Chain single-span Egyptian bridge was constructed in 1825-1826 under the project of V. von Tretter and V.A.Christianovitz
All elements of construction were decorated in popular that days Egyptian style and that fact gave the bridge it’s name. Academic P.Sokolov created four figures of sphinxes. Today sphinxes are the only original parts of the decoration remain. The bridge stayed for more than 80 years, but on 20 January 1904 it collapsed during the passage of equestrian grenadier regiment. Three horses were killed in this accident.
There are different points of view on this collapse, but real causes are uncertain. Maybe the crash was determined by resonance effect or maybe engineers had made considerable mistakes.
After that the wooden bridge was built instead of collapsed one, in 1950 the bridge was reconstructed in stone. The new bridge has nothing in common with the previous ornate Egyptian Bridge, it was created as more useful, modest and light. Although the remained Egyptian motives and sculptures of sphinxes allow us to call it the descendent of Egyptian bridge.
The popular city legend tells about Maria Ratner, living near the bridge. It was her, calling to the regiment, passing the bridge “May you fall!”. Her wish had fulfilled immediately. The reasons of her behavior are unknown – maybe she was sick hearing all the drums and pipes of soldiers every day, maybe she was seduced by grenadier in the youth. Anyway she became the part of city’s folklore as “Maria of Egypt”
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