Page images

iron ; and the manufactures consist of coarse cloth, woollen stuffs, cotton and silk stockings, velvet, carpets and clocks. In Bavaria are reckoned 16 large lakes, 160 smaller ; great and small rivers, 275 ; forests, 360 ; and 720 mountains. The religion is the Roman Catholic, and the churches are said to be more than 28,000. 400. Chief Towns. Munich, the chief town in Bavaria, is seated on the Iser, 62 miles south of Ratisbon, and 214 west of Vienna, and contains about 40,000 inhabitants. The palace is a grand structure, consisting of several courts, adorned in the most magnificent manner, with tapestry, gilding, sculpture, paintings and statues. It contains a vast collection of jewels, antiquities and curiosities. The great hall is 118 feet in length, and the staircase leading to it is of marble and gold. The library contains a great collection of books and manuscripts in ancient and modern languages. Among the curiosities is a cherry stone, on which 140 heads are distinctly engraved. The streets are broad, the houses well built, and painted on the outside; the market place and the gardens of the palace are very beautiful. 401. Ratisbon. Ratisbon is a large, handsome city, on the Danube, and called by the Germans Regensburg, from the river Regen which there enters the Danube. It was formerly subject to the princes of Bavaria, but was declared free by Frederick I. The religion is the Lutheran, but there are some Catholics. The city contains many magnificent houses, and in particular the town-house, in which the dict or assembly of the German states convenes. Within the walls are five independent jurisdictions. The government is in the hands of a senate of seventeen members, and a council of ten. 402. Palatinate. The Lower Palatinate is a country of about 25 miles in length upon the Rhine and the Neckar. Formerly it extended to the west of the Rhine, but by a late conquest, that part west of the river is incorporated with France. It is a mountainous region, abounding with valuable metals, and producing corn and wine in abundance. The inhabitants are Protestants and Catholics, between whom subsists a most



rancorous animosity. The chief cities are Manheim and Heidelberg, Manheim, at the confluence of the Rhine and théockat, is a beautiful city of about 20,000 inhabitants. Heidelberg, on the south side of the Neckar, is celebrated for its university, and for a large cask, called the tun of Heidelberg, which holds 800 hogsheads. The Upper Palatinate, upon the river Nab, belongs to the king of Bavaria. 403. Smaller States. Anspach, with Bareuth, has a population of 320,000 souls—Salzia contains 200,000 ; the archbishop of Salzburg is the primate of all Germany, and the city of Salzburg contains 20,000 inhabitants, with a university—The Margraviate of Baden contains 200,000 souls—The Bishopric of Bamberg contains 180,000—The Bishopric of Augsburg is large and opulent—Nuremburg, a free imperial city, contains 30,000 souls—Ulm, about half that number—but the small states are too numerous to admit of particular description. 404. Mineral Waters. As Germany contains minerals of almost every kind in the richest abundance, so its mineral springs are numerous, and celebrated beyond any others in Europe. Those most frequented are the waters of Pyrmont. The waters of Spa and Aix la Chapelle are equally esteemed, but are now within the dominions of France. The medicinal springs of Embs, Wisbaden, Wildungen, Carlsbad and Baden, are also in estimation. 405. Character of the Germans. The Germans are of full size and fair complexion. They are naturally frank, honest, hospitable and industrious, less volatile and more faithful than the French. The nobility are very much attached to titles, and attempt to maintain the rank of their families, tho wholly destitute of property. The peasantry, in some parts of the country, are oppressed by the princes; but in other parts, and especially in Saxony, they enjoy a good degree of liberty. 406. Literature. Germany can boast of great numbers of writers, of the first reputation, in all branches of learning. In Germany was discovered, or greatly imProved, the art of printing, the nurse of all other arts— In Germany began the reformation from popcry—and Germany has produced a large portion of the most important discoveries in physic, astronomy and chemistry. It contains a great number of universities, colleges and academies for promoting the sciences and arts. Printing and book-making are even carried to excess; but the multiplication of books, tho excessive, never fails to produce many valuable works.

AUSTRIAN DOMINIONS. . 407. Divisions. The dominions of the emperor of Austria comprehend many distinct territories, as Austria proper, Bohemia, Moravia, part of Silesia, Hungary, Transylvania, Buckovin, Galitz, Carniola, Carinthia, Stiria, Croatia and Slavonia. Before the late conquests of France, Austria possessed ten provinces of the Netherlands, and several duchies in Italy, but these have been wrested from the emperor; the provinces in the Netherlands being annexed to France, and those of Italy being united with other divisions into a kingdom. 408. Situation and extent. The dominions of Austria extend from the 10th to the 27th degree of east longitude, and from the 45th to the 53d of north latitude. The length from east to west is 760 miles, and the bredth from south to north about 500. On the north the boundaries are the Russian and Prussian territories, with a part of Saxony; on the east and south are the Russian and Turkish dominions, and on the west, Swisserland and the Italian states. The inhabitants are at least 20 millions. 409. JWame and History. The name Austria is a change of the original word, which is Osterick, eastern rick, eastern kingdom, so called in opposition to the western kingdom under Charles the Great. It is probable that the primitive inhabitants were Celts, but the first inhabitants of whom history has given any distinct account were of Gothic origin. The provinces of Hungary, Moravia and Poland were peopled by Slavonic nations, which came from Asia, and either by original possession, or by an expulsion of the Goths, became Enasters of those countries. These regions were sub**.

[ocr errors]

dued by the Roman emperors, but upon the dissolution of the empire, they fell into the power of the northern barbarians. 410. Rise of the Austrian family. The house of Austria, now so powerful, sprung from the counts of Hapsburgh, who possessed a small territory in the canton of Bern. On an eminence crowned with beech, near the river Aar, stands an ancient tower, the first seat of the family of Austria. In 1273, Rodolph, count of Hapsburgh, was raised to the imperial throne. He then post;essed Swisserland, but in 1307 the Swiss revolted, and maintained their independence. By marriage and inheritance, the princes of this house gradually augmented their dominions, till they hold the second rank in the scale of European potentates. 41 1. Face of the Country and Climate. Austria is diversified by mountains and plains, rivers, lakes and morasses. On the south are the hilly regions of the Alps, Tyrol, and the provinces around the Gulf of Venice. North of the Danube are considerable plains in Moravia and Hungary, which are terminated by the great chain of Carpathian mountains. The climate is diversified by these circumstances. The temperature of the plains is mild, and great quantities of wine are made in Moravia and Hungary, as well as in other parts of Austria. The imorasses of Hungary render the air, in some places, insalubrious, but in general the country is healthful, and in winter the lakes and rivers are covered with ice. 412. Mountains. The Alps, called by the Romans Rhetian, run from the south west to the north east, between the Trent and the Inn; then change their di‘rection, and run to the south east through Carinthia and Corniola, but in these provinces are of less altitude. On the north is the chain of Krapak, which the Romans softened into Carpathian, extending about 500 miles, in a semicircular form, on the north of Moravia and Hungary. The highest peaks of this chain are the KesThark, the Somnitz, and the Krivan, which are estimated to be about 8600 feet high. , 43. Rivers. The Danube, which has before been described, runs nearly through the center of the Austrian

[ocr errors]

dominions. The Inn, the Drave, the Save, the Tiess, with its numerous branches, the Waag, the Morave, the Ens, and many smaller streams, pour their waters into the Danube. Of these, the Tiess, whose sources are on the Carpathian mountains, is more than 400 miles in length. Nearly equal to this is the Save, and the Drave is 350 miles in length. The head streams of the Adige and Trent water Tyrol, as do the head streams of the Elbe, the territory of Bohemia. In Galitz are the Bug, the Wisla, and the head streams of the Neister. 414. Lakes, Morasses and Forests. The lakes are numerous, among which are the Traun, the Ebernesse ; the Cirknitz See, in Carniola, and a central lake in Carinthia. The Platten See, in Hungary, is 45 miles in length by 8 in bredth, and abounds with fish. The Neusidler Lake isthirteen miles in length, four in bredth, and bordered by morasses. The lake of Palitzer, on the east of the Tiess, is 8 miles in length. Numerous small lakes are situated among the Carpathian mountains. The forests are numerous, especially on the mountains. 415. Animals. Among the animals in Austria may be mentioned the wild boar, found also in Germany, of a size much larger than common swine. The breed of wild cattle, called urus or bison, is found in the Carpathian mountains. The native breed of horses is small, but imported breeds have supplied the armies of Austria with excellent cavalry. The color of the cattle is mostly a slaty blue; and the sheep are distinguished by their long, erect, spiral horns. The Danube furnishes some fish rarely found in other rivers, especially a species of small delicate salmon. 416. Minerals. The mines of Bohemia have been celebrated for ages. Silver, copper, tin, lead, iron, alum, magnet, sulphur, vitriol, talck, are among the produce of its mines; also garnets of the most beautiful kind, of which are made necklaces, and other ornaments. The iron of Stiria furnishes the finest steel; the lead mines near Pegua furnish 5000 tuns a year. Stiria also furnishes coal. The mines of Idria abound with quicksilver, and the hill of Vogelberg yields ano

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »