The Prince Potyomkin-Tavricheskiy was a battleship built from 1898 through 1905 first in Nikolayev, then in Sevastopol. It was on of the strongest ships in the Russian navy.
There was unrest in Russia in 1904-1906. It is called the first Russian revolution. The Potyomkin mutiny was one of the symbols of that revolution. It sparked in June 1905. The official Soviet version was that the sailors discovered rotten meat that they would have to eat. However, it was an occasion but the real reason was the overall situation in the backward country that desperately needed reforms. Even if the sailors had good food they knew that their families starved through stupid policies of the government. Also, in 1905 the government used troops to give a blood bath to a peaceful demonstration in St.Petersburg and the sailors realized that they could be soon sent to kill their brothers too.
The mutiny started on June the 14th. By the night the Potyomkin arrived to Odessa. Next morning the sailors brought the body of one of the leaders, G.Vakulenchuk, killed by the officers, to the port. People started to throng the port and the steps. This is how the steps got the name, basically after the famous scene from the Potyomkin Battleship movie made by S.Eisenstein.
The monument depicts a scene of the execution of the mutineers on the battleship. They throw off the canvas they were covered with before being shot. However, this was just an idea of the producer of the movie. A navy officer who consulted the movie team was devastated by the idea. He explained that the canvas would be put on the deck to prevent blood stains rather than on the heads of the sentenced.
The Odessites call this monument the monument to 50 cents (or a rouble, etc.). A group of sailors are ostensibly fighting over a coin one of them found on the floor in the crowd. One sailor holds the coin in the fist, another is trying to get it, the third is stretching his hands to it while falling back, the fourth is covering his eyes because the sun is reflected from the new shiny coin…
The monument was opened on the 25th of July, 1965 initially in Yekaterininskaya Square where the monument to Catherine the 2nd had been. On the 14th of October, 2007 the monument was moved here because the monument to Catherine the 2nd was going to be reopened.
The sculptor was V.Bogdanov, the architects were M.Volkov and Yu.Lapin.
There is another monument associated with the mutiny in the same square: to aforementioned G.Vakulenchuk. It was opened in 1958.
The entrance to the port is also in this square.
Tamojennaya Square, Odessa, Ukraine.
E30°44'47.6" N46°29'3.8" (E30.746556° N46.484389°).
Odessa | Sights | Dating | Genealogy
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