It is not by chance that Petersburg is called the “Venice of the North”, because around 93 rivers flow through the city of Peter. About the extraordinary legends of the rivers and canals of the city, about scary stories and interesting facts - in our material.
1. The total length of waterways of St. Petersburg
In total, about 93 rivers, their branches, canals and channels flow through St. Petersburg. Their length is 300 kilometers. Of these, 20 artificial channels - more than 160 kilometers.
The main waterway of the city is the Neva River, which flows into the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland, belonging to the Baltic Sea.
2. Neva - one of the most full-flowing rivers of the European part of Russia
According to the average annual flow of about 80 cubic kilometers, the Neva River is second only to the Volga, Dunay, Kama and Pechora.
The river has the greatest width in the city in front of the Trinity Bridge, it is 600 meters, and the least width, 340 meters, is between the Palace Bridge and the Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge.
3. There are about 40 islands in the Neva delta.
The exact number of islands is difficult to determine, in the XIX century it was believed that there were 101. Now there are from 33 to 42 islands.
The most significant and large: Vasilyevsky, Petrogradsky and Krestovsky.The territory of the Zayachy, Kamenny and Elagin Islands islands is a bit smaller, but they are no less known.
4. Fontanka used to be called Erik
Originally, the famous river in the center of the city was called Erik or Bezymyanny Erik. This word means a small channel connecting two reservoirs.
The name remained until 1719, namely, before the fountains were built in the Summer Garden. For this, it took a multi-kilometer canal that would supply beautiful fountains with water. But instead of building it was decided to take water with the help of a steam engine from Bezymyanny Erik. Already in 1737, the river of St. Petersburg was officially named Fontannaya River, and later abbreviated to Fontanka.
5. Chizhik-Pyzhik appeared on Fontanka by chance
The story began in 1835. At that time, on the bank of the Fontanka there was the Imperial law School, its students wore a uniform: a yellow-green uniform, a collar and a headdress that resembled the plumage of chizhik. So they were called Chizhik-Pyzhik.
The song "Chizhik-Pyzhik, where have you been?" “On the Fontanka vodka drank ”, it also leads to law students who secretly visited taverns near the school.
6. The River Moyka was originally called Muya.
Muya meant dirty. It flowed out of the swamp and was a narrow muddy stream. The changes took place, like in the Fontanka, when the summer residence of Emperor Peter I — the Summer Garden — was arranged. Thus, the Krasny Canal and the Lebyazhya Groove appeared, and the swampy Shuya was also drained.
There are several stories about how the river was renamed Moyka. But most historians are inclined to the version that it is associated with the verb "wash." Then on the quays were built several public baths, whose visitors plunged into the river.
7. Legend of the Griboedov Canal
There is a legend among local residents that the channel received its name thanks to engineer Konstantin Dmitrievich Griboyedov, who led projects for the construction of sewers on Vasilyevsky Island and Tsarskoe Selo. The version is not considered valid for historians.
8. One of the episodes of Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades dedicated to the tragic event on the Winter Canal.
The Hermitage Bridge, which passes over the groove, became world-famous after the release in 1887 of the Pyotr Tchaikovsky opera The Queen of Spades. The suicide of the girl at this place made a strong impression on P. I. Tchaikovsky, and, working on the opera, he decided to insert the scene of Liza's suicide on the Winter Canal.
By the way, in St. Petersburg folklore, the informal name "Mostik Lizy" was assigned to the bridge.
9. Kryukov Canal and its mystery
In 1840, during the construction of the Blagoveshchensky bridge over the Neva river, it was decided to fill up and enclose in the pipe part of the Kryukov and Admiralteysky canals.
Later, in 1912, the Pavement bridge over the filled channels suddenly began to sink gradually, and after a while fell into the ground. By the way, it was described in the novel "Petersburg slums" by Vsevolod Krestovsky. It tells the story of how the boat of heroes, floating on the Neva river, got into the dungeon, where hundreds of bats lived. There was committed the murder of one of the main characters of the work. Some sources claim that the ominous slum was indeed one of the most criminogenic regions of St. Petersburg.
10. Obvodny channel was laid to protect the city from flooding.
Initially, the channel was really laid by floods, but this did not happen, and until the construction of the dam was completed, the water continued to rise regularly.
Obvodny received its name only at the beginning of the 19th century, when, by order of Alexander I, the second stage of its construction began. Prior to that, before that it was called Zagorodny, Gorodsky, Gorodovy and Novy.