Everyone knows that the geese saved Rome. But much less is known about the fact that oranges saved Odessa. This is a very interesting story. In 2004, a monument to the orange was even erected in the city.
In 1796, Emperor Paul I, the son of Catherine II, ascended the Russian throne. Soon after he was proclaimed the ruler of the state, the construction of the Odessa port was stopped due to a lack of funds in the country. At that time, the seaport was the main source of income for the city, the city found itself in an extremely difficult financial situation.
On January 9, 1800, the Odessa magistrate gathered for a meeting, it was necessary to take emergency measures, otherwise the city would inevitably turn out to be bankrupt. It was decided to ask Paul I for a loan of 250 thousand rubles for a period of 25 years. Realizing that the chances of such a "gift" for the city, which was on the verge of bankruptcy, were too small, they decided to add a postscript to the petition, in which it was reported that a large consignment of oranges was expected to arrive in the port of Odessa in the near future, three thousand ", will be sent to the Supreme Court.
Soon, indeed, three thousand of the best copies were sent to St. Petersburg, accompanied by non-commissioned officer Georgy Raksamiti, known for his responsibility and diligence. The valuable cargo was safely delivered to the capital, from where a message soon came from the emperor, in which Paul wrote that, seeing the zeal of the inhabitants of Odessa towards his person, he ordered to issue funds from the treasury for the further construction of the port.
It was a real salvation for the port city. Thanks to the resourcefulness of the Odessa magistrate, the port received money, and the city began to develop rapidly. By the way, the grateful inhabitants of Odessa did not forget about the emperor's generosity 200 years later. In the spring of 2004, information appeared in the city that it was planned to erect a monument to the orange that saved Odessa at the very beginning of the 19th century.
Funds were collected, and on September 2, 2004, this monument was unveiled on Lanzheronovskaya Street next to the Archaeological Museum. However, they soon decided that this monument violates the historical appearance of old Odessa. In July 2007, the orange monument was moved to a new location - Boulevard of Arts (currently - Zhvanetsky Boulevard). It is there that this monument is located at the present time. Odessans jokingly call it “a monument to a bribe”.
Emperor Paul I really loved oranges, or, as they were then called, oranges. In Russia, they were grown in the greenhouse of the former Menshikov estate in Oranienbaum. True, the fruits there were small and sour. But the gift from Odessa came in handy.