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Vorontsov Monument in Cathedral Park


By Galen Frysinger, more recent photo: 2003

Vorontsov Monument in Cathedral Park

History
Count Mikhail S. Vorontsov was a popular governor general of Novarussia (which includes today's Odessa) from 1823-1844. Vorontsov came from an influential and famous Russian family. Born in 1782, his father, Count Simon was appointed as the Russian ambassador to London in 1785.

Vorontsov fought several battles against the French and Turks in the early 1800's. He was wounded at Borodino, Russia (a small village West of Moscow) on September 7, 1812 after failing to protect the village from Napoleon's advancing troops. Vorontsov was a corps commander of Russian occupation forces after Napoleon's defeat from 1815-1818. He married Elizabeth, the daughter of Count Branicki, grandniece of Prince Potemkin in 1819. (Photo of Potemkin)

Opinions about Vorontsov in the 19th century were mixed, as reflected in A.S. Puskin's quip:

Half hero and half ignoramus
What's more half scoundrel,
Don't forget.
But on his score the man gives promise
That he will be a whole one yet.

Under Vorontsov's administration Primorsky Boulevard was finished, permanent shipping routes between Black Sea ports was established, the Black Sea Shipping Company was created, three newspapers were started, the first water system was built, the first city library started, the Museum of Antiques was opened, and the Odessa Historical and Antique Society was established.

After his term as governor ended, he captured the Black Sea port city of Varna, Bulgaria and fought in the Caucuses. Nicolas I made him a prince. He died in 1856.

Vorontsov lived in today's children's palace

Vorontsov exiled Pushkin after Pushkin had an affair with his wife

Vorontsov donated 25,000 books that made up his personal library to the Odessa State University library

Vorontsov and his wife were buried in the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, which is detailed above.

Construction
The monument was sculptured by F. Brugger in 1862, and unveiled on November 9, 1963.

On the sides of the pedestal are engravings of historical events in Vorontsov's life:

 

On the south side, facing the cathedral, "Kraon 1814" depicts the war in France, before Napoleon's capture.
On the north side, facing Sadovaya (Садовая) street, "Varna 1828"
depicts the Russian-Turkish war
On the back is Vorontsov with his assistants from 1823-1854.
   
Memorial plaque
Sobornaya Square 4
(Соборная Площадь)
In this building renowned Czech writer-democrat
Svatopluk Cheh stayed in 1874
during his trip to Russia. 1846-1908

Memorial plaque
at School number 121
Lva Tolstovo 1 (Льва Толстово)
On Sobornaya Square
(Соборная Площадь)
The young intelligence scout and guerrilla fighter
Yakov Gordienko, killed in June 1942,
studied in this school.

(For more on Yakov, see children's palace)

Continue your virtul tour by walking along
Sadovaya Street (Садовая)
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