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Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume VI by Various

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Germany, Austria-Hungary and Switzerland

Part Two

VI. HUNGARY--(_Continued_)


THE GIPSIES--By H. Tornai de Koever


TRIESTE AND POLA--By Edward A. Freeman

SPALATO--By Edward A. Freeman

RAGUSA--By Harry De Windt

CATTARO--By Edward A. Freeman


CRACOW--By Menie Muriel Dowie


THE CAVE OF ADELSBERG--By George Stillman Hillard

THE MONASTERY OF MOeLK--By Thomas Frognall Dibdin

THROUGH THE TYROL--By William Cullen Bryant

IN THE DOLOMITES--By Archibald Campbell Knowles

CORTINA--By Amelia B. Edwards


THE CALL OF THE MOUNTAINS--By Frederick Harrison

INTERLAKEN AND THE JUNGFRAU--By Archibald Campbell Knowles


LUCERNE--By Victor Tissot

ZURICH--By W.D. M'Crackan

THE RIGI--By W.D. M'Crackan

CHAMOUNI--AN AVALANCHE--By Percy Bysshe Shelley

ZERMATT--By Archibald Campbell Knowles


GENEVA--By Francis H. Gribble

THE CASTLE OF CHILLON--By Harriet Beecher Stowe

BY RAIL UP THE GORNER-GRAT--By Archibald Campbell Knowles






AN ASCENT OF MONTE ROSA (1858)--By John Tyndall


THE JUNGFRAU-JOCH--By Sir Leslie Stephen


THE GREAT ST. BERNARD HOSPICE--By Archibald Campbell Knowles

AVALANCHES--By Victor Tissot







































[Illustration: MARIENBAD, AUSTRIA]








[Illustration: STREET IN BUDAPEST]

Burial-place of the Emperor Diocletian]

[Illustration: REGUSA, DALMATIA]

[Illustration: MIRAMAR
Long the home of the ex-Empress Carlotta of Mexico]

[Illustration: GENEVA]









In Hungary there are great quantities of unearthed riches, and not only
in the form of gold. These riches are the mineral waters that abound in
the country and have been the natural medicine of the people for many
years. Water in itself was always worshiped by the Hungarians in the
earliest ages, and they have found out through experience for which
ailment the different waters may be used. There are numbers of small
watering-places in the most primitive state, which are visited by the
peasants from far and wide, more especially those that are good for

Like all people that work much in the open, the Hungarian in old age
feels the aching of his limbs. The Carpathians are full of such baths,
some of them quite primitive; others are used more as summer resorts,
where the well-to-do town people build their villas; others, again,
like Tatra Fuered, Tatra Lomnicz, Csorba, and many others, have every
accommodation and are visited by people from all over Europe. In former
times Germans and Poles were the chief visitors, but now people come
from all parts to look at the wonderful ice-caves (where one can skate
in the hottest summer), the waterfalls, and the great pine forests, and
make walking, driving, and riding tours right up to the snow-capped
mountains, preferring the comparative quiet of this Alpine district to
that of Switzerland. Almost every place has some special mineral water,
and among the greatest wonders of Hungary are the hot mud-baths of

This place is situated at the foot of the lesser Carpathians, and is
easily reached from the main line of the railway. The scenery is lovely
and the air healthy, but this is nothing compared to the wondrous waters
and hot mire which oozes out of the earth in the vicinity of the river
Vag. Hot sulfuric water, which contains radium, bubbles up in all parts
of Poestyen, and even the bed of the cold river is full of steaming
hot mud. As far back as 1551 we know of the existence of Poestyen as a
natural cure, and Sir Spencer Wells, the great English doctor, wrote
about these waters in 1888. They are chiefly good for rheumatism, gout,
neuralgia, the strengthening of broken bones, strains, and also for

On the premises there is a quaint museum with crutches and all sort of
sticks and invalid chairs left there by their former owners in grateful
acknowledgment of the wonderful waters and mire that had healed them. Of
late there has been much comfort added; great new baths have been built,
villas and new hotels added, so that there is accommodation for rich
and poor alike. The natural heat of the mire is 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plenty of amusements are supplied for those who are not great
sufferers--tennis, shooting, fishing, boating, and swimming being all
obtainable. The bathing-place and all the adjoining land belongs to
Count Erdoedy.

Another place of the greatest importance is the little bath "Parad,"
hardly three hours from Budapest, situated in the heart of the mountains
of the "Matra." It is the private property of Count Karolyi. The place
is primitive and has not even electric light. Its waters are a wonderful
combination of iron and alkaline, but this is not the most important
feature. Besides the baths there is a strong spring of arsenic water
which, through a fortunate combination, is stronger and more digestible
than Roncegno and all the other first-rate waters of that kind in the

Not only in northern Hungary does one find wondrous cures, it is the
same in Transylvania. There are healing and splendid mineral waters for
common use all over the country lying idle and awaiting the days when
its owners will be possest by the spirit of enterprise. Borszek,
Szovata, and many others are all wonders in their way, waters that would
bring in millions to their owners if only worked properly. Szovata,
boasts of a lake containing such an enormous proportion of salt that not
even the human body can sink into its depths.

In the south there is Herkulesfuerdoe, renowned as much for the beauty of
its scenery as for its waters. Besides those mentioned there are all
the summer pleasure resorts; the best of these are situated along Lake
Balaton. The tepid water, long sandbanks, and splendid air from the
forests make them specially healthy for delicate children. But not only
have the bathing-places beautiful scenery from north to south and from
east to west, in general the country abounds in Alpine districts,
waterfalls, caves, and other wonders of nature. The most beautiful
tour is along the river Vag, starting from the most northerly point in
Hungary near the beautiful old stronghold of Arva in the county of Arva.

All those that care to see a country as it really is, and do not mind
going out of the usual beaten track of the globe-trotter, should go down
the river Vag. It can not be done by steamer, or any other comfortable
contrivance, one must do it on a raft, as the rapids of the river are
not to be passed by any other means. The wood is transported in this
way from the mountain regions to the south, and for two days one passes
through the most beautiful scenery. Fantastic castles loom at the top of
mountain peaks, and to each castle is attached a page of the history of
the Middle Ages, when the great noblemen were also the greatest robbers
of the land, and the people were miserable serfs, who did all the work
and were taxed and robbed by their masters. Castles, wild mountain
districts, rugged passes, villages, and ruins are passed like a
beautiful panorama. The river rushes along, foaming and dashing over
sharp rocks. The people are reliable and very clever in handling the
raft, which requires great skill, especially when conducted over the
falls at low water. Sometimes there is only one little spot where the
raft can pass, and to conduct it over those rapids requires absolute
knowledge of every rock hidden under the shallow falls. If notice is
given in time, a rude hut will be built on the raft to give shelter
and make it possible to have meals cooked, altho in the simplest way
(consisting of baked potatoes and stew), by the Slavs who are in charge
of the raft. If anything better is wanted it must be ordered by stopping
at the larger towns; but to have it done in the simple way is entering
into the true spirit of the voyage.



Gipsies! Music! Dancing! These are words of magic to the rich and poor,
noblemen and peasant alike, if he be a true Hungarian. There are two
kinds of gipsies. The wandering thief, who can not be made to take up
any occupation. These are a terribly lawless and immoral people, and
there seems to be no way of altering their life and habits, altho much
has been written on the subject to improve matters; but the Government
has shown itself to be helpless as yet. These people live here and
there, in fact everywhere, leading a wandering life in carts, and camp
wherever night overtakes them. After some special evil-doing they will
wander into Rumania or Russia and come back after some years when the
deed of crime has been forgotten. Their movements are so quick and
silent that they outwit the best detectives of the police force. They
speak the gipsy language, but often a half-dozen other languages
besides, in their peculiar chanting voice. Their only occupation is
stealing, drinking, smoking, and being a nuisance to the country in
every way.

The other sort of gipsies consist of those that have squatted down in
the villages some hundreds of years ago. They live in a separate part of
the village, usually at the end, are dirty and untidy and even an unruly
people, but for the most part have taken up some honest occupation.
They make the rough, unbaked earth bricks that the peasant cottages are
mostly made of, are tinkers and blacksmiths, but they do the lowest kind
of work too. Besides these, however, there are the talented ones. The
musical gipsy begins to handle his fiddle as soon as he can toddle.
The Hungarians brought their love of music with them from Asia. Old
parchments have been found which denote that they had their songs and
war-chants at the time of the "home-making," and church and folk-songs
from their earliest Christian period. Peasant and nobleman are musical
alike--it runs in the race. The gipsies that have settled among them
caught up the love of music and are now the best interpreters of the
Hungarian songs. The people have got so used to their "blackies," as
they call them, that no lesser or greater fete day can pass without
the gipsy band having ample work to do in the form of playing for the
people. Their instruments are the fiddle, 'cello, viola, clarinet,
tarogato (a Hungarian specialty), and, above all, the cymbal. The
tarogato looks like a grand piano with the top off. It stands on four
legs like a table and has wires drawn across it; on these wires the
player performs with two little sticks, that are padded at the ends
with cotton-wool. The sound is wild and weird, but if well played very
beautiful indeed. The gipsies seldom compose music. The songs come into
life mostly on the spur of the moment. In the olden days war-songs and
long ballads were the most usual form of music. The seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries were specially rich in the production of songs that
live even now. At that time the greatest gipsy musician was a woman: her
name was "Czinka Panna," and she was called the Gipsy Queen. With the
change of times the songs are altered too, and now they are mostly
lyric. Csardas is the quick form of music, and tho' of different
melodies it must always be kept to the same rhythm. This is not much
sung to, but is the music for the national dance. The peasants play on
a little wooden flute which is called the "Tilinko," or "Furulya," and
they know hundreds of sad folk-songs and lively Csardas. While living
their isolated lives in the great plains they compose many a beautiful

It is generally from the peasants and the musical country gentry that
the gipsy gets his music. He learns the songs after a single hearing,
and plays them exactly according to the singer's wish. The Hungarian
noble when singing with the gipsies is capable of giving the dark-faced
boys every penny he has. In this manner many a young nobleman has been
ruined, and the gipsies make nothing of it, because they are just like
their masters and "spend easily earned money easily," as the saying
goes. Where there is much music there is much dancing. Every Sunday
afternoon after church the villages are lively with the sound of the
gipsy band, and the young peasant boys and girls dance.

The Slovaks of the north play a kind of bagpipe, which reminds one of
the Scotch ones; but the songs of the Slovak have got very much mixed
with the Hungarian. The Rumanian music is of a distinct type, but the
dances all resemble the Csardas, with the difference that the quick
figures in the Slav and Rumanian dances are much more grotesque and
verging on acrobatism.





Trieste stands forth as a rival of Venice, which has, in a low practical
view of things, outstript her. Italian zeal naturally cries for the
recovery of a great city, once part of the old Italian kingdom, and
whose speech is largely, perhaps chiefly, Italian to this day. But, a
cry of "Italia Irredenta," however far it may go, must not go so far
as this. Trieste, a cosmopolitan city on a Slavonic shore, can not be
called Italian in the same sense as the lands and towns so near Verona
which yearn to be as Verona is. Let Trieste be the rival, even the
eyesore, of Venice, still Southern Germany must have a mouth.

We might, indeed, be better pleased to see Trieste a free city, the
southern fellow of Luebeck, Bremen and Hamburg; but it must not be
forgotten that the Archduke of Austria and Lord of Trieste reigns at
Trieste by a far better right than that by which he reigns at Cattaro
and Spizza. The present people of Trieste did not choose him, but the
people of Trieste five hundred years back did choose the forefather of
his great-grandmother. Compared with the grounds of which kingdoms,
duchies, counties, and lordships, are commonly held in that
neighborhood, such a claim as this must be allowed to be respectable

The great haven of Trieste may almost at pleasure be quoted as either
confirming or contradicting the rule that it is not in the great
commercial cities of Europe that we are to look for the choicest or the
most plentiful remains of antiquity. Sometimes the cities themselves
are of modern foundation; in other cases the cities themselves, as
habitations of men and seats of commerce, are of the hoariest antiquity,
but the remains of their early days have perished through their very
prosperity. Massalia,[4] with her long history, with her double wreath
of freedom, the city which withstood Caesar and which withstood Charles
of Anjou, is bare of monuments of her early days. She has been the
victim of her abiding good fortune. We can look down from the height on
the Phokaian harbor; but for actual memorials of the men who fled from
the Persian, of the men who defied the Roman and the Angevin, we might
look as well at Liverpool or at Havre.

Genoa, Venice herself, are hardly real exceptions; they were indeed
commercial cities, but they were ruling cities also, and, as ruling
cities, they reared monuments which could hardly pass away. What are we
to say to the modern rival of Venice, the upstart rebel, one is tempted
to say, against the supremacy of the Hadriatic Queen? Trieste, at the
head of her gulf, with the hills looking down to her haven, with the
snowy mountains which seem to guard the approach from the other side of
her inland sea, with her harbor full of the ships of every nation, her
streets echoing with every tongue, is she to be reckoned as an example
of the rule or an exception to it?

No city at first sight seems more thoroughly modern; old town and
new, wide streets and narrow, we search them in vain for any of those
vestiges of past times which in some cities meet us at every step.
Compare Trieste with Ancona;[5] we miss the arch of Trajan on the haven;
we miss the cupola of Saint Cyriacus soaring in triumph above the
triumphal monument of the heathen. We pass through the stately streets
of the newer town, we thread the steep ascents which lead us to the
older town above, and we nowhere light on any of those little scraps of
ornamental architecture, a window, a doorway, a column, which meet us at
every step in so many of the cities of Italy.

Yet the monumental wealth of Trieste is all but equal to the monumental
wealth of Ancona. At Ancona we have the cathedral church and the
triumphal arch; so we have at Trieste; tho' at Trieste we have nothing
to set against the grand front of the lower and smaller church of
Ancona. But at Ancona arch and duomo both stand out before all eyes;
at Trieste both have to be looked for. The church of Saint Justus at
Trieste crowns the hill as well as the church of Saint Cyriacus at
Ancona; but it does not in the same way proclaim its presence. The
castle, with its ugly modern fortifications, rises again above the
church; and the duomo of Trieste, with its shapeless outline and its
low, heavy, unsightly campanile, does not catch the eyes like the Greek
cross and cupola of Ancona.

Again at Trieste the arch could never, in its best days, have been a
rival to the arch at Ancona; and now either we have to hunt it out by an
effort, or else it comes upon us suddenly, standing, as it does, at the
head of a mean street on the ascent to the upper town. Of a truth it can
not compete with Ancona or with Rimini, with Orange[6] or with Aosta.
But the duomo, utterly unsightly as it is in a general view, puts on
quite a new character when we first see the remains of pagan times
imprisoned in the lower stage of the heavy campanile, still more so when
we take our first glance of its wonderful interior. At the first glimpse
we see that here there is a mystery to be unraveled; and as we gradually
find the clue to the marvelous changes which it has undergone, we
feel that outside show is not everything, and that, in point both
of antiquity and of interest, tho' not of actual beauty, the double
basilica of Trieste may claim no mean place among buildings of its own
type. Even after the glories of Rome and Ravenna, the Tergestine church
may be studied with no small pleasure and profit, as an example of a
kind of transformation of which neither Rome nor Ravenna can supply
another example....

The other ancient relic at Trieste is the small triumphal arch. On one
side it keeps its Corinthian pilasters; on the other they are imbedded
in a house. The arch is in a certain sense double; but the two are close
together, and touch in the keystone. The Roman date of this arch can not
be doubted; but legends connect it both with Charles the Great and with
Richard of Poitou and of England, a prince about whom Tergestine fancy
has been very busy. The popular name of the arch is Arco Riccardo.

Such, beside some fragments in the museum, are all the remains that the
antiquary will find in Trieste; not much in point of number, but, in the
case of the duomo at least, of surpassing interest in their own way. But
the true merit of Trieste is not in anything that it has itself, its
church, its arch, its noble site. Placed there at the head of the gulf,
on the borders of two great portions of the Empire, it leads to the land
which produced that line of famous Illyrian Emperors who for a while
checked the advance of our own race in the world's history, and it leads
specially to the chosen home of the greatest among them.[7] The chief
glory of Trieste, after all, is that it is the way to Spalato....

At Pola the monuments of Pietas Julia claim the first place; the
basilica, tho' not without a certain special interest, comes long after
them. The character of the place is fixt by the first sight of it; we
see the present and we see the more distant past; the Austrian navy is
to be seen, and the amphitheater is to be seen. But intermediate times
have little to show; if the duomo strikes the eye at all, it strikes it
only by the extreme ugliness of its outside, nor is there anything very
taking, nothing like the picturesque castle of Pirano, in the works
which occupy the site of the colonial capitol. The duomo should not be
forgotten; even the church of Saint Francis is worth a glance; but it is
in the remains of the Roman colony, in the amphitheater, the arches,
the temples, the fragments preserved in that temple which serves, as
at Nimes,[8] for a museum, that the real antiquarian wealth of Pola

The known history of Pola begins with the Roman conquest of Istria
in 178 B.C. The town became a Roman colony and a flourishing seat of
commerce. Its action on the republican side in the civil war brought
on it the vengeance of the second Caesar. But the destroyer became
the restorer, and Pietas Julia, in the height of its greatness, far
surpassed the extent either of the elder or the younger Pola. Like all
cities of this region, Pola kept up its importance down to the days of
the Carlovingian Empire, the specially flourishing time of the whole
district being that of Gothic and Byzantine dominion at Ravenna. A
barbarian king, the Roxolan Rasparasanus, is said to have withdrawn to
Pola after the submission of his nation to Hadrian; and the panegyrists
of the Flavian house rank Pola along with Trier and Autun among the
cities which the princes of that house had adorned or strengthened. But
in the history of their dynasty the name of the city chiefly stands out
as the chosen place for the execution of princes whom it was convenient
to put out of the way.

Here Crispus died at the bidding of Constantine, and Gallus at the
bidding of Constantius. Under Theodoric, Pola doubtless shared that
general prosperity of the Istrian land on which Cassiodorus grows
eloquent when writing to its inhabitants. In the next generation Pola
appears in somewhat of the same character which has come back to it in
our own times; it was there that Belisarius gathered the Imperial fleet
for his second and less prosperous expedition against the Gothic lords
of Italy. But, after the break up of the Frankish Empire, the history of
medieval Pola is but a history of decline. It was, in the geography of
Dante, the furthest city of Italy; but, like most of the other cities of
its own neighborhood, its day of greatness had passed away when Dante

Tossed to and fro between the temporal and spiritual lords who claimed
to be marquesses of Istria, torn by the dissensions of aristocratic and
popular parties among its own citizens, Pola found rest, the rest of
bondage, in submission to the dominion of Saint Mark in 1331.[9] Since
then, till its new birth in our own times, Pola has been a failing city.
Like the other Istrian and Dalmatian towns, modern revolutions have
handed it over from Venice to Austria, from Austria to France, from
France to Austria again. It is under its newest masters that Pola has
at last begun to live a fresh life, and the haven whence Belisarius[10]
sailed forth has again become a haven in more than name, the cradle of
the rising navy of the united Austrian and Hungarian realm.

That haven is indeed a noble one. Few sights are more striking than to
see the huge mass of the amphitheater at Pola seeming to rise at once
out of the land-locked sea. As Pola is seen now, the amphitheater is the
one monument of its older days, which strikes the eye in the general
view, and which divides attention with signs that show how heartily the
once forsaken city has entered on its new career. But in the old time
Pola could show all the buildings which befitted its rank as a colony
of Rome. The amphitheater, of course, stood without the walls; the city
itself stood at the foot and on the slope of the hill which was crowned
by the capitol of the colony, where the modern fortress rises above the
Franciscan church. Parts of the Roman wall still stand; one of its gates
is left; another has left a neighbor and a memory....

Travelers are sometimes apt to complain, and that not wholly without
reason, that all amphitheaters are very like one another. At Pola this
remark is less true than elsewhere, as the amphitheater there has
several marked peculiarities of its own. We do not pretend to expound
all its details scientifically; but this we may say, that those who
dispute--if the dispute still goes on--about various points as regards
the Coliseum at Rome will do well to go and look for some further light
in the amphitheater of Pola. The outer range, which is wonderfully
perfect, while the inner arrangements are fearfully ruined, consists, on
the side toward the town, of two rows of arches, with a third story with
square-headed openings above them.

But the main peculiarity in the outside is to be found in four
tower-like projections, not, as at Arles and Nimes, signs of Saracenic
occupation, but clearly parts of the original design. Many conjectures
have been made about them; they look as if they were means of approach
to the upper part of the building; but it is wisest not to be positive.
But the main peculiarity of this amphitheater is that it lies on the
slope of a hill, which thus supplied a natural basement for the seats on
one side only. But this same position swallowed up the lower arcade on
this side, and it hindered the usual works underneath the seats from
being carried into this part of the building.



The main object and center of all historical and architectural inquiries
on the Dalmatian coast is, of course, the home of Diocletian, the still
abiding palace of Spalato. From a local point of view, it is the spot
which the greatest of the long line of renowned Illyrian Emperors chose
as his resting-place from the toils of warfare and government, and
where he reared the vastest and noblest dwelling that ever arose at the
bidding of a single man. From an ecumenical point of view, Spalato is
yet more. If it does not rank with Rome, Old and New, with Ravenna and
with Trier, it is because it never was, like them, an actual seat of
empire. But it not the less marks a stage, and one of the greatest
stages, in the history of the Empire.

On his own Dalmatian soil, Docles of Salone, Diocletian of Rome, was the
man who had won fame for his own land, and who, on the throne of the
world, did not forget his provincial birthplace. In the sight of Rome
and of the world Jovius Augustus was more than this. Alike in the
history of politics and in the history of art, he has left his mark on
all time that has come after him, and it is on his own Spalato that
his mark has been most deeply stamped. The polity of Rome and the
architecture of Rome alike received a new life at his hands. In each
alike he cast away shams and pretenses, and made the true construction
of the fabric stand out before men's eyes. Master of the Rome world, if
not King, yet more than King, he let the true nature of his power be
seen, and, first among the Caesars, arrayed himself with the outward pomp
of sovereignty.

In a smaller man we might have deemed the change a mark of weakness, a
sign of childish delight in gewgaws, titles, and trappings. Such could
hardly have been the motive in the man who, when he deemed that his work
was done, could cast away both the form and the substance of power, and
could so steadily withstand all temptations to take them up again. It
was simply that the change was fully wrought; that the chief magistrate
of the commonwealth had gradually changed into the sovereign of the
Empire; that Imperator, Caesar, and Augustus, once titles lowlier than
that of King, had now become, as they have ever since remained, titles
far loftier. The change was wrought, and all that Diocletian did was to
announce the fact of the change to the world.

Nor did the organizing hand of Jovius confine its sphere to the polity
of the Empire only. He built himself a house, and, above all builders,
he might boast himself of the house that he had builded. Fast by his
own birthplace--a meaner soul might have chosen some distant
spot--Diocletian reared the palace which marks a still greater epoch in
Roman art than his political changes mark in Roman polity. On the inmost
shore of one of the lake-like inlets of the Hadriatic, an inlet guarded
almost from sight by the great island of Bua at its mouth, lay his own
Salona, now desolate, then one of the great cities of the Roman world.
But it was not in the city, it was not close under its walls, that
Diocletian fixt his home. An isthmus between the bay of Salona and the
outer sea cuts off a peninsula, which again throws out two horns into
the water to form the harbor which has for ages supplanted Salona.

There, not on any hill-top, but on a level spot by the coast, with the
sea in front, with a background of more distant mountains, and with
one peaked hill rising between the two seas like a watch-tower, did
Diocletian build the house to which he withdrew when he deemed that his
work of empire was over. And in building that house, he won for himself,
or for the nameless genius whom he set at work, a place in the history
of art worthy to rank alongside of Iktinos of Athens and Anthemios of
Byzantium, of William of Durham and of Hugh of Lincoln.

And now the birthplace of Jovius is forsaken, but his house still
abides, and abides in a shape marvelously little shorn of its ancient
greatness. The name which it still bears comes straight from the name of
the elder home of the Caesars. The fates of the two spots have been in a
strange way the converse of one another. By the banks of the Tiber the
city of Romulus became the house of a single man: by the shores of the
Hadriatic the house of a single man became a city. The Palatine hill
became the Palatium of the Caesars, and Palatium was the name which was
borne by the house of Caesar by the Dalmatian shore. The house became a
city; but its name still clave to it, and the house of Jovius still,
at least in the mouths of its own inhabitants, keeps its name in the
slightly altered form of Spalato....

We land with the moon lighting up the water, with the stars above us,
the northern wain shining on the Hadriatic, as if, while Diocletian was
seeking rest by Salona, the star of Constantine was rising over York
and Trier. Dimly rising above us we see, disfigured indeed, but not
destroyed, the pillared front of the palace, reminding us of the
Tabularium of Rome's own capitol. We pass under gloomy arches, through
dark passages and presently we find ourselves in the center of palace
and city, between those two renowned rows of arches which mark the
greatest of all epochs in the history of the building art. We think how
the man who reorganized the Empire of Rome was also the man who first
put harmony and consistency into the architecture of Rome. We think
that, if it was in truth the crown of Diocletian which passed to every
Caesar from the first Constantius to the last Francis, it was no less in
the pile which rose into being at his word that the germ was planted
which grew into Pisa and Durham, into Westminster and Saint Ouen.

There is light enough to mark the columns put for the first time to
their true Roman use, and to think how strange was the fate which called
up on this spot the happy arrangement which had entered the brain of no
earlier artist--the arrangement which, but a few years later, was to be
applied to another use in the basilica of the Lateran and in Saint Paul
Without the Walls. Yes, it is in the court of the persecutor, the man
who boasted that he had wiped out the Christian superstition from the
world, that we see the noblest forestalling of the long arcades of the
Christian basilica.

It is with thoughts like these, thoughts pressing all the more upon us
where every outline is clear and every detail is visible, that we tread
for the first time the Court of Jovius--the columns with their arches on
either side of us, the vast bell-tower rising to the sky, as if to mock
the art of those whose mightiest works might still seem only to grovel
upon earth. Nowhere within the compass of the Roman world do we find
ourselves more distinctly in the presence of one of the great minds
of the world's history; we see that, alike in politics and in art,
Diocletian breathed a living soul into a lifeless body. In the bitter
irony of the triumphant faith, his mausoleum has become a church, his
temple has become a baptistery, the great bell-tower rises proudly over
his own work; his immediate dwelling-place is broken down and crowded
with paltry houses; but the sea-front and the Golden Gate are still
there amid all disfigurements, and the great peristyle stands almost
unhurt, to remind us of the greatest advance that a single mind ever
made in the progress of the building art.

At the present time the city into which the house of Diocletian has
grown is the largest and most growing town of the Dalmatian coast. It
has had to yield both spiritual and temporal precedence to Zara, but,
both in actual population and all that forms the life of a city, Spalato
greatly surpasses Zara and all its other neighbors. The youngest
Dalmatian towns, which could boast neither of any mythical origin nor of
any Imperial foundation, the city which, as it were, became a city by
mere chance, has outstript the colonies of Epidauros, of Corinth, and of

The palace of Diocletian had but one occupant; after the founder no
Emperor had dwelled in it, unless we hold that this was the villa near
Salona where the deposed Emperor Nepos was slain, during the patriciate
of Odoacer. The forsaken palace seems, while still almost new, to have
become a cloth factory, where women worked, and which therefore appears
in the "Notitia" as a Gynaecium. But when Salona was overthrown, the
palace stood ready to afford shelter to those who were driven from their
homes. The palace, in the widest sense of the word--for of course its
vast circuit took in quarters for soldiers and officials of various
kinds, as well as the rooms actually occupied by the Emperor--stood
ready to become a city.

It was a chester ready made, with its four streets, its four gates, all
but that toward the sea flanked with octagonal towers, and with four
greater square towers at the corners. To this day the circuit of the
walls is nearly perfect; and the space contained within them must be as
large as that contained within some of the oldest chesters in our own
island. The walls, the towers, the gates, are those of a city rather
than of a house. Two of the gates, tho' their towers are gone, are
nearly perfect; the "porta aurea," with its graceful ornaments; the
"porta ferrea" in its stern plainness, strangely crowned with its small
campanile of later days perched on its top. Within the walls, besides
the splendid buildings which still remain, besides the broken-down walls
and chambers which formed the immediate dwelling-place of the founder,
the main streets were lined with massive arcades, large parts of which
still remain.

Diocletian, in short, in building a house, had built a city. In the days
of Constantine Porphyrogenitus it was a "Kaotpov"--Greek and English had
by his day alike borrowed the Latin name; but it was a "Kaotpov" which
Diocletian had built as his own house, and within which was his hall
and palace. In his day the city bore the name of Aspalathon, which he
explains to mean "little palace." When the palace had thus become a
common habitation of men, it is not wonderful that all the more private
buildings whose use had passed away were broken down, disfigured, and
put to mean uses.

The work of building over the site must have gone on from that day to
this. The view in Wheeler shows several parts of the enclosure occupied
by ruins which are now covered with houses. The real wonder is that so
much has been spared and has survived to our own days. And we are rather
surprised to find Constantine saying that in his time the greater part
had been destroyed. For the parts which must always have been the
stateliest remain still. The great open court, the peristyle, with its
arcades, have become the public plaza of the town; the mausoleum on
one side of it and the temple on the other were preserved and put to
Christian uses.

We say the mausoleum, for we fully accept the suggestion made by
Professor Glavinich, the curator of the museum of Spalato, that the
present duomo, traditionally called the Temple of Jupiter, was not a
temple, but a mausoleum. These must have been the great public buildings
of the palace, and, with the addition of the bell-tower, they remain the
chief public buildings of the modern city. But, tho' the ancient square
of the palace remains wonderfully perfect, the modern city, with its
Venetian defenses, its Venetian and later buildings, has spread itself
far beyond the walls of Diocletian. But those walls have made the
history of Spalato, and it is the great buildings which stand within
them that give Spalato its special place in the history of architecture.



Viewed from the sea, and at first sight, the place somewhat resembles
Monte Carlo with its white villas, palms, and background of rugged,
gray hills. But this is the modern portion of the town, outside the
fortifications, erected many centuries ago. Within them lies the
real Ragusa--a wonderful old city which teems with interest, for its
time-worn buildings and picturesque streets recall, at every turn, the
faded glories of this "South Slavonic Athens." A bridge across the moat
which protects the old city is the link between the present and past.
In new Ragusa you may sit on the crowded esplanade of a fashionable
watering place; but pass through a frowning archway into the old
town, and, save in the main street, which has modern shops and other
up-to-date surroundings, you might be living in the dark ages. For as
far back as in the ninth century Ragusa was the capital of Dalmatia
and an independent republic, and since that period her literary and
commercial triumphs, and the tragedies she has survived in the shape
of sieges, earthquakes, and pestilence, render the records of this
little-known state almost as engrossing as those of ancient Rome.

Until I came here I had pictured a squalid Eastern place, devoid of
ancient or modern interest; most of my fellow-countrymen probably do
likewise, notwithstanding the fact that when London was
a small and obscure town Ragusa was already an important center of
commerce and civilization. The republic was always a peaceful one, and
its people excelled in trade and the fine arts. Thus, as early as the
fourteenth century the Ragusan fleet was the envy of the world; its
vessels were then known as Argusas to British mariners, and the English
word "Argosy" is probably derived from the name. These tiny ships went
far afield--to the Levant and Northern Europe, and even to the Indies--a
voyage frought, in those days, with much peril. At this epoch Ragusa had
achieved a mercantile prosperity unequalled throughout Europe, but in
later years the greater part of the fleet joined and perished with the
Spanish Armada.

And this catastrophe was the precursor of a series of national
disasters. In 1667 the city was laid waste by an earthquake which
killed over twenty thousand people, and this was followed by a terrible
visitation of the plague, which further decimated the population.
Ragusa, however, was never a large city, and even at its zenith, in
the sixteenth century, it numbered under forty thousand souls, and now
contains only about a third of that number.

In 1814 the Vienna Congress finally deprived the republic of its
independence, and it became (with Dalmatia) an Austrian possession.
Trade has not increased here of recent years, as in Herzegovina and
Bosnia. The harbor, at one time one of the most important ports in
Europe, is too small and shallow for modern shipping, and the oil
industry, once the backbone of the place, has sadly dwindled of late

Ragusa itself now having no harbor worthy of the name, the traveler by
sea must land at Gravosa about a mile north of the old city. Gravosa is
merely a suburb of warehouses, shipping, and sailor-men, as unattractive
as the London Docks, and the Hotel Petko swarmed with mosquitoes and
an animal which seems to thrive and flourish throughout the Balkan
States--the rat.

The old Custom House is perhaps the most beautiful building in Ragusa,
and is one of the few which survived the terrible earthquake of 1667.
The structure bears the letters "I.H.S." over the principal entrance in
commemoration of this fact. Its courtyard is a dream of beauty, and the
stone galleries around it are surrounded with inscriptions of great age.

Ragusa is a Slav town, but altho' the name of streets appear in Slavonic
characters, Italian is also spoken on every side and the "Stradone,"
with its arcades and narrow precipitous alleys at right angles, is not
unlike a street in Naples. The houses are built in small blocks, as
a protection against earthquakes--the terror of every Ragusan (only
mention the word and he will cross himself)--and here on a fine Sunday
morning you may see Dalmatians, Albanians, and Herzegovinians in their
gaudiest finery, while here and there a wild-eyed Montenegrin, armed to
the teeth, surveys the gay scene with a scowl, of shyness rather than

Outside the cafe, on the Square (where flocks of pigeons whirl around as
at St. Mark's in Venice), every little table is occupied; but here the
women are gowned in the latest Vienna fashions, and Austrian uniforms
predominate. And the sun shines as warmly as in June (on this 25th day
of March), and the cathedral bells chime a merry accompaniment to a
military band; a sky of the brightest blue gladdens the eye, fragrant
flowers the senses, and the traveler sips his bock or mazagran, and
thanks his stars he is not spending the winter in cold, foggy England.
Refreshments are served by a white-aproned garcon, and street boys
are selling the "Daily Mail" and "Gil Blas," just as they are on the
far-away boulevards of Paris.



The end of a purely Dalmatian pilgrimage will be Cattaro. He who goes
further along the coast will pass into lands that have a history, past
and present, which is wholly distinct from that of the coast which he
has hitherto traced from Zara--we might say from Capo d'Istria--onward.
We have not reached the end of the old Venetian dominion--for that we
must carry our voyage to Crete and Cyprus. But we have reached the end
of the nearly continuous Venetian dominion--the end of the coast which,
save at two small points, was either Venetian or Regusan--the end of
that territory of the two maritime commonwealths which they kept down to
their fall in modern times, and in which they have been succeeded by the
modern Dalmatian kingdom....

The city stands at the end of an inlet of the sea fifteen or twenty
miles long, and it has mountains around it so high that it is only in
fair summer weather that the sun can be seen; in winter Cattaro never
enjoys his presence. There certainly is no place where it is harder to
believe that the smooth waters of the narrow, lake-like inlet, with
mountains on each side which it seems as if one could put out one's hand
and touch, are really part of the same sea which dashes against the
rocks of Ragusa. They end in a meadow-like coast which makes one think
of Bourget or Trasimenus rather than of Hadria. The Dalmatian voyage is
well ended by the sail along the Bocche, the loveliest piece of inland
sea which can be conceived, and whose shores are as rich in curious bits
of political history as they are in scenes of surpassing natural beauty.

The general history of the district consists in the usual tossing to and
fro between the various powers which have at different times been strong
in the neighborhood. Cattaro was in the reign of Basil the Macedonian
besieged and taken by Saracens, who presently went on unsuccessfully to
besiege Ragusa. And, as under Byzantine rule it was taken by Saracens,
so under Venetian rule it was more than once besieged by Turks. In the
intermediate stages we get the usual alternations of independence and of
subjection to all the neighboring powers in turn, till in 1419 Cattaro
finally became Venetian. At the fall of the republic it became part of
the Austrian share of the spoil. When the spoilers quarreled, it fell
to France. When England, Russia, and Montenegro were allies, the city
joined the land of which it naturally forms the head, and Cattaro became
the Montenegrin haven and capital. When France was no longer dangerous,
and the powers of Europe came together to parcel out other men's goods,
Austria calmly asked for Cattaro back again, and easily got it.

In the city of Cattaro the Orthodox Church is still in a minority, but
it is a minority not far short of a majority. Outside its walls, the
Orthodox outnumber the Catholics. In short, when we reach Cattaro, we
have very little temptation to fancy ourselves in Italy or in any part
of Western Christendom. We not only know, but feel, that we are on the
Byzantine side of the Hadriatic; that we have, in fact, made our way
into Eastern Europe.

And East and West, Slav and Italian, New Rome and Old, might well
struggle for the possession of the land and of the water through which
we pass from Ragusa to our final goal at Cattaro. The strait leads us
into a gulf; another narrow strait leads us into an inner gulf; and on
an inlet again branching out of that inner gulf lies the furthest of
Dalmatian cities. The lower city, Cattaro itself, seems to lie so
quietly, so peacefully, as if in a world of its own from which nothing
beyond the shores of its own Bocche could enter, that we are tempted to
forget, not only that the spot has been the scene of so many revolutions
through so many ages, but that it is even now a border city, a city on
the marchland of contending powers, creeds, and races....

The city of Cattaro itself is small, standing on a narrow ledge between
the gulf and the base of the mountain. It carries the features of the
Dalmatian cities to what any one who has not seen Traue will call their
extreme point. But, tho' the streets of Cattaro are narrow, yet they are
civilized and airy-looking compared with those of Traue, and the little
paved squares, as so often along this coast, suggest the memory of the
ruling city.

The memory of Venice is again called up by the graceful little scraps of
its characteristic architecture which catch the eye ever and anon among
the houses of Cattaro. The landing-place, the marina, the space between
the coast and the Venetian wall, where we pass for the last time under
the winged lion over the gate, has put on the air of a boulevard. But
the forms and costume of Bocchesi and Montenegrins, the men of the gulf,
with their arms in their girdles, no less than the men of the black
mountain, banish all thought that we are anywhere but where we really
are, at one of the border points of Christian and civilized Europe. If
in the sons of the mountains we see the men who have in all ages held
out against the invading Turk, we see in their brethren of the coast the
men who, but a few years back, brought Imperial, Royal, and Apostolic
Majesty to its knees ...

At Cattaro the Orthodox Church is on its own ground, standing side by
side on equal terms with its Latin rival, pointing to lands where the
Filioque[14] is unknown and where the Bishop of the Old Rome has even
been deemed an intruder. The building itself is a small Byzantine
church, less Byzantine in fact in its outline than the small churches of
the Byzantine type at Zara, Spalato, and Traue. The single dome rises,
not from the intersection of a Greek cross, but from the middle of a
single body, and, resting as it does on pointed arches, it suggests
the thought of Perigueux and Angouleme. But this arrangement, which is
shared by a neighboring Latin church, is well known throughout the East.

The Latin duomo, which has been minutely described by Mr. Neale,[15] is
of quite another type, and is by no means Dalmatian in its general look.
A modern west front with two western towers does not go for much; but it
reminds us that a design of the same kind was begun at Traue in better
times. The inside is quite unlike anything of later Italian work.

The traveler whose objects are of a more general kind turns away from
this border church of Christendom as the last stage of a pilgrimage
unsurpassed either for natural beauty or for historic interest. And, as
he looks up at the mountain which rises almost close above the east end
of the duomo of Cattaro, and thinks of the land[16] and the men to which
the path over that mountain leads, he feels that, on this frontier at
least, the spirit still lives which led English warriors to the side of
Manuel Komnenos, and which steeled the heart of the last Constantine to
die in the breach for the Roman name and the faith of Christendom.





Cracow, old, tired and dispirited, speaks and thinks only of the ruinous
past. When you drive into Cracow from the station for the first time,
you are breathless, smiling, and tearful all at once; in the great
Ring-platz--a mass of old buildings--Cracow seems to hold out her arms
to you--those long sides that open from the corner where the cab drives
in. You do not have time to notice separately the row of small trees
down on one side, beneath which bright-colored women-figures control
their weekly market; you do not notice the sort of court-house in the
middle with its red roof, cream-colored galleries and shops beneath; you
do not notice the great tall church at one side of brick and stone most
perfectly time-reconciled, or the houses, or the crazed paving, or the
innocent little groups of cabs--you only see Cracow holding out her arms
to you, and you may lean down your head and weep from pure instinctive
sympathy. Suddenly a choir of trumpets breaks out into a chorale from
the big church tower; the melancholy of it I shall never forget--the
very melody seemed so old and tired, so worn and sweet and patient, like
Cracow. Those trumpet notes have mourned in that tower for hundreds of
years. It is the Hymn of Timeless Sorrow that they play, and the key
to which they are attuned in Cracow's long despair. Hush! That is her
voice, the old town's voice, high and sad--she is speaking to you.

Dear Cracow! Never again it seems to me, shall I come so near to the
deathless hidden sentiment of Poland as in those first moments. It would
be no use to tell her to take heart, that there may be brighter days
coming, and so forth. Lemberg may feel so, Lemberg that has the feelings
of any other big new town, the strength and the determination; but
Cracow's day was in the long ago, as a gay capital, a brilliant
university town full of princes, of daring, of culture, of wit. She has
outlived her day, and can only mourn over what has been and the times
that she has seen; she may be always proud of her character, of the
brave blood that has made scarlet her streets, but she can never be
happy remodeled as an Austrian garrison town, and in the new Poland--the
Poland whose foundation stones are laid in the hearts of her people,
and that may yet be built some day--in that new Poland there will be no
place for aristocratic, high-bred Cracow.

During my stay in the beautiful butter-colored palace that is now a
hotel, I went round the museums, galleries, and universities, most if
not all of which are free to the public. It would be unfair to give the
idea that Cracow has completely fallen to decay. This is not the case.
Austria has erected some very handsome buildings; and a town with such
fine pictures, good museums, and two universities, can not be complained
of as moribund. At the same time, I can only record faithfully my
impression, and that was that everything new, everything modern, was
hopelessly out of tone in Cracow; progress, which, tho' desirable, may
be a vulgar thing, would not suit her, and does not seem at home in her

About the Florian's Thor, with its round towers of old, sorrel-colored
brick, and the Czartoryski Museum, there is nothing to say that the
guide-book would not say better. In the museum, a tattered Polish flag
of red silk, with the white eagle, a cheerful bird with curled tail,
opened mouth, chirping defiantly to the left, imprest me, and a portrait
of Szopen (Chopin) in fine profile when laid out dead. For amusement,
there was a Paul Potter bull beside a Paul Potter willow, delightfully
unconscious of a coming Paul Potter thunderstorm, and a miniature of
Shakespeare which did not resemble any of the portraits of him that I
am familiar with. Any amount of Turkish trappings and reminiscences of
Potocki and Kosciuszko, of course. As I had no guide-book, I am quite
prepared to learn that I overlooked the most important relics.

In the cathedral, away up on the hill of Wawel, above the river Vistula
(Wisla) I prowled about among the crypts with a curious specimen of
beadledom who ran off long unintelligible histories in atrocious
Viennese patois about every solemn tomb by which we stood. So far as I
was concerned it might just as well have been the functionary who herds
small droves of visitors in Westminster Abbey. I never listen to these
people, because (i) I do not care to be informed; and (ii) since I
should never remember what they said, it is useless my even letting it
in at one ear. The kindly, cobwebby old person who piloted me
among those wonderful kings' graves in Cracow was personally not
uninteresting, indeed a fine study, and his rigmaroles brought up
infallibly upon three words which I could not fail to notice: these
were "silberner Sarg vergoldet" (silver coffin, gilded). It had an odd
fascination for me this phrase, as I stood always waiting for it; why, I
wondered, should anybody want to gild a good solid silver coffin?

At the time of my first visit, the excavation necessary to form the
crypt for the resting-place of Mickiewicz[18] was in progress, and I
went in among the limey, dusty workmen, with their tallow candles,
and looked round. In return for my gulden, the beadle gave me a
few immortelles from Sobieski's tomb, and some laurel leaves from
Kosciuszko's; and remembering friends at home of refinedly ghoulish
tastes, I determined to preserve those poor moldering fragments for

Most of my days and evenings I spent wandering by the Vistula and in and
out of the hundred churches. My plan was to sight a spire, and then walk
to the root of it, so to speak. In this manner I saw the town very well.
The houses were of brick and plaster, the rich carmine-red brick that
has made Cracow so beautiful. On each was a beautiful facade, and
pediments in renaissance, bas-relief work of cupids, and classic figures
with ribands and roses tying among them, seeming to speak, somehow, of
the dead princes and the mighty aristocracy which had cost Cracow so

In the Jews' quarter that loud lifelong market of theirs was going
forward, which required seemingly only some small basinfuls of sour
Gurken and a few spoonfuls of beans of its stock-in-trade. Mingling
among the Jews were the peasants, of course; the men in tightly fitting
trousers of white blanket cloth, rich embroidered on the upper part and
down the seams in blue and red; the women wearing pink printed muslin
skirts, often with a pale blue muslin apron and a lemon-colored fine
wool cloth, spotted in pink, upon the head. They manifested a great
appreciation of color, but none of form, and after the free dress of
the Hucal women, these people, mummied in their red tartan shawls--all
hybrid Stewarts, they seemed to me--were merely bright bundles in the

In the shops in Cracow, French was nearly always the language of attack,
and a good deal was spoken in the hotel. I had occasion to buy a great
many things, but, according to my custom, not a photograph was among
them; therefore, when I go back, I shall receive perfectly new and fresh
impressions of the place, and can cherish no vague memories, encouraged
by an album at home, in which the nameless cathedrals of many countries
confuse themselves, and only the Coliseum at Rome stands forth, not to
be contradicted or misnamed.

But it became necessary to put a period to my wandering, unless I wished
to find myself stranded in Vienna with "neither cross nor pile." The
references to money-matters have been designedly slight throughout these
pages. It is not my habit to keep accounts. I have never found that
you get any money back by knowing just how you have spent it, and a
conscience-pricking record of expenses is very ungrateful reading. So,
when a certain beautiful evening came, I felt that I had to look upon it
as my last. Being too early for the train, I bid the man drive about in
the early summer dark for three-quarters of an hour.

To such as do not care for precise information and statistics in foreign
places, but appreciate rather atmosphere and impression, I can recommend
this course. In and out among the pretty garden woods, outside the town,
we drove. Buildings loomed majestically out of the night; sometimes it
was the tower of an unknown church, sometimes it was the house of some
forgotten family that sprang suggestively to the eye, and I was grateful
that I was left to suppose the indefinite type of Austrian bureau, which
occupied, in all probability, the first floor. Then we came to the
river, and later, Wawel stood massed out black upon the blue, the
glorious gravestone of a fallen Power.

All the stars were shining, and little red-yellow lights in the castle
windows were not much bigger. Above the whisper of the willows on its
bank came the deep, quiet murmur of the Vistula, and every now and then,
over the several towers of the solemn old palaces and the spires of the
church where Poland has laid her kings, and so recently the king of the
poets, the stars were dropping from their places, like sudden spiders,
letting themselves down into the vast by faint yellow threads that
showed a moment after the star itself was gone.

Later, as I looked from the open gallery of the train that was taking me
away, I could not help thinking that, just a hundred years ago, Wawel's
star was shining with a light bright enough for all Europe to see;
but even as the stars fell that night and left their places empty, so
Wawel's star has fallen and Poland's star has fallen too.



I was pleasantly disappointed on entering Bohemia. Instead of a dull,
uninteresting country, as I expected, it is a land full of the most
lovely scenery. There is everything which can gratify the eye--high blue
mountains, valleys of the sweetest pastoral look and romantic old ruins.
The very name of Bohemia is associated with wild and wonderful legends
of the rude barbaric ages. Even the chivalric tales of the feudal times
of Germany grow tame beside these earlier and darker histories. The
fallen fortresses of the Rhine or the robber-castles of the Odenwald
had not for me so exciting an interest as the shapeless ruins cumbering
these lonely mountains. The civilized Saxon race was left behind; I
saw around me the features and heard the language of one of those rude
Slavonic tribes whose original home was on the vast steppes of Central

I have rarely enjoyed traveling more than our first two days' journey
toward Prague. The range of the Erzgebirge ran along on our right; the
snow still lay in patches upon it, but the valleys between, with their
little clusters of white cottages, were green and beautiful. About six
miles before reaching Teplitz we passed Kulm, the great battlefield
which in a measure decided the fate of Napoleon. He sent Vandamme with
forty thousand men to attack the allies before they could unite their
forces, and thus effect their complete destruction. Only the almost
despairing bravery of the Russian guards under Ostermann, who held him
in check till the allied troops united, prevented Napoleon's design. At
the junction of the roads, where the fighting was hottest, the Austrians
have erected a monument to one of their generals. Not far from it is
that of Prussia, simple and tasteful. A woody hill near, with the little
village of Kulm at its foot, was the station occupied by Vandamme at
the commencement of the battle. There is now a beautiful chapel on its
summit which can be seen far and wide. A little distance farther the
Czar of Russia has erected a third monument, to the memory of the
Russians who fell. Four lions rest on the base of the pedestal, and on
the top of the shaft, forty-five feet high, Victory is represented as
engraving the date, "Aug. 30, 1813," on a shield. The dark pine-covered
mountains on the right overlook the whole field and the valley of
Torlitz; Napoleon rode along their crests several days after the battle
to witness the scene of his defeat.

Teplitz lies in a lovely valley, several miles wide, bounded by the
Bohemian mountains on one side and the Erzgebirge on the other. One
straggling peak near is crowned with a picturesque ruin, at whose foot
the spacious bath-buildings lie half hidden in foliage. As we went
down the principal street I noticed nearly every house was a hotel; we
learned afterward that in summer the usual average of visitors is five
thousand.[20] The waters resemble those of the celebrated Carlsbad; they
are warm and practically efficacious in rheumatism and diseases of like
character. After leaving Teplitz the road turned to the east, toward a
lofty mountain which we had seen the morning before. The peasants, as
they passed by, saluted us with "Christ greet you!"

We stopt for the night at the foot of the peak called the Milleschauer,
and must have ascended nearly two thousand feet, for we had a wide view
the next morning, altho' the mists and clouds hid the half of it. The
weather being so unfavorable, we concluded not to ascend, and descended
through green fields and orchards snowy with blossoms to Lobositz, on
the Elbe. Here we reached the plains again, where everything wore the
luxuriance of summer; it was a pleasant change from the dark and rough
scenery we left.

The road passed through Theresienstadt, the fortress of Northern
Bohemia. The little city is surrounded by a double wall and moat which
can be filled with water, rendering it almost impossible to be taken. In
the morning we were ferried over the Moldau, and after journeying nearly
all day across barren, elevated plains saw, late in the afternoon, the
sixty-seven spires of Prague below.

I feel out of the world in this strange, fantastic, yet beautiful, old
city. We have been rambling all morning through its winding streets,
stopping sometimes at a church to see the dusty tombs and shrines or to
hear the fine music which accompanies the morning mass. I have seen no
city yet that so forcibly reminds one of the past and makes him forget
everything but the associates connected with the scenes around him.
The language adds to the illusion. Three-fourths of the people in the
streets speak Bohemian and many of the signs are written in the same

The palace of the Bohemian kings still looks down on the city from the
western heights, and their tombs stand in the cathedral of St. John.
When one has climbed up the stone steps leading to the fortress, there
is a glorious prospect before him. Prague with its spires and towers
lies in the valleys below, through which curves the Moldau with its
green islands, disappearing among the hills which enclose the city on
every side. The fantastic Byzantine architecture of many of the churches
and towers gives the city a peculiar Oriental appearance; it seems to
have been transported from the hills of Syria....

Having found out first a few of the locations, we haunted our way with
difficulty through its labyrinths, seeking out every place of note or
interest. Reaching the bridge at last, we concluded to cross over and
ascend to the Hradschin, the palace of the Bohemian kings. The bridge
was commenced in 1357, and was one hundred and fifty years in building.
That was the way the old Germans did their work, and they made a
structure which will last a thousand years longer. Every pier is
surmounted with groups of saints and martyrs, all so worn and timebeaten
that there is little left of their beauty, if they ever had any. The
most important of them--at least to Bohemians--is that of St. John
Nepomuk, now considered as the patron-saint of the land. He was a priest
many centuries ago [1340-1393] whom one of the kings threw from the
bridge into the Moldau because he refused to reveal to him what the
queen confest. The legend says the body swam for some time on the river
with five stars around its head.

Ascending the broad flight of steps to the Hradschin, I paused a moment
to look at the scene below. A slight blue haze hung over the clustering
towers, and the city looked dim through it, like a city seen in a dream.
It was well that it should so appear, for not less dim and misty are the
memories that haunt its walls. There was no need of a magician's wand to
bid that light cloud shadow forth the forms of other times. They
came uncalled for even by Fancy. Far, far back in the past I saw the
warrior-princess who founded the kingly city--the renowned Libussa,
whose prowess and talent inspired the women of Bohemia to rise at her
death and storm the land that their sex might rule where it obeyed
before. On the mountain opposite once stood the palace of the bloody
Wlaska, who reigned with her Amazon band for seven years over half
Bohemia. Those streets below had echoed with the fiery words of Huss,
and the castle of his follower--the blind Ziska, who met and defeated
the armies of the German Empire--molders on the mountains above. Many a
year of war and tempest has passed over the scene. The hills around have
borne the armies of Wallenstein and Frederick the Great; the war-cry of
Bavaria, Sweden and Poland has echoed in the valley, and the red glare
of the midnight cannon or the flames of burning palaces have often
gleamed along the "blood-dyed waters" of the Moldau...

On the way down again we stept into the St. Nicholas Church, which was
built by the Jesuits. The interior has a rich effect, being all of brown
and gold. The massive pillars are made to resemble reddish-brown
marble, with gilded capitals, and the statues at the base are profusely
ornamented in the same style. The music chained me there a long time.
There was a grand organ, assisted by a full orchestra and large choir of
singers. It was placed above, and at every sound of the priest's bell
the flourish of trumpets and deep roll of the drums filled the dome with
a burst of quivering sound, while the giant pipes of the organ breathed
out their full harmony and the very air shook under the peal. It was
like a triumphal strain. The soul became filled with thoughts of power
and glory; every sense was changed into one dim, indistinct emotion of
rapture which held the spirit as if spellbound.

Not far from this place is the palace of Wallenstein, in the same
condition as when he inhabited it. It is a plain, large building having
beautiful gardens attached to it, which are open to the public. We
went through the courtyard, threaded a passage with a roof of rough
stalactitic rock and entered the garden, where a revolving fountain was
casting up its glittering arches.



The night had been passed at Adelsberg, and the morning had been
agreeably occupied in exploring the wonders of its celebrated cavern.
The entrance is through an opening in the side of a hill. In a few
moments, after walking down a gentle descent, a sound of flowing water
is heard, and the light of the torches borne by the guides gleams
faintly upon a river which runs through these sunless chasms, and
revisits the glimpses of day at Planina, some ten miles distant.

The visitor now finds himself in a vast hall, walled and roofed by
impenetrable darkness of the stream, which is crossed by a wooden
bridge; and the ascent on the other side is made by a similar flight of
steps. The bridge and steps are marked by a double row of lights, which
present a most striking appearance as their tremulous luster struggles
through the night that broods over them. Such a scene recalls Milton's
sublime pictures of Pandemonium, and shows directly to the eye what
effects a great imaginative painter may produce with no other colors
than light and darkness. Here are the "stately height," the "ample
spaces," the "arched roof," the rows of "starry lamps and blazing
cressets" of Satan's hall of council; and by the excited fancy the dim
distance is easily peopled with gigantic forms and filled with the
"rushing of congregated wings."

After this, one is led through a variety of chambers, differing in size
and form, but essentially similar in character, and the attention is
invited to the innumerable multitude of striking and fantastic objects
which have been formed in the lapse of ages, by the mere dropping of
water. Pendants hang from the roof, stalagmites grow from the floor like
petrified stumps, and pillars and buttresses are disposed as oddly as
in the architecture of a dream. Here, we are told to admire a bell, and
there, a throne; here, a pulpit, and there, a butcher's shop; here, "the
two hearts," and there, a fountain frozen into alabaster; and in every
case we assent to the resemblance in the unquestioning mood of Polonius.
One of the chambers, or halls, is used every year as a ball-room, for
which purpose it has every requisite except an elastic floor, even to a
natural dais for the orchestra.

Here, with the sort of pride with which a book collector shows a Mazarin
Bible or a folio Shakespeare, the guides point out a beautiful piece of
limestone which hangs from the roof in folds as delicate as a Cashmere
shawl, to which the resemblance is made more exact by a well-defined
border of deeper color than the web. Through this translucent curtain
the light shines as through a picture in porcelain, and one must be very
unimpressible not to bestow the tribute of admiration which is claimed.
These are the trivial details which may be remembered and described,
but the general effect produced by the darkness, the silence, the vast
spaces, the innumerable forms, the vaulted roofs, the pillars and
galleries melting away in the gloom like the long-drawn aisles of a
cathedral, may be recalled but not communicated.

To see all these marvels requires much time, and I remained under ground
long enough to have a new sense of the blessing of light. The first
glimpse of returning day seen through the distant entrance brought with
it an exhilarating sense of release, and the blue sky and cheerful
sunshine were welcomed like the faces of long absent friends. A cave
like that of Adelsberg--for all limestone caves are, doubtless,
essentially similar in character--ought by all means to be seen if it
comes in one's way, because it leaves impressions upon the mind unlike
those derived from any other object. Nature stamps upon most of her
operations a certain character of gravity and majesty. Order and
symmetry attend upon her steps, and unity in variety is the law by which
her movements are guided. But, beneath the surface of the earth,
she seems a frolicsome child, or a sportive undine, who wreaths the
unmanageable stone into weird and quaint forms, seemingly from no
other motive than pure delight in the exercise of overflowing power.
Everything is playful, airy, and fantastic; there is no spirit of
soberness; no reference to any ulterior end; nothing from which food,
fuel, or raiment can be extracted. These chasms have been scooped out,
and these pillars have been reared, in the spirit in which the bird
sings, or the kitten plays with the falling leaves. From such scenes we
may safely infer that the plan of the Creator comprehends something
more than material utility, that beauty is its own vindictator and
interpreter, that sawmills were not the ultimate cause of mountain
streams, nor wine-bottles of cork-trees.



We had determined upon dining at Moelk the next day. The early morning
was somewhat inauspicious; but as the day advanced, it grew bright and
cheerful. Some delightful glimpses of the Danube, to the left, from the
more elevated parts of the road, accompanied us the whole way, till we
caught the first view, beneath a bright blue sky, of the towering church
and Monastery of Moelk.

Conceive what you please, and yet you shall not conceive the situation
of this monastery. Less elevated above the road than Chremsminster, but
of a more commanding style of architecture, and of considerably greater
extent, it strikes you--as the Danube winds round and washes its rocky
base--as one of the noblest edifices in the world. The wooded heights
of the opposite side of the Danube crown the view of this magnificent
edifice, in a manner hardly to be surpassed. There is also a beautiful
play of architectural lines and ornament in the front of the building,
indicative of a pure Italian taste, and giving to the edifice, if not
the air of towering grandeur, at least of dignified splendor....

As usual, I ordered a late dinner, intending to pay my respects to
the Principal, and obtain permission to inspect the library. My late
monastic visits had inspired me with confidence; and I marched up the
steep sides of the hill, upon which the monastery is built, quite
assured of the success of the visit I was about to pay. You must now
accompany the bibliographer to the monastery. In five minutes from
entering the outer gate of the first quadrangle--looking toward
Vienna, and which is the more ancient part of the building--I was in
conversation with the Vice-Principal and Librarian, each of us speaking
Latin. I delivered the letter which I had received at Salzburg, and
proceeded to the library.

The view from this library is really enchanting, and put everything seen
from a similar situation at Landshut and almost even at Chremsminster,
out of my recollection. You look down upon the Danube, catching a fine
sweep of the river, as it widens in its course toward Vienna. A man
might sit, read, and gaze--in such a situation--till he fancied he had
scarcely one earthly want! I now descended a small staircase, which
brought me directly into the large library--forming the right wing of
the building, looking up the Danube toward Lintz. I had scarcely uttered
three notes of admiration, when the Abbe Strattman entered; and to my
surprise and satisfaction, addrest me by name. We immediately commenced
an ardent unintermitting conversation in the French language, which the
Abbe speaks fluently and correctly.

I now took a leisurely survey of the library; which is, beyond
all doubt, the finest room of its kind which I have seen upon the
Continent--not for its size, but for its style of architecture, and the
materials of which it is composed. I was told that it was "the Imperial
Library in miniature,"--but with this difference, let me here add, in
favor of Moelk--that it looks over a magnificently wooded country, with
the Danube rolling its rapid course at its base. The wainscot and
shelves are walnut tree, of different shades, inlaid, or dovetailed,
surmounted by gilt ornaments. The pilasters have Corinthian capitals of
gilt; and the bolder or projecting parts of a gallery, which surrounds
the room, are covered with the same metal. Everything is in harmony.
This library may be about a hundred feet in length, by forty in width.
It is sufficiently well furnished with books, of the ordinary useful
class, and was once, I suspect, much richer in the bibliographical lore
of the fifteenth century.

On reaching the last descending step, just before entering the church,
the Vice-Principal bade me look upward and view the corkscrew staircase.
I did so; and to view and admire was one and the same operation of the
mind. It was the most perfect and extraordinary thing of the kind which
I had ever seen--the consummation, as I was told, of that particular
species of art. The church is the very perfection of ecclesiastical
Roman architecture; that of Chremsminster, altho' fine, being much
inferior to it in loftiness and richness of decoration. The windows
are fixt so as to throw their concentrated light beneath a dome, of no
ordinary height, and of no ordinary elegance of decoration; but this
dome is suffering from damp, and the paintings upon the ceiling will,
unless repaired, be effaced in the course of a few years.

The church is in the shape of a cross; and at the end of each of the
transepts, is a rich altar, with statuary, in the style of art usual
about a century ago. The pews--made of dark mahogany or walnut tree,
much after the English fashion, but lower and more tasteful--are placed
on each side of the nave, or entering; with ample space between them.
They are exclusively appropriated to the tenants of the monastery. At
the end of the nave, you look to the left, opposite--and observe, placed
in a recess--a pulpit, which, from top to bottom, is completely covered
with gold. And yet, there is nothing gaudy or tasteless, or glaringly
obtrusive, in this extraordinary clerical rostrum. The whole is in the
most perfect taste; and perhaps more judgment was required to manage
such an ornament, or appendage--consistently with the splendid style
of decoration exacted by the founder, for it was expressly the Prelate
Dietmayr's wish that it should be so adorned,--than may on first
consideration be supposed. In fact, the whole church is in a blaze
of gold; and I was told that the gilding alone cost upward of ninety
thousand florins. Upon the whole, I understood that the church of this
monastery was considered as the most beautiful in Austria; and I can
easily believe it to be so.



I left this most pleasing of the Italian cities (Venice), and took the
road for the Tyrol. We passed through a level fertile country, formerly
the territory of Venice, watered by the Piave, which ran blood in one of
Bonaparte's battles. At evening we arrived at Ceneda, where our Italian
poet Da Ponte[24] was born, situated just at the base of the Alps, the
rocky peaks and irregular spires of which, beautifully green with the
showery season, rose in the background. Ceneda seems to have something
of German cleanliness about it, and the floors of a very comfortable inn
at which we stopt were of wood, the first we had seen in Italy, tho'
common throughout Tyrol and the rest of Germany. A troop of barelegged
boys, just broke loose from school, whooping and swinging their books
and slates in the air, passed under my window.

On leaving Ceneda, we entered a pass in the mountains, the gorge of
which was occupied by the ancient town of Serravalle, resting on
arcades, the architecture of which denoted that it was built during the
Middle Ages. Near it I remarked an old castle, which formerly commanded
the pass, one of the finest ruins of the kind I had ever seen. It had a
considerable extent of battlemented wall in perfect preservation, and
both that and its circular tower were so luxuriantly loaded with ivy
that they seemed almost to have been cut out of the living verdure.
As we proceeded we became aware how worthy this region was to be the
birthplace of a poet.

A rapid stream, a branch of the Piave, tinged of a light and somewhat
turbid blue by the soil of the mountains, came tumbling and roaring
down the narrow valley; perpendicular precipices rose on each side; and
beyond, the gigantic brotherhood of the Alps, in two long files of steep
pointed summits, divided by deep ravines, stretched away in the sunshine
to the northeast. In the face of one of the precipices by the way-side,
a marble slab is fixt, informing the traveler that the road was opened
by the late Emperor of Germany in the year of 1830. We followed this
romantic valley for a considerable distance, passing several little blue
lakes lying in their granite basins, one of which is called the "Lago
Morto" or Dead Lake, from having no outlet for its waters.

At length we began to ascend, by a winding road, the steep sides of the
Alps--the prospect enlarging as we went, the mountain summits rising to
sight around us, one behind another, some of them white with snow, over
which the wind blew with a wintry keenness--deep valleys opening
below us, and gulfs yawning between rocks over which old bridges were
thrown--and solemn fir forests clothing the broad declivities. The
farm-houses placed on these heights, instead of being of brick or stone,
as in the plains and valleys below, were principally built of wood;
the second story, which served for a barn, being encircled by a long
gallery, and covered with a projecting roof of plank held down with
large stones.

We stopt at Venas, a wretched place with a wretched inn, the hostess
of which showed us a chin swollen with the goitre, and ushered us into
dirty comfortless rooms where we passed the night. When we awoke the
rain was beating against the windows, and, on looking out, the forest
and sides of the neighboring mountains, at a little height above us,
appeared hoary with snow. We set out in the rain, but had not proceeded
far before we heard the sleet striking against the windows of the
carriage, and soon came to where the snow covered the ground to the
depth of one or two inches.

Continuing to ascend, we passed out of Italy and entered the Tyrol. The
storm had ceased before we went through the first Tyrolese village, and
we could not help being struck with the change in the appearance of the
inhabitants--the different costume, the less erect figures, the awkward
gait, the lighter complexions, the neatly-kept inhabitations, and the
absence of beggars. As we advanced, the clouds began to roll off from
the landscape, disclosing here and there, through openings in their
broad skirts as they swept along, glimpses of the profound valleys below
us, and of the white sides and summits of mountains in the mid-sky
above. At length the sun appeared, and revealed a prospect of such
wildness, grandeur, and splendor as I have never before seen.

Lofty peaks of the most fantastic shapes, with deep clefts between,
sharp needles of rock, and overhanging crags, infinite in multitude,
shot up everywhere around us, glistening in the new-fallen snow, with
thin wreaths of mist creeping along their sides. At intervals, swollen
torrents, looking at a distance like long trains of foam, came
thundering down the mountains, and crossing the road, plunged into the
verdant valleys which winded beneath. Beside the highway were fields
of young grain, prest to the ground with the snow; and in the meadows,
ranunculuses of the size of roses, large yellow violets, and a thousand
other Alpine flowers of the most brilliant hues, were peeping through
their white covering.

We stopt to breakfast at a place called Landro, a solitary inn, in the
midst of this grand scenery, with a little chapel beside it. The water
from the dissolving snow was dropping merrily from the roof in a bright
June sun. We needed not to be told that we were in Germany, for we saw
it plainly enough in the nicely-washed floor of the apartment into which
we were shown, in the neat cupboard with the old prayer-book lying upon
it, and in the general appearance of housewifery; to say nothing of the
evidence we had in the beer and tobacco-smoke of the travelers' room,
and the guttural dialect and quiet tones of the guests.

From Landro we descended gradually into the beautiful valleys of the
Tyrol, leaving the snow behind, tho' the white peaks of the mountains
were continually in sight. At Bruneck, in an inn resplendent with
neatness--we had the first specimen of a German bed. It is narrow and
short, and made so high at the head, by a number of huge square bolsters
and pillows, that you rather sit than lie. The principal covering is a
bag of down, very properly denominated the upper bed, and between this
and the feather-bed below, the traveler is expected to pass a night. An
asthmatic patient on a cold winter night might perhaps find such a couch
tolerably comfortable, if he could prevent the narrow covering from
slipping off on one side or the other.

The next day we were afforded an opportunity of observing more closely
the inhabitants of this singular region, by a festival, or holiday of
some sort, which brought them into the roads in great numbers, arrayed
in their best dresses--the men in short jackets and small-clothes, with
broad gay-colored suspenders over their waistcoats, and leathern belts
ornamented with gold or silver leaf--the women in short petticoats
composed of horizontal bands of different colors--and both sexes, for
the most part, wearing broad-brimmed hats with hemispherical crowns,
tho' there was a sugar-loaf variety much affected by the men, adorned
with a band of lace and sometimes a knot of flowers. They are a robust,
healthy-looking race, tho' they have an awkward stoop in the shoulders.
But what struck me most forcibly was the devotional habits of the

The Tyrolese might be cited as an illustration of the remark, that
mountaineers are more habitually and profoundly religious than others.
Persons of all sexes, young and old, whom we meet in the road, were
repeating their prayers audibly. We passed a troop of old women, all in
broad-brimmed hats and short gray petticoats, carrying long staves, one
of whom held a bead-roll and gave out the prayers, to which the others
made the responses in chorus. They looked at us so solemnly from under
their broad brims, and marched along with so grave and deliberate a
pace, that I could hardly help fancying that the wicked Austrians had
caught a dozen elders of the respectable Society of Friends, and put
them in petticoats to punish them for their heresy. We afterward saw
persons going to the labors of the day, or returning, telling their
rosaries and saying their prayers as they went, as if their devotions
had been their favorite amusement. At regular intervals of about half a
mile, we saw wooden crucifixes erected by the way-side, covered from the
weather with little sheds, bearing the image of the Savior, crowned with
thorns and frightfully dashed with streaks and drops of red paint, to
represent the blood that flowed from his wounds. The outer walls of the
better kind of houses were ornamented with paintings in fresco, and the
subjects of these were mostly sacred, such as the Virgin and Child, the
Crucifixion, and the Ascension. The number of houses of worship was
surprising; I do not mean spacious or stately churches such as we meet
with in Italy, but most commonly little chapels dispersed so as best to
accommodate the population. Of these the smallest neighborhood has one
for the morning devotions of its inhabitants, and even the solitary inn
has its little consecrated building with its miniature spire, for the
convenience of pious wayfarers.

At Sterzing, a little village beautifully situated at the base of the
mountain called the Brenner, and containing, as I should judge, not more
than two or three thousand inhabitants, we counted seven churches and
chapels within the compass of a square mile. The observances of the
Roman Catholic church are nowhere more rigidly complied with than in the
Tyrol. When we stopt at Bruneck on Friday evening, I happened to drop
a word about a little meat for dinner in a conversation with the
spruce-looking landlady, who appeared so shocked that I gave up the
point, on the promise of some excellent and remarkably well-flavored
trout from the stream that flowed through the village--a promise that
was literally fulfilled....

We descended the Brenner on the 28th of June in a snow-storm, the wind
whirling the light flakes in the air as it does with us in winter. It
changed to rain, however, as we approached the beautiful and picturesque
valley watered by the river Inn, on the banks of which stands the fine
old town of Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol. Here we visited the
Church of the Holy Cross, in which is the bronze tomb of Maxmilian I.
and twenty or thirty bronze statues ranged on each side of the nave,
representing fierce warrior-chiefs, and gowned prelates, and stately
damsels of the middle ages. These are all curious for the costume; the
warriors are cased in various kinds of ancient armor, and brandish
various ancient weapons, and the robes of the females are flowing and by
no means ungraceful. Almost every one of the statues has its hands and
fingers in some constrained and awkward position; as if the artist knew
as little what to do with them as some awkward and bashful people know
what to do with their own. Such a crowd of figures in that ancient garb,
occupying the floor in the midst of the living worshipers of the present
day, has an effect which at first is startling.

From Innsbruck we climbed and crossed another mountain-ridge, scarcely
less wild and majestic in its scenery than those we had left behind. On
descending, we observed that the crucifixes had disappeared from the
roads, and the broad-brimmed and sugar-loaf hats from the heads of the
peasantry; the men wore hats contracted in the middle of the crown like
an hour-glass, and the women caps edged with a broad band of black fur,
the frescoes on the outside of the houses became less frequent; in short
it was apparent that we had entered a different region, even if the
custom-house and police officers on the frontier had not signified to us
that we were now in the kingdom of Bavaria. We passed through extensive
forests of fir, here and there checkered with farms, and finally came
to the broad elevated plain bathed by the Isar, in which Munich is



The Dolomites are part of the Southern Tyrol. One portion is Italian,
one portion is Austrian, and the rivalry of the two nations is keen.
Under a warm summer sun, the quaint little villages seem half asleep,
and the inhabitants appear to drift dreamily through life. Yet this is
more apparent than real for, in many respects, the people here are busy
in their own way.

Crossing this region are many mountain ranges of limestone structure,
which by water, weather and other causes have been worn away into the
most fantastic fissures and clefts and the most picturesque peaks and
pinnacles. A very great charm is their curious coloring, often of great
beauty. The region of the Dolomites is a great contrast to the rest of
the Alps. Its characteristics do not make the same appeal to all. This
is largely not only a matter of individual taste and temperament but
also of one's mental or spiritual constitution, for the picture with its
setting depends as much upon what it suggests as upon its constituent
parts. The Dolomites suggest Italy in the contour of the country, in the
grace of the inhabitants and in the colors which make the scene one of
rich magnificence. The great artist Titian was born here[26] and he
probably learned much from his observation of his native place.

Many of the mountain ranges are of the usual gray but such is the
atmospheric condition that they seem to reflect the rosy rays of the
setting sun or the purplish haze that often is found. The peaks are not
great peaks in the sense that we speak of Mont Blanc, the Jungfrau,
the Matterhorn or Monte Rosa. They impress one more as pictures with
wonderful lights and strange grouping....

If the reader intends some day to visit the Dolomites he is advised to
enter from the north. Salzburg and the Salzkammergut, so much frequented
by the Emperor Francis Joseph and the Austrian nobility, make a good
introduction. Then by way of Innsbruck, one of the gems of the Tyrol,
Toblach is reached, where the driving tour may properly begin. Toblach
is a lovely place, if one stops long enough to see it and enjoy it! It
is not very far to Cortina, the center of this beautiful region. The way
there is very lovely. And driving is in keeping with the spirit of the
place. It almost seems profane to rush through in a motor, as some do,
for not only is it impossible to appreciate the scenery, but also it is
out of harmony with the peace and quiet which reign.

For a while there is traversed a little valley quite embowered in green,
but presently this abruptly leads into a wild gorge, with jagged peaks
on every side. Soon Monte Cristallo appears. This is the most striking
of all the Dolomite peaks. At a tiny village, called Schluderbach, the
road forks, that to the right going directly to Cortina, the other to
the left proceeding by way of Lake Misurina. Lake Misurina is a pretty
stretch of water, pale green in color and at an altitude of about 5,800
feet. On its shores are two very attractive and well-kept hotels, with
charming walks, from which one looks on a splendid panorama, picturesque
in extreme.

From Misurina, the road again ascends, becoming very narrow and very
steep. The top is called "Passo Tre Croci," the Pass of the Three
Crosses. The outlook is very lovely, with the three serrated peaks Monte
Cristallo, Monte Piano and Monte Tofana, standing as guardian sentinels
over the little valley of Ampezzo far below, where lies Cortina
sleeping in the sun, while in the distance shine the snow fields of the
Marmolata. Just as steeply as it climbed up one side, the road descends
on the other side, to Cortina. This place is the capital of the valley
and altogether lovely; beautiful in its woods and meadows, beautiful in
its mountain views, beautiful in the town itself and beautiful in its

Cortina has much to boast of--an ancient church and some old houses; an
industrial school in which the villagers are taught the most delicate
and artistic (and withal comparatively cheap) filigree mosaic work; and
a community of people, handsome in face and figure and possessing
a carriage and refinement superior to any seen elsewhere among the
mountaineers or peasantry. In the neighborhood of Cortina are many
excursions and also extended rock climbs, but those who go there in the
summer will be more apt to linger lazily amid the cool shade of the
trees than to brave the hot Italian sun on the peaks!

After a few days' stay at Cortina, the drive is continued. There are
many ways out. You can return by a new route to Toblach and the Upper
Tyrol. Or you can go south to Belluno and thence to northern Italy. Or
a third way and perhaps the finest tour of all is that over a series of
magnificent mountain passes to Botzen. This last crosses the Ampezzo
Valley and then begins the ascent of Monte Tofana, which here is
beautifully wooded. Steepness seems characteristic of this region!

It is hard to imagine a carriage climbing a road any steeper than that
one on the slopes of Monte Tofana! If narrow and steep is the way and
hard and toilsome the climb this Monte Tofana route most certainly
repays one when it reaches the Falzarego Pass (6,945 feet high) which is
certainly an earthly Paradise! One can not aptly describe a view like
that! It is all a picture; as if every part was purposely what it is,
here rocky, here green, here snowy, with summits, valleys, ravines and
villages and even a partly ruined castle to form a whole such as an
artist or poet would revel in.

After a pause on the summit of the Pass, again comes a steep descent,
as the drive is resumed, which continues to Andraz, where dejeuner
is taken. One can not live on air or scenery and even the most
indefatigable sightseer sometimes turns with longing to luncheon! Then
one returns with added zest to the feast of eye and soul. And at Andraz,
as one lingers awhile after luncheon on that high mountain terrace,
a lovelier scene than that spread before the eye could scarcely be
imagined. Indeed it is a "dream-scene," and as seen in the sleepy
stillness of the early afternoon, when the shadows are already playing
with the lights and gradually overcoming them, it seems like fancy, not

Again the carriage is taken and soon the road is climbing once more,
this time giving fine views of the Sella group of peaks and going
through a series of picturesque valleys. At Arabba (5,255 feet), a
pretty little village, the final ascent to Pordoi begins. The
scenery undergoes a change. It becomes more wild and barren and the
characteristics of the high Alps appear. The hour begins to be late and
it becomes cold, but the light still lingers as the carriage reaches the
summit of the pass and stops at the new Hotel Pordoi (7,020 feet high)
facing the weird, fantastic shapes of the Rosengarten and the Langkofel,
on the one side and on the other the snowy Marmolata and the summits
about Cortina....

The following morning the start is made for Botzen. The way steadily
descends for hours, past the pretty hamlets of Canazei, Campitello and
Vigo di Fassa, surrounded by an imposing array of Dolomite peaks. After
crossing the Karer Pass the scenery becomes much more soft and pastoral.
Below the pass, most beautifully situated is a little green lake called
the Karer-See....

At Botzen the drive through the Dolomites ends. At best it gives but
a glimpse of this delightful region! That glimpse leaves a lasting
impression, not of snowy summits and glistening glaciers, but of
wonderful rocks and more wonderful coloring and of great peaks of
fantastic form, set in a garden spot of green. And Botzen is a fitting
terminus. It dates far back to the Middle Ages. It boasts of churches,
houses and public buildings of artistic merit and architectural beauty
and over all there lingers an atmosphere of rest and refinement,
refreshing to see, where there might have been the noisy bustle and
hopeless vulgarity of so many places similarly situated.

There is plenty going on, nevertheless, for Botzen is quite a little
commercial center in its own way, but with it there is this charm
of dignified repose. One wanders through the town under the cool
colonnades, strolls into some ancient cloisters, kneels for a moment in
some finely carved church and then goes out again to the open, to see
far above the little city that beautiful background of the Dolomite
peaks, dominated by the wonderfully impressive and fantastic Rosengarten
range, golden red in the western sun. With such a view experience may
well lapse into memory, to linger on so long as the mind possesses the
power of recalling the past.



Situate on the left bank of the Boita, which here runs nearly due north
and south, with the Tre Croci pass opening away behind the town to the
east, and the Tre Sassi Pass widening before it to the west, Cortina
lies in a comparatively open space between four great mountains, and is
therefore less liable to danger from bergfalls than any other village
not only in the Val d'Ampezo but in the whole adjacent district. For
the same reason, it is cooler in summer than either Caprile, Agordo,
Primiero, or Predazzo; all of which, tho' more central as stopping
places, and in many respects more convenient, are yet somewhat too
closely hemmed in by surrounding heights. The climate of Cortina is
temperate throughout the year. Ball gives the village an elevation of
4,048 feet above the level of the sea; and one of the parish priests--an
intelligent old man who has devoted many years of his life to collecting
the flora of the Ampezzo--assured me that he had never known the
thermometer drop so low as fifteen degrees[28] of frost in even the
coldest winters. The soil, for all this, has a bleak and barren look;
the maize (here called "grano Turco") is cultivated, but does not
flourish; and the vine is unknown. But then agriculture is not a
specialty of the Ampezzo Thal, and the wealth of Cortina is derived
essentially from its pasture-lands and forests.

These last, in consequence of the increased and increasing value of
timber, have been lavishly cut down of late years by the Commune--too
probably at the expense of the future interests of Cortina. For the
present, however, every inn, homestead, and public building bespeaks
prosperity. The inhabitants are well-fed and well-drest. Their fairs
and festivals are the most considerable in all the South Eastern Tyrol;
their principal church is the largest this side of St. Ulrich; and their
new Gothic Campanile, 250 feet high, might suitably adorn the piazza of
such cities as Bergamo or Belluno.

The village contains about 700 souls, but the population of the Commune
numbers over 2,500. Of these, the greater part, old and young, rich and
poor, men, women, and children, are engaged in the timber trade. Some
cut the wood; some transport it. The wealthy convey it on trucks drawn
by fine horses which, however, are cruelly overworked. The poor harness
themselves six or eight in a team, men, women, and boys together, and
so, under the burning summer sun, drag loads that look as if they might
be too much for an elephant....

To ascend the Campanile and get the near view over the village, was
obviously one of the first duties of a visitor; so, finding the door
open and the old bellringer inside, we mounted laboriously to the
top--nearly a hundred feet higher than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Standing here upon the outer gallery above the level of the great
bells, we had the village and valley at our feet. The panorama, tho' it
included little which we had not seen already, was fine all around, and
served to impress the mainland marks upon our memory. The Ampezzo Thal
opened away to north and south, and the twin passes of the Tre Croci and
Tre Sassi intersected it to east and west. When we had fixt in our minds
the fact that Landro and Bruneck lay out to the north, and Perarolo to
the south; that Auronzo was to be found somewhere on the other side of
the Tre Croci; and that to arrive at Caprile it was necessary to go over
the Tre Sassi, we had gained something in the way of definite topography.
The Marmolata and Civetta, as we knew by our maps, were on the side
of Caprile; and the Marmarole on the side of Auronzo. The Pelmo, left
behind yesterday, was peeping even now above the ridge of the Rochetta;
and a group of fantastic rocks, so like the towers and bastions of a
ruined castle that we took them at first sight for the remains of some
medieval stronghold, marked the summit of the Tre Sassi to the west.

"But what mountain is that far away to the south?" we asked, pointing in
the direction of Perarolo.

"Which mountain, Signora?"

"That one yonder, like a cathedral front with two towers."

The old bellringer shaded his eyes with one trembling hand, and peered
down the valley.

"Eh," he said, "it is some mountain on the Italian side."

"But what is it called?"

"Eh," he repeated, with a puzzled look, "who knows? I don't know that I
ever noticed it before."

Now it was a very singular mountain--one of the most singular and the
most striking that we saw throughout the tour. It was exactly like
the front of Notre Dame, with one slender aiguille, like a flagstaff,
shooting up from the top of one of its battlemented towers. It was
conspicuous from most points on the left bank of the Boita; but the best
view, as I soon after discovered, was from the rising ground behind
Cortina, going up through the fields in the direction of the Begontina

To this spot we returned again and again, fascinated as much, perhaps,
by the mystery in which it was enveloped, as by the majestic outline of
this unknown mountain, to which, for want of a better, we gave the name
of Notre Dame. For the old bellringer was not alone in his ignorance.
Ask whom we would, we invariably received the same vague reply--it was
a mountain "on the Italian side." They knew no more; and some, like our
friend of the Campanile, had evidently "not noticed it before."





Once more--perhaps for the last time--I listen to the unnumbered
tinkling of the cow-bells on the slopes--"the sweet bells of the
sauntering herd"--to the music of the cicadas in the sunshine, and the
shouts of the neat herdlads, echoing back from Alp to Alp. I hear the
bubbling of the mountain rill, I watch the emerald moss of the pastures
gleaming in the light, and now and then the soft white mist creeping
along the glen, as our poet says, "puts forth an arm and creeps from
pine to pine." And see, the wild flowers, even in this waning season of
the year, the delicate lilac of the dear autumn crocus, which seems to
start up elf-like out of the lush grass, the coral beads of the rowan,
and the beech-trees just begun to wear their autumn jewelry of old gold.

As I stroll about these hills, more leisurely, more thoughtfully than I
used to do of old in my hot mountaineering days, I have tried to think
out what it is that makes the Alpine landscape so marvelous a tonic to
the spirit--what is the special charm of it to those who have once felt
all its inexhaustible magic. Other lands have rare beauties, wonders of
their own, sights to live in the memory for ever.

In France, in Italy, in Spain, in Greece and in Turkey, I hold in memory
many a superb landscape. From boyhood upward I thirsted for all kinds of
Nature's gifts, whether by sea, or by river, lake, mountain, or forest.
For sixty years at least I have roved about the white cliffs, the moors,
the riversides, lakes, and pastures of our own islands from Penzance to
Cape Wrath, from Beachy Head to the Shetlands. I love them all. But
they can not touch me, as do the Alps, with the sense at once of
inexhaustible loveliness and of a sort of conscious sympathy with every
fiber of man's heart and brain. Why then is this so?

I find it in the immense range of the moods in which Nature is seen
in the Alps, as least by those who have fully absorbed all the forms,

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