Blohm & Voss Bv138

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Vitberg pointed out that the monastery of St. Simon was also ancient and would be damaged by construction nearby. Finally Arakcheev, who believed that the cathedral was an undertaking of great national importance, gave up and supported Vitberg’s proposal. Although it is known that Arakcheev and Vitberg didn’t get along well, their relationship is difficult to fathom. Vitberg’s son, Fyodor, stated that his father had become a victim of Arakcheev’s intrigues, but there is no evidence for such a statement.

The compass symbolizes the sun, while the level represents the section of the globe’s surface the sun illuminates. In the space between compass and level is the world of truth. 5 The architectural profession was highly respected in the Masonic world. Masonry was established in Britain, and in Vitberg’s time Masons believed that Christopher Wren was the founding father of the Great English lodge. 6 Later it was learned that Wren had not played such an important a role but that he was a lodge member—a kind of second Hiram Abiff.

9 On the eve of his decisive trip to St. Petersburg to meet the czar for the first time, Vitberg undertook a pilgrimage to the village of Avdotiono- V I T B E R G ’ S C AT H E D R A L 25 Tikhvinskoe, near Moscow, to seek the advice of Nicholas Novikov, the patriarch of the Russian Mason-Martinists. ”¹0 Novikov virtually established the tradition of private social activity in Russia. An idealist and a mystic who believed that the world could be regenerated by individual self-improvement, he was at the same time a practical genius whose brain overflowed with schemes.

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