Зображення сторінки

which is thrown an extensive wooden bridge. The citadel does not appear to be a place of much strength, and is useless as a means of defending the city. Within the walls are several small houses for the accommodation of soldiers, and officers under the employment of the crown, also dungeons for the confinement of state-prisoners. In the centre stands the church of St. Peter, in which the ashes of Peter the Great repose.

This is the only church in the city which has a regular spire; it is about two hundred and fifty feet in height, and richly gilt. Its interior decorations were removed, in

consequence of some alterations, now taking place in the building. The tomb of Peter the Great is placed near the altar.* It is formed of a plain greenish marble sarcophagus, without any ornaments whatever, but a gold plate on one end, with his name and title engraved on it. On the opposite side of the altar are similar tombs, with the bodies of his wife Catharine, the beautiful Livonian, Anne, Peter III., etc.

The gold and silver sent from the mines of Siberia are here coined; and the machine for stamping the coins, is said to have been the invention of Catha

* This great prince was born at Moscow, 12th of June, 1072 at:d died at St. Petersburg in 1725.

rine II. but which has yielded to the superior power of the paper stamp.

Here is also shown the boat which Peter the Great used to amuse himself with when a boy, at Moscow, and which led to the formation of a navy.

Without the walls of the citadel, is the hut in which Peter the Great resided when laying the foundation of his capital. It is about thirty feet in length, and constructed in the rudest manner. To preserve this memorable house, a brick building is raised over it upon arches, through which the original house can be seen, yet protected from the severity of the climate. From this hut the most extensive, as well as the most beautiful views of the river and town are visible, particularly on the north side, the fortress, the academy of arts and sciences, with an extensive range of buildings and ships, while the two floating bridges stretch to the OPP0site side, where the eye beholds with equal pleasure the palace, admiralty, church of St. Isaac, and the statue of Peter the Great, also numerous gilded domes glittering in the horizon.

What is here mentioned includes a general description of the most prominent features of this beautiful city. Many elegant churches, and other public buildings on a scale of great magnificence, every where invite the attention and admiration of the stranger, and on which the eye agreeably reposes; added to these, several excellent institutions of charity, which reflect the greatest praise on the government, and on many amiable individuals.


St. Petersburg, August, 1814.

In the general description of a city, objects which are the most conspicuous become the leading features in a traveller's remarks, and though perhaps not more interesting than many minor ones, yet as their uses are more or less assimilated with the public interest, it is a matter of information to bring them before the reader, and to contrast them with those improvements and revolutions to which such places are subject; in this respect, those observations become a dry detail, and can only amuse, in proportion to the interest excited.

Among the many grand objects, which here arrest the attention, is that of the Neva. If we cor sider its breadth, the rapidity of its course, and its extreme transparency, it will almost stand unrivalled. This noble river is discharged from the southwest corner of the great lake Ladoga; and, after forming a circular course of nearly fifty miles, it

jis the eastern extremity of the gulf of Finland, below the city of St. Petersburg. The lake Ladoga, which gives origin to this beautiful river, is the largest in the north of Europe; its shape is nearly that of an oval, and its entire circumference, including the irregularities of its shores, comprises nearly three hundred miles. From several appearances, it is not unlikely but that it once formed part

of the gulf of Finland. In a direct line between the gulf and the lake, the distance is only twenty miles, and the intermediate


low and marshy. From the exit of the Neva to its junction with the gulf, its course is over a rugged bed of red granite, which is the cause of its transparency; no tributary streams add to its bulk. The river is nearly of one breadth,

of it which flows through the city, and which divides into two branches, called the great and the little Neva. Its depth varies from twenty-four to twelve feet. Its stream runs about three feet and a half per second, or nearly two miles and a half an hour; but is considerably regulated by the state of the winds. If a strong easterly wind takes place, the current is considerably affected, the river immediately begins to rise, and, not unfrequently, inundates many parts of the city. To avoid this occurrence, the banks of the river are lined with walls of granite, which are elevated


except that

« НазадПродовжити »