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Articles

17/09/2012

Duke de Richelieu


Duke de Richelieu

The monument, of the founders of the city, Duke de Richelieu on the Promenade is one of the main attractions of Odessa. His images can be found in the brochures, postcards, and even postage stamps.

Descendant of Cardinal de Richelieu because of the French Revolution had to immigrate to Russia, where he distinguished himself in the capture of Ishmael. After some time, was appointed governor-general of Odessa. Despite the fact that he was the mayor of Odessa only in 1803 (9 years after its creation), his contemporaries regarded him as one of the founders of the city. After 11 years of running the city, he went on increasing – Talleyrand succeeded as Prime Minister of France. After 6 years, he resigned, and was about to return to Odessa to live the last years of his life in their "new home". But fate had other plans: a few months after retirement, at the age of 56 years, Armand Emmanuel de Richelieu died of a stroke.

Upon learning of the death of his predecessor, the Odessa mayor, Count Langeron, began raising funds for the erection of the monument, which started two years later, under the new governor-general, CountVorontsov. The work was supervised to the famous sculptor Ivan Martos (author of the monument to Minin and Pozharsky) and acclaimed architect Franz Boffo. The opening of the monument to Duke was conducted in April 1828.

At the base of the monument are three bas-relief, representing agriculture, judiciary and trade. The last of these, namely bag of coins pictured on it, is very popular among tourists. According to the false information, the person who touches it to improve business skills and it will be a success and wealth.

During the Crimean War, Anglo-French squadron bombarded Odessa. This military action was reflected in the monument to Duke. One of the kernels damaged pedestal of the monument after the war at the injury site was installed iron patch with stylized cannonball. In one version, the reason for installing a cannonball on the monument is a curious situation: "the French fusillade the monument to their former Prime Minister" and Odessa special sense of humor.

In the XIX century, next to the monument was a gun which with the help of its shots proclaimed citizens about coming of noon. In 1880, it was stolen, probably by hunters of non-ferrous metals. A few days later some "well-wisher" came to the governor and said that he would show a witness of a theft. The mayor agreed to the terms and they went to the scene together, where the well-wisher pointed to the statue of Duke and said, "Here he has seen everything!".

Odessa citizens of all generations love this gorgeous masterpiece of Martosa. "Meet me at the" Duke "-they say. Or "Ask" Duke "- when someone asks very difficult or tricky question. As you know, the monument is a kind of mystical place, the aura of which could have been felt by citizens at different times.

So, about the middle of the previous century before final exams at school there was a tradition to go to Duke for moral support and fatherly blessing. Moreover, in the 60's for many years in sequence, at midnight at the pedestal of the Duke out of nowhere appeared a piece of paper with the themes of works by Russian language, which were sounded next morning in the classroom. History is silent as to who actually was the benefactor of the graduates, but "school" legend of Duke exists up to this day.

The monument is located on the boulevard, facing the sea, in front of him Potemkin Stairs leading to the Naval Station. Duke, how-to meets arrivals in Odessa by sea. To his right there is a funicular; behind the monument are two buildings that form a semi-circular area on the monument to Catherine II and the founding of the city.

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