Petrovsky Palace Moscow Russia about 1892

THE PETROWSKI PALACE, MOSCOW, RUSSIA — A little outside of the city limits is this famous Palace, built by the Empress Elizabeth more than a century ago, but now used freely as a pleasure-resort by many of the Muscovites, who come here in crowds to attend the little summer theatre in the garden, to drink tea in the open air, and to amuse themselves socially in the long lovely summer evenings, which are so characteristic of those Northern lands, and which in some degree atone for their lack of daylight in the winters. This Palace is historically interesting from the fact that Napoleon took refuge here in 1812 from the flames and fire-brands of burning Moscow. One seems to see here, therefore, now at every turn the face of the amazed and disappointed Emperor, already half anticipating his disastrous retreat, and seeing in that lurid glare of Russia’s burning capital an obscuration of his Star of Destiny. To the Russians the great disasters of the French in 1812 seem the result of a direct intervention of Providence in their behalf, and the most magnificent church in Moscow, the Cathedral of the Savior, was erected in gratitude for those events. But at present the Russians who assemble in the grounds or the Petrowski Palace cherish no hard feelings against the French, and certainly the French cheer and admire everything that is Russian. Bye-gones have become bye-gones, and the two nations are apparently united in a lasting friendship. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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