Presentation in Shevchenko Park of the book “Resurrection Monastery in the middle of Fontain”

The new book of the Odessa historian Viktor Golovan “Resurrection Monastery in the middle of Fontain” (Воскресенский скит на Среднем Фонтане), which will be presented during Odessa Book festival “Green Wave” on 5-th of August at 13.00, inside Shevchenko Park.

There is special place in Odessa with an interesting history. It is the ex-sanatorium “Krasnye Zory” (= red dawns), which is situated at 9th station of Fontain, in Bernardazzi str. 4/6.

The old recreation district “Fontain” near the Black Sea coast was famous by its artificial beaches. It was created in 1960-70 years and was the area of Odessa dedicated to pioneers camps, sanatoriums and resort houses, mainly owned by big organisations, companies and unions.

Having a nice garden and territory of over 4 hectares near the sea coast, the place attracted commercial interest of influential Odessa businessmen, who tried to take under control former sanatorium and sell the land plots to Odessa property developers.

This is a usual scenario in Odessa for properties of former resort infrastructure. For example. Gagarin Plateau, Kamanina str., 10th and 16th stations of Fontain, and many other areas of French Boulevard, which were previously areas of old green cottages of Odessa, were then turned, after Soviet times, into districts like Hong Kong, with sky-scrapers crowded in unbelievable density, by various developers, who did not respect any aesthetic criteria and urban rules of living.

Fortunately, it did not happen to the area of the ex-sanatorium “Krasnye Zory”. The reason of this miracle is described in the book by the Odessa historian Viktor Golovan.

The reason why the area was saved by property speculation is in the wonderful history of this place, where the old Resurrection Monastery for orthodox women and a big cemetery were situated from 1844 to 1920. This is the place where hundreds of gravestones were destroyed by the Soviet authorities from 1930ties to 1960ties. However, old tombs are still concealed under the land.

Among people, who were buried in the place, there were aristocrats and generals, officials, architects, merchants, monks and priests, who were the honourable citizens of Odessa city in the 19th and beginning of 20th centuries.

Many of them had foreign roots in Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Romania and some of them have today descendants in the USA, France, Switzerland and other western countries.

A very romantic episode in the book is the love story between the famous French musician and composer Michel Legrand his (third) spouse. Her name was Masha Meril, granddaughter of Prince Anatoly Evgenievic Gagarin (died in 1917), buried in “Krasnye Zory” together with 14 other Princes and Princesse of famous noble family Gagarin of Odessa.