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Personalities

Maurice Destrem

Дестрем

Maurice Destrem (1789 - 1855) - a prominent French scientist, engineer, one of the builders of Odesa. Destrem received an excellent education: he graduated from college in Soreze and two famous Parisian Schools - Polytechnic and School for Bridges and Roads.

 

Destrem was familiar with poverty: being a student he used to walk across the country and carry earning for his mother.


He came to Russia by the request of Alexander I to Napoleon to help with engineer personnel. At the request of the military governor of Kherson Duke Richelieu Destrem was sent to Odesa in 1810.

 

Richelieu had a plan for him: work in the port of Odesa; construction of fountains and roads through the mountains of the Southern Crimea; drafting of port in Evpatoria; dredgers for the port of Odesa and others. Destrem has got the better of these works.

 

In August 1812 he was exiled to Irkutsk in connection with the attack of Napoleon on Russia.

 

By the request of De Wollant in April 1815 Destrem with other engineers arrived in St. Petersburg and agreed to continue to serve for Russia. He achieved the rank of engineer-general, awarded with the highest prizes.

 

Besides Odessa he also worked in Tula, Kherson, Georgia, Revel; participated in the creation of St. Isaac's Cathedral and the repair of the Winter Palace. . In 1842, he participated in the Committee for the construction of railway St. Petersburg - Moscow and became an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences.

 

In 1845, he adopted Russian citizenship. Until the last moments of life being confined to bed he continued to work. Shortly before his death Destrem received the Gold Medal of the Academy of Sciences.

 

He was buried at the Smolensk Cemetery in St. Petersburg.

 

O.Sevostyanova