Odessa, S. Russia:  Memories by Edward Remick b. 1900

Last Updated: 10 March 2006

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Odessa History Continued


Odessa Harbour - A Deep Water Black Sea Port  - Winter 1986

Photograph by Pat Hubert

In the 1914 edition of Karl Baedeker's Travels he tells us that Odessa [pron. Adyessa] was one of the most important commerical towns in the Black Sea and held the headquarters of the 8th Amry Corps.  It's population was 630,000.  It's chief export was grain and flour that was wroth 80,0000 rubles or 40,000 American dollars [of that time].

It is a deep harbour protected against silting..... In 1912 there was counted 719 steamers .....

It lies twenty miles from the mouth of the Dniester River.

The description of th town was just as interesting. It had wife and well-paved streets shaded with trees.  Their pride was the wide Nicholas Blvd. with it's four rows of trees  which carried a person toward the harbour and Alexander Park. At the end of the blvd. was the moument of  is the bronze statue of  a French nobelman  Duc de Richelieu [erected in 1826] to remember it was he designed and created Odessa city while he was Governor-General from 1803 to 1914....  

In 1803, Edward Remick's mother's family, the Pfaffs, journeyed with Duc de Richelieu to the old Odessa established in 1794 by Catherine II "the Great".

 Before Odessa there was the village port town of Khadzhibei who's history dated back to a small Turco-Tartar who had taken up the ancient  settlement of Ordessus  which once belonged to the Sarmatians.....

Passed the statue of the Duc a person can  gain a marvelous view of the harbor as well as the  193  granite steps that  are forty feet wide and take a person down  sea leavel and Nicholas Church.


193 Steps Down to Sea - Odessa - Summertime

The slopes that descended to the sea were sprinkled with private gardens and datchas.

One could follow paths that would take you to beaches that were popular in the summer....  Beach resturants, arcades and other shops, such as picture galleries,  for the vacationer dotted this area.....


Odessa Was Known For It's Summer Holidays

The city had it's Places, Cathedrals and Opera House, theatres, municipal library, museums,  large hospitals, clinics, and schools from the lowest level to university levels, as well as a Cadet and Artillery schools....  Law Courts.... And, of course, the trainway stations.

Opera House Int

Interior of Odessa Opera House -1986

Catherine Square built in 1900 has a monument for the Empress Catherine II who is surrounded by other statues of Prince Potemkin, Count Zubov, Colonel de Volant, Admiral J. de Ribas.....

West side of Nicholas Blvd.  is the Imperial Palace where the govenors resided, however, by 1912 it was the commander-in-chief of the troops of Odessa District who lived in the fine old palace.

There were eclectic tramways.....

In the Museum of Antiquities west of the City Hall [Duma] was held such items as:

  • Greek antiquities
  • Greek and Roman glass
  • Fragments of vases from the 6th and 5th cen. BC
  • Antiquities from Tyras [Akkerman] - old bronze vessels
  • Limestone figure of a Roman legionary
  • Neolithic object from Pretani
  • Christian antiquities
  • Ancient weapons
  • Old coins, meals and books
  • Portraits
  • Egyptian antiquities
  • Works in bone

There were three springs that gave the city it's fresh water....  Not found in the city is the Little Fountain, Middle Fountain, and Great Fountain which is just four miles from the German-Russian colony of Lustdorf....

The churches and Cathedrals Baedeker named were:

  • English Church, - Rev. R. Courtier-Forster
  • Lutheran Church, St. Paul's - 1897  [Original built 1827]
  • Nicholas Church
  • Roman Catholic Church rebuilt in 1853
  • Transfiguration, Cathedral of the  - 1795
  • Troitzkaya Church - 1808

Russians visited Odessa in the winter, too.  There was a large skating rink.....

The harbors was divided into four parts:

  • Quarantine Harbour -  for foreign vessels
  • New Harbour - for steamers of the Volunteer Fleet
  • Coaling Harbor - Russian steamers and other Russian vessels
  • Pratique Harbour - for steamers of the Russian Steam Navigation & Trading Co. and sailing-ships

There were three limans [small inlets at the mouth of rivers separated from the main body of sea by a narrow string of land.... All of them were doted with summer homes, health spas and sanatoriums.....

  • Kkuyalnitzki Liman which was north of Odessa and about 20 miles long and about 10 feet deep...
  • Kadzhibeiski Liman which is about 4 1/2 miles from the city.  It is about 18 miles long and 2 miles wide.
  • Xenievka Liman which is ten miles  southwest of the city and near the German-Russian colony of Klein-Liebental [Xenievka]. It was 7 miles long and 2/3 mile wide and about 7 feet deep.

Dates of interest:

  • 1794 - Catherine II order the foundation of the city on 27 May 1794 and the first stone was laid by Admiral J. De Ribas on 22 Aug of 1794...
  • 1803- 1814 Duc de Richelius was Governor-General
  • 1854 - Naval harbor was bombarded by Franco-British
  • 1876 - 1877 Odessa was blockaded unsuccessfully  by the Turks

Duc Statue

Duc de Richelieu, Father of Odessa S. Russia

Duc de Richelieu was  christian Armand Emmanuel Sophie Septimanie [sic] du Plessis in the year of his birth 1766.  He would lived to the year 1822.  He was the son of Louis de Plessis,  the duc of  de Fraonsac, and, the grandson of the well known marshal of Richelieus.

 His life in ore detail can be on on pages 97 to 110 in  Joseph S. Height's book HOMESTEADERS ON THE STEPPE, The Odyssey of a Pioneering People.

A few important highlights taken from his life story:

  • married Rosalie de Rochechouart
  • traveled to Italy, Switzerland and Germany with his tutor
  • became a lieutenant of a regiment of the Queen's dragoons
  • received position at the court of Louis XVI
  • 1790 field with emigres to Germany from the French Revolutionists
  • attended the coronation of Emperor Leopold II at Roemer, Frankfurt
  • he and his friends Prince Charles de Ligne and Count de Langeron dicided to join General Suvarov siege of the Turkish fortress at Ismail and traveled 1,5000 miles to take part.....
  • joined Prince Potemkin near Bender on the Dnister River.....
  • at this camp he met other French emigres  one was Count Roger de Damas....
  • met the commander in the field Count Suvorov...
  • 21 Dec - bombardment of Ismail fortress began....
  • Richelieu ended up with several bullet holes in his military jacket while heavy losses were reported,  38,000 men lay dead.... Some 4,000 would die of their wounds....
  • returned to Paris for the funeral of his father
  • returned to Russia and
  • 1792 - Catherine the Great gave him the Cross of St. George for his services in the campaign at Fort Ismail and later commissioned Richelieu to deliver money to Prince de Conde, who was leading the Royalist forces....
  • May 1792 Richelius wife as place in prison, all his property was confiscated
  • 1796 - Death of Cathaerine II
  • Tsar Paul promoted him to rank of lieutenant general.... because of Tsar  Paul  state of mind and emotion he reprimanded, fired, rehired the duc....
  • 1800 he quit the military
  • he returned to paris 2 Jan 1802
  • returned to Russia under the invitation of the new Tsar Alexander I....
  • Alexander I gave him at new appointment of civil governor of Odessa plus gifts of money.....
  • 1803 - arrived in Odessa
  • 1805 Alexander I named him Governor-general of New Russia which was and area as large as France.....
  • the plans for the towns future  streets and buildings were made
  • 1811 - Alexander I gave him the Grande Cordon of St. Alexander Nevski and a generous compensation for his traveling expenses....
  • 1812 - Napoleon marches into Russia
  • plague prevented the Duc from sending troops
  • 1814 - Alexander I, the Russian troops defeated Napoleon and rode into Paris
  • 1814 the Duc left Odessa and returned to Paris....
  • After Napoleon's second defeat at Waterloo, the Duc was given the position of premier minister of Louis XVIII cabinet....
  • 1818 retired to private life
  • died 1822

Frozen Od. Har.

The Odessa harbor does freeze around the edges in winter. - 1986

Photograph by Pat Hubert

Odessa is presently  [1999] in the Russian state of the Ukraine.

MAP: Beresan Area includes the following:
  • Odessa
  • Worms / Odessa, Southern Russia  [Ukraine] and Others





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