History of Northern river station
The history of the Northern river station begins during the reign of Peter I. In 1722, he commissioned to develop a project for creating a direct waterway from the Baltic Sea to the central regions of Russia to connect the tributary of the Moskva River Istra with the tributaries of the Volga-Sestra and Dubna.
But only in 1825 this project began to be implemented, although it was not completed, during the years of construction (almost 20 years) 3 canals were dug, 38 stone sluices were built. The water length was 292 km. Active navigation on it continued until 1860 and gradually faded away, due to the opening of the Nikolaev railway, which connected St. Petersburg with Moscow.
The idea of building a canal was returned only in the 1920s. XX century. The population of Moscow grew at a tremendous pace and the Moskva River was catastrophically shallow, due to the outdated water supply system. In June 1932, the Dmitrov project was approved, and work began on the canal. In September, DmitLag was formed, both prisoners and civilian workers worked on the construction of the canal. By the summer of 1937, 8 earthen dams, 3 reinforced concrete dams, 11 locks, 8 small hydroelectric power stations, 7 railway and 12 highway bridges, 2 tunnels under the canal were built and a cascade of reservoirs was filled with water.
The river station appeared in the era of grandiose construction projects. This is an architectural monument of the Stalinist Empire style.
At this time, the architecture of the capital becomes especially majestic and magnificent. The project of the River Station was experimental, no similar structures were erected in the country, but later it served as a model for river stations. Architects A.M. Rukhlyadev, V.F. Krinsky, sculptor I.S. Efimov and others, artist N. Ya. Danko and others.
One of the main advantages of the compositional solution of the Northern River Station is the combination of monumentality and lightness. The building is 150 meters long and 75 meters high. The tower of the building is made of increasing cubic volumes, decreasing towards the top, and resembles the towers of the Renaissance, ends with a metal spire (movable and can be removed inside the structure). The luminous star on the spire, decorated with Ural gems, serves as a beacon for ships. There is a legend that the star in the period 1935 -1937. crowned the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower, and then was moved to the spire of the River Station. But these are different stars, although they are really similar (the outlines of the stars are different, they were released by different factories, etc.).
Each portal of the station building is made in the form of 3 large arches, faced with green diorite. On the sides of the arches on each facade there are 12 half-meter discs with colored ceramics. The disks depict the nature of the country, the sea and rivers, ships, airplanes, etc. The second tier of the tower is decorated with arcades, the third with colonnades, the fourth with brackets.
The gallery on the 1st floor (from the side of the Leningradskoe highway) is framed by 150 columns of white Tarusa stone. A wide granite staircase connects the station with the pier. There are 2 fountains on the sides of the building. One is dedicated to the development of the Arctic (figures of polar bears, and above them bronze images of loons and wild geese), made by L.A. Kordashev. Another fountain with bronze dolphins, sculptured by I.S. Efimov.
In addition to 2 large fountains, there are 2 small fontanel fountains (few people know). A stream of water from a protome in the shape of a sturgeon head hits a granite bowl. The station lobby is 220 sq. m. The ceiling of the waiting room is made by the artist A. I. Shcherbakov. From a distance, the Northern River Station, when consecrated (in the evening), resembles a giant steamer with a high mast. Thanks to the canal, Moscow has become a “port of 5 seas” the Baltic, Caspian, White, Azov and Black. A monument of architecture, the station-palace has been revived and will fulfill its historical functions as a transport facility. There is a museum in the station building.