Peter I's decree “On monitoring cleanliness in Moscow and on punishment for throwing litter and all litter on the streets and lanes” forbade residents of the capital to throw garbage on the streets, obliged to monitor the cleanliness of courtyards and bridges, and to export all waste outside the city limits and fill it with earth.
I must say, at the end of the XVII century in Moscow there was impassable mud, because sloping citizens poured slop and other filth directly onto the streets. The people who did not know about sanitary norms got used to muddy, foul-smelling streams constantly running along the roads. Even at the tsar’s residence in the Kremlin, the situation was awful, especially after Peter I placed a collegium there, that is to say, the ministry, with all the attendants.
... On that day, April 9, Peter Alekseevich left the Kremlin in a carriage. It was spring with all, in a literal sense, the ensuing consequences. Where the king hurried - we do not know, but certainly in cases, maybe urgent. It is not known what mood the emperor had, but perhaps not the worst. However, after a few minutes, everything changed - the royal carriage landed in a pit filled with muddy water!
You can imagine - with shudder and fear - how the emperor changed in the face, what words flew out of his mouth ... True, someone fell on nuts that day, others were torn by the king for their hair: their beards were forbidden. After all, the lord in anger was swift to punishment ...
While hefty servants were dragging the royal carriage out of the hole, Peter demanded paper, pen and ink. Frowning and flashing his eyes, he brought out the first phrase: “Who will walk on the big streets and along the streets every litter and carnage, such people will be taken to the Zemsky Order ...” He thought for a while and angrily squeaked with a pen: “... and they will be for it the punishment is whipping, and they will be charged. ”
On that day, the emperor, without knowing it, launched the purity campaign in Moscow, which continues to this day. The royal decree can be considered the first step towards creating a future system of housing and communal services.
During his reign, Peter I issued about four hundred various documents. Some of them were aimed at improving the quality of life of citizens, including in the area of improvement.
For example, in 1712, the emperor issued a law according to which residents of every ten households were to elect ten. He was instructed to monitor the condition of the big streets, and the trash was supposed to be swept away every morning.
Has it become cleaner in Belokamennaya after the decree “On the observation of cleanliness in Moscow ...”? Perhaps, however, the city did not become a model of order. For example, in the spring of 1702, as a contemporary testified, on the streets of the German settlement "dirt reached the belly of horses." And here is a fragment of a record made on October 25, 1727 in the Journal Armory chambers: “From the old and dignified orders of any littery and indecent litter from the needy and from the standing of horses and from the wells that are kept from Ober-Bergamt, the royal treasury is exposed to considerable danger, because of this there is a stinking spirit - such, - and from that "the spirit of his imperial majesty gold and silver utensils and other treasury can be expected dangerous harm, why not blackened." And we are talking about the royal residence in the Kremlin!
In fairness it should be noted that the situation in the capital of the Russian Empire was no worse than in other large European cities. Hence, frequent diseases that have become epidemics and claimed the lives of thousands of people.
It is now there reign cleanliness and order. In the old days, our neighbors did not have any cleanup at all. The only "public servant" was rain. But nature was not able to cope with all the ugliness that people created. By the way, they didn’t bathe ... for years. We are not only about commoners, but also aristocrats, crowned persons!
Paris literally buried in filth. “... Anyone who would free the city from the terrible dirt would become the most revered benefactor for all its inhabitants, and they would erect a temple in his honor, and they would pray to him ...”, wrote the French historian Emile Mani in the book “Casual life in the era of Louis XIII ". The basic rule for the Parisian garbage was one - “tout-a-la-rue” - “all outside”. On the pavement homemade garbage, slop were thrown out. In the thirties of the XIX century, Robert Brunan stated with horror that in Paris, slop and shit flow from the windows onto the heads of the townspeople. I apologize for these and future cacophony. C'est la vie, however ...
The townspeople threw large rubbish away from their homes: they were thrown over the city walls or simply sent to the Seine. Entire rivers of sewage arose. In remembrance of that time, the river was preserved with the speaking name Merderon - that is, crap.
The author of the famous book "Pictures of Paris", Louis-Sebastian Mercier, called the capital of France "the dirtiest city in the world." One can only imagine what a collection of dirt and bacteria represented a city that did not have toilets and sewage systems, which was ambre in it! And it is in the enlightened, fanned romantic mist city, where the greatest artists, writers and musicians worked! In the one that the whole world admired, and especially Russia!
The situation was no better in other European countries. Dr. F.E. Bilz in the popular textbook of medicine "New Natural Treatment" literally persuaded ... to wash. “There are people who, in truth, do not dare to swim in a river or in a bath, for they have never entered the water since childhood,” he wrote. - Fear of this is unfounded. After the fifth or sixth bath you can get used to it ... ”However, there were few hunters to“ get used to ”. Such a "darkness" reigned in the minds of people who lived at the end of the nineteenth century!
Slop and other waste did not hesitate to pour into the streets and in aristocratic England. In the middle of the XIX century, they started talking about building a new building for the British Parliament. But not because it is so dilapidated. Parliamentarians literally did not allow the Thames to breathe, turned into a latrine! In the 1849 year in London, more than 14 thousands of residents of the capital died of cholera, in the 1854 year - another 10 thousand. However, the epidemics with such unsanitary conditions were familiar to Europe.
In a “barbaric” Russia, unlike the enlightened but unwashed Europeans, the people were accustomed to cleanliness from time immemorial, which foreigners were amazed at.
Among them was the Danish envoy Uust Yul, who lived in Russia in the 18th century, the English military attache under Alexander II Wellesley. The latter wrote: “Russians are the cleverest people, because they wash every week in the steam bath”. There was no such “miracle” abroad.
In Russia, even the poorest family had a bathhouse in their yard. There were also public institutions, the first of which were built by decree of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. Moreover, all washed together: men, women, children. This motley spectacle led to the amazement of foreigners who had come specially to gawk at this circus, in their opinion. One of the newcomers was amazed that the Russians "run without any shame and conscience as God created them, and not only do not hide from outsiders strolling there, but also laugh at them with their indiscretion." In 1743, a decree was issued, according to which "it was forbidden for the male and female sex to steam together." But the "tradition" persisted for a long time.
Why did the baths, common in ancient Rome and Greece, then disappear? In the Middle Ages, it was believed that contaminated air could penetrate into the cleaned pores, and they were recognized as harmful. After long years of neglect, they returned to the continent only in the 18th century. Peter I, - that's true, clean! - who came to Amsterdam, ordered to build them for his companions. Baths appeared in France and also thanks to the Russians, who in 1813 entered the margins of Paris in a victorious march. Alas, the descendants of the Gauls did not wash more often.
Again I can not refrain from comparisons. The German Society of Folk Baths, which had the slogan “Every German, a bath every week,” was founded only in 1889. However, it cannot be said that the German people are imbued with the idea of universal purity. By the beginning of the First World War, there were only 68 (!) Baths in the whole of Germany, which was inhabited by about 224 million people.
As for the condition of cities and rivers, then the Russians “did not lag behind” Europe. “As far as the streets of Moscow were impassable from mud, it is clear from the fact that religious processions were sometimes postponed in the Kremlin,” wrote the historian Mikhail Pylyaev. It is worth noting that there were many cobbled streets in Belokamennaya. However, “bathing” in the mud was commonplace - not only on the outskirts, but also in the center. Such "adventures" happened even with royal persons! It is known that in the vicinity of the river Chernogryazka - what a suitable name! - stuck a carriage with the great princes, who were returning to the Kremlin from the Kursk railway station. These are pictures from the XIX century.
In 1871, the correspondent of the newspaper “Russian Chronicle” reported that in Red Square near the monument to Minin and Pozharsky “there is a real contagion from the stinking currents flowing along the sides. Near the monument booth, in the manner of Parisian urinals; to approach them and disgusting. Brooks flow down the mountain near the most fruit shops ... "As they say, enjoy your meal!
According to the writer Nikolai Davydov, in the middle of the XIX century, the stench in Moscow was almost ubiquitous, because in the courtyards often there were not even cesspools. In addition, the city was constantly moving wagons with sewage, "often consisting of uncovered, splashing their contents while moving their contents".
The situation began to change dramatically only at the end of the nineteenth century, when sewage appeared in Moscow. The first station appeared in Sokolniki, and by the beginning of the 20th century, almost three thousand homeowners used it. One of the Moscow newspapers wrote: “Sewerage reduced mortality in Russian cities 2 – 3 times, with 5 – 8 deaths from every thousand inhabitants.”
When Peter I issued a decree “On the observation of cleanliness in Moscow ...”, the city’s janitors already worked. They appeared in Russia earlier, with Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, who approved in 1649 a new set of laws of the Russian state. There also entered the "Ordinance on Grad's piety." After this document, servicemen appeared in Russia, whom the people called janitors. But there were few of them, and they could not change the sanitary condition of Moscow.
Janitors became a prominent figure on the streets of Russian cities at the beginning of the twentieth century. They swept and watered the streets, in the winter they cleaned the snow, sawed, chopped and carried firewood into the apartments, for the heating was wood.
In addition, the janitors, usually consisting of former soldiers and non-commissioned officers, had to detain suspects, monitor incoming and outgoing, warn law enforcement officers about gatherings, were present as witnesses during searches and during arrests. In general, they not only monitored the cleanliness of the streets, but also contributed to the cleanliness of manners. In the sense, of course, as they understood the police and gendarmes of the Russian Empire.
And later, in the Soviet Union, the wipers not only performed their direct duties, but also assisted the police.
Finally, I would like to thank Peter Alekseevich through the depth of centuries for having made the first attempt to convince Muscovites of the benefits of cleanliness and order. Alas, today not everyone understands this. And no one knows how to reason with careless citizens and guests of the capital ...
It seems there is every reason to establish in Moscow a new holiday - the Day of Purity. And celebrate it on April 9, on the day of the emperor’s historical decree “On observing cleanliness in Moscow and on punishment for throwing litter and all litter on the streets and alleys”.