Illustrated Description Of Russia

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Ice-Mountains at St. Petersburg during Easter

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Ice-Mountains at St. Petersburg during Easter
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The most striking of these preparations are the ice-mountains, which form the subject of the frontispiece to this volume, and the method of their construction. A narrow scaffold is raised to the height of thirty or more feet, on the top of which is a gallery, ascended on one side by wooden steps; on the other is the great descent, very steep "at first, and gradually declining till it becomes level with the ground. It is formed of huge square blocks of ice laid upon planks. Under a few strokes of the hatchet the beautiful crystal masses assume a regular form, and over the whole water is thrown, from time to time, which cements, or rather ices the blocks together. Where it is level with the ground, dams of snow are formed on. either side, and the gulley between filled with water, which, freezing smooth as glass, lengthens the slide. Two such ice-mountains stand always opposite one another, so that their paths, only separated by the snow-dams, run parallel to each other.

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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855