October 5, 2014

0199 UKRAINE (City of Kiev) - Paton Bridge

I have at least four reasons to consider this postcard a special one. The first is that the sender (many thanks, Tamila) is born in the same day as me, so she is the sixth added to my special topic, Received from those born on August 8. The second is that it was sent on February 29, a date which exist only an every four years. The third is that it shows a bridge from Kiev, from an area that will be radically transformed in the next 15 years according to the plans made by five Romanian architects. The fourth is that the stamp depicting Taras Shevchenko is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.

I'll start with the Romanian architects. Five young Romanian architects (Vlad Stoica, Alexandru Tudose, Rozina Dragomir, Cristina Zlota and Iulian Canov), from Wolf House Production, all graduates of Ion Mincu Bucharest University, guided by their teacher, Gabriel Pascariu, became winners of the competition Dnieper Pearls, dedicated to beautification of Kiev's isles. At the competition participated 300 teams from all over the world, only 40 remained following the first tour and only 8 projects got into the final part. The main peculiarity of the project is provision of a network of the public water transport The Blue Line with the use of small size cutters, which would not have an impact on the ecological system of the Dnieper and Kiev as a whole. One of architects Vlad Stoica underscored that "two main moments were united in this project: functionality of the infrastructure both for citizens and for tourists, as well as preservation of the historical image of Kiev."

The bridge in the image, the longest in Kiev (1,543m), was built between 1941 and 1953, and is one of the first all-welded bridges in the world. Projected by engineer Evgeny Paton, whose name it bears, it was began in early June 1941, but was interrupted by the WWII. After the liberation of Kiev by the Red Army on 6 November 1943, construction was forced to begin practically from scratch as the retreating German troops blew up all of the existing parts of the incomplete bridge. However, the construction was completed just in time for the 10-th anniversary of the liberation of Kiev. Upon the completion, the bridge was composed of 264 identical blocks which are 29m in length each, held together by welded seams totaling 10,668m. The weight of the structure is estimated to be over 10,000t.

In 1976, a strength test was conducted to see how much pressure the bridge can withstand. Originally, it was designed to handle 10,000 vehicles per day, but the results of the test revealed that it can withstand an estimated 70,000 vehicles per day. In 1995, the bridge was recognized by the American Welding Society as the most unique all-welded structure. In 2004 the streetcar tracks were removed in favor of adding additional lanes to help ease the jams during the rush hours, and the bridge was divided into seven lanes. Starting on 1 February 2008 the bridge was equipped with additional lighting, which can be seen in the image.

In background, on the right-bank of the Dnieper River can be seen also the Motherland Monument, located in Museum of the Great Patriotic War. Designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich, the stainless steel statue stands 62m tall upon the museum building, with the overall structure measuring 102m. For exemple, the sword in the statue's right hand is 16m long, weighing 9t, and the left hand holding up a 13 by 8 m shield with the State Emblem of the Soviet Union.

About the stamps

The first stamp, about which I talking at the beginning, is a comemorative one, issued on March 9, 2010, for the Birth Bicentenary of Taras Shevchenko, the founder of modern Ukranian literature.

The second is part of a large series of definitives (about which I wrote here), and shows an ancient spinning wheel (50k).

This is a post for Sunday Stamps #190, run by Viridian from Viridian’s Postcard Blog. The theme of this week is: se-tenant stamps. Click on the button to visit Viridian’s blog and all the other participants.


Paton Bridge - Wikipedia

Sender: Tamila (direct swap)
Sent from Kiev (Ukraine), on 29.02.2012
photo: Oleg Zharii


  1. More than one and half kilometer, an incredibly long bridge, to my opinion! And beautiful pictures, both the postcard as stamps. Thank you for posting!

  2. I would like to correct your statement about first all-welded bridge in the world.
    The first one was built in Poland in 1928.
    It was designed by Stefan Bryła, a professor at Lviv University.


    1. Yes, you're right, although in many other sources occurs the same mistake that I made it. I was convinced, however, by that in 1995, the American Welding Society presented the Historic Welded Structure Award for the bridge to Poland, which leaves no doubt. I corrected on the blog. Thanks. :)

  3. Great se-tenant pair. Good to see more pleasant information about the Ukraine and Kiev.

  4. I always find bridges and the variety of their design fascinating. All the lights across the river must be a photographers delight.

  5. By sheer coincidence I passed a truck with displays for the American Welding Society just last week on the highway here in the great Midwest!
    Thank you for joining in this week.