Garibaldi Monument in Taganrog


Garibaldi Monument in Taganrog

In the first half of 19th century Taganrog was one of the largest ports in Russia. Hundreds of ships from European ports came into the haven. Merchants and seafarers from Liverpool, Bristol, Lisbon, Marseille, Genoa, Livorno and other seaports worldwide knew the name of the city of Taganrog.

Visits of Giuseppe Garibaldi to Taganrog

Giuseppe Garibaldi came from a sailor’s family and he was reared to a life on the sea. After becoming a merchant marine captain in 1832, he visited many ports and he frequently harbored his schooner "Clorinda" in the city of Taganrog. There are even records that he was fined here for smuggling contraband cigars. A special day for Garibaldi came on a visit to Taganrog in April 1833, as his schooner charged with a shipment of oranges was moored for ten days in the Taganrog seaport. While the ship was unloading, the young captain walked through the streets of the city, visiting the houses of Italians who lived in Taganrog, and spending the night in little port inns. In one of such inns, he met Giovanni Battista Cuneo from Oneglia, a political immigrant from Italy and member of the secret movement "Young Italy" ("La Giovine Italia"). Later, Garibaldi described this meeting in the following way: “In all circumstances of my life I continued consulting people and books on the revival of Italy, but until 24 years of old, these efforts were in vain. Finally in Taganrog I met a Ligurian who was the one to reveal me the real state of things in this country. I guess Columbus never felt so happy discovering America, as I felt there among the people who dedicated their lives to liberation of their Homeland.” In Taganrog, Giuseppe Garibaldi joined the society “Young Italy” and took an oath of dedicating his life to struggle for liberation of his Homeland from Austrian dominance.

History of the Monument

Taganrog paid the tribute to the staying of Garibaldi with one of the downtown streets named after him ("Ulitsa Garibaldi"), and with an obelisk in honor of Garibaldi not far from the seaport where stood his schooner "Clorinda".

The obelisk is a 5-meter high stella representing the flying banner. The description on the backside reads: "In 1833, Giuseppe Garibaldi took an oath of dedicating his life to liberation and unification of his Homeland – Italy. Under leadership of the national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi, the country was liberated and unified." On the front side, it says:

"In the person of Garibaldi Italy had a hero of antique kind, who was capable of producing miracles and who produced miracles (Friedrich Engels)."

The obelisk in honor of Garibaldi’s visit to Taganrog was inaugurated on June 2, 1961 for the centenary of Italy’s liberation. The local artist Yakovenko realized the project of the monument. The bas-relief (Italian hero’s profile and a palm branch) was produced by the artist Baranov. In 1986, the bas-relief was replaced due to technical reasons and a new bas-relief by the artist Beglov was installed.

This is the only monument in honor of Giuseppe Garibaldi in the former Soviet Union.

Old and Modern Views of the Garibaldi Monument in Taganrog

References

* The Taganrog Encyclopaedia, 2nd edition, 2003
* materials of the Taganrog State Archive and Taganrog Local Government


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