130th Birthday of the Alexander Bridge

From De Rebus Antiquis Et Novis

The Alexander Railway Bridge was opened on August 30, 1880. In the end of 19th century, it was the longest bridge in Europe, 1436 meters (just under a mile long). It was also the last large bridge in Russia built from imported iron. Newspapers compared it to the Suez channel. The importance of the bridge was that it was the point of connection of the railroads from Moscow and Western Russia and the railroads of Urals and Siberia, including the Trans-Siberian Railway.

In 1918, two spans were exploded by retiring troops. After the revolution the bridge was renamed to Syzran Bridge, after a nearby city.

In 2004, the original spans of the old bridge were replaced, though its supports remain.

The Echo of War

This is from EnglishRussia, a great website. I am touched by these pictures, which are a mixing of historic and contemporary photos. A companion post is here.

Vienna. 1945/2010. Soviet soldiers at the Imperial Palace Hofburg:

Moscow is getting ready for defense. 1941/2009. Gorky and Tverskaya Streets:

Berlin 1945/2010. A disabled tank “Tiger” in Tiergarten park:

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A Snapshot from Russia

This is a classic picture. Olga and I had to go to a government office (yellow building). Several people were in line for the same office (the ‘line’ is pictured above). You might not know it, but the office was open at the time I took the picture.

We arrived an hour before the office opened. There is no waiting room, the officers don’t take people in the order they arrive, it’s not possible to take a number and know if you’ll be able to meet with the officers. So, we arrive early to be put on the ‘list’, a piece of paper held by one of the people waiting. Quite a few people arrived before us.

Russian government offices often are only open a few hours a week for people in any particular situation (people with our questions could only go there at specified times), and they are often understaffed. So, we waited in the rain for a few hours and never got into the building. Half a day spent waiting for nothing. . . .