“Of the acts I have accomplished in this life, I find important the founding of the city and port, which by the will of the empress was given a marvelous name — Odessa — a trade route connecting the peoples to exchange their hands and mind works.”
Admiral Joseph M. de Ribas
Admiral Joseph M. de Ribas
According to many historians, Greek tribes were the first to appear on the territory of modern Odessa. In ancient times, and specifically in the VI-th century BC, they came to the Northern Black Sea region, establishing many settlements here. From the moment Odessa was born, construction workers constantly found remnants of vases, bowls, amphoras, and pottery in the land. Today it is known for certain that on the place where the huge city lies there existed a colony of Greeks Istrian (Istrian) with a harbor called Ishiak. The colony, as well as all the other settlements nearby, was administratively subordinate to the city-state of Olbia, located on the right bank of the Dnieper-Bug estuary of the northern coast of the Black Sea. People in the settlement were engaged in fishing, and also traded with the Scythian tribes coming from the boundless steppes.
Mercator 1613 card of the year Taurica Chersonesus. Nostra aetate Pruccopsca et Gazara dictur. In the area of modern Odessa, the map shows Ginestra and Flor de Lix
In written references to the ruler Arrian of Cappadocia, who explored the shores of the Black Sea by order of Emperor Rome Adrian in the 2nd century BC, in the place where Odessa is located today is the existence of a small village, a former ship shelter for Istrian sailors. But in the 3rd and 4th centuries of our era, in the course of global processes for the great migration of peoples, the Northern shores of the Black Sea were devastated, and numerous settlements were looted, destroyed, and forgotten.
Trying to pick the most extraordinary adjective suitable for the city of Odessa, it is worthwhile to dwell on the word “saturated”. Indeed, Odessa is saturated historysoaked with it. It is rumored that at different times the city was inhabited by people of more than one hundred and fifty nationalities, each of which has its own cultural values. One has only to look at the map, and immediately much becomes clear. Almost every national community has left a memory of itself in the form of the names of historic districts, streets, boulevards and squares. Greek street and Bulgarian, Jewish and Estonian, Big and Small Arnautsk streets, Polish descent, Italian and French boulevards, Moldavanka and Lyustdorf districts (this is “Merry village” in German) and much more.
In the 13th century, the power of the Byzantine Empire was no longer as strong as before, which made it possible to travel freely through the straits of the Black Sea. Entrepreneurial Italian merchants were the first to try to gain a foothold on the northern shores of the Black Sea, establishing small towns, such as Likostomo, Tana, Vichina, Kafa, Monkastro and others. What was built on the site of the Greek colony Istrian is not known for certain. On the found maps of Italian navigators of that period, the coast in this area was called "Ginestra". Most likely, it was the usual harbor or anchorage. Merchants from Italy traded with the Nogai Horde, which occupied the steppes adjacent to the Gulf of Odessa. This nomadic state broke away from the Golden Horde, which fell apart after the attack of Tamerlane’s army. The most valuable goods of the developed trade relations with the Horde were grain and slaves.
The main brands of Odessa are, of course, humor and a special language. The locals themselves are convinced that they are directly obliged to the heyday of humor directly due to the mild climate, the national diversity of the population and the presence of the sea. From Odessa came a huge variety of creative talents. Ilf and Petrov, Yuri Olesha, Leonid Utesov, Isaac Babel, Arkady Averchenko, Mikhail Zhvanetsky, Nadezhda Teffi, Roman Kartsev, Viktor Ilchenko, as well as Mask Show and Club of Odessa Gentlemen. And the list goes on and on.
Hadzhibey. 1899 Ladyzhensky Gennady Alexandrovich
There are two versions of the appearance of the village, which turned into Odessa with time. The first of them is called Tatar, and accordingly it comes from the fact that the village called Khadzhibey appeared in the middle of the XIVth century thanks to the efforts of the Tatar nomadic hordes. Supporters of this hypothesis cite available evidence that at the end of the XIV-th century the territory of the coast of the Gulf of Odessa was occupied by the Perekop Horde. He was led by the Bek (head of the clan) Haji. Haji translated from Turkish literally means "having been to Mecca", which probably indicates his pilgrimage to Mecca or Medina. Haji-Bey or in Slavonic Kachibey was also famous for participating in the Battle of the Blue Waters, where the Tatar-Mongol troops were utterly defeated by Olgerd, the Grand Duke of Lithuania. Unfortunately, no documents of the XIV-th century with indications of the settlement were found. Thus, the Tatar version is based only on the similarity of the sound of names.
According to the second hypothesis, the village was built much later, after these lands became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was given the correct name Kotsyubey in honor of the famous Lithuanian magnate Kotsyuba-Yakushinsky, who resettled his subjects here. The only weighty argument of this version is that in the found historical letters the first mention of the settlement refers only to the 1413 year. However, based on the meaning of the above text, it becomes clear that at this time the settlement was already a well-developed and well-known shopping center. This means that the possibility that Khadzhibey existed long before the annexation of these territories to the Lithuanian Principality and was founded by the Tatars or Italians cannot be ruled out.
Kotsyubeev on the map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
In order for the animal world to develop harmoniously, nature has invented special predators, forest nurses. Odessans, having learned from nature, also invented their nurses, “nurses of business”, and if it is simpler, thieves. There are thieves in any city in the world, but only in Odessa their population has always been found in something even a useful, integral part of local life. One traveler, who visited Odessa at the beginning of the nineteenth century, wrote about what he saw: "Of course, this is a republic of crooks." Representatives of the honorable and ancient profession mentioned in the Ten Commandments, living in the most colorful city of our country, could not help but paint their activities with Odessa colors. According to the stories of local connoisseurs of non-trivial thieves' methods, methods and techniques for weaning monetary and material values, a great many were invented here, worth describing in a separate article.
After the influence of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania on the northern Black Sea coast decreased, in the 1442 year, Khadzhibey was given to Fedor Buchachsky, a magnate from Podolsk, in Podolsk. With his light hand, trade flourished in the settlement, turning it into a very significant regional center. Mainly for sale went grain and salt, which was mined in the estuaries nearby.
And so it continued, until in the 1452 year, the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II built two powerful fortresses in the narrowest part of the Bosphorus on the Asian and European shores. Having done this in order to reduce the influence of Constantinople, the sultan ordered to take payment from all ships sailing past. Needless not wanting to pay with impunity stoked. Italian trade on the Black Sea coast quickly came to an end. By the end of the 15th century, all commercial settlements had become empty, turning into ghost towns, or were captured and destroyed by the Ottoman Empire. After the devastation of the Mediterranean trade, the village of Hadzhibey also fell into decay. On the text descriptions attached to the map of Poland, made by Václav Grodetsky and published by him as a gift to the King of Poland, Sigismund Augustus in 1558, in Basel, there is a mention of the village of interest to us. Literally, the text reads as follows: “An ancient, ruined castle stands on the shore of Ovid Lake. Kachibey was a famous Polish trading post where sea salt was kept ... ”. At the end of the 15th century, the settlement came to life, Turks, as well as Edisan and Crimean Tatars from the Crimean Khanate moved here. But in the 17th century, Kachibei again became empty, falling to historians only in nautical charts of that time. Its picturesque ruins, acting as a navigation mark visible from the sea, facilitated the orientation of the sailors.
The Ottoman Turks did not like foreign merchants very much, and they did not send their merchants to the territory of the northern Black Sea region, therefore until the middle of the 18th century this place was practically not inhabited. Only in the second half of the century, the Ottoman Empire, rightly seeing the threat in the face of Russia, decided to strengthen the northern borders of their possessions. In the 1765 year, next to Hadzhibey, the Turkish stone fortress Yeni-Dunya appeared, which means “New World”. To be more precise, in relation to modern Odessa, it was located right in the middle between the Potemkin Stairs and the Vorontsov Palace. Soon the settlement at the fortress was revived.
During the Russian war with the Turks from 1768 to 1774, the fortress "New World" was attacked several times by dashing Zaporizhzhya Cossacks. In 1774, it finally managed to be captured, but only after a couple of months a peace treaty was concluded with Turkey, under the terms of which the stronghold was returned, exactly like all the occupied territories on the right bank of the Dnieper. In the 1775 year, the Zaporizhian Sich was eliminated, and part of the Cossacks went to seek happiness in the Turkish territories. Many of them settled right near the Khadzhibey fortress. Thanks to them, information about what happened in and near the fortress has been preserved in Russian sources. During this period, the inhabitants of the settlement conducted active trade, as well as revived salt extraction, evaporating it in the summer in the adjacent estuaries. In addition to the Turks and Tatars in the settlement lived the Greeks, Albanians, Jews and peasants who fled from the Ukraine.
Parhet P.P. 1954 year. Storming the fortress Hadzhibey. Oil on canvas. The painting is exhibited in the exposition of the Odessa Local History Museum
Not to mention the French Duke Armand Emmanuel de Richelieu, who was the city of Odessa from 1803 to 1815 and had a great influence on the development of the city. Thanks to him, many beautiful wide streets were built, famous buildings were erected, gardens were laid out, hospitals, theaters, barracks, markets and educational institutions were opened. He managed to convince Alexander I to introduce the status of free-port (tax-free harbor) for Odessa. Under him, Odessa turned into an equipped European-type city with a port turnover of up to thirty million rubles a year. The reign of the duke, whom we called Emmanuel Osipovich, was distinguished by extreme culture and humanity, which is rare at all times. Richelieu helped cope with the terrible plague epidemic in the 1812-1813-s, which killed the fifth part of the city. In the 1815 year, having received an invitation to head the French government as prime minister, he left our country forever.
In 1787, a new Russian-Turkish war began. Our troops stubbornly crowded the Turks on the entire north-west coast of the Black Sea. When Ochakov fell in December of 1788, the adversary’s fleet firmly settled in the harbor of Khadzhibey. Thus, the task of seizing the Turkish fortress near the village became the overriding goal in cleaning the coast from the enemy from the Dniester to the Dnieper. By order of Potemkin began preparations for the attack. In September, three foot and three horse Cossack regiments under the command of ataman Chepegi, reinforced with six guns, advanced from Ochakov 1789. To remain unnoticed, the troops moved only at night and soon reached the place where the Peresyp district is located today. A day later, reinforcements arrived at the Cossacks - a battalion of the Trinity Infantry Regiment led by Colonel Khvostov and the Nikolaev Grenadier Battalion under the command of second major Voeikov. Regular Russian troops also had battalion, field and siege weapons consisting of ten units. Of the entire motley army, a single forward detachment was created under the leadership of General de Ribas. At the end of September 1789, a detachment unnoticed by the enemy took up a position in Krivoy Gul. The scouts told de Ribas that there were only twelve cannons and three hundred people in the fortress. The main force was a Turkish fleet of forty ships at sea and thirty-three, anchored off the coast. Without waiting for the main forces of General Gudovich, Don José de Ribas decided to storm the fortress.
He directed all his artillery, consisting of sixteen guns, to the enemy fleet, placing it on the isthmus between the Kuyalnik estuary and the sea. The main purpose of the battery was to divert the fire from the ships and prevent them from coming to the aid of the fortress garrison. The assault itself was also planned in detail. The calculation was made on the suddenness and coherence of the actions of the participating units. A group of second-major Voyeikov was the first to discover herself by occupying the surroundings of the castle for a possible reflection of the landing attack from Turkish ships. At the same time, the fortress garrison lost the chance of retreat. The main role in the seizure was played by the battalion of Colonel Khvostov, who, stealing secretly along the coast, was supposed to storm the rampart. From the flanks he was supported by the Black Sea Cossacks. The attack began at dawn dusk, the Turks noticed our troops too late, and in a matter of moments Khvostov’s detachment, which was also accompanied by de Ribas, who did not like to sit in the rear, occupied the fortress. However, as expected, the battle did not end there. As soon as dawn broke, the enemy fleet came close to the shore and brought down artillery fire on the stronghold. And although superior power was on their side, the Turks failed to return Hadzhibey. The element that day also supported the Russians, a strong wind interfered with the maneuvers of Turkish ships. De Ribas held out in the fortress until the approach of the most experienced Major Merkel, the commander of a battery of twelve guns, which he hurriedly sent to help Gudovich. The major deployed his guns right at the foot of the fortress and, as later de Ribas and several other eyewitnesses claimed, showed the Turks a real shooting class. Accurate, aimed fire forced the enemy to retire to the next-best. According to the surviving data, fifteen Russian soldiers died during this operation, about fifty were injured, most of whom were injured during shelling of the fortress from the sea. About seven dozen people died, a little more than a hundred were captured, the rest managed to get to the ships. In addition, our troops captured the pasha of Ahmet Bey and all twelve cannons of the fortress with the attached barrels of gunpowder and cores. One Turkish lanson was sunk, and the other was so damaged that it could not sail away with the rest fleet, approached the shore for repairs and was captured. A month later, the Russian command decided to destroy the Hadzhibey fortress, which was done with two mines.
Odessa stands out not only for its own architecture, courtyards, sea and shawarma. Under the city there is an incredibly huge network of underground labyrinths built by human hands, which extends far beyond its borders. It was formed as follows. In this region under the ground are large deposits of shell rock, which, as you know, is an excellent building material. For the construction of the city it took a lot, a lot. The shell rock was mined in a chaotic, mining way, as a result of which an entire unsystematic labyrinth of more than three thousand kilometers long, consisting of ancient tunnels, natural caves and quarries, later joined by bomb shelters, grew underground. In the huge, forgotten dungeons, the remains of abandoned utensils are still rotting. All workings are reinforced with special columns or retaining concrete walls with openings for the passage of people. When new buildings are being built at the top, in order to avoid subsidence, the mines are filled with a mixture of water and sand, the so-called pulp. From a number of bomb shelters, there are still exits directly to the buildings. They are made in the form of ordinary grand staircase, going down deep into the ground.
In 1791, the war ended. Just before the New Year, Russia and the Ottoman Empire concluded the Yassky peace treaty, under which the settlement of Khadzhibey remained with Russia. Nobody knew what to do with it for a long time. The project to populate the territory with retirees of the Mediterranean fleet successfully failed, and the country's leadership decided to establish a new powerful fortress here as part of the Dniester line of defense. The construction was to be headed by de Ribas, already familiar to us, and the military engineer de Volan, who developed the construction project. The fortress was supposed to contain two thousand soldiers and about a hundred and twenty guns. They got down to business quickly, more than eight hundred people participated in the construction, and a year later, at the end of 1793, the fortress found its shape. However, at some point, the worked out de Ribas and de Volan turned their attention to the nearby village of Hadzhibey, quietly turning into a military town. Then their bright minds visited the idea that it would be nice to establish a large military-commercial port at the base of the city. Later they convinced the empress of this, and in the late spring of 1794, a rescript was issued about the organization of the city and port in Hadzhibei. It was planned to settle it "with the same faithful nations suffering under the Turkish yoke." On this occasion, the city received a number of privileges in the form of a ten-year exemption from taxes and the issuance of loans to settlers. Many residents of the Balkans who were forced to become refugees because of the help of the Russians during the war flocked here. And in the spring of 1795, decrees were issued on the settlement of Albanians and Greeks in Odessa.
Dutchman Franz de Volan received an order to develop a project for the city and the port. At the same time, he took the principles of urban planning in ancient Rome as a basis. At the beginning of autumn (9 of September of 1794), the first piles were driven into the foundation of the city.
And soon, according to legend, at the court ball 6 in January 1795 of the year, Catherine II had the idea to rename the new Hadzhibey, which was done the next day. Following the example of other cities of the Black Sea coast, he received the ancient Greek name - Odessa. The name was chosen by the empress as a feminine derivative of the ancient Hellenic settlement Odissos (Odissos).
In memory of the bombing of the city by an English squadron in 1854, during the Crimean War, a cannon was installed in Odessa, like the famous Tsar Cannon in the Kremlin. One interesting story is connected with it. According to him, the gun belonged to the steam frigate "Tiger", one of the best ships of the British fleet. The ship ran aground in the area of modern Arcadia and was attacked by cavalry, rushing through the shallow water. It was the only case in world history of the capture of the ship during a cavalry attack. After the restoration on the day of Odessa's 210 anniversary in the 2004 year, she even fired.
Despite the huge sums allocated by the treasury for the construction of the port, in the first years the construction proceeded very sluggishly and slowly. This was probably due to the lack of workers, since only 1795 700 was spent from 000 90 allocated in 000 year. After the death of Catherine II, Paul I, who ascended the throne, became acquainted with the sad state of affairs in Odessa. The first to suffer were de Ribas and de Volan, who were fired in 1797. However, this made little difference. Even in 1799, the port of Odessa was not built yet. And since it was not there, there was no trade, which was so necessary for our country. At the end of the century several misfortunes struck Russia: there was a grain failure and the war of the second coalition began. The huge costs associated with the construction of the port, lay a heavy burden on the treasury. In addition, the audit revealed multiple cases of abuse and theft. Paul's patience came to an end, and he decided to stop the flow of cash infusions, thereby putting an end to the future of the city. After this, a famous story about Greek oranges occurred.
Realizing that the city will be saved only after the construction of the port, the members of the Odessa city council at the 9 meeting of January 1800 of the year determined the loan necessary for the completion of construction - 250 000 thousand rubles. Feeding no illusions about the favor of the emperor, they sent along with a petition a small gift that included three thousand oranges of the best variety. The transport of fruit left 8 on February, and on February 26, Paul I ordered that the required amount be given to the magistrate, which, in the end, allowed the port to be completed. The skill of the magistrate helped here, or Paul’s magnanimity showed itself, and remained unknown, but this was a turning point in the history of the city. The residents themselves say that, unlike Rome, which was saved by geese, Odessa was saved by oranges. In honor of this event, there is a bronze monument on Zhvanetsky Boulevard, which is an orange with slices taken out, instead of which an emperor figure is inserted. Many call it a monument to a bribe.
From the moment the port was completed, the rapid, uncontrollable development of Odessa, which turned out to be extremely well located geographically, began. In one XIX century, it turned from a small settlement into a huge center of commerce, science and industry. If in the 1793 year, the population of the village consisted of about one hundred inhabitants (without military and construction workers), then in 1799 there were already four thousand of them, and in 1820 there were sixty thousand. By the centenary of its founding (in the 1894 year), Odessa was in fourth place in the Russian Empire in terms of the number of inhabitants and level of economic development, leaving only St. Petersburg, Moscow and Warsaw ahead. A third of the city’s population consisted of Jews and foreigners: Greeks, French, Moldovans, Germans. The first leaders of Odessa are: Don Jose de Ribas, Duke Armand de Richelieu, Count Alexander Langeron, Prince Mikhail Vorontsov and Grigory Marazli.