The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Armand-Emmanuel du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu 1776-1822; twice Prime Minister of France

As a celibate, the Cardinal did not have any children. So when he died in 1642 his title and estate was left to his favourite niece, Marie-Madeleine de Vignerot du Plessis, the Duchesse de l'Aiguillon. She was a mother and so the title of Duke and Peer of France descended down her family line. The most famous successor, the Duke of Richelieu at the time of the French Revolution, went to join the francophone Imperial Court of Catherine the Great at St. Petersburg. One of his achievements there was to become the 'Father of Odessa', Russia's new gateway to the Black Sea. The du Plessis family line seems to specilaise in LES CITÉS IDÉALES! Here his statue as Roman governor still presides over the Odessa Steps, made famous in the 1905 revoluionary uprisings and in the subsequent film 'Battleship Potemkin' by director Sergei Eisenstein.

Duke Armand Emmanuel Richelieu was born in Paris in 1776. He fled France during the French revolution, settling in Russia. Legend has it that the Duke decided to build a new city that would be even more beautiful than his native Paris. He was Governor General of Odessa Territory and the Lord Mayor of the city from 1803 to 1814. When Napoleon was exiled to Elba in 1814, the Duke ended his service to Odessa and returned to France. The Duke subsequantly served twice as Prime Minister of France in 1815-1818 and 1820-1821.

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