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fries have a religious siguificance, rep- | ments described, seem almost incased in resenting the degrees of the ecclesias- armor, so complicated and elaborate is the tical hierarchy. The center turret sym- | labor betowed upon them. The most brilbolizes the patriarch, his radiant head | liant colors are employed in representing raised between heaven and earth, sur- upon this multitude of spires, scales, spanrounded with his priests, his deacons, and gles, enamel, stripes, plaids, and the dazsub-deacons. The theological idea is al-zling effect in the sunlight can never be ways scrupulously preserted, and under- imagined by those who have not seen it. stood by the initiated, though the fantastic The effect of the gorgeous hues streaming and varying forms give no hint of design from the summits of these masses of to the careless observer. Chains, brilliant architecture, in the midst of the solitary with gold or silver, unite the points of the waste environing Moscow, is like some crosses on the different-sized spires, pro- magical illumination of the desert by giducing an effect in the changing light, of gantic gems. The play of the light upon which no painting could give an idea. A the aërial structures produces a kind of lively imagination can easily transform the phantasmagoria at mid-day; and it gives grotesque collection of towers on every to Moscow a different aspect from any sacred edifice into a solemn assembly of other European city. You can fancy ecclesiastics, or a cohort of phantoms hov- | what an appearance the sky must have ering over the city.
amid these dazzling hues; it is as radiant I must not omit another most striking pe- as that of an antique painting glowing with culiarity in the aspect of Russian churches. The mysterious domes, besides the orna- ! I was more agreeably employed than in
counting the number of these wonderful immediately upon my arrival hastened to edifices; for, as you will have seen, I have see it. Eager as I was to penetrate its little to do with details. In my opinion, inclosure and visit it in detail, I found figures should always be in a book by myself at its very threshold gazing with themselves; but for the benefit of sta- wondering eyes upon the church of St. tistically-inclined readers, I will men- | Basil, or, as it is sometimes called, the tion that the number of churches in Mos-Cathedral of the Protection of the Virgin. cow has been variously stated by different The title of cathedral is very lavishly bewriters to be between 484 and 1,600! This stowed by the Greek Church ; every monis reliable! So much for travelers' state- | astery has one, and there are several in ments, your testy readers will exclaim; every city. This is certainly one of the those who doubt my assertions had better most singular, if it is not the most beauverify them for themselves.
tiful monument in all Russia. You wih A few more remarks upon the general see by the sketch that it is a collection appearance of Moscow must suffice. The of turrets of an unequal height, forming a extent of the city causes an abundance of kind of bouquet, or rather a group of vari. illusions, before you become familiar with ous fruits ; or, still better, an enormous its locality. Forests, lakes, and fields, are crystallization of a thousand hues, shining comprised in its limits, and its edifices in the sunlight like Bohemian glass, or are quite distant from each other. Its like the most brilliant enamels. Scales gorgeously-roofed churches form a semi- of golden fish, skins of serpents, dragon circle to the eye; and when seen for the heads, altar ornaments, and the garments of first time in the setting sun, resemble a the priesthood are represented upon them; fiery rainbow or an aureola spanning the the arrows surmounting them are painted city.
like the richest brocade ; in fact, they bear At a short distance from the gates, all quite a resemblance to gaudily dressed my fine fancies vanished. I stopped be- people. The roof between the spires glitfore the very real and clumsy castle of ters with colors of indescribable brilliancy, Petrofski, built by Catherine II., in the dazzling to the eye, and fascinating, by oddest taste, after a modern design, its their novel effect, to the imagination. white walls overloaded with red orna- | This fantastic edifice was founded in 1554, ments. The style is intended for Gothic; by Ivan the Terrible, as an expression of but it presents none of the beauties, but his gratitude to heaven for the taking of only the extravagancies of this order. Kazan. His pious offering was finished The building is perfectly square, with a by an act which gave him a new claim to regularity of plan which does not render his too well-deserved surname. When its general aspect more imposing. It is the monument was completed, Ivan asked the residence of the emperor during his for the architect who had drawn the plan visits to the ancient capital.
and directed the labors. After lavishing Your disenchantment is complete after his praises upon the work, he inquired if you have passed Petrofski. Indeed, by he believed himself capable of erecting a the time you enter Moscow, you are ready still more beautiful building. Gratified to inquire how all that you admired so by the encomiums bestowed by the monmuch in the distance has disappeared. arch, and with the consciousness of his You wake as from a dream and find your-genius glowing within him, the artist self in one of the most prosaic cities, for truthfully teplied that he was certain he it really does not possess a single merito- could do himself more justice in another rious work of art. Seen as a whole, and structure. Ivan the Terrible then ordered at a sufficient distance, it appears like a his eyes to be put out, as a punishment type of Asiatic life invested with all the for not displaying his utmost power in poetry and mystery of the East; but you obedience to his commands, and also to find it in detail a large commercial city, prevent the construction of another edifice inharmonious, clumsy, badly built, badly superior to it in beauty. paved, and sparsely populated,-a miser- ! The tower of this church affords one of able copy of the European world.
the finest views of the general appearance Amid the chaos of brick, mortar, and and situation of the ancient capital. Like plaster in which I found myself, I still Rome, it extends over the declivities of preserved my faith in the Kremlin, and several hills : but here all comparison ends; nothing in Europe, probably nothing in Patriarch, with all the transactions and all the world bears any resemblance to the the books of the Holy Synod ; the Senate singular spectacle. Two circumstances and the Arsenal, the Treasury or Armory, render the picture strikingly peculiar. In in which twenty halls are crowded with the first place, the roofs are not covered objects incalculably valuable in themselves, with tiles, slate, wood, or thatch, or any or on account of the memories associated material employed in other countries. with them ; among them are thrones, scepThey are all metallic, and all painted red ters, crowns, jewels, arms and armor, and green. The blending and contrast of standards, crucifixes, crosses, and official these two brilliant colors is still more in- insignia of every kind. Among other creased and diversified by the innumerable curiosities, I was shown the scepter and domes and spires, belfries and minarets globe sent by Alexander Comnenus to one of every form, which shoot up from amid ) of the great Muscovite princes; the throne this gay groundwork with still more bril- of Ivan III.; the crowns of the kingdoms liant and glittering colors into the air. of Europe and Asia annexed to that of
Moscow was called for a long time the Russia ; the clothes which Peter the Great Great Village, and both words were ap- wore at Pultava ; and the litter on which plied with equal propriety. It is one of Charles XII. was carried at that battle the largest cities of Europe in extent, which decided the fate of the two rivals. being about twenty-seven miles in circum- | The artillery pieces taken from the French, ference. In some quarters and in some or rather left behind, in the frightful re. relations it still preserves its village char- | treat of 1812, are ranged before the aracter. In the immediate neighborhood | senal. of the Kremlin there are some regular In the very center of the Kremlin are streets and the houses are connected ; four churches, describing a perfect square, but elsewhere they are quite isolated, and forming the true metropolitan sanctuary of surrounded with courts and gardens. In Russia. The oldest is that of the Annunsome of these dispersed dwellings, which ciation, which dates back to 1397. Its really unite what your papers so often ad-arches were decorated with frescoes by two vertise—the conveniences of a rural and monks, at different epochs, and the paracity residence-reside the old Muscovite dise which it represents displays a strange nobility, in the patriarchal style of their reunion of saints and sinners, according to ancestors, from time immemorial.
our ideas. Side by side with St. Peter The Kremlin is the political as well as and the other evangelists, we find Aristhe religious sanctuary of Moscow. All totle, Ptolemy, Socrates, Menander the the remembrances of its early history are comedian, and Anacharsis : as the latter gathered about it, up to the time when was a Scythian, that is almost Russian, I Peter the Great, in his triumphal career, was not so surprised at his good fortune. gave Russia her place among European The good monk artists must have been nations. The exact origin of the Kremlin “liberally” inclined; a Roman monk would is unknown; even the signification of the have consigned these famous heathens to word is scarcely decided by etymologists. the same hell with Cain and Judas IscaIt has been traced to krem, a stone; but it riot. is doubtful if there is anything locally sig- The Church of the Archangel Michael nificant about it, as several other Russian was formerly the sepulcher of the czars ; cities have their Kremlins. It is prob but Peter the Great disinherited Moscow ably a general name, like the Alcazar of of her dead as well as her living princes. Spain, which originated from the El Kasr He founded in his new capital a new series of the Arabs, signifying a fortified palace. of imperial tombs. In the Church of the The Kremlin serves the same purpose, Assumption, which is the first of the three inclosing and protecting, in the royal resi- cathedrals, repose the ashes of the ancient dence, all that is most dear and sacred to patriarchs, the former popes of the Greek the nation. Among its temples are many Church. It was formerly the place of remains of another kind. The old palace coronation for the czars, and the cereof the czars is still in existence, not less mony is still perpetuated in it. It contains strange and grotesque from its foundations a tribune or pulpit, never entered except to the ceiling than the Church of St. Basil. by the aristocracy when the holy oil was Here also is the ancient palace of the poured on the brows of the autocrats, in
vesting them with all the power that man richness of its internal ornaments. Ancan exercise on earth.
cient Byzantine pictures cover all the But the churches of Moscow, though walls, all the arches, and all the cupolas. numerous and ancient, in their form and Most of these images are covered with structure bear no comparison to the other metallic plates, something like turtle famous ecclesiastical edifices of Europe. shells, often of gold or silver, upon which They are generally small, low and narrow; | is carved the drapery concealed by them; even the most celebrated ones are only the entire walls appear covered with these chapels surmounted with domes and bel- shells of precious metal, while the head fries. They are of all forms and all colors, or hands of the poor saints beneath seem and, seen from a distance, many of them to be emerging from some purgatorial hole. resemble little pagodas of Saxony porce The most ancient and revered of these lain. In some of them you trace the hand relics are inclosed in cases, or under a of an Italian architect, who transfers a little magnificent dais of massive gold or silver; of the grandeur of the Roman temples to they are crowded with votive offerings of the form adopted by the Greek. They diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, appear still smaller than they otherwise of such size and value that they would would, because they are divided almost in honor the treasury of a king. halves for the separation of the cloister | Europe has more celebrated bells than or place of the sacred images, which is might be supposed by one who has not entered only by the priests during service, interested himself respecting them. But and which no female eye can ever pene- the largest, the heaviest, and the most trate.
famous, is one of the wonders of the Somewhat like the Church of St. Mark's Kremlin, universally known as the Queen at Venice in form and proportions, the of Bells. This mountain of metal is Greek edifices also resemble it in the almost an object of worship to the Rus