THE BEST GOVERNOR OF KIEV AND THE PHILANTHROPIST OF THE HIGHEST STANDARD
So you won’t immediately remember which of the Kiev governors did as much for my hometown as one person did – Ivan Ivanovich Fundukley. There is a street in Kiev that all Kievites know for sure. It is in the city center and starts from Khreshchatyk street.
Now it is Bohdan Khmelnytsky Street, and before that it was Lenin Street (1919–1992), during World War II – Theaterstraße (1941–1943), from the 1830s it was called Kadetskaya Street, but from 1869 to 1919 , all over half a century, – Fundukleevskaya (in honor of the civil governor of Kiev in 1839-1852).
They even wanted to erect a monument to this very Fundukley during his lifetime, but somehow it did not work out. We read about this in the Kiev newspaper “Parovoz” for 1869, February 7, in the commentary of the Ukrainian historian Nikolay Maksimovich Sementovskiy: “Fundukley, who founded a women’s school in Kiev with his capital, does not require any monument to himself. Fundukley himself erected a monument for himself (the school), but for us, the people of Kiev, this temple of science should be watched so that it is worthy of the name of its founder…”
The women’s gymnasium is far from the only thing in which Ivan Ivanovich invested his mind, talent, and his money in Kiev.
GOOD ROOTS ALREADY HALF SUCCESS
It is worth starting the story, perhaps, with the mention of his father – Ivan Yurievich Fundukley. He was Greek by nationality, Orthodox, he moved to Russia from Turkish Constantinople. He made his own way to his millions. He served as a clerk in Yelisavergrad, later kept a tobacco store and a shop there, earned good money, but saved on everything, sometimes went hungry, “making capital”.
Over time, he used the right of purchase (in Russia it existed until 1861), which made it possible to buy from the treasury the monopoly on the production and trade of certain products that fell under the articles of state income. And so, penny to penny, Ivan Yurievich became one of the richest people in the Novorossiysk Territory.
In 1818-1819, Fundukley Sr. was a commerce advisor and mayor of Yelisavetgrad, owned several factories (in particular, sugar and wineries) and thousands of acres of land. So he was awarded the title of merchant of the 1st guild. In the early 1820s, the Fundukleys family was already quite famous – it had several houses in Odessa, owned the town of Gurzuf in the Crimea and several grocery stores in Sevastopol.
The only son of the merchant Fundukley Ivan was born on September 13, 1799 in Yelisavetgrad (now Kropyvnytskyi), as recorded in the metric, which is kept in the State Archives of the Odessa region. He had all the capabilities of today’s “golden youth”… It would seem that the father could throw all the riches of the world at the feet of his beloved child, but no. The only thing that he gave in full is education.
Young Ivan learned several European languages and spoke them quite decently, however, exclusively with foreigners, for the sake of gloss he did not flaunt knowledge in high society; played the piano – acquaintances said that he regularly wrote out new notes and had an instrument at home; was not deprived of literary talent, this also applied to the exact sciences. My father did not skimp on education, but did not allow sloppiness.
Fundukley Sr. was convinced that the child would follow in his footsteps, demanded to temper the will and work, work, work … He found his son a job as an official in the post office of Odessa. The young Ivan began to fulfill his duties on his birthday, September 13, 1811. Then there was a post in the office of the Cabinet of Ministers in St. Petersburg … And in 1831 Ivan Ivanovich returned to his father, to Odessa, and entered the service as an official on special assignments under the Governor-General of the Novorossiysk Territory, Count Vorontsov.
There was an economic boom in Odessa at that time. The young man was eager to fight, the energy was in full swing. However, only seven (!) years later, Count Vorontsov introduced Ivan to the circle of the highest imperial dignitaries: in 1837, Ivan Fundukley was awarded the coat of arms for the nobility, and the next year he received the title of collegiate councilor and the post of vice-governor of the Volyn province. And he left for service in Zhitomir.
Fundukley Sr. died and his son Ivan Ivanovich received a serious inheritance. He did not drink it away, did not “profuse”, but multiplied it. A glass factory in the village of Melniki near Chigirin, a sugar factory in the town of Medvedovka in the Kiev province, with the production of up to 78 thousand poods (more than 1200 tons) of sugar per year were added to his father’s possessions.
The wineries built by him on the estate in Gurzuf also turned out to be profitable: annually they gave up to three thousand buckets of excellent wine, and all the proceeds from sales went (this is Fundukley) … to charity! Still Fundukley, we can safely say, was a large landowner: the owner of almost 20 thousand dessiatines of land.
In the villages of Melniki and Medvedovka, in addition to the glass and sugar factories, steam and water mills worked. There were also estates in the villages of Novaya Osota, Staraya Osota, Yanovka (Ivanovka). In Yanovka he built a church on his own money, in Staraya Osota – another sugar factory, and a little later, nearby, in Aleksandrovka – a railway station, which was modestly named “Fundukleevka”.
The fame of the eccentric millionaire Fundukley thundered far beyond his domain. Considering him a great original, they treated him, however, with respect, noted his organizational skills, perceived him as a sensible entrepreneur, also unheard of generous. The Governor-General of Kiev, Dmitriy Gavrilovich Bibikov, also suddenly became interested in Fundukley, but (being greedy by nature), first of all, in Ivan Ivanovich’s wallet. Upon learning that a millionaire official had appeared in Zhitomir, he immediately began to bother about his new appointment.
And on April 12, 1839, the highest imperial decree was issued: “To appoint Fundukley as the civil governor of Kiev, with a grant to be a state councilor”. It was rumored that when signing the appointment, Emperor Nicholas said: “This person certainly does not need money – there is nowhere to put his own”. The tsar was not mistaken: Fundukley did not take bribes and did not allow others to take them.
Ivan Ivanovich defeated corruption in a single Kiev. As a civil governor, he broke the mechanism that had been worked out for years. And so that his subordinates would not succumb to the temptation of “alms”, he paid them a separate salary from his own pocket (up to 12 thousand rubles a year – it was 10 times higher than the salary). For comparison, the annual income of a Kiev maid was 36 rubles.
“If the rich landowners do not pay the police, the police will receive funds from the thieves”, Governor Ivan Ivanovich said. And what has changed over the past 200 years? .. Fundukley also financially supported the law enforcement officers. The police set to work with a zeal not seen before or after Fundukley. Out of fear, the criminal guest performers went to work in other provinces, because in Kiev they were caught with special zeal and imprisoned with the same zeal …
It is worth noting that the relationship between the Kiev governor-general Bibikov and the civil governor Fundukley was not easy. And as the memoirist wrote, Fundukley “did not curry favor with Bibikov, never humiliated himself as a governor, even firmly defended his rights against the whims of the governor-general”.
One of Fundukley’s contemporaries recalled: “Obliged to give dinners or balls on high solemn days, which cost 500 rubles, Bibikov two days before the holiday, either himself, or through me, will ask Fundukley to give the lunch or a ball instead, and Fundukley, diligently sniffing tobacco, replies: “Good, sir”.
Gives a wonderful dinner or a ball, and in the dressing room the ladies were provided with gloves, perfume, and so on. Everyone looks at Ivan Ivanovich as if he were a guest, they forget that he is the host, and the ball is lively and cheerful. Thus Fundukley gave Bibikov several thousand a year”.
DOING GOOD FORGET THE GLORY
For 13 years (1839-1852) Ivan Ivanovich was in power and did everything possible for the city. And the impossible too.
Already in the first year of his management of Kiev, Fundukley laid the Botanical Garden (now named after Fomin) with an area of 20 hectares near the university. On his instructions, work was carried out to strengthen the slopes. And also completed the breakdown of Sophia Square. Andreevsky descent was paved with his personal funds.
And he began by renovating the governor’s mansion in Pechersk. The building was in disrepair, and there was simply no furniture – the previous governor found time to take it out. Fundukley put the building in order, ordered new furniture from Paris. Everything – not at the expense of the state, but at its own expense! .. Just a year later, the streets of Moskovskaya, Dvortsovaya, Sophievskaya, Mikhailovskaya, Zhitomirskaya and Khreshchatyk were paved.
In 1843, Ivan Ivanovich financed the construction of the first fountain in the city center on Teatralnaya Square (later it was called European, then Tsarskaya, III International, Stalin, Lenin’s Komsomol and again became European). The fountain (in the form of a marble bowl with a pool) was supposed to solve the problem caused by “a complete lack of water on Khreshchatyk and the entire Starokievskaya part of the city, which is why local residents, as well as the fire brigade, find it extremely difficult to deliver it to houses and other premises”.
This fountain was called in honor of the governor Fundukleevskiy, or even simpler: “Ivan”. We have a lot of people for inventions, and gave the fountain one more name “Freak”, due to the fact that it gushed with a very weak stream. Fundukley’s generosity was legendary. He helped orphanages, hospitals, schools … In the spring of 1845, the Dnieper River in Kiev overflowed its banks, the water level rose by 779 cm, almost the entire Podol and part of Obolon were flooded.
Fundukley supported large families at his own expense, organized a shelter for the victims in the Contract House in Podil. The governor began to relocate residents from the flooded lowlands to the upper part of Kiev.
This is how the settlement of Lvovskaya Street (now Sichovykh Striltciv) and Lukyanovka began. It was with him, not Bibikov’s money, that a public fund was created to help the sick, poor people affected by the natural disaster.
One of Ivan Fundukley’s contemporaries wrote: “He did a lot of good, helped the poor a lot, but somehow it was invisible. Bibikov gave three kopecks with noise, with effect, and Fundukley, it seemed, did not give to anyone, but I myself saw how a poor noble widow, an old woman, approached him and showed him the demand to pay 300 rubles to the debt. Fundukley, passing by, thrust 2,000 rubles into her hand .”..At that time, the amount was simply fantastic!
At the same time, he himself lived very modestly, preferred work to luxury and idleness, in his free time he did not ride in a closed carriage, surrounded by guards, but walked along the city streets …
MY CITY GROWS
The development of the city during the governorship of Ivan Fundukley was carried out most intensively. Many buildings were erected by the famous architects Beretti, father and son: the Imperial University of St. Vladimir (1842), the Institute of Noble Maidens (1843; since 1958 it is the October Palace), the observatory, the Anatomical Theater (1851-1853).
In the same 1851, according to the projects of Alexander Beretti on the street. Vladimirskaya, 54 built a two-story building of the school of poor girls Countess Evdokiya Levashova (now it houses the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences), and on Boulevard – the building of the gymnasium, where from January 1852 the Vladimir Kiev cadet corps was located (now – the yellow building of the T. G. Shevchenko).
In 1848, according to the project of the English engineer Viyol, the construction of the Nikolaev chain bridge across the Dnieper began. It was one of the most beautiful and longest in Europe (it was opened to traffic in 1853). Before him, bridges were wooden, collapsible and pontoon.
Khreshchatyk became the main thoroughfare of the city under the rule of Governor-General Bibikov and Civil Governor Fundukley. The city was built especially rapidly from Bessarabka to the Tsar’s Garden. And in the south-west of Pecherskaya Square, on the site of the “soldier’s settlement”, in 1835-1845 a military hospital was built.
The governor has introduced many innovations. For example, the obligatory morning visit of the superiors subordinate to him for reports and discussion of cases. And a visit not to the provincial administration, but directly to Fundukley’s home, for breakfast. The meetings were held in an informal atmosphere, with treats from the owner.
PARTICIPATION IN THE FATE OF THE CYRIL-METHODIUS BROTHERHOOD
The governor of Fundukley was involved in the disclosure of the activities of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, a secret political organization that arose at the initiative of Nikolay Kostomarov in early 1846 in Kiev. The tasks of the brotherhood: the destruction of autocracy, the elimination of serfdom, the establishment of freedom and autonomy in Ukraine. The most active brothers (besides Kostomarov) were Panteleimon Kulish and Taras Shevchenko …
Fundukley was friends with both Kostomarov and Shevchenko, they have been to the governor’s house more than once. And at the same time, Ivan Ivanovich himself took part in the arrest of the members of the brotherhood. Bibikov, being in the northern capital, in March 1846 sent Fundukley an order to search Kostomarov, Shevchenko and other members of the secret organization, arrest and send them to St. Petersburg.
Fundukley (out of friendship, of course) asked common acquaintances to tell Kostomarov to come to him urgently. Apparently, he wanted to warn about the upcoming search … Kostomarov was preparing for his wedding. And did not react …
On the eve of the wedding, closer to the night, on the threshold of the apartment (in the area of St. Andrew’s Church) the governor Fundukley with the chief of police and gendarmes “appeared” … So the Kiev period of Nikolay Kostomarov’s life ended. Shevchenko was also out of luck. I went to Kostomarov’s wedding to be his best man. He was detained while crossing the Dnieper and brought to the governor Fundukley … And Taras Grigorievich was sent to the army for the next 10 years …
WITH RESPECT FOR THE OLD
Ivan Ivanovich was a passionate admirer of archeology and antiquity, he was directly involved in the restoration work in the St. Sophia Cathedral. At his own expense, he published monographs on the history of Kiev, and these were not graphomaniac notes, but well-grounded research, not devoid of literary value: “Review of Kiev in relation to antiquities” (1847), “Review of graves, ramparts and settlements of the Kiev province” (1848 ), “Statistical description of the Kiev province” in three parts (1852).
The newspaper “Kievskiy leaf” for September 10, 1880 wrote about the last work: “This work was published already thirty years ago, but we can safely say that such a conscientious, efficient and rich there is no present time in Russian literature … In addition to his importance as an administrator, an honorable man and a benefactor, I. I. Fundukley has every right to be considered one of our outstanding scientists”.
Fundukley was elected an honorary member of the University of St. Vladimir, a corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Archaeological and Numismatic Society, as well as a member of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society and the Odessa Society of History and Antiquities.
Ivan Fundukley served as governor of Kiev until 1852 and in the same year received the status of a full privy councilor. By decree of Nicholas I, he was appointed a senator and sent to serve in the Warsaw Department of the Governing Senate.
Ivan Ivanovich was a true patriot of Kiev: in 1859 he donated two houses to the city, paying 60 thousand silver rubles for them, to equip the first public school for girls. Later, by decree of Alexander II, it was named Fundukleevskaya.
He bought houses on the corner of the current streets of Bohdan Khmelnitsky and Pushkinskaya from an official who was threatened with trial and hard labor for embezzlement. (The official was not a bad person, he just decided to make money on the construction boom – he built a house for state money: he wanted to resell, and return what he had taken to the treasury).
Fundukley found out where the state money had disappeared, returned the shortfall from his own, and took the house. He put the buildings in order and gave them to the women’s school. In addition to the estate with houses, Fundukley allocated another 31 thousand in interest-bearing securities, which gave annually 1200 rubles, for the maintenance of the gymnasium. Poetess Anna Akhmatova, opera star Ksenia Derzhinskaya, historian Natalia Polonskaya-Vasilenko studied there (her works on the history of Ukraine are now republished and very popular).
The Fundukleevskaya gymnasium operated until the establishment of Soviet power in Kiev. In 1869, in honor of the governor, during his lifetime, Kadetskaya Street was renamed Fundukleevskaya (now Bohdan Khmelnitsky Street). 20 years after Fundukley’s transfer from Kiev to Warsaw, the Kiev City Duma, by a resolution of October 19, 1872, unanimously elected him an honorary citizen of the city.
In 1874, Ivan Funduley was awarded the highest award of the Fatherland – the Order of St. Apostle Andrew the First-Called. On this occasion, Alexander II wrote in his letter: “We are especially pleased to remember your thirteen-year management of the Kiev province, the Land you have illuminated, your direct vigilant participation in scientific works on the statistical and archaeological description of the province and, in particular, enlightened concern for women’s schools, reproduction and which you have contributed to the improvement both by your personal labors and by generous monetary donations”.
Ivan Ivanovich Fundukley left government service in 1876. He moved to Moscow, settled on Tverskoy Boulevard. His family life did not work out – due to a severe skin disease, he did not risk getting close to women …
Ivan Ivanovich Fundukley died on August 22, 1880 in Moscow, alone; he was buried in the cemetery of the Donskoy Monastery. The wealth that remained after him went to his two nieces, the princesses Golitsyn. To put it mildly, the young ladies were lucky. Did they inherit high moral values from their uncle – who knows !?
Perhaps people like Ivan Ivanovich are really born once in a hundred years, and maybe less often … In this case, Kiev is incredibly lucky: in its history there was a unique governor. The rarest person, as they said in the 19th century, is a philanthropist of the highest standard.