Just a few minutes' walk down the Griboedov Canal from Nevsky Prospekt and Kazan Cathedral, St. Petersburg's Bank Bridge is one of the world's most beautiful pedestrian bridges, thanks to the glorious sculptures of golden-winged griffons by famous local sculptor Pavel Sokolov. At 1.85 meters, it is also the narrowest in the city, a miniature architectural gem.
The bridge takes its name from the Assignation Bank, one of Russia's first public banks, which was housed in the beautiful neoclassical mansion next to the bridge, now home, appropriately, to the St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance. Like many of the bridges across the Griboedov Canal, Bank Bridge was built in 1825-26 to a design by German-born engineer Wilhelm Von Traitteur.
The deck of Bank Bridge is wooden, keeping the structure relatively light, and it has been replaced several times in nearly two centuries. As well as the griffons, Bank Bridge features beautiful cast-iron railings, notable for their ornate, palm-frond design. The original railings were removed at the beginning of the 20th century, and the current railings were installed in 1952, recreated from the original designs.