This photograph shows a child's funeral procession crossing the Nikolaievsky Bridge to the Vasilli Island side. Proceeding the white clad attendants was a cart pulled by a horse from which spring flowers were scattered along the way the hearse would follow. The mourners following the hearse dressed in black.

The hearse is on it's way to the vast cemeteries of Vassili Island where each religious and ethnic group had its' own last resting spot. The most prestigious cemetery in Petersburg in which to be buried was at the far, far end of Nevskii prospect at the Alexander Nevsky monastery. Here, surrounding the church, tens of thousands of Petersburgers found what they hoped would be their final resting place. Its crowded permanent residents included famous composers and political figures as well as simple shop girls and minor government bureaucrats. By 1900 it was becoming very difficult to find an empty spot to call one's own, but money could make anything possible. For a few rubles surreptitious evictions of the forgotten from their neglected resting places to make room for others could be discretely arranged.

Above: The Cathedral of the Trinity by Stasov

The enormous cemetery at Alexander Nevsky provided an increasing danger to the citizens of the city over the years and the city fathers - ever worried about cholera and diphtheria outbreaks observed it with alarm. The graves were dug along the river and below the shallow water table. The public health hazard to the water system of the city and its living from the departed was very real.

Next photograph: The English Quay and the American Embassy

For a small map of the St. Petersburg area click here.

To see a large map of the center of St. Petersburg go here.

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