About The Bridges Of Saint-Petersburg
The Anichkov Bridge
Today's bridge (54m long, 37m wide) was built in 1839-1841 (engineer Andrei Gotman, architect Alexander Bryullov). Formerly, a narrow drawbridge with granite towers stood on the site.
The bridge is famous for its equestrian statues, sculptured by Pyotr Klodt. One of them depicts a young man leading a horse; the other - a youth affempting to control a mettlesome horse. Each of the two equestrian statues was cast twice, to make one for each of the four corners of the bridge. However, the sculptor's design was not carried out completely. Before the sculptures were mounted on the bridge, Nicholas I ordered that two of the statues be sent to Berlin as a present to the Prussian king. These sculptures were erected there in front of the Grand Palace and were so highly valued that Klodt was erected a member of the Academy of Arts of Berlin and then of Paris and Rome. In place of the bronze groups sent to Berlin, plaster moulds, painted to look like the remaining bronze groups, were erected. In the autumn of 1843 these were replaced by metal sculptures, though not for long...
In 1846 Nicholas I again ordered that two of Klodt's groups be taken down fron the Anichkov Bridge and sent abroad, this time as a gift to the King of Naples. The bronze horses and youth were erected in Naples in the garden of the San Carlo Theatre, and, till 1850, plaster sculptures replaced them in St.Petrsburg. It was suggested that Klodt should cast a copy of his two sculptures in bronze again. But the sculptor decided that one of the capital's central bridges deserved to have something better than identical pairs of sculptures, and so his suggestin of preparing two new sculptures was accepted. In 1850 they were mounted on the pedestals of the Anichkov Bridge. The third group depicts a young kneeling and winding the round his hand trying to restrain the horse as it rushes forward. The fourth droup captures the moment when the young man has been thrown down under the hooves of the fiery stallion as it rears.
The Bank Bridge
Chain bridges, nearly disappearing today, should be refecred to as the most remarkable metal constructions. Thus, the chains of the pedestrian bridge across Griboyedov Canal (Bank Bridge) is spectaculously supported by the powerful figures of gryphons sculpted.
In ancient Greece these mythical creatures were considered to be the guardians of gold, and, probably, for this reason they were mounted in front of the bank building erected by Giacomo Quarenghi in 1783-1790 (the former Assignation Bank).
The Bank Bridge was built from 1825 to 1826 by the engineer G.Traitteur. The bridge is 25.2 m long and 1.9 m wide.
It is one of six suspension bridges over the Griboyedov Canal. The four cast-iron gryphons (sculptor P.P.Sokolov) are of cast-iron.