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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.

By the end of 1795 all the above mentioned military buildings have been completed, imperial flags were raised on the Tiraspol, Ovidiopol, Odessa, Kinburn, Fanagoriyskaya (the Taman peninsula). Almost all new buildings in the Southern Ukraine were implemented by the plans of de Wollant and under his supervision before the death of Catherine II (November 5, 1796).


His name is connected with such cities as Odessa (the capital of the future New Russia), Tiraspol,  Ovidiopol, Grigoriopol. Under his project was developed the port and the city of Nikolaev.


After the Empress Catherine II death the fate of Francois de Wollant was mainly connected with Russia.


On November 30, 1818 (old style) de Wollant died. He is buried in St. Petersburg on the Lutheran part of Volkovskoe cemetery.