Simbirsk, the capital of this government, is situated on an isthmus between the Volga and the Sviaga. For a place of nearly twenty thousand inhabitants, it wears a mean and insignificant appearence—its situation, indeed, being its chief recommendation. It stands partly on an eminence., which commands a fine prospect, and partly on a plain. Prom the terrace, near the governor's house, a magnificent and expansive view is obtained over the basin of the Volga, which here spreads itself in narrow channels through the low land, beyond which the high hills of the Jigoulee bound the prospect to the south, while in every other direction the steppes seem illimitable. Immediately at your feet are cottages and gardens, and on the opposite bank of the river are some large villages. The white sails of many pashaliks, glistening on the broad surface of the stream, and the occasional passing of a steamer, complete a charming picture.
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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855