Group Title: The great wonders of the world : from the pyramids to the Crystal Palace
Title: The great wonders of the world
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 Material Information
Title: The great wonders of the world from the pyramids to the Crystal Palace
Physical Description: 1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wigan, Arthur Cleveland, b. 1815.--
Wigan, Arthur C ( Illustrator )
George Routledge and Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: George Routledge and Sons
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Thomas Harrild
Publication Date: [1874?]
Subject: Curiosities and wonders -- Early works to 1900 -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Engineering -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
World history -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Fantastic architecture -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Temples -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Pyramids -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1874
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by Arthur C. Wigan ; with thirty-two illustrations by Frederick Skill.
General Note: Date of publication from inscription.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027895
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002239704
notis - ALJ0238
oclc - 60551126

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THE Pyramids of Memphis, perhaps the most stupendous monu-
ments extant of misdirected skill and energy, have from a very
early period excited the curiosity and wonder of mankind. More
than two thousand years ago they were visited by Herodotus, whose
narrative affords the earliest information we possess as to their
origin. According to the account given to him by the priests of
'Memphis, the Great Pyramid was built about 900 years before the
Christian era, by Cheops, king of Egypt. (Modern research has
added more than 1200 years to the probable age of the Pyramids.)
In its construction, 100,000 workmen weae employed for twenty
years, and the cost of feeding them upon onions and other vege-
tables amounted to nearly 400,000 of our money.
The Pyramid of Cheops is about 480 feet in height, and covers
more than thirteen acres of ground. Placed in Lincoln's Inn
Fields, it would occupy the entire space, overtopping, by more than
100 feet, the cross of St. Paul's.
This pyramid consists of a series of platforms, and the steps thus
made vary from five to two feet in height. The vacancies were
o0iriin.illy filled by highly polished casing-stones, the whole surface
'iefi thus rendered perfectly smooth. Some of this facing still
remains upon the second and third pyramids.
The ascent, though often performed with the assistance of the
Arab guides, is laborious, and not without danger. Some years
since an English officer lost his footing, and rolled from the top to
the bottom of the Great Pyramid. Every bone in his body was
broken, and he reached the ground a shapeless mass.
The interior of these singular and mysterious structures has not
yet been fully explored, nor is it likely that our knowledge will
ever be complete on the subject, so vast is their extent and so
difficult and hazardous the undertaking. The entrance to the
Pyramid of Cheops is by an orifice fifty feet above the foundation,
and three and a half feet square. A narrow passage, seventy-three
feet in length, and sloping downwards, leads from the entrance to

a second gallery, 109 feet long, but with an ascending inclination.
At the end of this last passage there is a platform, in which is the
mouth of a well, sunk into the body of the pyramid, and beyond it
into the solid rock, where it has been traced to the depth of 145
feet. There is also a second passage or gallery, leading from the
platform to what is known as the Queen's Chamber; but the
ascending gallery above mentioned is continued for 132 feet beyond
the platform, and leads to the King's Chamber, in which there is a
sarcophagus of red granite, supposed to have contained the body of
Cheops. Other chambers and galleries have been entered, and in
all probability many more remain to be discovered.
The purposes for which the Pyramids were intended are not
clearly known. They were undoubtedly used as sepulchres for,
and monuments of, the.dead; but their internal structure is hardly
compatible with so limited a design. A curious observation has
been made with respect to the narrow passages by which access is
gained to the interior, but which can scarcely be supposed to have
been the original means of entrance. The Pyramids have their
sides directly facing the four points of the compass, and the galleries
in question open on their northern faces. They are, moreover, so
inclined as to point nearly to the pole of the heavens; and the
Polar star of those days (a Draconis) must, in the time of Cheops
and his successors, have been visible once in every twenty-four
hours from the inmost recesses of the Pyramids. From this and
other circumstances it is conjectured that they were also designed
for astronomical and religious purposes.



THE Sphinx is a fabulous being, occurring in the Grecian, Indian,
and Egyptian mythologies. In Greece it was variously portrayed,
but the figure was always a compound of the human and animal
forms, and generally consisted of a woman's head united to the
body of a lion or dog, with or without wings. In India, on the
other hand, the Sphinx was always represented with the head of a
The Egyptian Sphinxes have the upper portion either human
(and mostly female), or they have the head of a ram; the body
being that of a lion, without wings. They were usually placed at
the entrance of temples, where they sometimes formed a long
avenue leading up to the entrance. At Carnac there is one of
these avenues, nearly two miles in length.
The largest of existing Sphinxes is the celebrated one which
stands near the Pyramid of Cheops. With the exception of the
paws, which are formed of masonry and project 50 feet beyond the
body, it is hewn out of the rocky ledge upon which the Pyramids
are built. It is of enormous dimensions, being 143 feet long and
62 feet in height. All but the-head and neck was formerly buried
in the sand, which in the course of ages had entirely filled up the
surrounding hollow. The body was partially uncovered by the
French, during their occupation of Egypt; and was afterwards
entirely freed by Cavaglia at the expense of Colonel Vyse. The
work was one of great labour and difficulty, the loose surface from
above continually sliding into the excavation. An altar was dis-
covered between the projecting paws. Steps led down into the
vast area, which is now again half filled with drifted sand.
In the head of the figure there is a cavity about five feet deep;
and it has been supposed that a passage led thence to the well of
the Great Pyramid, the priests being by this means enabled to
pronounce their oracles from the monster's head. This commu-
nication with the interior has, however, been doubted.
The features have been greatly mutilated by the Arabs, who have

used the Sphinx as a target for their arrows and djereeds. But
the face, though partaking strongly of the Ethiopian or negro
character, still possesses a calm and melancholy beauty, which is
recognized by every traveller. Seen among the surrounding tombs,
it appears, says Stephens, "like a Divinity guarding the Dead."
Part of this effect is, however, in all probability due to associ-
ation, and to the surrounding desert scenery and ruins. It must,
at all events, be confessed that even well-executed drawings or
engravings fail in conveying any impression of the kind to those
who have not seen the original statue.

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FEE -------



ON the great Theban plain, upon the western bank of the Nile, are
two Colossi, which, even in their sitting posture, are upwards of
fifty feet in height. The northernmost of these is of granite, and
has been identified with the famous Statue of Memnon, so often
alluded to by ancient writers as hailing with music the beams of
the rising sun.
Much discussion has arisen, and many opinions have been
recorded, as to the origin of the statue; some contending that
"Memnon was a real, others that he was a mythological, personage.
Various etymologies have also been given of his name; which,
however, is now agreed to be a Greek corruption of that of
Amenophis II., of the eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty.
That the statue really emitted musical tones can scarcely be
doubted. Strabo in company with (Elius Gallus heard them; and
Pliny and Lucian also mention the fact as notorious in their time.
The legs are, moreover, covered with inscriptions in Latin and
Greek, commemorating the names of ear-witnesses. One of these
-inscriptions records the visit of Adrian and his Queen, Sabina.
The explanation must be conjectural, and innumerable supposi-
tions have been made to account for the phenomenon. Kircher
imagines that a sort of harpsichord was concealed within the
statue, and that its strings were broken by the heat of the sun.
Alexander Humboldt, in his South American travels, speaks of
certain rocks on the banks of the Oronoko, which at sunrise pro-
duced musical notes owing to the escape of confined air from their
numerous crevices. The French savans heard a similar effect at
Carnac, on the eastern bank of the Nile. But these sounds can
have borne little resemblance to those described by ancient writers,
who liken them to the notes produced by the snapping of musical
strings. Many attributed the effect to the artifices of the Priests,
who, it is said, opposed this pretended miracle to the rise and
progress of Christianity; and it is certain that since the fourth
century, when the inhabitants of Egypt became Christians, we have


heard no more of the vocal statue. But it is perhaps not difficult
to invent a more plausible theory. Analogous sounds might at all
events be produced by a combination of levers, liberating a series
of vibrating tongues by their expansion under the rays of an
Egyptian sun. A simple arrangement would enable the levers to
recover their position silently during the night.
"Whatever Memnon may formerly have done in the vocal line,"
says Warburton, much cannot be expected from him now, as his
chest is gone, and replaced by loose stones."
The greater part of the statue fell down B.c. 70, but was after-
wards restored to its original position.


I l '




SURROUNDED by lofty mountains, and inaccessible save by a narrow
ravine, stands the deserted city of Petra, the supposed capital of
ancient Edom. Strong, firm, and immoveable as Nature itself, its
rocky ramparts seem to deride the walls of cities and the puny
fortifications of engineers. This extraordinary city is situated
within a natural amphitheatre, some three miles in circumference;
the sides of the enclosing mountains being cut smooth, and filled
with long ranges of houses, temples, and tombs, excavated from the
solid rock. Limited as was the space at their command, the in-
habitants were in a manner driven to this expedient; and in the
course of ages the excavations became so multiplied as to give the
city the peculiar honey-combed appearance it now presents. It is
of immense antiquity, but there is no reason to think that the
temples and monuments at once received the profusion of ornamen-
tal details now so strikingly apparent. Indeed, the character of
the architecture (if so it may be called) forbids the supposition;
and these additions are evidently due to the refined and luxurious
taste of a later-age.
Petra was once a capital of great importance.. The entire
commerce of the East passed through Arabia Petraa to Phienicia,
Tyre, and Egypt; and Strabo informs us, that under the latter
Ptolemies whole armies of camels were required to convey the
The Temple shown in the engraving is hewn out of an enormous
block of freestone, lightly-coloured with oxide of iron.: Its high
state of preservation is owing to the shelter afforded by the sur-
rounding rocks. Almost the only traces of decay are in the statues
at the base, the projecting portions of which are injured by the
humidity of the soil. One of the six columns has fallen, but
without injuring the general effect. Had the structure been built,
instead of excavated, the fall of this column would have involved
the destruction of the entire edifice. The position of the temple is
one of the most beautiful that can be imagined; the richness and


exquisite finish of the decorations offering a remarkable contrast to
the savage scenery around. It stands on a rising ground, in a
small opening at the meeting of two ravines. The area is cut off
from the city, and everywhere surrounded by impassable rocks,
except where the ravine penetrates it to descend lower down : it is
crossed by a stream overhung with a wild growth of oleander
bushes, glowing with thousands of crimson flowers.
The name given by the Arabs to the excavation is "El-Khusne,"
or "The Treasure." They suppose vast riches to be contained in
the vase surmounting the central lantern, and they often fire at it,
hoping to bring down the imaginary contents. They fancy that
the visits of the Franks are for the purpose of conjuring away, by
some aerial magic, what they themselves are unable to lay hold of.
From the epoch of the Crusaders, who mention the locality as
"Vallis Moysi" (the "Wady-Mousa" of the Arabs), until nearly
our own times, the name and site of Petra appear to have been
forgotten. The pilgrim to Mount Sinai during the middle ages
dared not deviate from the direct route across the Desert, already
sufficiently dangerous; and the traveller, who beheld from afar
Mount Hor jutting out like a beacon from the desolate mountains
of Edom, little supposed that at its very foot lay hidden that
ancient capital whose utter overthrow forms the burden of Jewish
prophecy. To Burckhardt we owe the earliest notices of the long-
lost city. Clad in the garb of a poor Arab, he was the first to
explore its wonders; and considering the furtive manner in which
he was compelled to hurry through the place, his account is sur-
prisingly accurate. But our best information is derived from M.
Leon de Laborde, who in 1828 succeeded, in the face of much
hostility, in collecting materials for the splendid work that first
introduced Petra to the European public.

______________________ ___



IN the age of Pericles, about five hundred years before the Chris-
tian era, Athens was at the height of her grandeur. The spoils of
the Persian conquest enabled her rulers to engage in the most pro-
fuse expenditure, and the city became covered with magnificent
temples, erected under the auspices of the greatest architect and
sculptor that the world has seen.
But the genius of Phidias shone most brightly on the rock of the
Acropolis. To its temple-crowned summit Pericles and the illus-
trious throng of Grecian heroes and sages ascended to worship;
and hither came Aspasia, with the great and high of Athens, to
offer incense at the shrine of the Goddess of Wisdom.
On the highest point of the Acropolis, overlooking the Bay of
Salamis, stands the masterpiece of Phidias, the world-renowned
Parthenon, or Temple of Minerva. This edifice, together with
most of the sculptures that adorned it, was of marble, taken from
the quarries of Mount Pentelicus. In the fine atmosphere of Greece
it has retained its purity of hue, save that, where most exposed to
the weather, the marble has become tinged of a delicate pink.
This has been recently found to proceed from a microscopic fungus.
The Parthenon was surrounded by forty-six columns, and em-
bellished within and without by the chisels of the first sculptors of
Greece. The most famous of its statues was that of Minerva,
wrought of ivory and gold, by the hands of Phidias himself. In
the production of ivory statues this, great sculptor stood alone;
nor did he disdain to work in the meaner materials of wood and
clay, or to carve minute objects, such as fishes and insects. The
poet Martial, noticing some fish sculptured by Phidias, commends, in
three words, their truth to nature-" Adde aquam, natabunt." This
attention to details implied no want of power when treating grander
subjects. Those who beheld his Olympian Jupiter are said to have
asked, in admiration, whether Jupiter had descended from heaven
to show himself to Phidias, or whether Phidias had been carried
thither to contemplate the god.


Time and the barbarian have done their work on the Parthenon,
as on the other glorious monuments of Grecian art. The Romans
were too refined to injure or neglect them; but after the Romans
came the Goths, and after these the Turks, who, at once ignorant
and proud, despised what they could not understand. In their
hands the Acropolis became a garrison, and the Parthenon a
powder-magazine. They were bombarded in 1687 by the Vene-
tians, who directed their heavy artillery against its porticoes and
colonnades. For another century and a half the work of demolition
went steadily on. The Turks pounded the marble into dust to make
lime, and travelling antiquaries removed fragment after fragment
of the sculptures. At last, in 1801, when half the columns of the
Parthenon had fallen, and the statues and friezes were menaced
with total destruction, Lord Elgin, then our ambassador at Con-
stantinople, obtained a firman which enabled the British nation to
acquire the most valuable of the remaining sculptures. These are
now in the British Museum, and are known as the Elgin Marbles.
They have suffered much from time and violence, but enough, and
more than enough, remains to attest their surpassing excellence.

l it
IiIri r .'1 *' -

II E --=r= .- ,



DURING a long series of ages, Grecian sculpture underwent a
gradual process of development, from the primitive use of clay or
the commonest woods, to the employment of woods of rarer growth,
such as cedar and ebony, of marble, and of metals, occasionally of
the most precious kinds, until it reached, according to the taste of
antiquity, the highest point of perfection in the combination, on a
large scale, of ivory and gold. Accounts have been handed down
to us of these colossal statues, of which no specimen remains, and
which even appear repugnant to our ideas of the beautiful in Art;
but independently of the delicacy of the material, and of its capa-
city for the highest polish, it must be acknowledged that there was
something striking in the reflection that these prodigious monu-
ments of sculpture (which, uniting all the characteristics of the
lovely and the majestic; might well command the most profound
reverence) required for their completion the slaughter of hundreds
of mighty beasts in distant regions of the world.
The remains of ancient statuary in marble and bronze can give
us no definite idea of these stupendous works; but it is clear from
the descriptions given, that the highest genius, calling to its aid a
mechanical dexterity scarcely less worthy of admiration, rendered
them fit embodiments of the ideal gods whose temples they
adorned. Nor can we doubt that they were especially calculated
to extend the influence of a religion that appealed to the senses for
-a belief which the reason would probably have withheld.
The most celebrated of these colossal statues was the Olympian
Jupiter, of Phidias. It is described with some minuteness of detail
by Pausanias. "The God," says this author, "made of gold and
ivory, is seated on a throne. On his head is a crown, representing
an olive branch. In his right hand he carries a Victory, also of
gold and ivory, holding a wreath, and having a crown upon her
head. In the left hand of the God is a sceptre, shining with'all sorts
of metals. The bird placed on the summit of the sceptre is an
eagle. The sandals of the God are of gold, and his mantle is also


golden. The figures of various animals, and of all sorts of flowers,
particularly of lilies, are painted upon it. The throne is a diversified
assemblage of gold, of precious stones, of ivory, and of ebony, in
which figures of all kinds are also painted and sculptured."
Pausanias then proceeds to describe the accessories of the statue
and throne, such as the ornaments in bas-relief and the base, but
he does not give the dimensions of the statue. The omission is
supplied in a striking manner by Strabo. "Phidias," he says,
"had made his Jupiter sitting, and touching almost the summit of
the roof of the temple, so that it appeared that if the God had risen
up he would have lifted off the roof." The height of the temple
was about sixty English feet.
The accompanying illustration is of course only ideal, since, as
before observed, no remains are extant of the ivory and gold sculp-
ture. The restoration was made by M. Quatremere de Quincy, a
French writer, who has devoted a large folio volume to the subject
of these statues.

4'- ____-- _

" K --__- -



CHINA stands alone among the nations of the world, and differs
more palpably by its institutions, inhabitants, arts, and manufac-
tures, from other countries claiming to be civilized, than any two
of these differ from each other.
The Great Wall surrounding the country, and built to defend
the empire from Tartar aggression, is familiar to us from childhood
as one of the Wonders of the World. Ineffectual for the purpose
for which it was constructed, it is yet an astonishing work, and
impresses us with a high idea of Chinese industry and perseverance.
From the Eastern Ocean to the frontiers of the province of Cham-
si, a distance of about 200 leagues, it is composed of stone and
brick, with strong square towers at intervals, and a well-constructed
fortress at every important pass. In this part of its extent the
Wall is in many places double and even triple; but, from the
entrance of the above-named province to its western extremity, it
is little more than a terrace of earth, at some points almost obliter-
ated. The towers also are here mostly of earth.
The Wall is carried over the tops of high and apparently inac-
cessible hills; and it is not easy to understand how the materials
were conveyed there, or how the Chinese could construct forts in
spots where European engineers would have abandoned the attempt
in despair.
In its strongest part the Wall of China is composed of two walls
a foot and a half thick and many feet apart, the intervening space
being filled up with earth. In height it averages twenty feet, and
there are steps and inclined planes leading to the top, where six
horsemen can ride abreast without inconvenience. The towers are
generally about forty feet high.
The contrast between the country within and the wilds without,
is in some places most striking. On one side is a cultivated plain,
swarming with inhabitants; on the other a savage desert, abounding
with wild beasts, and seemingly untrodden by the fopt of man.
The Wall itself offers an imposing sight, striding over lofty


mountains, and traversing one vast plain after another. It is more
than 2000 years old, having been completed B.C. 205. The work
is said to have been finished in the space of five years. Many
millions of labourers were employed upon it, the Emperor having
impressed for the purpose three men out of every ten throughout
his dominions.
Some curious calculations have been made to assist the con-
ception of the magnitude of this extraordinary work. All the
houses in Great Britain would not furnish materials for the Wall
of China, exclusive of the massive towers, which alone contain as
much masonry and brickwork as the City of London. The mass
of matter is more than sufficient to surround the globe in its
greatest circumference, with two walls, each six feet high and two
thick. In this calculation, however, the earthy part in the middle
is included.

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ONE of the most ancient specimens of Hindoo architecture is the
Temple of the Jainas, at Ajmeer, in the province of Rajpootana.
The Jainas are a numerous and influential sect, who have, for a
long course of ages, protested against the innovations introduced
by the Brahmins into the primitive religion of the country. They
believe in one God and in a future state. They hold that the
righteous and wicked will be born again in another world, and
receive reward or punishment according to their deeds in this life.
According to the Jainas, there are three distinct worlds-the upper
world, containing seven separate dwelling-places, where rewards are
proportioned to the merits of the virtuous; the lower world, also
in seven divisions, appropriated to the punishment of the wicked;
and the middle world, inhabited by mortals, where virtue and vice
reign together. The course of time is divided by them into six
periods, during each of which a different order of nature prevails,
and between which the world is totally renewed.
The rules of conduct of the Jainas are much more severe than
those of the Brahmins. They not only abstain from animal food.
but even from all vegetables that might possibly contain insects,
etc. Their sole diet consists of milk, rice, and various species of
peas. Their fear of destroying life is such that, when drawing
water, they interpose a linen cloth, lest any living creature should
find its way into the vessel. For the same reason, if a traveller
stoop to drink at a spring, he first covers his mouth. A devout
Jaina will not keep a lamp lighted when flies or moths might be
likely to destroy themselves in the flame.
The number and importance of these Hindoo Puritans were long
underrated. It is true that their influence is not what it was five
or six hundred years since, but it is still very considerable, and
more than half the commerce of India is in their hands. One of
the minor sects into which they are divided has eleven thousand
preaching missionaries distributed over the country; and another
branch of the Jainas is known to comprise 100,000 families. All


the more remarkable religious edifices in India belong either to the
Jainas or to the Buddhists. The word Jaina is derived from the
Sanscrit "jina," or victorious, the generic name of their deified

The Temple of Ajmeer is supposed to have been built about 200
s.c. The exterior is more recent, and is in itself a fine specimen
of Saracenic architecture; but the interior is Hindoo, and perfectly
unique in character. It consists of a vast hall, with a quadruple
row of columns especially worthy of admiration. They resemble
each other in their general character, but the details are different
in each column; and the architect has exhausted his fancy in the
profusion of rich and beautiful devices with which they are covered.
The central portion, or what we should term the nave, is arched;
the ceiling of the side portions, or aisles, is divided into delicately
sculptured compartments.
The temple is inscribed to the Supreme Being; One, Indivisible,
without extension or parts. The popular name of the edifice is
" Urai din ca jopra," or,' two days and a half," that being the
time which, according to the tradition of the country, the architect
bestowed upon the work.


-*--^-~- -


BETWEEN three and four leagues from the ancient city of Nismes,
in the south of France, and crossing the valley and river of the
Gard, or Gardon, is a gigantic bridge, forming part of an aqueduct
built by Agrippa, the son-in-law of Augustus. Uniting two
mountains, and spanning the heavens like a rainbow of granite, this
colossal work is the most imposing relic that time has handed down
to us of the engineering skill of the Romans.
The bridge consists of a triple tier of arcades, the lowest of them
containing six arches, the intermediate eleven, and the highest
thirty-five. This last supports the aqueduct: it is about 160 feet
above the river, and a thousand from end to end. The aqueduct
was covered with stone slabs, eight feet long, and placed side by
side without cement or other fastening. Where they yet remain,
a man of moderate height can stand upright under them without
When Gaul was invaded by the barbarians, they are said to have
been so struck by the sublimity of the Pont du Gard, that they
relinquished their intention of destroying it. Possibly the massive
construction, rather than the grandeur of the edifice, deterred them
from the attempt, for the aqueduct itself was much injured, and its
waters thenceforth ceased to flow.
In 1564, Charles IX. visited thePont du Gard. He was received
by the Due de Crussol, who gave a grand entertainment by the
river-side in honour of the event. Near the aqueduct is a cave or
grotto, from which twelve young girls came forth, dressed as
nymphs, and offered the King a repast of pastry and preserved
In 1747, a causeway was constructed for the use of carriages and
foot-passengers by the side of the second tier of arches. The
authorities of Nismes a medal, with the inscription, .NYnce utilius." It is superfluous to
say that this modern addition to the master-piece of Agrippa
appears as an impertinent intrusion by its side. It was reserved


for the eighteenth century," says Alexandre Dumas, in his pic-
turesque description, "to dishonour a monument which the bar-
barians of the fifth had not dared to destroy.
Much hbs been written about the labour wasted by the Romans
in constructing aqueducts, which might, it is said, have been
dispensed with if they had better understood the principles of
hydrostatics. But (not to speak of the superior grandeur of an
aqueduct as contrasted with modern under-ground contrivances) it
may, perhaps, be doubted whether this great and sagacious people
were not in these matters fully as well informed as ourselves. The
miserable supplies of one of the first necessaries of life, doled out
to us by cisternsful at a price that the poor cannot afford, are a
poor substitute for the profusion of the healthful element placed at
the disposal of every Roman citizen.

'I *----

- ----------


UNDER the Roman emperors, the sports of the Amphitheatre were
conducted upon a scale of increased magnificence. Caligula on his
birthday gave eight hundred beasts to be slain. Claudius instituted
combats between horsemen and wild bulls, or between horses and
camels. During his reign and that of Nero, an elephant was some-
times opposed to a single fencer, and hundreds of ferocious animals
were often slaughtered by guards on horseback.
The passion for these sports required for its gratification a more
spacious theatre than the old Circus. The Colosseum was accord-
ingly commenced by Vespasian, and completed by Titus, A.D. 79.
Notwithstanding its immense size, its construction occupied but
three years. Great part of the wall remains entire, though succeed-
ing generations have resorted to it as to a quarry, and the very
clamps of iron and brass that held the ponderous stones together
have been removed by Gothic plunderers.
The Colosseum is of an oval form, and occupies the space of
nearly six acres. The outer wall, where it remains entire, is 157
feet high, and is divided into four stories, each ornamented with a
('tln it. order of architecture. Two corridors ran all round the
edifice, and led to staircases ascending to the several stories. The
seats which descended towards the arena occupied the greater part
of the space. Immediately above and around the central opening
was the Podium, on which were seated the Emperor, Senate,
Ambassadors, and other dignitaries. From the Podium to the top
of the second story the seats were of marble, for the equestrian
order: above the second story they were of wood. On these various
seats 80,000 spectators could be arranged according to their
respective ranks.
In 1813 the arena was cel:\:ltted throughout its whole extent,
and a great number of underground structures discovered, which
are supposed to have .i'ii>.ld dens for the wild. beasts that were
exhibited. The following quaint and graphic description is by the
old French philosopher Montaigne, and gives a correct idea of the


amusements of the Colosseum. "It was doubtless a fine thing to
bring and plant within the theatre a great number of vast trees,
with all their branches in their full verdure, representing a great
shady forest disposed in excellent order; and the first day to throw
into it a thousand ostriches, a thousand stags, and a thousand fal-
low deer, to be killed and disposed of by the people; the next day
to cause a hundred great lions, a hundred leopards, and three
hundred bears to be killed in his presence; and for the third day,
to make three hundred pairs of fencers to fight it out to the last, as
the Emperor Probus did. It was also very fine to see those vast
amphitheatres all faced with marble without, curiously wrought
with figures and statues, and the inside sparkling with rare decora-
tions and enrichments; all the sides of this vast space filled and
environed from the bottom to the top, and covered with cushions
where 100,000 men might sit placed at their ease; and the place
below, where the plays were played, to make it, by art, first open
and cleft into chinks, representing caves, that vomited out beasts
designed for the spectacle; and then, secondly, to be overflowed
with a profound sea full of sea-monsters, and loaded with ships of
war to represent a naval battle; and, thirdly, to make it dry and
even again for the combats of the Gladiators; and, for the fourth
scene, to have it strewed with vermillion and storax instead of sand,
there to make a solemn feast for all that infinite number of people,
the last act of only one day. Sometimes they have made a high
mountain advance itself full of fruit-trees and other flourishing
sorts of woods, sending down rivulets of water from the top, as from
the mouth of a fountain. Otherwhiles a great ship was seen to
come rolling in, which opened and divided of itself; and, after
having disgorged from the hold four or five hundred beasts for
fight, closed again, and vanished without help."


THE fabulous story of Laocoon, priest of Apollo, is familiar to every
reader of Virgil. He dissuaded the Trojans from admitting into
their city the wooden horse constructed by the Greeks, and conse-
crated by them to Minerva. The Goddess, in revenge, sent two
enormous serpents, which issuing from the sea, attacked Laocoon
and his two sons at the altar, where they had been commissioned
by the Trojans to propitiate Neptune by the sacrifice of a bullock.
This incident forms the subject of the celebrated group repre-
sented in our engraving. It was discovered behind the baths of
Titus, and is now one of the chief ornaments of the Vatican. It is
nearly ascertained to be identical with the group spoken of in
Pliny's Natural History, as having been in the palace of Titus. In
the judgment of this writer it was unsurpassed as a work of art.
" Three most excellent sculptors," he adds, "united to produce this
work, which was made of a single stone, both the principal figure,
the children, and the snakes. The sculptors were all natives of
Rhodes: their names were Agesander, Polydorus, and Atheno-
The group in the Vatican is not made of a single stone; such a
combination of figures as Pliny describes could indeed scarcely
be carved from one and the same block. Possibly the writer was
careless in speaking of this subject, as he has been on many other
occasions, or he may have been deceived by the accuracy with which
the parts were united together.
The Laocoon has been the theme of much discussion, and has
even been condemned by some critics, who maintain that physical
suffering is not a proper subject for Art. The group is undoubtedly
open to objection, especially as regards the two snakes; and it is
evident that the sculptors were imperfectly acquainted with the
habits of this class of animals. The Constrictor serpents entwine
themselves round their prey in a manner widely different from what
is here represented, and they do not bite like the venomous species.
But. conceding this and other points urged against the Laocoon, it

1Z -2

S'i -,
"T -.. ... Nl J!_
FL 4



must be admitted to hold a very high rank as a specimen of skill in
sculpture. The appearance of mental and bodily anguish in the
figure of the priest is intense, nor can anything be more faithfully
rendered than the helplessness and deprivation of force in the limbs
of the boy who has already received the fatal wound.
This group is of itself sufficient to prove that perfect Grecian
Art was not limited, as has been maintained, to the short period of
Phidias and his immediate successors, but remained unimpaired
during the first and second centuries of the Christian era.

~- =~-- - - - --

7pp.---ii~; -~----



FEw remains of the ancient world appeal more forcibly to the.
imagination, or are more suggestive of departed greatness, than the
six isolated columns of the Temple of the Sun at Balbec, in Syria.
The glorious luminary salutes them with his earliest and latest
beams, and seems to linger fondly on the scene of his departed.
Balbec, or Baalbec, has been identified with the Heliopolis of
Greek and Roman authors. It was called Heliopolis after the
Egyptian city of the same name, from whence, in remote antiquity,
the worship of the sun was brought into Syria. Balbec was proba-
bly the ancient as well as modern appellation, though the name has
only been handed down to us in its Greek form. The two words
are similar in their etymology-one signifying the City, the other
the Vale of the Sun.
The buildings are mostly of the Corinthian order. John of
Antioch states that the great Teniple was built by Antoninus Pius
in the second century, and many circumstances seem to favour this
conclusion. But, according to the tradition of the country, Solomoni
was the founder of Balbec, and many stories arc related of the
manner in which he passed his time there. Critics, too, have not
been wanting who have maintained the Temple to be the Tower
of Lebanon which looketh towards Damascus," probably on the
strength of its site, which is in one of the valleys of Mount Libanus..
The supposition is the more absurd, inasmuch as it presumes Solo-
mon to have been acquainted with Corinthian architecture.
The ruins of Balbec do not, like those of Palmyra, present a
crowd of fallen edifices. They consist of but three distinct build.
ings, standing near each other in a plain not far from the modern
town. Of these the Temple of the Sun is the most important.
The entrance is from the east, through what was once a noble
portico of twelve columns, whose bases alone remain. The first
apartment entered by the visitor is a hall, of hexagonal shape and
180 feet in diameter, exhibiting on all sides the remains of archi-


tectural magnificence. Further on is a quadrangular court of im-
posing dimensions, and beyond this the Temple, properly so called.
This was once supported by fifty-six columns, of which those repre-
sented in the engraving are all that remain standing. When
Balbec and Palmyra were visited in 1751 by Dawkins, there were
nine of these columns erect, but three were overthrown by the
earthquake of 1759, and many other changes have since taken
place. For these nature is not alone responsible: the Turks have
had their share in their devastation, their sole motive appearing to
have been the possession of the iron clamps joining the blocks to-
gether. The columns are of admirable workmanship; the stones
are united without the aid of cement, and yet so closely that the
blade of a knife can barely be inserted between them. Though fifty
or sixty feet in height, each column consists of but two, or at most
'three portions.
Not less wonderful than the Temple is the terrace, or "soubasse-
ment," by which it is surrounded, and which contains stones thirty
feet long, and of proportionate breadth and thickness. Three of
them indeed at the western end are of the enormous length of
sixty-four feet. The quarry whence these colossal blocks were
hewn is near the city walls, and some stones of similar dimensions
are still to be seen there, cut from the rock but not yet removed.
It has been hence concluded that the soubassement was never
finished. We are ignorant of the means employed to move these
enormous masses. The inhabitants have a commodious way of
settling the question. They affirm that the edifice -was constructed
by Genii, under the orders of King Solomon, and being unfettered
by mechanical laws, these supernatural workmen of course easily
accomplished the task.


-, ,,, '--I---- ---



Ta' s noble specimen of Gothic art is, like the Cathedral of St.
Paul, the last of several successive structures which have occupied
the same spot. Ancient legends assert the first of them to have
been a temple of Apollo. Of this, however, no traces were ever
discovered, and the temple is .probably as mythical as the Temple
of Diana, said to have existed on the site of St. Paul's.
The ground on which the Abbey stands formed part of a small
island made by a branch of the river, and called Thorney Island,
from the number of thorn-trees which grew upon it. In the
twelfth century, (and probably much later,) the open stream was
crossed by a bridge at King Street, and its bed still exists in the
shape of sewers.
Here, according to the generally received opinion, Scbert, King
of Essex, being converted to Christianity, built a church, and
dedicated it to St. Peter. It seems highly probable that Sebert was
the original founder of Westminster Abbey, from the care with which
his remains, and those qf his Queen, Ethelgotha, were preserved
and, redeposited in the most honourable place, whenever the church
has been rebuilt or repaired. But the early history of this vener-
'able edifice is involved in great obscurity, some writers contending
that it had no existence a century after the time of Sebert; while
others maintain that he was the founder not only of Westminster
Abbey but also of St. Paul's Cathedral. A fable of singular auda-
city was framed by the monks on the subject of the first consecra-
tion of Westminster Abbey. They pretended that the ceremony
had been performed by St. Peter himself; and, towards the middle
of the thirteenth century, the brethren of the monastery, on the
plea that the Apostle had given them this right when consecrating
the church, actually sued the minster of Rotherhithe for the tythe
of all the salmon caught in his parish.
After the death of Sebert, his subjects relapsed into paganism,
and the Abbey fell into decay. It was restored by Offa, King of
Mercia; again almost destroyed during the Danish invasions; and


once more repaired and endowed in 969 by King Edgar, at the
instigation of St. Dunstan. Nearly a century after this, Edward
the Confessor, having fixed on the Abbey as his burial-place,
resolved to rebuild it from the foundations, and, as we are told,
devoted to this work "the tenth part of his entire substance, as
well in gold, silver, and cattle, as in all his other possessions."
The pious King barely lived to witness its completion. He was
seized with his fatal illness on Christmas-day, 1065, three days
before the time appointed for the dedication of the building.
The structure raised by the Confessor was in the form of a cross,
and is supposed to have been the first English church so built. It
remained without receiving any repairs or additions until the reign
of Henry III., who, finding the eastern portion much wasted by
time, began to rebuild the Abbey on a scale of great magnificence.
The work proceeded slowly, and was still unfinished at the acces-
sion of Henry VII. This monarch added the beautiful chapel
dedicated to the Virgin, and known as Henry the Seventh's
Chapel. Since his time the principal alterations are those made
by Sir -Christopher Wren. Great as he was, Sir Christopher
despised Gothic architecture. The incongruity of his additions can
only be exceeded by the bad taste subsequently displayed in the
interior, where monuments of various degrees of merit (and of no
merit at all) are placed side by side-Gothic arches being blocked
up, and pillars mutilated, to make room for marble clouds and

A 'l .

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,.,t -' : : ;,-.', '

'H "'ILN TU-. U '='': B GI , '" (' ---


THE taller of the two Leaning Towers of Bologna, though in reality
less out of the perpendicular than the more celebrated Campanile,
at Pisa (so well known by the alabaster models in our shop-win-
dows,) is more strikingly paradoxical in its appearance. This effect
arises partly from the smooth sides which direct immediate atten-
tion to the line of inclination, but still more from its great height,
which is not less than 307, or, according to some accounts, 377
feet, while the Tower of Pisa is only 200 feet high.
In the case of the latter, at least, it seems singular that two
opinions should have existed as to the cause of the phenomenon;
for not only are most buildings of any antiquity more or less out of
the perpendicular, (the monument at London Bridge, for example,)
but the Observatory of Pisa and a neighboring Belfry are in the
same state as the Leaning Tower, though in a less degree. In fact,
the soil is extremely insecure, and water is everywhere to be found
six feet below the surface. The question has been finally set at rest
by the discovery of a fresco-painting in the Campo Santo, in which
the now Leaning Tower is represented upright. In the case of the
Bologna Towers, the cause of the inclination was, no doubt, the
same, though we have no direct evidence on the subject. As to
the fact of these curious structures standing, it is well known that a
building is always secure provided the "line of direction fall within
the base;" that is to say, provided the greater part of it be sup-
ported on the ground. The Lerning Towers of Pisa and Bologna
are the most striking exemplifications of the principle, but even
in our own country, examples r.oi rot wanting. One of the
towers of Caerphilly Castle, in Glimorgansh:re, is eleven feet out
of the perpendicular, and between seventy and eighty feet in height.
The towers of Bologna were probably erected by private families,
as places of refuge during the civil wars and feuds that so long
desolated Italy. The small republic were at war with each other,
or with the German Emperors; ev;ry city was distracted by the


furious Guelph and Ghibelline factions; and every street, frequently
every family, divided against itself.
The taller of these Towers was built A.D. 1109. It has little
external beauty, but rewards the traveller for a tedious ascent of
500 steps, by an extensive view of the surrounding country, includ-
ng the cities of Ferrara and Modena. The smaller of the two,
called the Tower of the Garisendi, is immortalised by Dante, who
compares it to the stooping Anteus. It is about 150 feet in
height, and deviates seven or eight feet from the plumb-line.

_ I Iii i lliti1I r '



NOTRE DAME, the metropolitan church of Paris, occupies the south-
eastern extremity of the island in the river Seine, called L'Isle de la
Cite. It is a Gothic building of great beauty, intimately connected
with French history, and teeming with associations of the highest
The spot on which the Cathedral stands seems to have been
sacred ground from very remote antiquity In making some exca-
vations under the choir in the year 1711, there were found, fifteen
feet below the surface, nine stones, evidently intended for an altar,
and containing, indeed, the remains of ashes and incense. These
stones bore inscriptions showing that the altar had been dedicated
jointly to Esus (the Celtic Mars), Jupiter, Vulcan, Castor, and
Pollux. There is no reason to suppose that it was covered by a
Pagan temple, for the Gauls always placed their sacred edifices out-
side the towns, whereas this altar must have stood in the heart of
ancient Paris.
The first Christian church built on the site of Notre Dame was
erected A.D. 375, during the reign of Valentinian I. It was dedi-
cated to St. Stephen, and was long the only ecclesiastical building
in the city. About 522, Childebert I., son of Clovis, erected a
second, close beside the first, and dedicated it to the Virgin. The
present Cathedral comprises nearly the whole space occupied
by its two predecessors. It was commenced by Philip II., sur-
named Philip Augustus, who occupied the throne from 1180 to
1223. The work was carried on with the deliberation common in
those days, and suitable at all times for structures intended to last
for centuries. The Cathedral was not finished till about the middle
of the fourteenth century, towards the close of the reign of
Philip VI.
The principal front of Notre Dame is the western. It consists of
three portals, surmounted by a pillared gallery. Over this is a
central, with two side windows, by which principally- the church
is lighted. Above them is a second gallery, also supported by


columns, and at each extremity is a square tower of massive
character. The architecture is florid, and, like that of other me-
diaeval cathedrals, abounds in grotesque ornaments. The feeling
that prompted these singular desecrations remains enveloped in
mystery, notwithstanding the theories formed to explain and even
justify them.
Originally a flight of thirteen steps led up to the door, but the
surrounding soil is now considerably higher than the floor of the
church. The lower gallery formerly contained statues of the Kings
of France, from Childebert to Philip Augustus, but they were
pulled down and destroyed in the early fury of the great Revolu-
tion. The Cathedral sustained many other injuries in the con-
fusion of those times. The greater number of its most ancient and
curious decorations were removed; nor have the effects of suc-
ceeding dynasties sufficed to restore the temple to its former splen-
dour. The walls of Notre Dame are of immense thickness, and
the 300 columns, from which spring the arches supporting the roof
and galleries, are also of great size, and each formed of a single
block of stone.
Of forty-eight chapels surrounding the Cathedral, thirty still
remain. The choir, with its altar and sanctuary, are richly deco-
rated, and many fine paintings by French artists adorn various
parts of the Church. The nave is singularly gloomy, but this
gloom adds greatly to the impressive effect of the interior.
Notre Dame contains many relics, such as the regalia of Charle-
magne, etc., which are preserved with great care. Not the least
interesting of them (however questionable the taste shown in exhi-
biting it) is a portion of the skeleton, with the bullet which caused
his death, of the heroic Archbishop Affre, who was shot on a barri-
cade during the insurrection of 1848. This faithful minister of
peace virtually put an end to the insurrection by his own martyr-
dom, and the shot that killed him was the last that was fired.


I TTi -




Tals magnificent structure is the third Cathedral recorded to have
occupied the same site. Its two predecessors were successively
destroyed by fire (the common fate of public buildings in those
days) in 1019 and 1218. When the latter of these catastrophes
occurred, Bishop Evrard, a zealous and energetic prelate, occupied
the see of Amiens, and no time was lost in commencing the erec-
tion of a new and more splendid edifice. Money being collected
by every available means, the present Cathedral was commenced in
1220. The work was vigorously carried on by Evrard and his
successors, and, being complete in all its material parts, the new
building was consecrated forty-nine years afterwards by Bertrand
d'Abbeville, the fifth bishop from Evrard. The ornamentation was
continued for twenty years longer, but the great towers were not
built till the next century. It appears, from some verses in old
French inscribed on the pavement of the nave, that the Cathedral
was the work of three principal architects-Maistre Robert de
Lusarche, Maistre Thomas de Cormont, and Maistre Regnault.
The thirteenth century appears to have been the Augustan age of
Gothic Art in France, and nearly ail the finest specimens of the
style are to be referred to this period. Besides Amiens, the Cathe-
drals of Paris, Rheims, and Lyons, the Churches of St. Nicaise at
Rheims, and of Notre Dame at Nantes, the Sainte Chapelle of
Paris, and others, remain to attest the fact.
Amiens Cathedral is built in the. usual form of a cross, and
consists of a nave and choir in one direction, and a transept
in the other. Both nave and transept are furnished with aisles,
and there are double aisles on each side of the choir. The
windows of the Cathedral are arranged in two tiers, and are
of unusual size. They are divided from each other only by
narrow buttresses, which, being seen edgewise, are scarcely visible
from the interior. This produces a light and airy effect, which is
very striking. The buttresses shoot up into pinnacles abbve the
roof. To the eye the only solid mass of masonry is the western


front, represented in the illustration. It contains three great
portals, the central one of which is of colossal dimensions. The
wall is so deep as to admit of eight parallel rows of statues in each
doorway, running up and ribbing the arch. The whole front is
gorgeous in the extreme, armies of saints, martyrs, and angels
crowding the walls and swarming round the pinnacles. In many
of these figures we observe a correctness of taste rarely found in
Gothic sculpture, with a simplicity and beauty that would do
honour to a better school of Art. Above the central door, and at
each extremity of the transept, .are noble circular windows.
The interior is equally magnificent. Perhaps the most remark-
able feature is a colonnade terminating the choir, and penetrated
with lancet-shaped arches.
The Cathedral contains the tombs of Bishops Evrard and d'Abbe-
ville, with other monuments of artistic and historical interest.





As a specimen of English Gothic, York Minster stands unrivalled,
and it receives additional interest from the various changes it has
undergone; which do not, however, as in the case of some other of
our Cathedrals, impair the unity of the whole.
The first church built upon the site of York Minster was founded
by Edwyn, King of the Northumbrians, who was converted to
Christianity A.D. 627. It was scarcely finished when Edwyn was
slain in battle. His head was interred in the Cathedral, and his
body in the Monastery of Whitby. This and two succeeding
churches were destroyed by fire, and in 1171, Archbishop Roger
began to rebuild the choir in the Norman style, with circular
arches, massive pillars, and an entire absence of ornament. York
Minster was, however, afterwards entirely renewed, and little by
little the present stately pile arose. The oldest part of the present
edifice is the southern transept, which dates from the reign of
Henry III. At this time the heavy pillars had given place to
clusters of slender columns. Rich foliage adorned their capitals,
the windows were made high and pointed, and light tracery ran
round the vaultings of the roof. The northern transept was built,
in the same style, about the year 1260. The first stone of the nave
was laid in great state in 1291, and the two western towers com-
pleted about 1330. The materials for building the nave were
supplied by .Robert de Vavasour, and Robert de Eulton, Earl of
Boulton, whose memory is preserved by two statues at the east and
west ends of the Cathedral.
The choir, as built by Archbishop Roger, not corresponding with
the rest, was taken down, and a new one erected in 1365. The
great east window dates from the reign of Henry IV. The glazing
was executed by John Thornton, of Coventry, who received during
three years 100 shillings per annum, besides four shillings weekly
and ten pounds at the close of the work-a liberal remuneration, if
the difference in the value of money be taken into account. The
interior of the Minster equals the exterior in grandeur, and exhibits


in a striking manner the progressive styles of architecture from
Henry III. to Henry VII. inclusive, with the last of whom Gothic
Art may be said to have expired in England. The newest portion,
but not the least beautiful, is the organ screen, at the entrance of
the choir. It is of florid character, and ornamented with fifteen
statues of the Kings of England.
On the morning of February 2nd, 1829, York Minster was
discovered to be on fire. One of the choristers accidentally fell on
his back in passing through the Minster-yard, and, before he could
rise, saw smoke issuing from the roof. When the doors were
opened, the wood-work of the choir was discovered to be in flames.
They soon spread to'the roof, which shortly after fell in. The pews
in the choir were completely demolished, and the organ consumed.
The fire was found to be the work of a crazy fanatic, named
Martin; he was tried at York, found to be insane, and imprisoned
for life in Bethlehem Hospital.
The restoration of the Minster was immediately undertaken
under the superintendence of Mr. Smirke, the architect of the
British Museum; and during the progress of the repairs many
interesting discoveries were made: among them was a series of
Norman pillars, the remains of an ancient crypt under the choir,
and no doubt forming part of the church built by Archbishop

I- __

_- ___ .'' --
(O C




COLOGNE is not a handsome city, the streets being narrow and dirty,
and the domestic architecture of a mean description. It contains,
however, some interesting public buildings, of which the most
celebrated is its unfinished Cathedral, the traditional sepulchre of
the Wise Men of the East. Scripture affords no information as to
their number, rank, or names; but these points are satisfactorily
settled by the legend, and the sarcophagus containing the bodies of
Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, the three Kings of Cologne, may
be inspected by any one who chooses to pay the price of the exhi-
bition. The Cathedral itself, although dedicated to St. Peter, is
more generally known as the Church of the Three Kings."
Had the original plan been carried out, Cologne Cathedral would
have been, as its pious founder intended, the most stupendous and
the most beautiful of Christian temples. Even in its present
condition, crumbling with age and overgrown with grass, it presents
a noble spectacle.
The first stone was laid in the year 1284, by the Elector Conrad,
called the Solomon of his age. His successors continued to build
for 250 years, when they found their resources too limited for the
extent of the design. One part (the choir) was, therefore, so far
completed as to fit it for religious uses, and the remainder allowed
to moulder away in ruins.
The choir is built in the richest style of Decorated Gothic archi-
tecture. It overtops the western towers, which were intended to
be 500 feet high. One of them has been carried to about a third
of this height, the other has only risen twenty-one feet from the
ground. The great doorways, with their sculptured mouldings, are
incomparably fine; and the towers, as far as they are completed,
are of corresponding beauty. A crane used in building the higher
of the two, still projects from the summit. Once it was removed,
but this open abandonment of the Cathedral was, according to the
superstitious citizens, resented by a violent thunder-storm. They
therefore replaced the crane, which has remained ever since to feed


the lover of architecture with hopes that will never be realized.
The present King of Prussia has done much to restore and repair
the building, but the works were interrupted by the revolutions of
1848, and since then they have been discontinued.
The grand altar is formed of a single slab of the finest black
marble, sixteen feet in length. Behind it is the Tomb of the Three
Kings, built by the Emperor Maximilian. Before the French
occupation of Cologne, this shrine was of great splendour. It used
to be opened every morning at nine, if two of the canons of the
Cathedral were present, when the Magi were seen lying at length,
with crowns of gold and precious stones on their heads. Their
names, in purple characters, appeared in a small grate, decorated
with pearls and jewels, among which was an Oriental topaz, the
size of a pigeon's egg. Opposite, wax lights were continually
burning, in six branches of silver. We are not informed of the
precise amount by which the ancient treasures of this shrine have
been diminished. The Cathedral and the Churches contain a pro-
fusion of other relics, besides which there are some monuments of
real historical interest, such as the tomb of Conrad, founder of the
Cathedral, of Marie de Medicis, and of Duns Scotus. The town itself
enjoys two minor celebrities of opposite character. It furnishes the
delicious perfume called Eau de Cologne, of which there are
twenty-four makers, each claiming to be the successor of the ori-
ginal inventor; and it can also boast of producing a greater number
of foul stenches than any other city in Europe. Coleridge declares
that he counted seventy-two of them, all separate and well defined.





THE dominion of the Moors in Spain-where they reigned from
the fall of the Gothic Empire, at the beginning of the eighth, till
their final expulsion by Ferdinand at the close of the fifteenth
century-forms one of the strangest yet most splendid episodes
in history. Repelled by Charles Martel within the limits of the
Pyrenees, the Moslems abandoned for awhile their lust of conquest;
and, devoting themselves to the arts of peace, formed an empire un-
rivalled while it endured for prosperity and civilization.
It was in the noble city of Granada that the Moors made their
last stand for empire: and to this day it is the object of their most
cherished recollections. Granada is described by the Arabian
writers as a Terrestial Paradise. Magnificent fountains adorned
every street; and the orange and the myrtle imbued the air with
fragrance. In this favoured spot was found whatever tended to
promote comfort or luxury.
But the crowning glory of Granada was the Palace of the
Alhambra, erected by the second Sultan, and used as a royal resi-
dence by himself and his successors. Built on the northern brow
of a hill overlooking the city, it is approached by a steep avenue,
leading through a narrow ravine, to a huge Moorish tower, form-
ing a kind of barbican. The great vestibule is composed of an
immense arch of the horseshoe form, so common in Moorish archi-
tecture. On its keystone is sculptured a gigantic hand; and on
the portal a key of corresponding size. Tradition affirms that when
this hand shall reach down and grasp the key, the whole pile will
fall and reveal the treasures buried beneath it.
Passing through the barbican and along a narrow lane, the tra-
veller reaches an esplanade, called the Place of the Cisterns, from
the reservoirs cut by the Moors in the solid rock, for the supply of
the fortress. In front of this esplanade is the unfinished building
of Charles V., appearing," says Washington Irving, "like an arro-
gant intrusion." Passing by it, and entering at an unpretending
portal, we are in the Palace of the Moorish Kings.


The internal arrangements are beautifully simple. The Cour
are so placed as to seem a continuation of the apartments: and,
the whole being on one level, the view must have been one of en-
chanting beauty : halls and galleries, porticoes and columns, arches
and mosaics, with plants and flowers of various kinds, being seen
through the haze arising from the spray of the fountains. Sometimes
the water sported in the air; sometimes it spread in broad sheets,
reflecting the surrounding objects and the deep blue sky.
The principal Court of the Alhambra is that known as the Hall
of Lions. In its centre twelve enormous lions support a marble
fountain, from which, and from the lions' mouths, a volume of
water falls into a reservoir communicating with the private apart-
ments. This court is encompassed by a colonnade fantastically
adorned with foliage and grotesque ornaments, the Koran prohibit-
ing any representation of animal life. Here the hand of time has
fallen lightest, and the decorations retain nearly all their first
One can hardly read without sadness of these relies of a gallant
and cultivated race. For nearly eight centuries they were a dis-
tinct people, and they have scarcely left a distinct name behind
them. Beggars and wayfarers haunt the Courts of the Alhambra;
and the descendants of the last Sultan of Granada were paupers in
the African town of:Fez, little more than a century after the fall of
their ancestors' kingdom.




Moscow, the ancient city of the Czars, was founded by George, son
of Wladimir, who reigned about A.D. 1150. Under his successors,
however, the town fell into decay, and was rebuilt at the close of
the thirteenth century by Daniel, son of Alexander Newski, who,
when the empire was divided, received the Duchy of Moscow as his
portion. The spot now occupied by the Kremlin was at that time
a morass, overspread with wood, and containing a small island with
a single hut. Here Daniel constructed numerous buildings, chiefly
churches and monasteries, and surrounded the whole with wooden
fortifications. The new metropolis was enlarged by his son Ivan,
and his grandson Demetrius, who enclosed it by a brick and stone
wall. Notwithstanding these fortifications, the place was taken in
1382 by Tamerlane. This desultory conqueror soon evacuated it,
and the Kremlin again came into possession of the Russians; but
was frequently occupied by the Tartars, who overran the country
during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and even maintained
a garrison at Moscow, until finally repelled by Ivan Vassilivitch.
To him chiefly the Kremlin was indebted for its splendour, and
under him Moscow became the capital of the Russian empire.
The word Kremlin, though sometimes used for the ancient
palace of the Czars, is more properly applied to the central quarter
or fortress of the city. Indeed, "Krem" or Krim" signifies a
fortress in the Tartar language. The enclosure is of triangular
form, about two miles in circumference, and surrounded by walls of
great thickness, with battlements, embrasures, towers, and five gates.
The palace itself consists of the remains of the ancient abode of
the Czars, and of the new palace founded in 1743, destroyed in the
great conflagration of Moscow, and rebuilt in 1816. Taken as a
whole, the Kremlin presents a quaint but magnificent spectacle;
and it receives an oriental aspect from the number and variety of
towers, (of which every church has several, besides the steeple,)
with bulb-shaped summits, or rising in lofty pinnacles like
3 M


minarets; and from the numerous gardens and trees intersected
with the buildings.
By the Russians, Moscow and the Kremlin are regarded with a
feeling of veneration which we should find it difficult to associate
with any building or set of buildings. It is interesting to observe
the affectionate admiration with which the natives, and especially
the peasantry, characterise the city as "Mother Moscow," or
" Stone Moscow." This last appellation is far from correct; but
the Russians are not over particular in their application of
epithets. Thus, all the buildings in the quarter "Kitai Gorod"
are called stone houses, though there seems no other ground for
this than the fact that the quarter is surrounded by a stone wall.
The Kremlin suffered but little during the fearful conflagration
of 1812 ; and, indeed, after this, as after the many other disasters
that have befallen Moscow, the city has each time risen, Phoenix-
like, with increased splendour from its ruins.

& a



AMONG the fantastic specimens of architecture which abound in
China, the pagodas are perhaps the most singular of all. Like the
round towers of Ireland, their history is unknown, or at most
traditional. They are now, for the most part, devoted to Buddhism,
but the inconvenience of their shape for religious rites makes it
improbable that such was their first destination.
The largest and most remarkable of these pagodas is the famous
Porcelain Tower at Nankin. In form octagonal, it consists of nine
stories, tapering to a height of 300 feet, and surmounted by a
cupola, encased in shining metal. From a gilt ball on the cupola
rises an iron rod, sustaining eight chains, which descend to as many
dragons' heads. To these chains, and at the angles of the tower,
are hung 152 bells, which (say the attendant Bonzes, or priests)
once sounded in harmony, but, in consequence of the long neglect
of religious rites, were deprived of their voices by the offended deity.
The body of the walls is of brick, cased within and without with
slabs of beautiful white porcelain. The projecting roof of each
story consists of green and yellow porcelain tiles in alternate rows;
and running up the angles are mouldings of larger tiles, coloured
green and red alternately. From each story projects a balcony,
enclosed by a light balustrade of green porcelain. Upon this
balcony four doorways open, of which the arches are elegantly
turned with glazed tiles, representing monsters of every description.
On the outside of the nine stories are 128 lanterns, made of thin
oyster-shells, a Chinese substitute for glass. They are occasionally
lighted up at the expense of some devout worshipper, and the effect
of their delicate subdued light upon the surface of the porcelain is
said to be very striking. The Bonzes teach that these lanterns
illuminate the whole world, together with the thirty-three heavens;
that they relieve good and evil men, and avert for ever many
calamities incident to humanity.
The interior of the pagoda contains on its walls a number of
idols, in relief, and on each floor is an image of Buddha, surrounded


by 400 smaller images and other objects of idolatry. Twelve
lamp-bowls of porcelain are preserved in the great hall upon the
ground-floor, and these are also lighted on the occasion of the
general illumination of the pagoda.
According to the monks of the adjoining Buddhist monastery,
who have preserved some- traditions, more or less authentic, of this
curious structure, the first stone was laid A.D., 1412, by Yung Lo,
of the Ming dynasty, and the construction of the pagoda occupied
nineteen years. It was raised as a tribute of gratitude to the
empress, and as a record of her virtues. It still retains the name
of Paou-gan-sze, or the Temple of Gratitude.
"For many ages the the Porcelain Pagoda withstood the effects of
time, but in 1800 it was struck by lightning, or, according to the
Chinese account of the disaster, "The God of Thunder, displaying
his power and severe majesty, and driving some strange insects
before him, struck the tower, and in a moment shattered the sides
of the nine stories." It was repaired well and thoroughly in the
year 1802, from which period it sustained no injury until the occu-
pation of Nankin by the English in 1842, when a party of sailors
endeavoured, with hammers and pickaxes, to remove the curiosities
on the walls, inflicting, of course, much damage on the structure.
These proceedings were not, however, countenanced by the English
authorities. They interfered immediately that the outrage was
known to them, and made full reparation for the injury.

i f

i |i




THE Townhall of Louvain, in the Netherlands, is one of the most
interesting monuments remaining of a period when the rich and
powerful inhabitants of great commercial towns vied with princes
in their displays of grandeur and magnificence; when, by their
collective influence and authority, they successfully resisted the
oppression of the feudal lords; and when, lastly, a liberal expen-
diture upon objects calculated to elevate the taste of the community
was justly thought one of the first duties of those to whom their
government was intrusted.
Louvain is said to have been founded by Julius Czesar, but there
is no distinct notice of it until the year 885. Towards the begin-
ning of the fourteenth century, however, it had attained great
prosperity; for we read that it comprised at that time 4000 houses
of clothiers alone, and that the population was 300,000. When
the operatives left their daily work the great bell was always rung,
in order that mothers might remove their children in the streets,
lest they should be trampled to death by the eager throng of
In 1380, the workmen revolted, and seventeen of the principal
magistrates were thrown from the windows of the Townhall. This
led to the emigration of many of the weavers, and inflicted a blow
on the prosperity of Louvain from which it never recovered. At
present the town is much decayed, and its population does not
exceed 25,000. The only important article of commerce is beer,
of which large quantities are annually exported. There are also ten
or twelve lace manufactories.
During its prosperity, Louvain was no less distinguished for
learning than for wealth. A university was founded there in 1426,
by John IV., Duke of Brabant. It was endowed with high
privileges by the Pope, and produced many men of eminence. The
university contained forty-three colleges, a fine library, a botanical
garden, and an anatomical theatre. In the sixteenth century it
educated 6000 students; but it was suppressed during the French


Revolution, and, though re-established after the separation of
Belgium from France, never recovered its original importance.
The number of students does ot at present amount to 600.
The first stone of the present Townhall was laid in 1448, and the
building finished in 1463. The cost was 32,900 guilders, or about
.3000-a large sum in those days. The most characteristic
features of the edifice are the three tiers of windows, the. gallery
above the upper tier; the lofty roof, with its windows rising one
above the other; the corner towers and pinnacles, and the still
more lofty pinnacles of the centre. The sculpture of the stone-
work is exceedingly elaborate. The apartments within are of noble
proportions, and richly decorated with tapestry and pictures.




ON the side of the Vatican Hill, on the north bank of the Tiber,
beyond, the limits of ancient Rome, towers the Basilica of St.
Peter's. On its site once stood the Circus of Nero, where so many
of the early Christians suffered martyrdom, and where the Apostle
Peter is said to have been crucified.
It was Constantine the Great who first erected a Christian
church on this blood-stained spot. The edifice, after standing for
twelve centuries, was menaced with ruin. Several Popes endea-
voured to avert this by repairs and additions, and in 1503, Julius II.
determined to build on the same ground an entirely new temple.
For nearly three centuries a succession of pontiffs and architects
bestowed their energies on this vast undertaking; but their fame
merges in that of the great sculptor, painter, and architect, Michael
Angelo Buonarotti, who devoted to the Cathedral eighteen years of
his life, and stamped it with the impress of his sublime genius.
His well-known boast, Such a cupola" (alluding to that of the
Pantheon) "will I suspend in the air," is hardly felt as an exag-
geration by the traveller who, approaching the Eternal City,
beholds the dome of St. Peter's towering into the blue heavens.
Unlike our own St. Paul's-which is closely hemmed in by
ignoble buildings-and of which no satisfactory view can be ob-
tained from any one point, St. Peter's presents itself as the back-
ground of a spacious amphitheatre, formed by a lofty colonnade,
each wing of which is a perfect forest of pillars. An Egyptian
obelisk, which once adorned the Circus of Nero, stands in the
centre of this piazza, and somewhat detracts from the effect of the
Cathedral. On each side of the obelisk is a noble fountain, fed by
an ancient aqueduct from a lake seventeen miles distant. The
supply of water is so abundant that, but for its transparency, the
fountains themselves would be completely hidden from sight.
The Cathedral appears to the best advantage from elevated
points in the neighbourhood, such as the Pincian Hill. It is there,
and upon the Bridge of St. Angelo, that the people of Rome chiefly


congregate on St. Peter's-day, and on the anniversary of the
reigning Pontiffs election. On these two festivals, at one hour of
the night (an hour after sunset), the dome is suddenly converted,
as if by magic, into a mass of liquid light. To effect this a great
number of workmen are suspended to the exterior, and fire at the
same instant the torches and lamps by which the Cathedral is
illuminated. The service is dangerous-so dangerous that the men
will not undertake it until they have confessed and received abso-
Nor is the interior less grand and beautiful, though, from the
wonderful harmcny of its parts, the size is not immediately appa-
rent. St. Paul's might stand within St Peter's, and leave a clear
space around and above it of fifty or sixty feet; yet, everything
being on an equal scale of greatness, the eye is deceived, and the
first impression is one of disappointment. The figures of the four
Evangelists, for examples, which adorn the cupola, appear no larger
than life, though the pen in the hand of St. Mark is six feet long.
It must be admitted that this harmony is in one sense a defect,
and that Gothic Architecture, with its vague profusion of details is
far more impressive and sublime. The purest taste has presided
over the internal decorations. The gorgeous profusion of ornament
has been guided by so correct a judgment that nothing shocks or
offends the eye-all is grand, rich, magnificent, and solemn



THE earliest building ascertained to have occupied the site of our
metropolitan Cathedral was a Christian church, built and dedicated
to St. Paul, about A.D. 610, by Ethelbert, King of Kent, the first
Saxon prince converted by St. Augustine. It has indeed been
supposed that the Romans, during their occupation of Britain,
erected on this elevated spot a temple to Diana. But the tradition
seems to have no other foundation than the fact of the ground
having been used as a cemetery by the Romans and their successors.
When digging the foundations of the present edifice, Sir Christo-
pher' Wren discovered, at a considerable depth beneath the surface,
a quantity of Roman sepulchral urns and lachrymatories. Over
them lay, in rows, skeletons of the ancient Britons, and imme-
diately above these were found the remains of Saxons, enclosed in
stone coffins, or in graves lined with chalk, many of which con-
tained the pins of ivory and boxwood used to fasten the grave-
The church built by Ethelbert was burnt down in 961, and a
new one erected, which, being completed within the space of a
single year, can hardly have been a magnificent or extensive struc-
ture. This, also, was destroyed by fire in 1087, when the Norman
bishop, Mamki, undertook, at his own expense, to rebuild it on a
large scale. For forty years, Mamki and his successors devoted the
whole of their revenues to this great work, which was only brought
to a close in 1240 under Niger, the fifth bishop from Mamki.
This fabric, which is known as Old St. Paul's," and was the
immediate predecessor of the present Cathedral, presented a mass
690 feet by 130 feet, and surmounted by a wooden spire 320 feet
high. It was, no doubt, a grand and imposing structure. In 1315,
the spire being much decayed, the upper portion had to be taken
down and replaced. It was upon this occasion that St. Paul's was
first surmounted by the ball and cross.
Long before its final destruction by the great fire of London, the
Cathedral underwent so many changes from neglect and repeated


accidents, that it presented little else than a heap of confusion ant
incongruities. Towards the close of the sixteenth century, the
benches outside the doors of the choir were used as sleeping-places
by vagrants and drunkards, and a large dunghill lay undisturbed
within one of the porches. Against the walls were built more than
twenty private houses, the owners of which cut closets in the walls
of the sacred edifice, and opened passages into the vaults, which
they used as cellars. One person made an oven in one of the but-
tresses, and therein baked his bread and pies. During the civil
wars, too, the revenues of the see being confiscated by the Parlia-
ment, the greater part of the Cathedral was used for barracks and
stables. The service was still performed at the east end, which was
walled off, the congregation entering through one of the windows.
After the fire of London, Sir Christopher Wren was directed to
examine the ruins of Old St. Paul's. It was at first thought that a
considerable portion might be retained; but the idea was aban-
doned, and the first stone of the present building laid on the 21st
June, 1675. "The work proceeded without interruption till its com-
pletion in 1710, being directed during the whole period by the
great architect above mentioned. All that he received for his
services was 200 a year; and after the building was considerably
advanced, one half of this paltry salary was withheld by the Com-
missioners until the Cathedral should be completed-the pretext
being that they would thereby secure greater diligence and expedi-
tion on the part of the architect.
It is worthy of remark that, while St. Peter's was the work of
twelve architects, and exhausted the revenues of nineteen popes, St.
Paul's was begun and completed under one bishop, by one architect,
and aw master-mason.

:-- ,


T__ E _D. ST E.LIG TO _S _
_ _


AnBOUT fourteen miles S. S.W. of Plymouth lie the Eddystone Rocks,
so named from the eddy occasioned by the water striking against
them. They formed a most dangerous obstacle to navigation.
Many a gallant ship, after crossing the Atlantic in safety, has
foundered upon them, and, with its crew, gone down in sight of
It was of the utmost importance that mariners should be pro-
tected frcm these dangers; and in 1698, Mr. Henry Winstanley, a
rich gentleman with a natural turn for mechanics, but neither
engineer nor architect by profession, undertook to erect a light-
house on the Eddystone Rocks. The building constructed by him
appears, from the description, to have somewhat resembled a
Chinese pagoda. Angular in form, covered with projections, and
furnished with open galleries, it must have been more adapted to
adorn a London citizen's suburban garden than to withstand the
fury of the Atlantic. Such, however, was not the opinion of the
architect. He-was so confident of its stability, that he expressed
a wish to be in his lighthouse during "the greatest storm that ever
blew undo. the face of the heavens." His desire was gratified. In
the terrific storm of November, 1703, he perished with every per-
son in the building. Next morning, not a vestige of it remained,
except an iron chain that had become wedged in a cleft of the
Three years afterwards, another amateur, Mr. John Rudyerd,
a silk mercer on Ludgate Hill, undertook to erect a new lighthouse.
He appears to have been a man of considerable sagacity. Unlike
his predecessor, he bestowed some thought on the form most suit-
able for such a structure; and his lighthouse, which was chiefly
constructed of timber, stood until December, 1755, when it was
accidentally burned down; a spark, from one of the twenty-four
candle kept constantly burning, having probably ignited either the
woodwork or the flakes of soot hanging from the roof.
Before undertaking to build a new lighthouse, the owners pru


dently consulted the President of the Royal Society, who recom-
mended Mr. Smeaton, another self-educated engineer, as the
person best qualified to superintend its construction. Smeaton
spent much time in considering the best methods of grafting the
foundations on the rock, and of giving the building the form best
suited to secure stability. The design eventually adopted by him
was suggested by the trunk of an oak, which spreads out in a
sweeping curve near the roots, diminishes as it rises, and again
expands at the insertion of the boughs. To prepare a fit base for
the tower, the shelving rock was cut into six steps, which were
filled up with masonry dovetailed together, and riveted to the
living stone, the upper course presenting a level surface. For the
height of twelve feet above the rock the building is solid. Each
course of masonry is dovetailed together, and secured to the course
below by plugs of stone, which effectually resist the lateral pressure
of the waves. The interior consists of four rooms, situated one
over the other, and surmounted by a glass lantern.
The first stone was laid on the 12th of June, 1757; and on the
16th of October, 1759, the saving light again streamed over the
waters. During all this period, the actual time spent on the work
was only 111 days 10 hours, or less than sixteen weeks.
The Eddystone Lighthouse has stood ever since, and promises to
remain for centuries. Among many terapests which it has endured
unshaken, was the memorable one of the year 1762. On the morn-
ing after the storm, many anxious observers pointed their glasses
at the lighthouse, scarcely expecting to see it again. But it was
still erect and uninjured, even to a pane of glass in the lantern.
The only article required to repair it was a pot of putty to replace
some that had been washed away.

i i .

_-- -



AT the western extremity of the Admiralty of St. Petersburg stands
a colossal equestrian statue, erected by the Empress Catherine the
Second to the memory of the founder of the city. In the mind of
the Russian it awakens proud associations, for under Peter the
Great the country emerged from barbarism, and his reign forms
the great landmark in Russian history. Nor can the stranger pass
the statue without being struck by its artistic merit, and by the
grandeur of the original conception. The pedestal forms an inclined
plane, up which the horse is prancing. His imperial rider surveys
with a serene countenance his capital rising out of the waters, and
extends over it the hand of protection; while the horse rears with
his fore-feet in the air, and seems impatient of restraint. The bold
manner in which the group is made to rest on the hind legs of the
horse is not more surprising than the skill with which advantage
has been taken of the allegorical serpent in upholding the gigantic
mass. The attitude has afforded a fine opportunity for the display
of anatomical knowledge on the part of the sculptor, Falconnet
The figure of the Czar is full of fire and animation. He is clad in
a simple tunic and mantle, and is seated on a bear's skin, emblem-
atical of the country he regenerated.
It is said that as soon as lialconnet had conceived the design, he
communicated his ideas to the Empress, at the same time declaring
the impossibility of realizing them without a living model. Upon
this an officer, who had the reputation of a bold horseman, offered
to ride his charger daily to the summit of a steep artificial mound.
In the presence of a crowd of spectators he repeatedly performed
this dangerous feat, accustoming his horse to gallop up the ascent,
and halt suddenly, pawing the air with his feet over the brink.
The sculptor was thus enabled to sketch the various attitudes of
the animal before commencing the statue.
The group was cast at a single jet. The figure of the Emperor
is eleven feet in height, that of the horse seventeen. The bronze
is in some places but a quarter of an inch, and nowhere more than


an inch in thickness, yet the total weight is between sixteen and
seventeen tons. The pedestal is not less remarkable than the statue.
It consists of a huge block of granite, brought from a marsh four
miles distant from St. Petersburg. A grooved tramway was
fastened to the under surface, and a similar tramway laid on the
ground. Cannon-balls were placed in the grooves, and as the rock
was moved onwards by ropes, pulleys, and windlasses, the balls over
which it had passed were brought to the front, a drummer being
stationed on the top to give the necessary signals to the workmen.
On one side of the pedestal is fixed, in bronze characters, the
on the opposite side appears the same inscription in the Russian
An amusing incident occurred a few years since. Some American
sailors sallied forth on a frolicksome cruise, and one of them, climb-
ing over the palisades, mounted the rocks and seated himself behind
the Emperor. He was speedily arrested, and, after a night's
incarceration, brought before the police authorities. His case was
summarily disposed of, and so heavy a fine inflicted that he naturally
remonstrated. "No, no," said the officer, we can make no abate-
ment; if you will ride with great people, you must pay great
people's prices."

_ :_-

P iit



SUSPENSION bridges are in themselves no novelty. Not to mention
the obvious expedient resorted to in most mountainous countries of
stretching a rope or ropes across a river in order to afford commu-
nication between the opposite banks, bridges constructed on the
principle of those now in use have been met with by travellers both
in the Old and New Worlds. In the interior of Thibet and India
we find many not unlike those recently erected in our own country.
In one place, chains supporting a bamboo platform are raised over
stone piers, with openings for the road to pass through. In
another, the whole is constructed of twisted slips of bamboo, over
which the road passes. Several of the latter kind have been found
in Chinese Tartary. In the mountains of South America there are
bridges composed of leather thongs, or of the stems of creeping
plants turned into ropes.
But, without leaving the United Kingdom, those who have
visited the Giants' Causeway have probably inspected the hanging
bridge at Carric-a-rede, near Ballintoy. It is formed by two cables
stretched from the cliff to a rock in the sea, some sixty feet distant.
The cables are fixed to hooks in the rock, and the other ends are
kept tight by means of pulleys. The passenger walks upon a plat-
form eighteen inches wide, and formed by planks laid side by side
across the ropes. The bridge is eighty feet above the sea, and there
is no other protection than a hand-rail or, rather, rope, three feet
above the swinging pathway; but over it men, women, and children
pass and repass with the utmost unconcern; sheep are also oc-
casionally carried over on men's shoulders to browse on the scanty
herbage of the rock. The bridge has existed longer than the
present generation can remember, and it probably suggested the
more important ones since erected.
About forty years since, Captain Brown, of the Royal Navy, first
used iron rods, connected so as to form flexible chains, instead cf
the chains with small links which had come into extensive use in
the navy. He invented an ingenious method (for which he took


out a patent) of connecting the rods without diminishing their
flexibility at the joints. The Union Bridge, across the Tweed near
Berwick, with a span of 450 feet; the pier of Newhaven, and the
yet more remarkable chain-pier at Brighton, attest Captain Brown's
engineering skill.
But all previous attempts were thrown into the shade by Telford's
Suspension Bridge across the Menai Straits. The obstacle was a
rapid stream with high banks. To have erected an ordinary bridge
would have obstructed the navigation; and the erectionl of piers in
the bed of the sea was, moreover, impracticable. Mr. Telford,
therefore, conceived the idea of a suspension bridge, and the project
was realized in 1826. The distance from shore to shore is nearly a
quarter of a mile. There was a rock on one side on which a pier
might be raised, but on the other nothing appeared above the
water. He determined, however, to build another pier on the
opposite shore, and to throw his bridge from one to the other, a
distance of 550 feet. The piers were connected with the shores by
arches of great size, the chains being carried over them and secured
firmly to the rock on each side. The top-masts of the first ship
that passed under the bridge were nearly as high as those of a
frigate; but they cleared twelve feet and a half beneath the road.

-- ..

"- = _.= -* _:-- ,- . J -i_-_^_Q. it -

.. _. :,, _-. ---_-- ^-_ -



THE Thames Tunnel, though now degraded to the level of a penny
exhibition, and apparently destined to be of no further utility, was
once the subject of universal interest in this country, and is still
one of the first objects of attraction to foreigners. To the novelty
of the idea were superadded the unexpected difficulties and hair-
breadth escapes experienced in its realization. Railways and their
tunnels were as yet unthought of; and indeed the experience
gained from them would have been of little assistance in overcome,
ing the peculiar engineering difficulties of this undertaking.
As far back as the year 1802, a project was entertained, and a
company formed, for opening an archway under the Thames. A
shaft seventy-six feet deep was sunk on the Rotherhithe side, not far
from the site of the present tunnel, and a small drift-way carried a
thousand feet across the river, when, although within a short dis-
tance of the opposite shore, the undertaking was abandoned, owing
to the repeated influx of sand and water.
In 1823, Mr. Brunel was induced to turn his attention to the
subject, and devised a plan for making, without any preliminary
drift-way, an excavation of sufficient size for two distinct archways,
each large enough for a carriage-road and footpath. He is said to
have taken the idea from the teredo, a destructive worm which
bores its way into the hardest timber. He proposed to effect his
object by means of a shield, or frame-work, which should support
the face of the excavation, without leaving any considerable part
unprotected. It consisted of twelve parallel iron frames. Each of
them had a progressive motion of its own, and contained three cells
placed one above the other, and each large enough to contain a
single workman. The miners removed the ground in front by
small quantities at a time; while other workmen at the back
secured with brickwork the portion excavated.
The shield commenced its journey on the 1st of January, 1826,
through a substantial bed of clay; but it had not advanced above
nine feet, when this protection suddenly ceased, and left the work


exposed to a considerable influx of water and sand. For thirty-two
lays its progress was extremely slow, but by the 14th of March
,he shield again reached solid ground. At the close of the year,
350 feet of the tunnel were safely completed; though moist earth
was being continually forced through the shield, and cavities in the
bed of the river had to be filled up with bags of clay. On the 18th
of May the river broke in, forming at first a transparent curtain of
water between the ' and the brickwork. Every exertion made
to oppose it proved fruitless, and the Tunnel rapidly filled. For-
tunately no lives were lost, and the brickwork suffered no material
In the following January, another and more formidable accident
occurred. As Mr. Brunel, jun., was directing three workmen how
to save themselves from the danger seen to be imminent, the
ground burst in like a volcanic eruption. The lights were blown
ou., and Mr. Brunel reached the shaft in total darkness. But the
water was at the top before him; and the waves had closed on the
scene ere he emerged. The three men were less fortunate, and
three others were also lost, whose death must be attributed to their
own imprudent curiosity, as they were not at the time employed
upon the works.
The new fissure was stopped by 4000 tons of soil, and, the Tunnel
again freed from water; but, the company's funds being exhausted,
nothing more was done until 1835, when Government agreed to
advance money for the completion of the undertaking. From that
time, though the progress was sometimes very slow, and three more
irruptions of the river took place, it advanced steadily and was
completed in 1842, the shield having performed a journey of more
than 1200 feet.




Or all European states, Bavaria is the most remarkable for the
encouragement given to the Fine Arts. The late King, with all
his faults, was an enthusiastic admirer of Architecture, Painting,
and Statuary; and devoted nearly the whole of his private revenue
to the adornment of Munich with fine buildings, filled with the
productions of the best modern painters and sculptors.
Of these, the most considerable are two grand edifices named
respectively the "Glyptothek" and the "Pinacothek;" the first
devoted to Sculpture, the second to Painting. The collection in
the Glyptothek is both rich and valuable, and contains the cele-
brated Egina Marbles, which, had they been purchased together
with the Elgin Marbles now in the British Museum, would have
made ours the most perfect collection extant of Grecian Art. But
the Pinacothek rivals the finest galleries in Europe. It comprises
the best pictures from the Dusseldorf Gallery, from the galleries of
Manheim, Deuxponts, Heidelburg, and Ratisbon; and from the
interesting Boiserie Gallery, collected by the two brothers of that
name, who were for a long time employed in making selections of
the productions of the early German painters, from various convents
and other public buildings and private collections.
The Pinacothek is built upon a grand scale. It is an oblong
edifice, two stories high, with wings at its two extremities. Though
chiefly built of brick, the balustrades and entablatures are of stone.
The ground floor contains a collection of Etruscan vases and
mosaics; the King's cabinet of drawings by the ancient masters;
a rich collection of engravings; a library of works relating to the
Fine Arts; with an entrance hall, and accommodations for the
students and officers of the establishment. The upper floor alone
is appropriated to pictures. Along the front of the building runs
u corridor, 400 feet in length, and lighted by twenty lofty windows.
On the side opposite the windows, ten doors open into seven
spacious halls, devoted to the larger paintings; and on the north
side of these halls are twenty-three cabinets, in which are placed


smaller pictures of the different schools contained in the adjoin-
ing halls.
The various saloons have been planned with especial reference to
the pictures to be placed in them. The cabinets have their win-
dows facing the north, and the central halls are lighted by lanterns
in the ceiling, the light from which is so managed as to be uni-
formly distributed over the four sides of the hall. So perfect is
this arrangement that, in looking at any one of the corners, it is
next to impossible to distinguish the line of junction of the two
walls; and but a slight shade of difference exists between the
lightest and darkest parts of the room. The interior is admirably
contrived, and the visitor to the gallery may, from the corridor, at
once enter the particular school which he wishes to inspect, without
first passing through the whole range of apartments, and having
his mind distracted and his eyes dazzled by the multiplicity or
objects contained in them.
The plan of decoration is similar in the Glyptothek and Pinaco-
thek. The ceilings are enriched with splendid ornaments in white
and gold, and with portraits and medallions of the most celebrated
painters. All these were designed by the architect Baron Klenze,
and executed by the first artists in Munich. The floors are inlaid
with various coloured Bavarian marbles; and the walls hung with
rich silks, of tints selected, as far as possible, to suit the different
The first stone of the Pinacothek was laid, by the King himself,
on April the 7th, 1826 (the birthday of Raphael) ; but it was more
than ten years before the internal arrangements and the placing of
the pictures were completed.



ON the evening of Thursday, October the 16th, 1834, the south-
west quarter of the metropolis was alarmed by continued and ex-
tensively spread cries of Fire !" followed by the rush of engines,
and of multitudes of people, towards the spot whence it arose. The
conflagration was indicated at a great distance by a deep glow in
the atmosphere, and proved to be at the House of Lords. It was
about twenty-five minutes to seven when the first alarm was given,
and by seven o'clock the flames raged with the greatest vehe-
The fire arose in the portion of the building immediately oppo-
site Henry VII.'s Chapel, and from thence the flames took three
principal directions. They first proceeded to the body of the House
of Lords, taking within their range the apartment over the Piazza
facing the Palace Yard; thence they extended to the Painted
Chamber and Library, which last was soon completely burnt, the
roof falling in with an immense crash; but the collection of books
(which had fortunately been removed on account of some altera-
tions in progress at the time) was preserved uninjured. By nine
o'clock, all the apartments were in a blaze, and ere long, though
the exterior wall remained standing, the interior was quite de-
stroyed, and the fallen materials of the roof and ceiling continued
burning like a furnace within the walls. Between ten and eleven,
two great masses of the front fell in; but the flames continued to
rage, and other parts to fall, until the whole was reduced to such a
state of dangerous ruin that it became necessary to level it with the
Another direction taken by the flames was yet more destructive.
Their course was eastward towards the river, where they swept all
before them except the strong ancient walls. They next reached
the Offices of the House of Commons, and most of the valuable
books and papers were consumed. The Library shared the same
fate, and, lastly, the House of Commons itself was attacked, all but
the beautiful Chapel of St. Stephen, which stood, like a rock amidst


a sea of fire, breaking the force of its waves, which, till then, had
gone on conquering and overthrowing.
The other direction taken by the fire was westward, along the
range of buildings facing St. Margaret's Church. The Members'
Waiting-room on the ground floor, Bellamy's Coffee-house, and the
Committee-rooms, were totally destroyed.
The attention of Government was immediately directed to the
erection of a new Palace, which should far surpass in grandeur the
old building. The design of Sir C. Barry being accepted, the
foundations of the new building were commenced in 1839. It is
the largest, if not the most splendid, Gothic edifice in Europe, and
covers at least double the site of the old Palace; about half the
ground being redeemed from the.river. The eastern or river front
is shown in the engraving. This facade is 900 feet in length, and
is divided into three principal compartments, panelled with tracery,
and decorated with rows of statues and escutcheons of the Kings
and Queens of England.
The western or land front will surpass the other in picturesque-
ness. It is of the same extent as the side facing the river, but in
an interrupted line, owing to the nature of the ground. The House
of Peers and the House of Commons are situated in the rear of the
building, and are surrounded by Courts and Parliamentary Offices.
The architecture of the Westminster Palace somewhat resembles
that of the Townhalls of the Low Countries. Exception has been
taken to what is thought its uniform and monotonous character;
and it must be confessed that, rich as are the details, they do not
group into masses when viewed from a distance. There is, besides,
too much of what has been termed "architectural stuttering" in
the decorations; especially in the heraldic devices, which, having
no inherent beauty of design, should not have been needlessly

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WHEN the genius of Stephenson first conceived the idea of carrying
a railway across the great tidal chasm of the Menai Straits, the
task seemed, to all but the engineer, utterly impracticable. Telford's
Suspension Bridge, of which we have already given an account, was,
from its slight and flexible construction, inadequate to support the
weight of a rapidly moving mass, such as a train of engines and
carriages; and the use of that bridge was, moreover, forbidden by
the Commissioners of Woods and Forests.
At the point finally chosen by Stephenson, one of the narrowest
that could be found, the ebbing and flowing torrent rushes through
with such impetuosity, that it is often impossible for vessels to pull
against it; besides which, the gusts of wind which come down the
ravines and round the sides of the neighboring mountains are so
sudden and violent as to render any engineering operations both
difficult and hazardous.
It was at first intended to cross the stream by two cast-iron
arches, each of 450 feet span, or more than double that of South-
wark Bridge, the greatest span hitherto attempted. But, this pro-
ject being rejected by the Admiralty, a new one was, ere long,
matured, and in the Britannia Bridge we see its realization.
The Bridge consists of two continuous hollow beams of wrought
iron placed side by side, and extending to a length of nearly 3000
feet. Advantage was taken of a rock in the centre of the channel
to construct each tube in two portions, which were afterwards
united firmly together. The following passage from Sir Francis
Head, who saw one of them raised and in its place, will, better than
a dry description, convey an idea of the Britannia Bridge:-
"It seemed surprising to us, that, by any arrangement of mate-
rials, it could possibly be made strong enough to support even
itself, much less heavily laden trains of passengers and goods flying
through it, and actually passing each other in the air at railway speed.
And the more we called reason and reflection to our assistance, the
more incomprehensible did the mystery practically appear; f'


the plate iron of which this aerial gallery is composed, is literally
not so thick as the lid, sides, and bottom of an elm coffin, of
strength merely sufficient to carry the corpse of an emaciated
friendless pauper from the workhouse to his grave. The covering
of this iron passage, 1841 feet in length, is literally not thicker
than the hide of the elephant; lastly, it is scarcely thicker than
the bark of the 'good old English oak;' and if this noble sovereign
(notwithstanding the heart and exterior substance of which it
boasts) is, even in the well-protected park in which it has been
born and bred, often prostrated by the storm, how difficult is it to
conceive that an attenuated hollow beam, no thicker than its mere
rind, should, by human science, be constituted strong enough to
withstand, besides the weights rushing through it, the natural gales
and artificial squalls of wind to which, throughout its immense
length and at its fearful height, it is permanently to be exposed! "
The Britannia Bridge was opened for the first time on the 5th of
March, 1850, having been previously subjected to the severest
tests. A train of 200 tons weight was placed in the middle of one
of the tubes, and, two hours afterwards, was found to have bent it
to the extent of less than half an inch; while it was computed that
the tube would have borne, without injury, a deflection of thirteen
inches. And, during the terrific gales of the previous 5th of Feb-
ruary, no vibration was detected in the Carmarthen tube, which
was then erected, though not in a fair position for resisting the
A wind, since it only temporarily rested on a pile of planks, and was
unconnected either with the neighboring tubes or with the
masonry of the towers.

--I -



EVEN before transplanted from its native soil in Hyde Park, this
immense but fairy-like structure was as unique as it was beautiful;
but on its present commanding site, and perfected by the master.
mind which called it into existence, the Crystal Palace may take its
place among the greatest, as in point of magnitude it i- the very
greatest, Wonder of Art. Like the Pyramid of C'li::.lps it is an
expression of the genius of the age. in which it arose, and the
comparison of our first and last subjects' might suggest many
striking reflections on which we have not here space to enlarge.
The differences between the two palaces are visible at a glance.
The parent edifice, although grand, was somewhat monotonous in
character.. This mainly arose from the great length of the build-
ing, which was broken by only a single transept. The Sydenham
Palace has three transepts instead of one, and an arched roof covers
the nave. A further improvement is the formation of recesses in
the garden fronts of the transept. These break the monotony of
the plain glass walls, and the effect is further varied by the square
towers at the junction of the nave and transepts; by the open
galleries towards the garden; and by the extensive wings stretching
forth on either side. These additional details produce a play of
light and shade, and present a variety of surface that charms and
satisfies the eye, without detracting from the grandeur of the whole,
or causing the parts themselves to appear mean or small.
If unity is one of the chief requisites in architecture, certainly no
building possesses it in a greater degree than the Crystal Palace.
The design is of the utmost simplicity, and all the parts correspond.
Every portion of the framework is an exact multiple of some otbhr
so that nearly the whole of the old materials were available for ene
new Palace.
In laying out the beautiful grounds the same uniformity has
been adhered to as in the building itself. The width of the walks,
the width and length of the fountains, the length of the terraces,
the breadth of the steps, are all multiples, or sub-multiples of eigh
3 P

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