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Jose de Ribas

Jose de Ribas (6.06.1749-2.12.1800) - Russian admiral, a veteran of the Russian-Turkish wars (1768-1774 and 1787-1791), a mayor, a statesman. He is a Spaniard by origin.


He commanded the vanguard of Russian army in Hadjibeyan and Ackermann battles (1789), as well as rowing flotilla and landing troops during capture of Tulcea, Isakcha (1790) and the fortress of Izmail (1791).


De Ribas upheld upon Catherine II the Hadzhibey harbor as a site for construction of future commercial port on the Black Sea.


In 1793 together with the Dutch military engineer Franz De-Wollant made a plan of the port in Hadzhibey (Odesa) and led construction works.


On August 27 (September 2) 1794 the laying of the main port facilities, such as Great Mole, a harbor for rowing boats named in honor of Count Platon Zubov, slipways and shipyards to repair state-owned vessels, two berths for easy moorage of merchant ships.


Francois Sainte de Wollant

François Sainte de Wollant (September 20, 1752 - November 30, 1818).

Francois De Wollant is one of the first builders of Odesa and Odesa port, a statesman, a famous hydraulic engineer and fortifier. He comes from the Netherlands, was born in Antwerp in a family of military nobleman of Brabant (Brabant was the province of the Netherlands), the Dutch army colonel.


In January 1793, de Wollant with the expedition on building fortresses under the leadership of Suvorov made the trip alongside the border of the Dniester, the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Crimea for its fortification. This reconnaissance initiated construction of a number of fortresses on June 25 the same year in Tiraspol Ovidiopol, Hadzhibey, Kinburn, Perekop, Evpatoria, Sevastopol, Feodosia, Kerch, Taman, along the Kuban River (relocation sites of Cossacks from Dniester). Catherine II appointed De Wollant the Chief of all the works and he could manage money and solve all economic issues.


In August 1794 Suvorov was sent to suppress the uprising in Poland and Prince Zubov was entrusted the management and oversight on new facilities across the border. He instructed De Wollant to lead these construction works. At the end of the year he was granted with the title of engineer colonel and brigadier.


Louis Alexandre Andrault de Langeron


Count Alexander Langeron (1763 - 1831) was born in aristocratic French family. He is a veteran of the war with Sweden, three wars with Turkey, the battle of Austerlitz, the war in 1812. He was the Military Governor of Kherson and Odesa Mayor.


In Odesa Count Lanzheron has realized a number of important initiatives, conceived by his predecessor, Duke of Richelieu. Under his management appeared the first local newspaper, was opened mineral water source in the City Park, established botanical garden. However, the most important innovation of Lanzheron was creation of a Free Port.


Free port mode was established by the Imperial Decree on April 16, 1817 in Odesa as a stowage place for European goods exported to Sinop.


Boris Von der Flis

Гравюра к фон дер Флису

Boris Von der Flis, a talented Dutch hydraulic engineer, co-worker with Francois de Wollant


Boris was born on 15 April 1762, in Niport, where he got engineer education. Since 1792 he was in the Russian service. In 1794, de Wollant in Odesa concluded with Von der Flis a five-year contract on the following terms: free ride from home and back, state apartments and wood, salary - 600 rubles a year. Work history of Von der Flis can tell us about the importance of his activity in Russia.


1794 - design and construction of the Admiralty building in Odesa.
1795 – building a fortress and marina in Kinburn.
1800 - building a by-pass channels in the rapids of the Dnieper
1802 - 1814 - design and construction of the armory and the bridge over the river Ola in Tula.
1814 – he made projects of maritime structures on the Taurida Peninsula.
1819 - he was appointed an engineer in the Black Sea ports authority. Worked in Sevastopol, Kherson. In Nikolaev he beautifies streets, plant trees and gardens, creates a lighthouse onTendra Island.
In 1829 - 1832 he creates the city promenade below Primorskiy Boulevard. He is the author of the projects of Practical and Quarantine harbors, which formed the port of Odesa by 1850.


Von der Flis died in Odesa, on 16 March 1846. He was awarded with the Order of St. Vladimir 4th degree for seniority.


T. Gleb-Koshanskaya


Mikhail Vorontsov


Mikhail Vorontsov (19.05.1782 - 6.01.1856) - the Field-Marshal-General (1856), the Prince, an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. During the Patriotic War of 1812 he participated in the Battle of Smolensk and during the Battle of Borodino defended Shevardinskiy redoubt. He commanded a corps of Russian occupation in France (1814-1818). In 1823-1844 - Novorossiysk and Bessarabian Governor General. In 1844-1854 - the Governor of the Russian emperor in the Caucasus.


While serving as a Governor-General of Novorossiysk Vorontsov has done a lot for the economic and cultural development of the region, built the first ships in the Black Sea (1828). In 1833 Vorontsov founded the "Society of the shareholders to establish permanent connection of Odesa with Constantinople through the ships". This event is considered to be the date of birth of the Black Sea Shipping Company.


Under Vorontsov management the port and city of Odesa has changed. In 1830-1840 were extended Quarantine and Military Moles, as well as Platonovskiy and Androsovskiy Moles were re-built.


Port accepted about thousand ships a year. Primorskiy Boulevard an other central streets were paved. Giant (Potemkin) Stairs and water supply system from the Big Fountain were constructed.


Franz Boffo

Franz Boffo (it. - Boffo Francesco, 1780-1867) is the famous architect, author of many outstanding projects in the Russian Empire. He lived and worked in Odesa for 40 years (1818-1861).


F.Boffo was engaged in designing and construction of the most representative and buildings in the central part of Odesa, which became city business card. Among his projects are: Vorontsov Palace (1826 -1828), buildings on a semi-circular square of Primorskiy Boulevard (1826 -1830), the famous Potemkin Stairs (1837 - 1841), the building of merchant Exchange (now the City Council (1828-1834, together with G.Torichelli and I.Kozlov)), the magnificent palace of the Countess Pototskaya (Odesa Art Museum), etc.


K. Hartley

Чертежи Гартли

K. Hartley - British engineer, author of the project for modernization of port in the second half of XIX century.


In the early 1860s it became clear that the port of Odesa does not meet the increased requirements of international navigation and trade by its technical characteristics. Depth in both harbors did not allow accepting large ships, there was no reliable protection against wind and storm, small length of the mooring lines did not meet the requirements of growing number of ship calls.


In this regard, the Ministry of Transport of Russia announced an international tender for the development of the project of port reconstruction. To be more precisely, it was about creating a new, modern port in Odesa. By the results of the competition the project of British engineer K.Hartley was recognized the best.


The main ideas of the project are:


- Consolidation of two separate harbors into a single port system of structures (creating the so-called Big Port);


Harris Edmond

эстакада Гарриса-1

Harris Edmond was an engineer and industrialist. Period of activity in the port of Odesa - 1865-1917. The most famous structures of Harris is port railway overpass (1872), port warehouses (Red warehouses, 1890s).


Railway overpass in the port of Odesa was built after the opening of the Quarantine rail branch. 4-kilometers road for its time was an extraordinary engineering construction.


In 1902 by the order of Russian government Harris drafted a full-scale modernization of the port of Odesa. The project featured up-to-date elevators and anchorages. provisional expenses were extremely huge and totaled 15.5 million rubles. Obviously, this was the reason that construction has never begun.


A fire in June 1905 destroyed the most outstanding works of Harris, namely overpass and warehouses.


Ludvig Nobel


Ludvig Nobel (Swedish Ludvig Emmanuel Nobel) 27.07.1831 – 12.04.1888 - Swedish and Russian engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, the elder brother and business partner of the founder of the Nobel Prize Alfred Nobel.


Nobel controlled the company "Nobel and Sons" in St. Petersburg. He was engaged in development and manufacture of artillery shells, mines, torpedoes, steam engines, machine tools, rubber tires and diesel engines.


L.Nobel marked the beginning of oil and kerosene storage infrastructure as well as oil handling in Odesa. In 1884, "Nobel Brothers" started to equip three tanks, each of 120,000 pounds and kerosene pipe line from the harbor to the reservoirs in Peresyp district (Odesa oil base).


Maurice Destrem


Maurice Destrem (1789 - 1855) - a prominent French scientist, engineer, one of the builders of Odesa. Destrem received an excellent education: he graduated from college in Soreze and two famous Parisian Schools - Polytechnic and School for Bridges and Roads.


Destrem was familiar with poverty: being a student he used to walk across the country and carry earning for his mother.

He came to Russia by the request of Alexander I to Napoleon to help with engineer personnel. At the request of the military governor of Kherson Duke Richelieu Destrem was sent to Odesa in 1810.


Richelieu had a plan for him: work in the port of Odesa; construction of fountains and roads through the mountains of the Southern Crimea; drafting of port in Evpatoria; dredgers for the port of Odesa and others. Destrem has got the better of these works.


In August 1812 he was exiled to Irkutsk in connection with the attack of Napoleon on Russia.


Julius Bahmetev

Юлий Бахметев

Julius Bahmetev (1862-1936) - an outstanding engineer, builder of the port of Odesa. He was born in Moscow. His father was a noble, an archivist at Moscow University.


Bahmetev graduated from Constantine Geodesic Institute in Moscow in 1884 and the Institute of Communication Lines in St. Petersburg in 1888. In 1900, by the royal initiative was created Russian Committee of Port Affairs for the Reconstruction of Russian Ports. According to the plans of the Committee, Bahmetev participates in the construction of ports in the Baltic up to 1906. From 1906 to 1912 as the Chief in Operations led construction of Kerch, Feodosia, Yalta, Genichensk, Temryuk, Sukhumi and other ports of the Azov and Black Seas.


In 1911 he studies port construction in Germany, France and Sweden, and in 1912 delegates to Philadelphia to attend the XII International Congress on Shipping and Ports. From 1913 to 1922 Bahmetev was the Manager in Operations at the port of Odesa.