155. St. John Bridge across the Kronverkskiy Strait to Peter and Paul Fortress 9.26.2014

St. John (Ioannovsky) Bridge across the Kronverkskiy Strait (with the front gate to Peter and Paul Fortress) 9.26.2014

St. John Bridge (Ioannovsky, Иоанновский мост) is St. Petersburg's first bridge. It crosses the Kronverkskiy Strait to Peter and Paul Fortress on Zayachy Island (also known as Hare Island). It was built on the site of the first bridge in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg began here in 1703 with the Paul Fortress. The first bridge was a floating wooden bridge connecting the fortress on Hare Island to what is now Petrograd Island. The bridge was called Peter. In 1887 it was changed to St. John Bridge. It is also known as Ioannovsky, as the fortification was also called Ioannovsky Ravelin fortress.

The 1705 floating pontoon bridge had two bascule spans placed on wooden barges. According to historians, these spans were built for defensive purposes: on the approach of an enemy, the bridge could be burned.

In 1706 the floating bridge was replaced by a drawbridge. Having a piled podkosnuyu construction, it was located upstream on the Kronverksky Strait. The fortress earthen ramparts were rebuilt in stone at this time.

The bridge was rebuilt again in 1738, when the need for additional fortifications finally ended. The St. John Gate was completed in 1740, and the bridge aligned with the gate. Both embankments were built out of stone, which enabled arch spans. The middle of the river bed was located beneath the wooden part of the bridge. It was a pile design with an adjustable span.

In 1951 the bridge was reconstructed replacing metal beams and wooden flooring. New lights were installed as well as a metal fence, made ​​in the style of the early 19th century. The modern St. John Bridge is a pedestrian bridge and still relies on the stone foundations of the old bridge.

A monument, referred to as “The Hare Escaping Flooding" was set on a pile next to the bridge May 7, 2003.
The Hare and the Flood: Forces of Nature at Work in St. Petersburg (Jessica Parks)

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