In May this year Moscow authorities have completed the make-over of 22 bridges around Moscow river bank adding new lighting to the bridges. Total 4,500 LED lamps were installed creating a totally new summery look for the city’s bridges. The lighting suits the surroundings of the bridges, for instance bridges that are closer to the city centre have a more mallow warm illumination.
In light of this recent transformation to the Moscow’s river bank, I decided to write a post about the most interesting and beautiful bridges in Moscow. There are quite a few lovely river bank walks and handsome bridges in Russia’s capital that may add a touch of romance to your stay in our city.
There are around 450 bridges in Moscow. Not all of them are crossings over the Moscow River. There are some other smaller rivers in the city too. Most of the bridges are not particularly interesting or aesthetically pleasing. I would say there are about 30 to 50 of them that are worth looking at and carry some historical value.
Many historical bridges from the prerevolutionary Russia were rebuilt or removed completely during the 1930-1940 Stalin’s reconstruction of the city which needed to accommodate spacious roads, new buildings and new life style. During that period Moskva river was connected to Volga river through the Moscow canal which resulted in increased water levels and made old bridges obsolete.
In this post I will mention the top 8 Moscow bridges in my opinion.
This beautiful pedestrian bridge over the Moscow River connecting Pushkinskaya Embankment and Frunsenskaya Embankment was build not that long ago – in 1999-2000 using some of the constructions of the old Andreevsky rail bridge erected between 1905-07.
The name of the bridge is often confused with the bridge where the main supporting arc comes from as there is a plate next to the Pushkinsky most with a short history of the Andreevsky Bridge.
Here is a nice post about how Andreevsky bridge became Pushkinsky bridge (in Russian).
Krymsky Most or Crimean Bridge is the only suspension bridge in Moscow. It was build in 1938 as part of the big Stalin’s reconstruction of the city where lots of historical buildings were demolished to give way to modern highways, wide roads and metro network.
Krymsky Bridge is part of Sadovoe Kolco highway, and thus it’s hard to catch it without any cars racing by.
Patriarshy bridge situated right opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was opened in 2004. It spans over Moskva river and Vodootvodny canal. This bridge became very popular among newly weds (no wonder, Moscow’s main cathedral is a great site for wedding photos). One will notice lots of locks with names of couples who decided to ‘immortalize’ their love with a metal lock – this is a recent trend for Moscow’s newly weds.
Situated about 2 kilometers west from the Kremlin, Borodinsky bridge was originally built in 1911-1912 to commemorate the victory in Napoleonic war. From 1788 there stood another bridge called Dorogomilovsky which was used by the Russian and French armies during the 1812 war. In 1867-68 it was replaced by a more solid bridge named Borodinsky after the Battle at Borodino, but in 1911 it was again replaced by a more spacious bridge to adjust to an increased traffic at that time.
The bridge was also reconstructed in 1952 and in 1999-2001.
Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge
The Great Stone Bridge is not so much a stone bridge, it is actually a steel arch bridge in the centre of Moscow. It got its name from its predecessor – the first stone bridge ever built in Moscow. It was erected in the 17th century. At that time the project was so expensive that it created a saying among Muscovites “even more expensive than the Great Stone Bridge” when referred to something dear. Because the old bridge was much wider than some of the streets in Moscow, one could find shops, pubs and other buildings on the edges of the bridge. At the end of the 18th century the bridge suffered some damage after a number of destructive floods in the city, and by the middle of the 19th century the bridge became rather shabby and unstable which brought the decision to knock it down. The demolition was not so easy due to the solid brickwork meant to stand for centuries. Many Muscovites regretted the disappearance of the old bridge as it was considered an important historical landmark of the city.
The new bridge constructed in 1858 was the first steel bridge in Moscow. However, due to some design faults that did not allow for increased traffic in the city, the bridge had to be demolished and replaced by the current bridge in 1938.
Bolshoy Kamenny Most today offers a great view of the Moscow Kremlin, and The Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
This cable stayed bridge in the West of the city is one of the most impressive bridges in Moscow in my opinion. Opened in 2007 it is not only the first cable-stayed bridge in Moscow but is the highest bridge of this kind in Europe. The name of the bridge is translated as Picturesque bridge. It is about 1,5 km long, 37 meters wide and 105 meters high. At the top of the arc one will see a disc object resembling an alien space ship. This was first meant to be a restaurant but due to difficulties with the fire safety and sanitation (basically no toilets), the project was abandoned. It is rumored that it was planned to set up a registrar office there (it would have been an awesome venue to get married), however, I don’t think such plans came to fruition.
Bohdan Khmelnitsky Bridge
Also known as Kievsky bridge. It is a modern 235 meter steel pedestrian bridge in the centre of Moscow. Opened in 2001 it is named after the famous Ukrainian leader of the 17th century. The main supporting structure of the bridge was taken from the old Krasnoluzhsky bridge built in 1907.
In 2002 the bridge became the record holding bridge for the most number of simultaneously kissing couples. 2,226 people shared a kiss there on the 16th of February 12 years ago.
Officially called Rostokino Aqueduct (an artificial channel for conveying water), this is the oldest existing bridge in Moscow spanning over Yauza river. Commissioned by Catherine the Great it was built between 1780 and 1804 as part of the first Moscow’s centralized water utility. Before the 1780s there was no centralized water utility in Moscow, and after the plague of 1771, it became quite clear that the city needed one badly.
It took almost a quarter of a century and over 1,5 million rubles (immense sum of money at that time, hence the unofficial name Millionny Most) to build Rostokino water bridge. Being 356 meters long and 15 meters hight, the aqueduct was the largest stone bridge in Russia at that time.
During the Soviet times Rostokino Aqueduct held heating pipes at the top, but in 2006-07 it was refurbished and opened as a pedestrian bridge.
You can find the list of all Moscow bridges on Wikipedia :)
Featured image from loveopium.ru/arxitektura/zhivopisnyj-most.html