Table of contents:
- How Saint Petersburg was built
- Projectflood protection
- Obvodny Canal, Petersburg. Construction history
- Architectural appearance of the area
- The originality of the Bypass Canal
- Transport infrastructure
- Bypass Canal, St. Petersburg. Bus station after reconstruction
- Bypass channel today
- Bypass canal in the future
Of the large number of canals and channels of the Neva, penetrating the historical part of St. Petersburg along and across, the Bypass Canal stands out sharply, both in its length and in the originality of its external appearance. There are reasons for this. Let's try to take a closer look at the longest canal in the city. By the way, in historical sources there are both versions of its name - "Bypass" and "Bypass".
How Saint Petersburg was built
One often hears the question of why it was necessary to lay a Bypass Canal in the city at all. But its existence is due to several reasons. The northern capital of the Russian Empire was founded by Peter the Great in a very difficult place. In order for this subject to correspond to the status of a large European city, during its construction it was necessary to solve the most complex engineering tasks related to preparing the territory for development and draining the swamps. In addition, the capital was periodically subjected to powerful floods from surge waves from the Gulf of Finland. According to the level of technical concepts of the eighteenth century, these problems were supposed to be solved by the Bypass Canal.
Eighteenth century engineers assumed that the presence of a large canal in the peripheral part of the city could lower the water level in the Neva in its central part during floods. In addition, the Obvodny Canal was supposed to play the role of a fortification protecting the capital from an enemy attack from the south. Despite the fact that the function of flood protection has not been confirmed in practice, the city has acquired a reliable border on the southern border. It was convenient to put police and customs outposts on it. In addition, the channel played the role of a barrier factor preventing the spread of infections and epidemics.
Obvodny Canal, Petersburg. Construction history
The first large section was laid in the second half of the eighteenth century. It was built from 1769 to 1780 and connected the Ekateringofka River with the Ligovsky Canal. It was mainly a fortification reinforced from the side of the city by an earthen rampart. The construction of the eastern section of the canal resumed almost forty years later. It was completed by 1833. The channel had sufficient depth and width to provide through navigation along the entire southern bypass of the city. This later was of significant importance for the development of industry and trade on the outskirts of the capital. The bypass channel, among other things, provided the possibility of rapid delivery of raw materials, goods and materials to developing enterprises. The construction was associated with the need to build permanent bridges at the intersection of the canal route withroads leading to St. Petersburg from the south.
Architectural appearance of the area
The total length of the shipping route along the southern outskirts of St. Petersburg was just over eight kilometers. The embankment of the Obvodny Canal began to be quickly populated even before the completion of its construction. Along both its banks, residential buildings, craft workshops, factories and trade enterprises began to be rapidly erected. The architectural appearance of the outskirts was quite different from the aristocratic center of the capital of the Russian Empire. There were no palaces or luxurious mansions on the Obvodny Canal embankment. The determining architectural factor here was functionality, buildings and structures were supposed to generate income. And their appearance was of secondary importance. Mostly the urban poor and the middle class settled here. Nevertheless, the architecture of the Obvodny Canal embankment has a peculiar expressiveness and coloring of a working, and often criminal, suburb.
The originality of the Bypass Canal
It's hard to say to what extent the stable negative aura of this St. Petersburg outskirts is due to objective circumstances. But information on the Obvodny Canal has been steadily appearing in many periodicals of the city in the "Criminal Chronicle" section since the middle of the nineteenth century. This is reflected in some works of art. Both in vintage detective stories and in modern television series, the action often unfoldsnamely in the quarters located on the Obvodny Canal embankment. Many legends, mystically colored mysteries and incidents are associated with these places. But many believe that the criminality and mystery of the area are greatly exaggerated.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, two major railway junctions, Warsaw and B altic, were built on the outer side of the Obvodny Canal. The architecture and design of these buildings stand out noticeably against the general background of the development of the embankment area. As conceived by the architects, the railway stations in the Russian Empire were supposed to reflect the growing power of the state. It was not accepted to save money for their design and construction. Stations on the Obvodny Canal embankment were successfully linked to the general infrastructure of urban transport. And now only the B altic one is active. Passenger transportation is carried out from it in the south-west direction.
Any district of a modern metropolis cannot be fully integrated into the life of the city without reference to the subway scheme. There are three metro stations in the immediate vicinity of the Obvodny Canal embankment. "B altic" Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya line was opened in 1955, located at the station of the same name. "Frunzenskaya" of Moscow-Petrogradskaya is located near the building of the former Warsaw railway station. It has been operating since 1961. An event of fundamental importance for the residents of the embankment wasopening in December 2010 of the metro station "Obvodnoy Kanal" of the Frunzensko-Primorskaya line of the St. Petersburg metro. In the future, she is destined to become a transplant. From it, a transition will be made to the Obvodny Kanal-2 station of the Krasnoselsko-Kalininskaya line. The ground vestibule is located on the busiest place on the embankment - at its intersection with Ligovsky Prospekt. The design and architectural design of the metro station is quite consistent with the historical appearance of the area.
Bypass Canal, St. Petersburg. Bus station after reconstruction
Traditionally, in the peripheral part of large cities, it is customary to place cargo and passenger terminals for communication with nearby regions. But the bus station on the embankment of the Obvodny Canal was opened in 1963, when the city border had already naturally moved far to the south. But for passengers arriving in Leningrad, it was quite convenient. From the bus station on the Obvodny Canal, not only suburban, but also intercity passenger transportation was carried out. Before the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, the bus station underwent reconstruction and was brought into line with modern ideas about what a passenger terminal in a metropolis should be like. Today it is used both for communication with cities and towns of the Leningrad Region, and for longer-distance passenger transportation, up to and including the Stavropol Territory. There are also international flights to Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Belarus from the bus station.
Bypass channel today
The days when the Obvodny Canal served as the southern border of the city are long gone. Today it is closer to the center than to the outskirts. Over the past years and decades, the appearance of the entire region has changed a lot. Now it bears little resemblance to a working suburb and looks quite respectable. Many new modern residential complexes have been built, a major reconstruction of old houses has been carried out. Of some historically and architecturally significant buildings, only the facades familiar to everyone have survived. The area is full of active business and trade life, there are many commercial structures and entertainment venues. According to experts in the field of secondary circulation of residential and commercial real estate, the Obvodny Canal embankment area is highly rated in real estate structures. This means that many native St. Petersburg residents are ready to settle in this area, which was once considered of little prestige. Its attractiveness increased even more after the aforementioned metro station was put into operation in 2005.
Bypass canal in the future
Currently, the question of the very existence of the Bypass Canal in its current form is under active discussion. Many people think that it is a rational idea to fill up the canal and build a modern highway in its place, providing through traffic from the eastern part of St. Petersburg to the western one. Such a solution would make it possible to radically unload from trafficthe central historical part of the Northern capital. But environmentalists and citizens who are not indifferent to the historical and architectural heritage of their city categorically oppose this idea. They remind that the Obvodny Canal is the most important part of a single hydrological scheme, and its elimination will have catastrophic consequences for the entire drainage system that ensures the life of a large city. In addition, several rivers and streams flow into it, and it’s impossible to fill it up just like that. But at present, no specific decisions have yet been made on the future fate of the longest canal in St. Petersburg. Among other things, Obvodny Canal has the status of a historical heritage. And the local authorities have no right to make arbitrary decisions on its liquidation.