Nicholas Bridge


This view of the Nicholas Bridge across the Dnieper River is from Souvenir of Kiev, an early 20th-century album showing the main sites of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and at that time one of the most important cities of the Russian Empire. The bridge was designed and constructed by a British engineer, Charles Vignoles (1793–1875). When it opened in 1853, it was the first permanent bridge over the Dnieper, the earliest multi-span suspension bridge in Europe, and at 692 meters long one of the largest architectural structures of its time. Crossing the river previously had been possible only by a bridge of boats in the summer or on the ice in winter. In the foreground is one of the paddle steamers that plied the Dnieper for pleasure and for commerce. The Nicholas Bridge stood until 1920, when it was blown up by Polish troops retreating from the city in the Russo–Polish War. The 25 views in Souvenir of Kiev are collotypes, made using a chemically-based printing process widely employed before the invention of offset lithography.

Last updated: February 29, 2012