Kazansky Bridge (formerly Rozhdestvensky Bridge - 1766-1830, Kazansky Bridge - 1830-1923, Plehanov Bridge- 1923-1944) is located in alignment of Nevsky Prospect and connects Kazansky Island and Spassky Island over the Griboyedov Canal in Central District of St. Petersburg.
In 1739 for the drainage of the Moyka River marshes to the confluence of the Glukhoy Protok and the Krivusha River, Konyushenny Canal was cut constituting now the upper part of the Griboyedov Canal. They began to fill up reaches of the Krivusha River and the Glukhoy Protok before the confluence. And a wooden bridge was built across the Konyushenny Canal in line with the Nevskaya Pershpectiva (a part of Nevsky Prospect), which, until the beginning of the XIX century, was called Rozhdestvensky Bridge.
In 1764-1783 the Krivusha River was cleared and deepened. During the reign of Catherine II the channel was renamed the Catherine Canal.
When cutting the Catherine Canal along the Krivusha bed in 1766 the old crossing was replaced by a new stone single-span arched one. I.M. Golenishtchev-Kutuzov, the father of the famous warchief, supervised the construction works. The project of a new bridge was designed by engineer V. Nazimov. At the time of the new crossing construction a temporary bridge was built behind the Kazan Cathedral that is why everyone passing along Nevsky Prospect had to go round about the place.
In 1805-1806 in connection with the construction of the Kazan Cathedral and redevelopment of the site adjacent to Nevsky Prospeсt, the bridge was rebuilt presumably under the project of architect L.I. Ruska. The bridge was widened to 95 meters and its length was 17.5 m. This is the third bridge subject to width in St. Petersburg, after Blue Bridge across the Moyka River and Aptekarsky Bridge across the Karpovka River. The structural design of the bridge remained the same one, but the abutment level was lowered, so that the bridge had a more gentle slope. Stair descents were dismantled. The arches have parabolic shape without interlocking stones. Cast iron railing was replaced by a solid granite parapet. The bridge derived its name from the Kazan Cathedral.
In 1880 the rails of horse railroad were laid on the bridge, and the sidewalks were covered with granite slabs.
In 1912, during the survey, destruction of a brick arch having no insulation was found.
In 1934 shotcreting of the brick arch was carried out.
In late 1999 major repair of the arch from the downstream side began.
The last major repair of Kazansky bridge was made in 2002-2003. During the work the dilapidated state of the arch was detected; its destruction achieved half of its total thickness of 75 centimetres. An additional destructive factor was the arch width. Due to the fact that the passage is essentially a long tube, then even in freezing weather outside the temperature inside the tube can be above zero. This temperature difference negatively affects the bridge structure. A big problem for the builders were the utilities in the roadway of Nevsky Prospect. Of 45 pairs of telephone cables that were laid in the arch of Kazansky Bridge the oldest one was dated 1910. It was impossible to move them when installing waterproofing, so it was not laid on the arch itself, but in the roadway of Nevsky Prospect.
Today Kazansky Bridge, protected by the state as a valuable historical and architectural monument, is a favourite pilgrimage destination. On both sides of the bridge there are slopes to the water, where you can start the river cruise on a small excursion boat.