Grigoriy Marazli (1831—1907) is a prominent public figure in Odessa, the mayor in 1877-1895. His background is Greek — Greeks often fled their country that was occupied by Turkey then. He is one of those great townspeople that made Odessa a real peal at the sea, often referred to as Southern Palmyra. He is a good match to de Richelieu and M.Vorontsov. Marazli was famous for donating money for arts and charity. His generosity was unheard of; it was later calculated that he spend 12% of his fortune for donations, that is about 1,000,000 roubles which was a tremendous amount of money in the 19th century. He could easily give a silver watch to a fare collector in the street car just for being polite to passengers. Is it possible to imagine anything like this nowadays? Suppose our mayor enters a bus... but this is already impossible, so no need to go on. And Marazli’s generosity was not limited to Odessa.
When he was mayor, Odessa got horse-drawn street cars in 1881, the famous Opera House was built in 1887, a monument to Pushkin was formally opened in 1888 as well as the column monument to Emperor Alexander the 2nd in 1875, the first stadium, the Public Library, the New Market, the Botany Garden, lots of charities, colleges, schools, hospitals and many other things. The first bacteriological station in the empire was set up in Odessa at his expense. He gave the town the buildings of the Arts Museum as well as the Archeology Museum, founded Shevchenko Park. A street next to the park bears his name.
For his versatile state and public activity while being the mayor and afterwards, Marazli was decorated with nearly all Russian imperial orders, the highest decorations of Greece, Italy, France, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey, Syam and other states. He was the honorary freeman of Odessa.
However, Grigoriy was not only a politician and businessman. He was a gourmet, bibliophile, a real aristocrat not from the background but in the heart. He had a great education. He graduated from Richelieu Lyceum and continued to study in Paris. While being in Paris he had an affair with no less than the future empress of the country! It is also believed that he had an affair with Sarah Bernhardt. Being old (71) he was able however to swipe the wife of a judge. She was 45.
It is natural that the Marazlis had some real estate in Odessa. In particular, two houses in Pushkinskaya Street (when Marazli was the mayor, this was Italian Street) that occupied a block in the street. Those buildings, or rather, their predecessors, had been bought by Marazli’s father in 1820s.
Marazli lived at 8 Deribasovskaya Street from 1880 through 1895. The house was built in 1835 by architect F.Boffo and rebuilt by L.Otton in 1856-1857. It was a thorough reconstruction, so some sources state that the house was built in 1856.
From the Soviet era on this has been the regional nurse training college.
The building at 2 Pushkinskaya Street once was a hotel called the Yevropeyskaya. It was also built in 1835.
Marazli also had a house across from the central entrance to Shevchenko Park in Marazliyevskaya Street. Unfortunately, an earthquake destroyed the building in 1977. The plot had been empty for a long time until 1998 when a new building was erected there. It reminds the old one with its style but it is not a carbon copy. The mayor of Odessa became the only national of the Russian Empire whose name was given to a street while he was alive. The street had had the name of Novaya before. In the USSR it was renamed after Engels. Obviously, he was another prominent Odessite who had done much more for the town, even though he had never been here. Now the street is Marazliyevskaya again. There is also a small town in the Odessa region named Marazliyevka. Finally, there is a monument to Marazli not far from this street. It used to be in Grecheskaya Square but it is under reconstruction now.
2, 4 Pushkinskaya Street, 65026 Odessa, Ukraine.
E30°44'34.3" N46°29'3.7" (E30.742861° N46.484361°).
Odessa | Sights | Dating | Genealogy
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