the 10th of April until the 30th of November) and severing the islands from the mainland. The raised bridges during the White Nights Season in June are an unforgettable view and draw vast numbers of spectators to the embankments. Should you inadvertently get stuck on the wrong side of the Neva you can either wait for the bridge to re-open or look for a small boat prepared to take you across (given that you are in no position to haggle this is likely to be costly). To avoid being in such a confusing situation and in order to enjoy a really fantastic view we can offer you a guided boat tour including the best views to the bridges of St Petersburg.