From Neva to the Amur: Russia’s Top 10 most impressive bridges

The Zhivopisny Bridge over the Moskva River.

The Zhivopisny Bridge over the Moskva River.

Anton Denisov/RIA Novosti
As the largest country on Earth, Russia naturally has many bridges, and the scale of some just boggles the mind! And new bridges are constantly being built. RBTH chose the 10 most impressive among the old and new.

1. Most famous drawbridge

Palace drawbridge risen / Global Look PressPalace drawbridge risen / Global Look Press

The first thing that comes to mind regarding Russian bridges is St. Petersburg's drawbridges across the Neva River, which itself has an Imperial chic with stunning embankments.

The Palace Bridge connects the city center and the Vasilevskiy Island, and it's one of the most popular places for tourists, who wait until late night when it rises to let the boats through. The bridge was erected in 1916, and its length is 250 meters.

2. Russia's longest bridge

New bridge over the Kama River in Tatarstan / Global Look PressNew bridge over the Kama River in Tatarstan / Global Look Press

The Kama River is the Volga River's largest tributary and an important shipping route. Before this bridge was built, to cross the river was only possible during winter when ice formed, and then only for cars weighing no more than 5 tons.

This bridge, built from 1992 until 2002, has no particular name, and is situated by the village of Sorochye Gory and is a part of the R239 highway from Kazan to the Kazakhstan border. Now it's the longest bridge in Russia, with a full length of almost 14 kilometers, 1.6 of which are over the Kama.

3. Europe's tallest cable-stayed bridge 

The Zhivopisny Bridge over the Moskva River  /  Anton Denisov/RIA NovostiThe Zhivopisny Bridge over the Moskva River / Anton Denisov/RIA Novosti

This bridge across the Moskva River connects Marshal Zhukov Prospect and Moscow’s popular green area of Serebryany Bor. With a length of 1.5 kilometers, it opened in 2007 and was planned with an observation area and a restaurant in the capsule on top of the arch.

The main arch is 105-meters high, making it Europe's highest cable-stayed bridge. But that's not the only feature – this bridge is referred to as "Zhivopisny Most," which literally means "Picturesque Bridge."

Putting in a sewer system, however, proved problematic. So now the capsule will be transformed into a marriage registration office that will be opened once a special elevator is installed.

4. Asia's longest bridge

The communal bridge over the Yenisei River /  Freidberg/RIA NovostiThe communal bridge over the Yenisei River / Freidberg/RIA Novosti

Kommunalny (Communal) Bridge across the Yenisei River opened in Krasnoyarsk in 1961 during the time of Nikita Khrushchev. For many years, this 2.3-kilometer long bridge was Asia’s longest, (that honor now goes to India’s 5-kilometer long Gandhi Setu Bridge that opened in 1982).

The bridge is truly breathtaking, especially if you stand under it on the Yenisei’s embankment, and it’s immortalized by its place on the back of the 10-ruble note. This bridge is also unique with its 1,560-ton ferro-concrete arches.

5. The reddest bridge

The Red Dragon in Khanty-Mansiysk / Legion MediaThe Red Dragon in Khanty-Mansiysk / Legion Media

Another great Siberian river, Irtysh, gave birth to another magnificent bridge in Khanty-Mansiysk, which carries the unofficial name, The Red Dragon, because of its complicated red metal construction.

This 1.3-kilometer long bridge is part of a 2,545-kilometer highway through the North Urals and Western Siberia, from Perm to Tomsk. There is nothing like it in all of Russia.

6. The most beautiful bridge 

Muromsky bridge across the Oka River / Legion MediaMuromsky bridge across the Oka River / Legion Media

This bridge across the Oka River, another Volga tributary, finished first in an official government public poll for the most beautiful bridge in Russia, and a sign commemorates this honor. By the way, second place went to the Red Dragon.

This 1.4-kilometer long bridge opened in 2009 and has an interesting feature – the strong wind impacts its cable-stayed construction and it seems the bridge is singing.

7. The most Russian bridge

The bridge to Russky Island in Vladivostok /  Alexey Kudenko/RIA NovostiThe bridge to Russky Island in Vladivostok / Alexey Kudenko/RIA Novosti

A replica of San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate, the Golden Bridge in Vladivostok, has already become the city’s symbol. It was built in 2012 for the APEC summit, and crosses the Golden Horn Bay.

It has a brother, however. The picturesque Russky Bridge built in Vladivostok connects the city with Russky Island that crosses the Eastern Bosphorus channel.

The bridge will be featured on a new 2,000-ruble note that will appear later this year. With a length of just over 3 kilometers, it’s the second tallest bridge in the world (324 meters) after the Millau Viaduct in France that is 343 meters. At night, the Russky Bridge is illuminated with the colors of the Russian flag.

8. The longest suspension walking bridge

The Skybridge suspension walkway in Sochi / Mihail Mokrushin/RIA NovostiThe Skybridge suspension walkway in Sochi / Mihail Mokrushin/RIA Novosti

The “Sky Bridge” that spans the Akhshtyr Gorge and Mzimta River is scary not only to walk on, but also to watch from below. It’s the longest hanging walking bridge in the world (439 meters) and is part of Skypark AJ Hackett Sochi that was built in 2014, the year when Sochi hosted the Winter Olympic Games.

The park is situated on the road to the Krasnaya Polyana ski resort, so it’s hard to miss, and offers bungee jumping that goes 207 meters down.

9. The trickiest bridge

The Millennium Bridge in Kazan / Global Look PressThe Millennium Bridge in Kazan / Global Look Press

The Millennium Bridge was built in 2005 to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the city of Kazan. This bridge is 835 meters long and is actually a girder bridge that combines elements of cable construction that have more a decorative function because the bridge spans are not so big and don’t need cables to hold them.

The bridge is now one of Kazan’s main sites and the letter M (for Millennium) is illuminated at night.

10. The most acclaimed bridge

The bridge over Amur River on the Chita-Khabarovsk highway /  Vitaliy Belousov/RIA NovostiThe bridge over Amur River on the Chita-Khabarovsk highway / Vitaliy Belousov/RIA Novosti

The Khabarovsk Bridge over the Amur River, also known locally as the Amur Wonder, is one of the oldest on our list. In 1900, the design for the bridge was awarded a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle, the world fair in Paris.

The bridge opened in 1916 and has survived all of Russia’s wars and revolutions. At the time it was built, the bridge was the longest in Eurasia and Africa, at 2.6 kilometers.

In the late 1990s, the bridge was reconstructed and now it's almost 4 kilometers in length and carries automobiles and trains, and is a part of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Today, it’s also on the 5,000-ruble note.

Read more: What masterpieces were built by famous foreign architects in Russia?

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