图书图片
PDF
ePub
[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed]
[blocks in formation]

composed of twelve grand fluted Corinthian columns, fortyfour feet high, and five feet seven inches in diameter, six on each side, leaving a space for the gates to fold between, presenting five colossal portals, through which the park is seen in fine perspective. The wings composing the custom and guard houses are adorned with eighteen lesser columns, twenty-nine feet high and three feet in diameter : the whole is crowned by colossal figures of the Angel of Peace driving four horses abreast in a triumphal car, below which are rich basso relievos. This most elegant structure, and the Walk of Lindens, are unique, and would abundantly repay any traveller for the fatigues of an eight days' journey to behold them. In the walk, although the weather was very cold, several ladies were promenading without caps or bonnets, and others were riding astride on horseback, according to the fashion of the country, in a long riding habit, pantaloons, and half-boots. In the street scarcely any other objects were to be seen, than

« the soldier and his sword.”

Upon ascending the gallery of the superb dome of the institution of the poor, in the grand market place, I commanded the wall of the city, the dimensions of which are small, I should not think larger than those of Bath; but having been the result of one design, and in a great measure built in one reign, it has the advantage of being regular. The river Spree runs through it, and is adorned by some handsome stone bridges. The streets

[blocks in formation]

are spacious, and, to the surprise of a stranger, are well paved for carriages and pedestrians, although nature has refused to furnish the country with a single stone: this denial has been supplied by the policy of Frederick the Great, who made all the vessels that came up the Elbe, the Hawel, or the Spree, take on board at Magdeburg a certain quantity of freestone, and disembark it at Berlin gratis. The houses are generally built of brick stuccoed, but some are of stone, in the Italian style of architecture. The palace of Prince Henry, the brother of Frederick the Great, lately deceased, is built of stone; but, for want of ornament, possesses but little attraction for the eye: the royal palace is an enormous square pile of the same materials, whose massy and gloomy walls the reigning sovereign has wisely resigned to his courtiers, for a small plain mansion, opposite the common foundery. Mon-bijou, the residence of the Queen Dowager, is a palace, or rather a long gallery, nearly the whole being upon the ground floor, situated on the side of the river Spree, embosomed in a wood and gardens. The Rotunda, or Catholic church, partly designed by Cardinal Alberoni, is a noble edifice, the grand altar of which was made at Rome, and is celebrated for its beauty, Soon after Frederick the Great ascended the throne, he conceived the sublime idea of building a vast Pantheon, in which every description of devotion might, at an allotted time, find its altar. Policy, if not genuine charity, induced that sagacious prince

[blocks in formation]

to think that tolerance was necessary to the interests as well as the dignity of a nation; and he was desirous of not only seeing his subjects and foreigners worship their God in their way, but that, like brothers, they should prostrate themselves before him in the same temple. On account of the state of the treasury, Frederick was successfully advised to drop this benign plan, and it was never afterwards resumed. The generality of the Prussians are Calvinists.

In the evening after my arrival I went to New Theatre, a superb building, on the entablature of which the following elegant inscription appeared in German, “ Whilst we smile we “ mend the manners."

All the front of the inside was occupied by the royal box, formed into a saloon, from the centre of the ceiling of which a rich lustre descended, and on each side were alabaster vases. The boxes were neat and well arranged. Over the curtain was a large transparent clock; the players were good; the orchestra very full and fine; and the scenery, particularly the drop, or curtain scene, very beautiful..

The statue of the celebrated general Ziethen, the favourite of Frederick the Great, and one of the greatest and bravest generals of Prussia, is well worthy the notice of the traveller. It is raised in Wilhelm's Platz, or William's Place, upon a pedestal, on three sides of which are basso-relievos, representing the hero on horseback, in some of the most celebrated

« 上一页继续 »