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Entries / Canals (entry)

Canals (entry)

Categories / City Topography/Waterways and Currents/Canals

CANALS are artificial waterways built from the time of St. Petersburg's founding to drain low and swamp lands and create convenient access to ship construction materials and other cargoes (Peter the Great’s wish to create "a second Venice" another reason for such large-scale canal construction.) "Venetian" were canals dug in Vasilievsky Island in the second half of the 18th century (filled up in 1770-80s, Lines of Vasilievsky Island were laid along canal routes). The most important thoroughfares included Ekaterininsky (today, the Griboyedov Canal), Obvodny, Admiralty and Ligovsky Canals (they also supplied water to the adjacent districts.) Most canal banks were originally undeveloped, and the canals did not fulfill their planned purposes. Many of them, especially smaller ones, including canals in the areas of the Pryazhka and Tarakanovka rivers, the Main Admiralty and other areas were later filled up as not wanted during St. Petersburg improvement efforts. The canals surviving within the city's precincts were covered with granite, and their embankments were developed to serve as important thoroughfares or landscaped to become favourite walking areas for citizens and tourists.

Reference.: Даринский А. В. Невский край: С.-Петербург и Ленингр. обл. СПб., 2000. С. 59-60.

Y. P. Seliverstov.

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