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The Odessa griffon guarding the treasure

16 Feb, 2021
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The Odessa griffon guarding the treasure

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In a corner old Odessa, at Gogol street 1, there is a griffon: a mythical creature representing a crossbreed between an eagle and a lion. This winged lion is related to a urban legend.


The iron sculpture of the Odessa griffon was cast in Paris, at the factory “J. J. Dyukel and Son”, in 19th century. It is believed that one of the Odessa tycoons brought it to decorate his dacha with the statue. After the revolution, the winged lion migrated to the gates of the First Christian cemetery, but in the 1930s, the resting place of many famous Odessa personalities was razed to the ground, and the griffon had to change place again. This time it settled at the entrance to the Bazaar Square. Finally, after several decades he was moved close to the Mother-in-law Bridge.

This mythological creature has a rich biography. The griffon revolved in the society of exclusively ancient gods and goddesses. He guarded the tree of life and gold deposits, turned the wheel of fate and carried Apollo himself. Well, the Greeks decorated palaces with his images so that the griffon vigilantly guarded the wealth of the owners.

So the griffon was a respected creature in the past. Unfortunately, some Odessa vandals damaged the sculpture with a hole. Maybe, even this barbarian act is tied to an old legend. Once upon a time, local residents believed that if you throw a coin into the mouth of a griffon, you can easily catch financial luck by the tail. These rumours have survived to this day, and therefore some believe that the griffon is stuffed with gold. Therefore, some treasure seekers and were trying to find this treasure.

However, to the disappointment of the vandals, the mythological creature is made entirely of cast iron. There is no treasure inside the sculpture.


Source and picture: Odessa-Life


The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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