1902 Encyclopedia > St Petersburg, Russia

St Petersburg, Russia




ST PETERSBURG, a government of north-western Russia, at the head of the Gulf of Finland, stretching along its south-eastern shore and the southern shore of Lake Ladoga. It is bounded by Finland and Olonetz on the N., Novgorod and Pskoff on the E. and S., Esthonia and Livonia on the W., and has an area of 20,750 square miles. It is hilly only on its Finland border, the re-mainder being flat and covered with marshy forests, with the exception of a plateau of about 350 feet high in the south, the Duderhof hills at Krasnoye Selo reaching 550 feet. A great number of parallel ridges of glacier origin intersect the government towards Lake Peipus and north-wards of the Neva. Silurian and Devonian rocks appear in the south, the whole covered by a thick glacial deposit with boulders (bottom moraine) and by thick alluvial de-posits in the valley of the Neva. The government skirts the Gulf of Finland for 130 miles. The bays of Cronstadt, Koporye, Luga, and Narva afford good anchorage, but the coast is for the most part lined with reefs and sandbanks; to the east of Cronstadt the water becomes very shallow (18 to 20 feet). The chief river is the Neva, which receives only a few small tributaries; the Luga and the Narova also enter the Gulf of Finland. The feeders of Lake Ladoga—the Volkhoff, the Syass, and the Svir, the last two forming part of the system of canals connecting the Neva with the Volga—are important channels of com-merce, as also is the Narova (see PSKOFF). Marshes and forests cover about 40 per cent, of the surface (70 per cent, at the end of the 18th century).

The population (apart from the capital) was 635,780 in 1882, 82'7 per cent, being Russians, 15'0 Finns, 0'5 Esthonians, and 1"8 per cent. German colonists who have immigrated since 1765. Twenty per cent, are Protestants ; the remainder mostly belong to the Greek Church ; but there are also more than 20,000 Nonconformists, about 6000 Catholics, and 1500 Jews. Agriculture is at a low stage and very unproductive ; the Germans, however, get advantage from it. The Finns rear cattle to some extent. Manufactures are especially developed in the districts of Tsarskoye Selo and Yamburg,—cottons, silks, paper, ironware, and machinery (at Kolpino) being the chief products. Several large manufacturing establishments—especially at Cronstadt—are maintained by the state for military purposes. The government is subdivided into eight districts, the chief towns of which are St Petersburg (see below), Gdoff (3150 inhabitants), Luga (1650), Novaya Ladoga («00), Peterhof (7950), Schliisselburg (10,400), and Yamburg (3250). Gatchina (10,100), Narva (8610), Oranienbaum (3600), and Pavlovsk (3400) have no districts. Cronstadt and the capital form separate governorships. Okhta, Kolpino, Pulkova, and Krasnoye Selo, though without municipal institutions, are worthy of mention.

ST PETERSBURG, capital of the Russian empire, is situated in a thinly-peopled region at the head of the Gulf of Finland, at the mouth of the Neva, in 59° 56' N. lat. and 30° 40' E. long., 400 miles from Moscow, 696 from Warsaw, 1138 from Odessa, and 1338 from Astrakhan. The city covers an area of 21,195 acres, of which 12,820* belong to the delta proper of the Neva; 1330 acres are under water. The Neva, which leaves Lake Ladoga at its south-west angle, flows in a wide and deep stream for 36 miles south-west and north-west, describing a curve to the south. Before entering the Gulf of Finland, it takes for 2 J miles a northerly direction; then it suddenly turns and flows south-west and west, forming a peninsula on which the main part of St Petersburg stands, itself sub-dividing into several branches. It discharges a body of remarkably pure water at the rate of 1,750,000 cubic feet per second, by a channel from 400 to 650 yards in width, and so deep (maximum depth, 59 feet) that large vessels approach its banks. The chief branch is the Great Neva, which flows south-west with a width of from 400 to 700 yards and a maximum depth of 49 feet (discharge, 1,267,000 cubic feet per second). The other branches are the Little Neva, which along with the Great Neva forms Vasilyevskiy

FIG. 1.—Environs of St Petersburg.

(Basil's) Island, and the Great Nevka, which with the Little Neva forms Peterburgskiy Island and sends out three other branches, the Little Nevka, the Middle Nevka, and the narrow Karpovka, enclosing the islands Elaghin, Krestovskiy, Kamennyi, and Aptekarskiy (Apothecaries' Island). Smaller branches of the Great and the Little Nevas form the islands Petrovskiy, Goloday, and numerous smaller ones; while a broader navigable channel forms the Gutueff and several islands of less size in the south-west. Two narrow canalized channels or rivers—the Moika and the Fontanka—as also the Catherine, Ligovskiy, and Obvodnyi Canals (the last with basins for receiving the surplus of water during inundations), intersect the mainland. All the islands of alluvial origin are very low, their highest points rising only 10 or 11 feet above the average level of the water. Their areas are rapidly increasing (572 acres having been added between 1718 and 1864), and the wide banks which continue them towards the sea are gradually disappearing. The mainland is not much higher than the islands. At a height of from 7 to 20 feet (seldom so much as 29) the low marsh land stretches back to the hills of the Forestry Institute (45 to 70 feet) on the right and to the Pulkova and Tsarskoye Selo hills on the left. The river level being subject to wide oscillations and rising several feet during westerly gales, extensive portions of the islands, as also of the mainland, are flooded every winter; water in the streets of Vasilyevskiy Island is a common occurrence. In 1777, when the Neva rose 10'7 feet, and in 1824, when it rose 13-8 feet, nearly the whole of the city was inundated. But, owing to the con-struction of canals to receive a large amount of surplus water, and still more to the secular rising of the sea-coast, no similar occurrence has since been witnessed.

Broad sandbanks at the mouth of the river, leaving but a narrow channel 7 to 20 feet deep, prevent the entrance of larger ships; their cargoes are discharged at Cronstadt
and brought to St Petersburg in smaller vessels. A ship canal, completed in 1885 at a cost of 10,265,400 roubles (£61,026,500), is intended to make the capital a seaport. Beginning at Cronstadt, it terminates at Gutueff Island in a harbour capable of accommodating fifty sea-going ships at a time. It is 22 feet deep, 17J miles in length, and from 70 to 120 yards broad at the bottom, and is pro-tected by huge submarine dams.

Communication between the banks of the Neva is main-tained by only two permanent bridges,—the Nicholas and the Alexander or Liteinyi, the latter 467 yards long; both are fine specimens of architecture. Two other bridges— the Palace and the Troitskiy (720 yards)—across the Great Neva connect the left bank of the mainland with Vasilyevskiy Island and the fortress of St Peter and St Paul; but, being built on boats, they are removed during the autumn and spring, and intercourse with the islands then becomes very difficult. Several wooden or floating bridges connect the islands, while a number of stone bridges span the smaller channels; their aggregate number is ninety. In winter, when the Neva is covered with ice 2 to 3 feet thick, temporary roadways for carriages and pedestrians are made, and artificially lighted. Numerous boats also maintain communication, and small steamers ply in summer between the more distant parts of the capital. A network of tramways (about 80 miles) inter-sects the city in all directions, reaching also the remoter islands and suburbs, and carrying about 45,000,000 pass-engers yearly. Omnibuses and public sledges maintain the traffic in winter. In 1882 hackney carriages numbered 7930 in summer and rose to 14,780 in winter, when thousands of peasants come in from the neighbouring villages with their small Finnish horses and plain sledges.

The Neva continues frozen for an average of 147 days in the year (25th November to 21st April). It is unnavigable, however, for some time longer on account of the ice from Lake Ladoga, which is sometimes driven by easterly winds into the Neva during several days at the end of April or in the beginning of May. The climate of St Petersburg is very changeable and unhealthy. Frosts are made much more trying by the wind which accompanies them ; and westerly gales in winter bring with them oceanic moisture and warmth, and so melt the snow before and after hard frosts. The summer is hot, but short, lasting hardly more than five or six weeks; a hot day, however, is often followed by cold weather: changes of temperature amounting to 35° Fahr. within twenty-four hours are not uncommon. In autumn a cold dampness continues for several weeks, and in spring cold and wet weather alternates with a few warm days. The following figures will give a more complete idea of the climate :—

January. July. The Year.
Mean temperature, Fahr 15°*4 64°-0 38°'6
Rainfall, inches 0-9 26 18'8
Amount of cloud, percentage 80 53 67
Prevailing winds S.W. W. W.
Number of rainy days 12'5 12'7 150'6
Average daily range of temperature, Fahr. 2'"2 10'"2 7'*7
Relative humidity 89 74 81

The bulk of St Petersburg is situated on the mainland, on the left bank of the Neva, including the best and busiest streets, the richest shops, the great bazaars and markets, the palaces, cathedrals, and theatres, as well as all the railway stations, except that of the Finland Railway. From the Liteinyi bridge to that of Nicholas I. a granite embankment runs along the left bank of the Neva, bordered by palaces and large private houses. About midway, behind a range of fine houses, stands the admiralty, the very centre of the capital. Formerly a wharf, on which Peter I. caused his first Baltic ship to be built in 1706, it is now the seat of the ministry of marine and of the hydrographical department, the new admiralty standing farther down the Neva on the same bank. A broad square, now partly a garden, surrounds the admiralty on the west, south, and east. To the west, opposite the senate, stands the fine memorial to Peter I., erected in 1782, and now backed by the cathedral of St Isaac. A bronze statue, a masterpiece by Falconet, represents the founder of the city on horseback, at full gallop, ascending a rock and pointing to the Neva; the pedestal is a huge granite monolith, 44 feet long, 22 wide, and 27 high, brought from Lakhta, a village on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. To the south of the admiralty are several buildings of the ministry of war and to the east the Winter Palace, the work of Rastrelii {1764), a fine building of mixed style; but its admirable proportions hide its huge dimensions. It communicates by a gallery with the Hermitage Fine Arts Gallery. A broad semicircular square, adorned by the Alexander I. column, separates the palace from the general staff and foreign ministry buildings ; the column, the work of Montferrant, is a red granite monolith, 84 feet high, supported by a huge pedestal. Being of Finnish rappa-kivi (from Piterlaks), it disintegrates rapidly, and has had to be bound with massive iron rings concealed by painting. The range of palaces and private houses facing the embankment above the admiralty is interrupted by the large macadamized "Field of Mars," formerly a marsh, but transformed at incredible expense into a parade-ground, and the Lyetniy Sad (summer-garden) of Peter I. The Neva embankment is continued to the west to a little below the Nicholas bridge under the name of "English embankment," and farther down by the new admiralty buildings.





The topography of St Petersburg is very simple. Three long streets, the main arteries of the capital, radiate from the admiralty, —the Prospekt Nevskiy (Neva Prospect), the Gorokhovaya (Peas' Street), and the Prospekt Voznesenskiy (Ascension Prospect). Three girdles of canals, roughly speaking concentric, cross these three streets,—the Moika, the Catherine, and the Fontanka ; to these a number of streets run parallel,—the Great and the Little Morskaya, the Kazanskaya, the Sadovaya (Garden Street), and the Liteiuaya, continued west by Prospekts Zagorodnyi and Rizh-skiy (Riga). The Prospekt Nevskiy is a very broad street running straight east-south-east for 3200 yards from the admiralty to the Moscow railway station, and thence 1650 yards farther, bending a little to the south, to the Smolnyi convent, again reaching the Neva at Kalashnikoff harbour. The part first mentioned owes its picturesque aspect to its width, its rich shops, and still more its animation. But the houses which border it architecturally leave very much to be desired. And neither the cathedral of the Virgin of Kazan (an ugly imitation on a small scale of St Peter's in Rome), nor the still uglier Gostinyi Dvor (a two-storied quadrilateral building filled with second-rate shops), nor the Anitchkoff Palace (which looks like immense barracks), nor even the Catholic and Dutch churches do anything to embellish it. About midway between the public library and the Anitchkoff Palace an elegant square conceals the old-fashioned Alexandra theatre ; a profusely adorned memorial to Catherine II. does not beautify it much. The Gorokhovaya is a narrow and badly paved street between gloomy houses occupied mostly by artisans. The Voznesenskiy, on the contrary, though as narrow as the last, has better houses. In its north part it passes into a series of large squares connected with that on which the monument of Peter I. stands. One of them is occupied by the cathedral of St Isaac (of Dalmatia) and another by the memorial to Nicholas I., the gorgeousne3S and bad taste of which strangely contrast with the simplicity and significance of that of Peter I. The general aspect of the cathedral is undoubtedly imposing both without and within ; its red granite colonnades are not devoid of a certain grandiose character ; but on the whole this architectural monument, built between 1818 and 1858 according to a plan of Montferrant, under the personal direction of Nicholas I., does not correspond either with its costliness (23,000,000 roubles) or with the efforts put forth in its decoration by the best Russian artists. The pictures of Bruloff, Bruni, and many others which cover its walls are deteriorating rapidly and their place is being taken by mosaics. The entire building, notwithstanding its vast foundations and pile-work, is subsiding unequally in the marshy ground, and the walls threaten soon to give way.
The eastern extremity of Vasilyevskiy Island is the centre of commercial activity ; the stock exchange is situated there as well as the quays and storehouses. The remainder of the island is occu-pied chiefly by scientific and educational institutions,—the academy of science, with a small observatory (where some astronomical observations are carried on, notwithstanding the tremors of the earth), the university, the philological institute, the academy of the first corps of cadets, the academy of arts, the marine academy, the min-ing institute, and the central physical observatory, all facing the Neva. Peterburgskiy Island contains the fortress of St Peter and St Paul, opposite the Winter Palace, separated by a channel from its " kronverk," the glacis of which is used as a park. The fortress is now merely a state prison. A cathedral which stands within the fortress is the burial-place of the emperors and the imperial family. The mint is also situated within the fortress. The remainder of the island is meanly built, and is the refuge of the poorer officials (tcMnovniks) and of the intellectual proletariat. Its northern part, separated from the main island by a narrow channel, bears the name of Apothecaries' Island, and is occupied by a botanical garden of great scientific value and several fine private gardens and parks. Krestovskiy, Elaghin, and Kamennyi Islands, as also the opposite right bank of the Great Nevka (Staraya and Novaya Derevnya), are occupied by public gardens and parks and by summer houses (clatcliis). Owing to the heat and dust during the short summer the middle-class inhabitants and the numerous officials and clerks emigrate to the datchis, the wealthier families to the islands, and the poorer to Staraya and Novaya Derevnya Polustrovo, Kusheleva, and as far as the first two or three railway stations of the principal railways, especially that of Finland. The mainland on the right bank of the Neva above its delta is known as Vyborg-skaya Storona (Viborg Side), and is connected with the main city by the Liteinyi bridge, closely adjoining which are the buildings of the military academy of medicine and spacious hospitals. The small streets (many of them unpaved), with numerous wooden houses, are inhabited by students and workmen ; farther north are great textile and iron factories. Vast orchards and the yards of the artillery laboratory stretch north-eastwards, while the railway and the highroad to Finland, running north, lead to the park of the Forestry Institute. The two villages of Okhta, on the right bank, are suburbs ; higher np, on the left bank, are several factories. (Alexandrovsk) which formerly belonged to the crown, where playing-cards, cottons, glass, china, ironware, and so on are made. The true boundary of St Petersburg on the south is the Obvodnyi Canal; but wide tracts covered with orchards, cemeteries, and factories, or even unoccupied spaces, are included in the city in that direction, though they are being rapidly covered with buildings.

Of the 21,195 acres covered by St Petersburg 1160 remain unoccupied. The gardens and parks, public and private, take up 798 acres, to which must be added Aptekarskiy, Petrovskiy, Elaghin, and Krestovskiy Islands, which are almost quite covered with parks. Nearly 30 per cent, of tha total area of the most densely populated parts are squares and streets, the aggregate length of the latter being 283 miles. More than half of them are lighted by gas, the remainder with kerosene. Except in a few principal streets, which are paved with wood or asphalt, the pavement is usually of granite boulders, and is bad and very difficult to keep in order. Many streets and embankments in the suburbs are unpaved. Nearly all the more populous parts have water led into the houses (4733 houses in 1883), and the same begins to extend also to the right bank of the Neva. In 1883 7,091,500,000 gallons of water, mostly from the Neva, very pure on the whole, were supplied by seven-teen steam-engines to the left-bank portion of the city (9423 gallons per inhabitant). The number of houses in 1881 was 22,229 inhabited and 16,983 uninhabited. Of the former 18,816 belonged to private persons and 3148 to societies or the crown. The houses are mostly very large: of the private houses no fewer than 169 had from 400 to 2000 inhabitants each; the contrary holds good of the out-lying parts, where 2005 houses had fewer than 20 inha-bitants each.

On 27th December 1881 the population of St Petersburg was 861,303, exclusive of the suburbs, and 929,100 including them, thus showing an increase of 29 per cent, since 1869. The census of 1881 having been made with great accuracy, the following interest-ing results may be relied upon. The density of population varies-from 1 inhabitant per 93 square feet to 1 per 17,346 square feet (on Peterburgskiy Island); the average is 1 per 1068 square feet. Less than a third of the aggregate population (29' 3 per cent.) were born in the capital, the remainder coming from all parts of Russia,, or being foreigners. The males are to the females in the proportion of 122 to 100 ; at the same time the married men and women con-stitute respectively 49 and 39 per cent, of the population, the numbers of the unmarried or widowed being respectively 48 and 3 per cent, for men, and 56 and 5 for women. The proportion of children is small. The distribution of the population according to age is as follows:—_

Under 5 years 7'9 per cent. From lfl to 20 years . .12*2 per cent.
From 6 to 10 years 5"7 „ „ „ 21 to 50 „ ..55*2 ,,
„ 11 to 15 „ .. 8-6 „ „ AboveSOyears 10'4 ,, „

The mortality at St Petersburg being very high (34'2 in 1883, from 29-7 to 38-6 in 1868-82), and the number of births only 311 per 1000, the deaths are in excess of the births by 2500 to 3000 in average years ; in 1883 there were 26,320 births (1151 still-born) and 30,150 deaths. It must not be inferred, however, from these figures that the population of St Petersburg would die out if not recruited from without. The larger number of the workmen who come every year to the capital leave their families in the provinces, and the births which occur do not appear among the births of the capital, while the deaths very often do. The chief mortality is due to chest diseases, which prove fatal on the average to 9000 persons annually; diseases of the digestive organs also prevail largely ; European and perhaps also Asiatic cholera is almost endemic, an average of 3700 deaths annually being due to this cause. Infectious diseases such as typhus (from 4280 to 5100 deaths during the last few years), diphtheria, and scarlet fever (3500 deaths) are common. Owing to a notable increase of these three infectious diseases the mortality figures for the last few years are above the average. Of 28,212 deaths nearly two-fifths (12,369) were among children under five. Another critical age seems to be that between 21 and 25. The number of marriages in 1883 was 6183 (only 7'1 per 1000 inhabit-ants) ; out of a total of 26,320 births 7977 (30 per cent.) were illegiti-mate ; and no fewer than 31 per cent, of all children, both legitimate and illegitimate, born at St Petersburg are nursed in the foundlings' home, which sends most of them to be brought up in villages. More than 100,000 persons enter the public hospitals annually.

An interesting feature of the Russian capital is the very high proportion of people living on their own earnings or income ("independent"), as compared with those who live on the earnings or income of some one else ("dependent"). Whereas at Paris and Berlin only 34 and 50 per cent, respectively belong to the former category, the proportion is reversed at St Petersburg : only 33 per cent., 282,678 persons in all, have not their own means of support (18 per cent, of the men and 51 of the women). The proportion of employers to employed, as also the extent of their respective families, are as follows :—

Trade. Various industries. Total.
Independent workers S,858 20,857 3,597 4,163 37,559 11,997 8,336 4,470 19,508 88,153 5.5S1 7,491 195,850 56,856 28,954 17,806 28,366 59,010 9,178 11,654 233,409 68,853 37,290 22,276

Only a few industrial establishments employ more than twenty workmen, the average being less than ten and the figure seldom falling below five. The great factories are beyond the limits of St Petersburg, which contains a busy population of artisans grouped in small workshops. The proportions of various professions to the total population arc as follows :—workmen, 1 in 3 ; servants, 1 in 10; scholars, 1 in 12; soldiers, 1 in 25 ; officials, 1 in 61 ; " rentiers," 1 in 76 ; female teachers, 1 in 186 ; male teachers, 1 in 291 ; policemen, 1 in 208 ; surgeons, 1 in 608 ; advocates, 1 in 1261; apothecaries, 1 in 1538 ; pawnbrokers, 1 in 1846 ; savants or litte-rateurs, 1 in 2121; lawyers, 1 in 2700. In respect of classes, 40'7 per cent, of the aggregate population belong to the "peasants," 20'0aro myeshchane (burgesses) and artisans, 12'3 are "nobles," 2'4 "merchants," and 3-l foreigners. The various religions are represented by 84'9 per cent. Orthodox Greeks, 9'9 Protestants, 3'3 Roman Catholics, and 1'9 various (16,826 Jews). On the whole, the Orthodox population are not great frequenters of the churches, which are far less numerous than in Moscow.





St Petersburg is well provided with scientific and educational institutions, as also with libraries and museums. The intellectual life of the educated classes is vigorous, and, although 36 per cent, of the population above six years old are unable to read, the work-men must be counted among the most intelligent classes in Russia. Notwithstanding the hardships and prosecutions it is periodically subjected to, the university exercises a pronounced influence on the life of St Petersburg. In 1882 it had eighty professors and 2165 students (968 in physics and mathematics, 776 in law). The medi-cal faculty forms a separate academy, under military jurisdiction, with about 1500 students. There are, moreover, a philological insti-tute, a technological institute, a forestry academy, an engineering academy, two theological academies (Greek and Roman Catholic), ail academy of arts, five military academies, a high school of law and a lyceum. Higher instruction for women is represented by a medical academy (now ordered to be closed), by a free university with 914 students in 1882, the standards of instruction and exami-nation in both being equal to those of the other universities, and by higher pedagogical courses. For secondary education there are twelve classical gymnasia for boys and nine for girls, with four private gymnasia and three progymnasia, eight "real schools," five seminaries for teachers, ten military schools, three German gym-nasia, and five other schools. For primary education there are 156 municipality schools (7225 scholars in 1883), 16 schools of the zemstvo, and about 450 others maintained either by public institu-tions or by private persons ; 19,400 boys and girls received instruc-tion in 431 public schools in 1884, the aggregate cost being £24,765 ; about 70 institutions for receiving the younger children of the poorer classes and several private "kindergartens" must be added to the above. The scientific institutions are numerous. The academy of sciences, opened in 1726, has rendered immense service in the exploration of Russia. The oft-repeated reproach that it keeps its doors shut to Russian savants, while opening them too widely to German ones, is not without foundation ; but the services rendered to science by the Germans in connexion with the academy are undoubtedly very great. The Pulkova astronomical observa-tory, the chief physical (meteorological) observatory (with branches throughout Russia and Siberia), the astronomical observatory at Vilna, the astronomical and magnetical observatory at Peking, and the botanical garden, all attached to the academy of sciences, issue every year publications of the highest scientific value. The Society of Naturalists and the Physical and Chemical Society, though less than twenty years old, have already issued most valuable publica-tions, which are not so well known abroad as they deserve to be. The still more recently founded geological committee is ably push-ing forward the geological survey of the country ; the Mineralogical Society was founded in 1817. The Geographical Society, with four sections (923 members) and branch societies for West and East Siberia, Caucasus, Orenburg, the north-western and south-western provinces of European Russia, all liberally aided by the state, is well known for its valuable work, as is also the Entomological Society. There are four medical societies, and an Archaeological Society (since 1846), an Historical Society, an Economical Society (120 years old), Gardening, Forestry, Technical, Navigation Socie-ties, and others, as also several scientific committees appointed at the ministries. The scientific work of the hydrographical depart-ment and of the general staff is well known. On the whole, there is access to all these societies, as well as to their museums and libraries. At St Petersburg classical music always finds first-rate performers and attentive hearers, The conservatory of music gives a superior musical instruction. The Musical Society is also worthy of notice. Art, on the other hand, has not freed itself from the old scholastic methods at the academy. Several independent artistic societies seek to remedy this drawback, and are the true cradle of the Russian genre painters.

The imperial public library, open free for 347 days in the year, though far behind the British Museum and the Bibliothèque Nationale in the number of volumes, nevertheless contains rich collections of books and MSS. Its first nucleus was the library of the Polish republic seized in 1795 (262,640 volumes and 24,574 prints), collected mostly by Archbishop Zalusski of Kieff. It has been much enriched since then by purchases and donations, and now (1886) contains more than 1,000,000 volumes, a remarkable collection of 50,000 " Rossica " (everything published in Russia), and 40,000 MSS., some of which are very valuable and unique. The library of the academy of sciences, -also open every day, contains more than 500,000 volumes, 13,000 MSS., rich collections of works on Oriental languages, and valuable collections of periodical publica-tions from scientific societies throughout the world. The library of the council of state is also open to the public ; while several libraries of scientific societies and departments of the ministries, very rich in their special branches, are easily accessible. Those of the hydro-graphical department, the academy of art, the musical conserva-tory, the university (150,000 vols.), are especially valuable to the student. Nearly thirty private circulating libraries, which have to contend with many restrictions, supply the students for a small fee with everything printed in Russia, if not prohibited by Govern-ment. The museums of the Russian capital have a marked place among those of Europe. That of the academy of science, with more than 100,000 systematically classified natural history speci-mens ; that of the Mineralogical Society, giving a full picture of the geology of Russia ; the Asiatic museum, with its rich collections of Asiatic MSS. and coins ; and several others are of great scientific value. The Hermitage Art Gallery contains a first-rate collection of the Flemish school, some pictures of the Russian school (the re-mainder being at the academy of arts), some good specimens of the

2 Bukhomlinoff, "History of the Academy of Sciences," in its Memoirs (Russian), vol. xxvi., 1876, and the same year in its Mémoires in German.
3 Trantvetter, " History of the Botanical Garden," in Memoirs of the same, 1873, vol. ii.

Italian, Spanish, and old French schools, and especially invaluable treasures of Greek and Scythian antiquities, as also a good collection of 200,000 engravings. The old Christian and old Russian arts are well represented at the museum of the academy of arts. Besides these there are many other museums—pedagogical, medical, engineering, agricultural, forestry, marine, technical.

The press is represented by about 120 periodicals, including those of the scientific societies ; the right of publishing political papers is a monopoly in the hands of the very few editors who are able to procure the necessary authorization. The publication of literary and scientific works, after having developed rapidly in 1859-69, is now greatly on the decrease owing to the oppressive measures of the censorship. In the development of the Russian drama St Petersburg has played a far less important part than Moscow, and the stage at St Petersburg has never reached the same standard of excellence as that of the older capital. On the other hand, St Petersburg is the cradle of Russian opera and Russian music. There are only four theatres of importance at St Petersburg—all imperial —two for the opera and ballet, one for the native drama, and one for the French and German drama.

St Petersburg is much less of a manufacturing city than Moscow or Berlin. The annual production of all the manufactures in the government of St Petersburg, chiefly concentrated in or around the capital, was in 1879 valued at £16,768,600 out of £110,294,900 for the empire, against £19,500,000 in the government of Moscow. The chief manufactured goods are cottons (£3,073,000) and other textile fabrics (altogether £3,762,500), machinery (£2,355,800), rails (£1,342,300), tobacco and spirits (about £1,200,000 each), leather, sugar, stearino candles, copper and gum wares (from £850,000 to £450,000 each), and a variety of smaller articles. The minor trades are greatly developed. No exact statistics of the internal trade can be given, except for the import and export of articles of food. In 1883 31,176,000 cwts. of grain and flour were imported by rail or river, of which 18,680,450 were re-exported and 2,809,900 sent to the interior. The exports in 1882 were valued at £1,864,980 from St Petersburg and at £6,557,017 from Cronstadt, the aggregate thus being £8,421,997, in which articles of food, chiefly corn, represented £4,214,312, raw and half raw produce £4,009,446, and manufactured wares £197,520. The value of the imports was—to St Petersburg £8,616,383 and to Cronstadt £116,316. Among the total imports articles of food were valued at £1,941,393, raw and half raw produce at £4,009,090 (chiefly coal), and manufactured wares at £1,082,698. Cronstadt and St Petersburg were visited in the same year by 2195 ships of 951,000 tons (730 ships, 152,730 tons, from Great Britain). The coasting trade was represented by 702 vessels (119,300 tons) entered. The commercial fleet numbered only 43 steamers (14,000 tons) and 49 sailing vessels (8200 tons).

Six railways meet at St Petersburg. Two run westwards along both banks of the Gulf of Finland to Hangoudd and to Port Baltic ; two short lines connect Oranienbaum, opposite Cronstadt, and Tsarskoye Selo (with Pavlovsk) with the capital; and two great trunk-lines run south-west and south-east to Warsaw (with branches to Riga and Smolensk) and to Moscow (with branches to Novgorod and Rybinsk). All are connected in the capital, except the Finland Railway, which has its station on the right bank of the Neva. Moreover, the Neva is the great channel for the trade of St Petersburg with the rest of Russia, by means of the Volga and its tributaries. The importance of the traffic may best be seen from the following figures, showing in cwts. the amount imported by different channels :—

Corn and flour. Firewood. All kinds of wares.
Baltic Railway 11,001,000 811,000
12,558,000 312,000 20,891,000 301,000 482,000 157,000 59,831,000 3,532,000
21,050,000 2,353,000
No less than 1,162,230 pieces together with 7,337,000 cwts of timber were supplied in the same year via the Neva. The aggre-gate exports by rail and the Neva amounted to 11,3S2,000 cwts.

The average income of the St Petersburg municipality was £581,425 in 18S0-82 (£577,856 in 1884),—that is, 13'7s. (6'84 roubles) per inhabitant, as against 35'8s. at Berlin and 98'2s. at Paris. The indirect taxes yield but Is. per inhabitant (57s. at Paris). The average expenses for the same years reached £574,479 (£572,162 in 1884), distributed as follows :—20 per cent, of the whole for the police (10 at Paris and 27'5 at Berlin), 8 for administration, 16 for paving, 7 for lighting, 5 for public instruction, 2'6 for charity, and 3 for the debt (7 at Berlin and 37 at Paris). The municipal affairs are in the bands of a municipality, elected by three categories of electors (see RUSSIA), and is practically a department of the chief of the police. The city is under a separate governor-general, whose authority, like that of the chief of police, is all the more unlimited since it has not been accurately defined by law.

St Petersburg is surrounded by several fine residences, mostly imperial palaces with large and beautiful parks. Tsarskoye Selo, 16 miles to the south-east, and Peterhof, on the Gulf of Finland, are summer residences of the emperor. Pavlovsk has a fine palace and parks, open to the public, where summer concerts attract thousands of people. Oranienbaum is now a rather neglected place. Pulkova, on a hill 5 miles from St Petersburg, is well known for its obser-vatory ; while several villages north of the capital, such as Pargolovo, Murino, &c., are visited in summer by the less wealthy inhabitants.

History. —The region between Lake Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland was inhabited in the 9th century by Finns and some Slavonians. Novgorod and Pskoff made efforts to retain their dominion over this region, so important for their trade, and in the 13th and 14th centuries they built the forts of Koporye (in the present district of Peterhof), Yam (now Yamburg), and Oryeshek (now Schliissolburg) at the point where the Neva issues from Lake Ladoga. They found, however, powerful opponents in the Swedes, who erected the fort of Landskrona at the junction of the Okhta and the Neva, and in the Livonians, who had their fortress at Narva. Novgorod and Moscow successively were able by con-tinuous fighting to maintain their supremacy over the region south of the Neva throughout the 16th century ; but early in the 17th century Moscow was compelled to cede it to Sweden, which erected a fortress (Nyonschanz) on the Neva at the mouth of the Okhta. In 1700 Peter I. began his wars with Sweden. Oryeshek was taken in 1702, and next year Nyonschauz. Two months later (29th June 1703) Peter I. laid the foundations of a cathedral to St Peter and St Paul, and of a fort which received his own name (in its Dutch transcription, "Pitcrburgh"). Nextyear the fort of Cronslott was erected on the island of Kotlin, as also the admiralty on the Neva, opposite the fortress. The emperor took most severe and almost barbarous measures for increasing his newborn city. Thousands of people from all parts of Russia were removed thither and died in erecting the fortress and building the houses. Great numbers of artisans and workmen were brought to St Petersburg to form the Myeshchanskaya villages, which raised the population to 100,000 inhabitants. All proprietors of more than "500 souls" were ordered to build a house at St Petersburg and to stay there in the winter. The construction of stone-houses throughout the rest of Russia was prohibited, all masons having to be sent to St Peters-burg. After Peter I. 's death the population of the capital rapidly decreased ; but foreigners continued to settle there. Under Eliza-beth a new series of compulsory measures raised the population to 150,000, which figure was nearly doubled during the reign of Catherine II. Since the beginning of the present centurv the population has steadily increased (364,000 in 1817, 468,600 in 1837, 491,000 in 1856, and 667,000 in 1869). The chief embellish-ments of St Petersburg were effected during the reigns of Alexander I. (1801-25) and Nicholas I. (1825-55).

When Peter I., desirous of giving a "European" capital to his empire, laid the first foundations of St Petersburg on the marshy islands of the Neva, in land not fully conquered and remote from the centres of Russian life, it is hardly possible that he could have foreseen the rapid development it has since undergone : it has now a population approaching a million and commands more than one-sixth of the foreign trade and manufactures of Russia. In point of fact, there is no capital in Europe so disadvantageously situated with regard to its own country as St Petersburg. Desolate wilder-nesses begin at its very gates and extend for hundreds of miles to the north and cast. To the south it has the very thinly peopled regions of Pskoff and Novgorod,—the marshy and woody tracts of the Valdai Heights. For 400 miles in each of these three directions there is not a single city of any importance ; and towards the west, on both shores of the Gulf of Finland, are foreign peoples who have their own centres of gravitation in cities on or nearer to the Baltic. With the provinces of Russia the capital is connected only by canals and railways, which have to traverse vast tracts of inhospitable country before reaching them. But St Petersburg possesses, on the other hand, one immense advantage in its site, which has proved of great moment, especially in the present cen-tury of development of international traffic. Ruled by the idea of creating a new Amsterdam—that is, a meeting-place for traders of all nationalities—and a great export market for Russia, Peter I. could have selected no better place. St Petersburg has been for nearly 150 years the chief place of export for raw produce from the most productive parts of Russia. The great central plateau which forms the upper basins of all the chief Russian rivers had no other outlet to the sea than the estuary of the Neva. The natural outlet might indeed have been the Black Sea ; but the rivers to the southward are either interrupted by rapids like the Dnieper, or are shallow like the Don ; while their mouths and the entire coast-region remained till the end of the 18th century in the hands of Turkey. As for the Caspian, it faced Asia, and not Europe. The commercial outlet of the central plateau was thus the reverse of the physical. From the earliest years of Russian history trade had taken this northern direction. Novgorod owed its wealth to this fact; and as far back as the 12th century the Russians had their forts on Lake Ladoga and the Neva. In the 14th and 15th centuries they already ex-changed their wares with the Dantzic merchants at Nu or Nii,—the then name for what is now Vasilyevskiy Island. By founding St Petersburg Peter I. only restored the trade to its old but dis-carded channels. The system of canals for connecting the upper Volga and the Dnieper with the great lakes of the north completed the work ; the commercial mouth of the Volga w'as transferred to the Gulf of Finland, and St Petersburg became the export harbour for more than half Russia. Foreigners hastened thither to take possession of the growing export trade, to the exclusion of the Russians ; and to this circumstance the Russian capital is indebted for its cosmopolitan character. But its present extensive and west-European aspect has not been achieved, nor is it maintained, without a vast expenditure of the national resources. It cost hundreds of thousands of human lives before the marshy islands at the mouth of the Neva could be rendered fit to receive a million inhabitants and be brought into connexion with the remainder of Russia ; and very many more are annually sacrificed for the maintenance of this capital on its unhealthy site, under the 60th parallel, hundreds of miles distant from the centres of Russian life.

The development of the railway system and the rapid coloniza-tion of southern Russia now operate, however, adversely to St Petersburg. Its foreign trade is not actually decreasing, but the very rapid growth in the exports of Russia within the twenty years before 1886 was entirely to the benefit of other ports more highly favoured by nature, such as Riga and especially Libau, while the rapid increase of population in the Black Sea region is tending to shift the Russian centre of gravity: new centres of commercial, industrial, and intellectual life arc being developed at Odessa and Rostoff. The revival of Little Russia is another influence operating in the same direction.

Another important factor in the growth of the influence of St Petersburg on Russian life was the concentration of all political power in the hands of an absolute Government and in the narrow circles surrounding the chief of the state. As Yuriy Dolgorukiy felt the necessity of creating for a new phase of national history—that of a centralized state—a new capital, Moscow, free from the municipal and republican traditions of the old Russian towns, so Peter I. felt the necessity of again creating a fresh capital for a tlrrd phase of the country's progress,—a capital where the rising imperial power would be free from the control of the old boyar families. St Petersburg fully answers to this need. For more than a century and a half it was the real centre of political life and of political thought, impregnated with the conception of a powerful central Government. In so strongly centralized a state as Russia was, and still is, and for the phase of life which the empire has passed through during the last two centuries, it mattered little whether the capital was some hundred miles away from the natural centres of life and without the support of a dense and active sur- rounding population. Bureaucracy, its leading feature, was simply reinforced by the remoteness of the capital. But these circumstances are at present undergoing a change. Since the abolition of serfdom ami in consequence of the impulse given to Russian thought by this reform, the provinces are coming more and more to dispute the right of St Petersburg to guide the political life of the country. It has been often said that St Petersburg is the head of Russia and Moscow its heart. The first part at least of this saying is true. In the development of thought and in naturalizing in Russia the results of west European reflection St Petersburg has played throughout the present century a prominent part. Attracting to itself from the provinces the best intellects of the country, it lias powerfully contributed towards familiarizing the reading public with the teachings of west European science and philosophy, and towards giving to Russian literature that liberality of mind and freedom from the trammels of tradition that have so often been noticed by west Europeans. St Petersburg has no traditions, no history beyond that of the palace conspiracies, and nothing in its past can attract the writer or the thinker. But, as new centres of intellectual movement and new currents of thought develop again at Moscow and Kieff or arise anew at Odessa and in the eastern provinces, these places claim the right to their own share in the further development of intellectual life in Russia ; and it would not be surprising if the administrative and intellectual centre of the empire, after its migrations successively from Kieff, Novgorod, and Pskoff to Moscow, and thence to St Petersburg, were again to follow a new movement towards the south. (P. A. K.)



The article above was written by Prince Peter Alexeivitch Kropotkin, recipient of the Gold Medal of Russian Geographical Society, 1864; crossed North Manchuria from Transbaikalia to the Amur, 1864; author of General Sketch of the Orography of East Siberia; In Russian and French Prisons; Recent Science in the Nineteenth Century; and Memoirs of a Revolutionist.




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