Open main menu

Letter XIII.



Munich. Visit to a Royal Palace. Statue of Bavaria. Imperial Wedding. Vienna. The Arsenal. Summer Palace. The Great Exhibition. Berlin. Royal Palace. Banquet Hall. Monuments. U. S. Minister. Parliament. Soldiers. Moral condition of Berlin. Hamburg. In London.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA, MAY GTH, 1873. Editor Deseret News :

We spent a few days very pleasantly, and I hope profitably, in Munich, the capital of Bavaria. Our hotel accommodations, politeness of host, and the attention of servants, have been nowhere excelled. The general appearance of the people in respect to style of dress, their moral character and education, will bear comparison with that of the first cities in other European countries. The streets, public gardens, parks and squares pos- sess many attractions, but unfortunately the weather was unpropitious for the full appreciation of sight-seeing.

Munich is situated in a barren plain, upon both sides of the river Iser. It contains about one hundred and seventy-five thousand inhabitants, and is considered the fourth city in Germany in point of population. Many of its parks, squares and public gardens are adorned with fountains, lawns, shrubbery, cascades, grottoes, equestrian figures and colossal statues. In one of these squares is a large obelisk, erected in honor of the Bavarians who were slain in the Russian campaign of 1812, bearing the inscription: "To the thirty thousand Bavarians who perished in the Russian war; erected by Louis First, King of Bavaria, completed Oct. 18, 1833. They died for the deliverance of the country." The park, called the English Garden, nearly five miles long by a half mile in width, is ornamented at vast labor and expense. We visited the Royal Palace, and spent some two


hours in walking through the imperial apartments, inspecting the numer- ous objects of interest and curiosity the Audience Hall, embellished with twelve portraits of Roman Emperors; the Green Gallery, with a great num- ber of Dutch and Italian paintings; The Bedchamber, containing curtains of gold brocade, valued at the enormous sum of four hundred thousand dollars; and the Mirror Room, adorned with precious vases of gold and sil- ver, together with chandeliers of immense value. Also the Hall of Mar- riages, appropriately decorated with fresco work; the Hall of the Emperors, adorned with paintings by the most celebrated masters; the Hall of Charle- magne, with numerous pictures of gigantic size, commemorative of the most remarkable events in his life. The Throne Hall is one hundred and sixty feet long, and seventy-three wide, ornamented on either side by twelve Corinthian columns of white marble, supporting galleries. Between these columns are twelve statues of princes in gilded bronze, each of which weighs nearly one and a half tons; the simple cost of gilding was about twelve hundred dollars each.

The Royal Library is a very beautiful building, comprising seventy- seven rooms, in which are contained more than eight hundred thousand volumes. The Royal Bronze Foundry is much celebrated; monu- ments have been cast in this foundry for nearly all parts of the world.

In the southwest of the city, on an eminence, in a large meadow, stands the colossal statue of Bavaria. It is placed upon a basement, which is ascended by a flight of forty-eight steps; the height of the statue itself is thirty-two and a half feet, and pedestal twenty-eight and a half. This female statue represents the Protectress of Bavaria, with a lion at her side. In her right hand she holds a sword, and in her left a chaplet. This immense statue was cast at the Royal Foundry. The interior of the figure contains a staircase of sixty-six steps, which ascend through the pedestal to the height of the knees, and from thence by a spiral stair to the head, within which eight persons can be seated.

One day, hearing that the king, with his suite and royal equipage, was out on an imperial wedding, I set forward, on foot, in company with my sister, to witness the immense attraction, which was drawing all Munich into the streets by tens of thousands. Having submitted to half an hour's journey- ing, pressing and smashing, by the patriotic and enthusiastic citizens of Munich, finally we secured the honor of gazing a moment on the passing pomp and glory of His Royal Majesty the King of Bavaria, and occupying a point toward which he smiled and civilly bowed. After narrowly escap- ing being trodden down by the crowd, I returned to my hotel, wondering how much mathematical skill or philosophical wisdom would be required to determine the exact value of what was gained by this exposure.


We left Munich on the morning of the twenty-ninth, and arrived in Vienna by train the following evening. Vienna, the capital of Austria, is sit- uated at the foot of the Vienna Mountain, in a plain, near the right bank of the Danube. It contains a population of about eight hundred thousand.

A boulevard encircles the city, planted with trees, and bordered with very elegant buildings and beautiful gardens. The city exhibits some very remarkable edifices the Castle, Cathedral of St. Stephen's, Imperial Palace and many palatial residences of ministers and ambassadors. The suburbs of the city are very populous, containing many splendid edifices, fine promenades, and ornamental gardens. Many of the squares are decorated with various statues and monuments, displaying great skill in design and execution; among these is an equestrian statue of the Emperor Joseph III, who is represented on horseback, stretching out his hand, and blessing the people. Also an equestrian statue of the Archduke Charles, erected in I860 he is represented at the battle of As pern, in the attitude of raising the flag, to lead the grenadiers to the attack. Also the column of the Trinity, erected in 1679, on the cessation of the plague. This column is composed of white Salsburg marble, and is over seventy feet high; on the pedestal is a rock, upholding Keligion, a cherub, overcoming the Master of the Plague, also some has reliefs, representing incidents of sacred history. The Emperor appears in the attitude of kneeling on the summit of the column, and angels rising toward heaven. Another very fine monument, built by Charles VI, consists of a canopy, sustained by Corinthian columns, beneath which is a group, representing the marriage of the Virgin. We noticed, in various parts of the city, many splendid fountains, fine bridges,, broad, well paved streets, bordered with linden and chestnut, and skirted with magnificent buildings; and in the city and suburbs, many ornamented, squares, public gardens and extensive parks.

Vienna has numerous cathedrals, some of which are fine specimens of Gothic architecture. The Church of the Savior is an elegant structure, decorated in Gothic style built in commemoration

of an attempt to destroy 

the life of Francis Joseph, in the year 1853. The first stone was laid by the Emperor, which was obtained from the Mount of Olives, in Palestine, in 1856.

We visited the Imperial Arsenal, considered one of the grandest build- ings in Vienna; it is very extensive and surrounded by ornamental grounds. It comprises numerous workshops, foundries, machine shops, and a Museum of Arms, containing specimens of weapons of all periods; artillery of brass and iron, aisd vast quantities of projectiles. It has nine steam engines, and two thousand men are kept employed within the buildings. It casts eighty cannons per day, and usually makes a run two days in a week.


The Imperial Summer Palace, a short distance from the city, is charm- ingly located beside a large public park, encircled by ornamental grounds, and has an orangery of seven hundred and forty trees, and a grand parterre, decorated with thirty-two statues, and a large basin, with two splendid fountains. The palace contains fifteen hundred chambers.

Of late years, great alterations and improvements have been made in Vienna, by tearing down old fortifications, erecting public buildings, straight- ening and widening streets and thoroughfares, and multiplying, enlarging and ornamenting public grounds.

We have spent some days in the buildings of the great exhibition. Everything in relation to it is upon the most magnificent scale. It is sup- posed that it will exceed, in splendor, variety, extent, perfection of articles, correctness of arrangement, magnificence and universality, any previous exhibition.

In Austria, as in all other countries which wo have visited, soldiers, in military costume, are seen almost everywhere, in great numbers.

Perhaps you are weary of these descriptions of what we are seeing in the world gorgeous churches, museums, picture galleries, mosques, zoologi- cal gardens, relics, ruins, antiqities, crumbling temples, statuary, obelisks, sumptuous palaces, odd customs, singular manners of people, religious fanaticisms, trickery and impostures, etc., but in sight-seeing we are con- fined within the limits of what the pride and vanity of the world have labored to exhibit, rather than what, in many instances, we should have preferred seeing. It would have been more gratifying to record our inspec- tion of systems, on magnificent and universal scales, designed to remove poverty and distress, which, to a greater or less extent, everywhere prevail; and to give all an opportunity, irrespective of creeds, geographical lines or nationalities, of providing for their own wants and comforts, and of elevating themselves to the highest spiritual, physical, moral and intellectual plane.


On the ninth, we started from Vienna by train, and arrived here th following afternoon.

The country between Vienna and this, the capital of the German empire, some five hundred or more miles, is delightful. Its immense undu- lating plains, here and there forming into low hills and rising mounds, all under a high* state of cultivation, present a lovely and picturesque scene. The whole country appeared to be filled with industrious and enterprising; inhabitants. Elegant mansions peeping out amid the green foliage of romantic groves, villas, with their respective chapels surmounted with broad domes, or glittering steeples, and cities occasionally appearing in the


distance, crowning the rising hills, altogether form a panoramic view that is almost captivating.

On our arrival here we engaged quarters in the most fashionable aud aristocratic hotel in the city, in a very pleasant and stirring locality.

Berlin is situated on a sandy plain on the river Spree, and is considered, in several respects, one of the finest and most interesting cities of Northern Europe the metropolis of knowledge for Northern Germany, and the cul- tivated nursery of German arts and sciences. It contains about eight hundred and thirty thousand inhabitants.

Many of the streets are broad and straight the buildings frequently four and five stories high. The finest street passes our hotel it is called "Unter den Linden," and is decorated with four rows of lime trees. In the centre of this street is a broad avenue for pedestrians, and, on each side, arrangements for footmen and carriages. This magnificent thoroughfare extends from the Royal Palace to "Brandenburg Gate." This gate is con- structed in the style of the Propylacan at Athens. It is sixty feet in height and one hundred and ninety in width, embracing five passages for carriages and footmen. It is surrounded by a figure emblematical of Victory seated in a chariot, drawn by four horses. The height of the group is nearly twenty feet. The expense of erecting this gate was in the neighborhood of a half million of dollars.

The Royal Palace is an extensive building six hundred and forty feet in length _by thtee hundred and seventy-six wide, containing six hundred apartments. It contains a chapel, which is remarkable as being the place where the baptismal ceremony of Frederic the Great was performed.

The Picture Gallery, which is now used for a banqueting hall, is over two hundred in length and one hundred and twenty-five feet wide. The largest room in this palace is one hundred and five feet in length by fifty- one in width decorated with a great variety of costly statues and portraits of celebrated individuals. These palaces contain a new chapel, built in 1849, with a cupola measuring eighty-six feet in diameter. The altar is surmounted by a cross of silver seven feet in height, studded with gems, the cost of which is estimated at four hundred thousand dollars. There are several other palaces in the city, and some at Potsdam, a few miles distant, which is called the "Versailles of Prussia."

We have seen several splendid monuments, some of which we think as fine as any we have seen in Europe; also many eque&trian statues of skilful and elegant workmanship.

We called on Mr. G. Bancroft, the American Minister were kindly and warmly received, and enjoyed a very pleasant and sociable interview, at the close of which he cordially proffered his assistance to the extent of his


influence, in rendering our stay in Berlin profitable and interesting. He subsequently visited us at our hotel.

Here, we were fortunate in meeting Dr. Schleiden, member of the German Parliament, whose acquaintance we had formed in Salt Lake City and which we renewed in New York, as mentioned in a former communi* cation. This excellent gentleman was delighted to see and introduce us to his intimate friend, Mr. Kapp, also a member of Parliament. These gentlemen have called upon us on several occasions, and have accorded us free access to the House of Parliament, now in session; and have taken much pains in showing us objects of interest, and through interesting localities.

We were surprised to see the multitude of soldiers constantly parading the main thoroughfares and streets in this city. Every day they are march- ine; past our hotel, in battalions, regiments, brigades and divisions, in the most imposing style, with magnificent flags and banners displayed all led by instrumental bands of musicians in rich shining costumes the whole performing their evolutions in the strictest order, skill and precision, pre- senting the finest and most splendid appearance of troops in any country we have visited.

Those fashionable institutions, "houses of ill- fame," are said to flourish and command the patronage of nearly all classes here, as in Paris, the gay metropolis of France; and some of them are built at an immense cost, and fitted up in fabulous splendor and sumptuousness. The people of Berlin, viewed superficially, are remarkably intelligent, and appear interesting, lovely, beautiful and happy, as though all were conscientious, moral, upright and pure; but, in this city, as well as in most others we have seen, corruption, rottenness, demoralization and misery are underneath.

Considerable sensation was created among the aristocrats in our hotel, through the calls of distinguished gentlemen on our party. Our celebrity reached the public press, where we were creditably noticed, and perhaps somewhat flattered.


We arrived here yesterday. Before we left Berlin, Elder Erastus Snow and son bid us adieu, en route for Scandinavia, and Elder Schettler in another direction, to attend to some necessary business, while President Smith, my sister and I left for London, via Hamburg and the German Ocean.

The country from Berlin to Hamburg is not prepossessing in its appear- ance. It exhibits no variety nor beauty of scenery the face of the country is generally low and flat similar to that of Holland, though not abounding in canals and windmills.


Hamburg contains a population of two hundred and twenty-five thousand, and is the principal place of commerce, and one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. It is situated on the river Elbe, about eighty miles from its mouth. The port is very extensive, and crowded with shipping of various tonnage.

The Bourse, the great rendezvous of merchants and capitalists of every rank, presents a lively, stirring business aspect, between the hours of 1 and 2 o'clock p. m., when three or four thousand business people may generally be seen thronging the apartments.

This city affords a beautiful, fashionable commonage along the quay, which surrounds the basin formed by the the River Alsten.

The Church of St, James is much noted; it is surmounted by a steeple three hundred and fifty feet in height. The great Church of St. Nicholas is also considerably celebrated; it is ornamented

with a magnificent steeple 

four hundred and fifty-six feet high, which affords a wonderful panoramic view from its summit. The Zoological and Botanical Gardens are repre- sented to be among the finest in Germany.

We left Berlin on the fifteenth, and arrived in Hamburg the following evening, with the intention of remaining one day only. At the railroad station, the proprietor of a commodious hotel, in the most respectful man- ner, solicited our patronage, conducted us into his best apartments, and bestowed upon us more than ordinary attentions. The next day he offi- ciated gratuitously as our guide through the city, taking particular pains and manifesting deep interest in pointing out and explaining every object of interest and curiosity. At first, we were a little suspicious that these extra- ordinary attentions were designed to establish heavy claims on the puree, but the mystery was at length revealed; this gentleman had read the Ger- man papers, and, at once, recognized us as the "Distinguished Mormon Delegation" from Salt Lake. Our notoriety here brought us acquaintances.

A gentleman who, for many years, had been successfully engaged, on a large scale, in emigration, obtained an introduction, and very earnestly solicited our patronage, believing that, very soon, we should have a heavy emigration business in that country.

We left Hamburg on the sixteenth, on the steamer Iris, making our way over the German Sea, and arrived at Blackwall, London, on the even- ing of the eighteenth, after a pleasant and prosperous voyage.