​The Sukharev Tower (now destroyed)

Very few houses in Moscow possess wells; nearly all the water used is drawn from the few stone basins in the streets. The manner in which the people draw the water is extraordinarily rude and simple. They drive the carts on which the barrels are placed close to the basin, bale out the water in little pails to which long poles are fastened, and from the pails, without any medium of spout or funnel, into the square bung-hole of the cask. Their aim is certainly remarkably good, and the greater part of the water goes into the barrel, but enough runs over, notwithstanding, to make a constant swamp in the summer, and a very inconvenient hill of ice in the winter. This waste is the more unpardonable, because the water is brought, with much labour and great cost, by the canal of Sukhareva Bashnia.

This Sukhareva Bashnia — that is, the tower of Sukhareff — was originally a building erected by Peter the Great for the administration of the Strelitz, and was named after a certain Sukhareff, who, though himself a Strelitz, did the emperor good service during the revolt of those Russian pretorian bands. It is a lofty square tower in the Garden-street, standing in the centre of a long building, and serves, as before said, as a reservoir for the city. The water from which the tower is supplied rises seventeen versts from Moscow, is brought by an aqueduct to within three versts, and there raised by a steam-engine erected by the Emperor Nicholas, and impelled into the basin of the tower, whence it is carried to the different basins in the city. The water pours into the basin of the tower from a silver vessel, placed on one side, which sends out constantly fifty streams, each an inch in diameter. The Russian eagle, likewise of silver, expands his wings over these fifty fountains; and on the wall above all, the picture of a saint is suspended, under whose auspices all this labour is carried on. Such a guardian is placed over every spring used by man in Russia.

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