St. Petersburg is crossed by a large number of rivers, canals and channels, which led to the construction of many bridges from the very beginning of the construction of the city. At first, the bridges were temporary, but over time they were made permanent stone and often they turned into masterpieces of architecture.
Currently, there are about three hundred bridges in St. Petersburg. Most of them are protected by the state as architectural monuments.
One of the engineers who made a significant contribution to the construction of many bridges and canals was the famous Dutch master - Harman van Boles. For more than half a century, Van Boles has been building, repairing and maintaining the spiers, bridges and embankments of St. Petersburg.
A native of Amsterdam, van Boles came to the Russian capital under a contract in 1711, when he was only twenty-eight years old, and worked in St. Petersburg until his death in 1764. Van Boles was engaged in carpentry and carpentry, making domes, spitz, lifting and sliding bridges, water-jet machines, rafters on various buildings, water and windmills, wooden and stone sluices.
The Dutch master built spiers at St. Isaac's and Simeon's churches, the Konyushenny yard, at the Peter and Paul Cathedral. There is a legend associated with van Boles, which says that the prototype of the ship crowning the spire of the Admiralty was the first Russian warship "Eagle", built by Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich.
In 1719, van Boles installed the Korablik on the spire. It was the first building of the Admiralty, erected in 1704 according to the personal drawings of Peter I. Since then, the ship has become the most famous emblem of St. Petersburg.