Евреи Петербурга. Три века истории


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In the post-reform period, the architecture of palaces, mansions and official edifices was gradually superseded by the architecture of apartment blocks and banks. A new style was being sought. The prevailing architectural style was respectfully named historicism by some critics and scornfully named eclectic by others. New tendencies in the architecture of St. Petersburg were originated by such architects as Kitner, Krakau, Mesmakher, Parland, Rezanov, Suzor, and Fontana. In the buildings of this period Renaissance motifs were combined with Moorish style and baroque elements.
Some architects, such as Ropet, Gartman and Nikonov, sought to restore features of ancient Russian style.The Stieglitz school. Architect Mesmacher
New materials - concrete and metals - were actively used in building houses. Facades were often trimmed with brick and stone. However, the facades of new buildings had long been decorated with mouldings, which were often too heavy and nearly always short-lived in St. Petersburg's climate. After the canal surrounding the Admiralty was filled in, the Alexander Gardens were planted along the facade facing the city in 1874, and a number of bank and residential buildings were constructed along the Neva. The Liteiny bridge, the second permanent stone bridge across the Neva, was built in 1875-79.Bassin´s apartment block. Architect Nikonov
Between 1870 and the early 1890s the population of the capital continued growing rapidly, mainly due to peasants moving to the city and becoming workers, servants, petty traders, and craftsmen. From 1869 to 1890 the population grew by almost one third - to 954,400. The social elite consisted not only of dignitaries, courtiers and the military, but also, to an increasing extent, of major bankers, industrialists, and wholesalers. The center of the city was becoming equipped with modern amenities: running water, horsecars, luxurious stores and restaurants. St. Petersburg increasingly resembled European capitals. The provincial-looking outskirts were inhabited by workers. Suburban farms supplied the city with vegetables and dairy products.The village of Tentelevka near St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg attracted young people from all over Russia, as the country's largest center of education and science. Despite all restrictions and even a temporary closure, the University of St. Petersburg kept growing and by the end of the 19th century had more than 3500 students. A large number of students went to the Technological Institute, Institute of Transportation Routes Engineers, Mining Institute and the Academy of Forestry. The Technical School of Telegraphic Engineers (after 1891, the Electrical Engineering Institute) was established in 1882. The Medico-Surgical Academy, converted in 1881 into the Military Medical Academy, was one of the largest centers of medical science and medical education in the country. In 1885, the Clinical Institute was opened. By the mid-1890s, about 30% of all civil higher educational institutions with about 40% of all students in Russia were located in St. Petersburg.The Electrical Engineering Institute
It was in St. Petersburg that higher education first became available to women in Russia. From 1870 to 1875 the Alarchin women's courses provided education above secondary though lower than university. In 1872, the learned midwives' courses (women's medical courses) were opened at the Medico-Surgical Academy. The Petersburg higher women's courses (the Bestuzhev courses), opened in 1878, were at the university level in their range of subjects and quality of education. Male and female students took an equally active part in the Russian revolutionary movement."A girl-student". Painting by Nikolay Yaroshenko, 1883
During these years St. Petersburg remained the largest center of book-publishing and the press. The city accounted for more than one third of the 10,230 books published throughout Russia in 1893. The sales of the largest publishing companies owned by the Glazunovs, M. Volf, and Suvorin - amounted to millions of rubles. Russia rivaled Germany and France and surpassed England and the USA in the output of books. 304 periodicals were issued in St. Petersburg by 1894, including 25 literary journals, 17 illustrated magazines, and 18 newspapers. The number of libraries and reading-rooms, especially private ones, was increasing. Thus, in 1881 there were as many as 39 reading rooms in St. Petersburg. Books and newspapers entered the everyday life not only of educated classes, but of ordinary people as well. However, up to 40% of the adult population of the capital remained illiterate. The literacy level of Jews was one of the highest among the city's ethnic minorities."A newsman". Engraving on wood, 1876

The Stieglitz school. Architect Mesmacher
Bassin´s apartment block. Architect Nikonov
The village of Tentelevka near St. Petersburg
The Electrical Engineering Institute
"A girl-student". Painting by Nikolay Yaroshenko, 1883
"A newsman". Engraving on wood, 1876

The Stieglitz school. Architect Mesmacher