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Birthplace of the king of Madagaskar


So this is the place. First, watch up. You say, just a tower. No, ladies and gentlemen, this is peculiar tower.

This tower was built in 1832. Hundred years later something happened and the tower abruptly started to fall. Engineers, unaware of attractiveness of Pisa Tower, wanted to stop continuous inclination of the tower towards south-west, so injected a lot of cement beneath the building. Tilting stopped, but Leaning Tower is deviated from the vertical axis 99 centimeters.
Here it is little bit visible, compared to the Plague Column which is, as it should be :)

Let´s continue…
This is synagogue, built in the last century, as the marmor table says (also in English):

Jewish community here was famous thanks to many rabbi and teachers. Vrbove is a birthplace of a former Supreme Rabbi of Jerusalem, Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld. IN 1942 the town was transformed in a ghetto, which concentrated all Jews from surrounding towns and villages before their transport to Auswitz. Those who survived, settled in Israel. At the moment there is nobody who would take care for the synangogue. Five people have keys and just one wants to sell half of it to the town. Very hard to understand. So the walls of once famous school and synagogue are crambling down…

Let´s continue. Here we are. This is the place, where was born King of Madagaskar, famous captain Morice Benovsky.

He came from the family of nobles with 16 children. So you can imagine, he wasn´t rich. But his family had long military tradition and Morice become a noble soldier too. His first employers were Polish kings, with whom he fighted against Russians. He was captured and sent to prison in Siberia. Here he recruited his most faithful soldiers for the rest of his life. They seized a large ship and escaped to the Pacific. He was the first European who sailed in Northern Pacific, he searched Alaska shores (Yukon, Kuskokwin), he was the first who searched St. Vavrince Island and his route from Alaska to Macao was a first documented naval route from the Nortwest shores of America to the southeastern shores of Asia (sorry, Captain Cook fans :)).

He offered his services to French and even met with George Washington. Because of tension between America and England he offered him he would create an pro-American army in Germany. This never happened, as America made a deal with England finally. So he left, this time in services of France, wanted to create its colony in Madagascar. Whatever adventurous personality he was, one thing is obvious – he successfuly stopped slaughters among local tribe leaders there. Suffering from middle age crisis and seduced by beautiful countryside in Madagascar, he decided to settle down here. Lot of beautiful women, fertile land – that all made him to leave French King. After tribal leaders heard he left service in French army, they offered him to be a king of Madagascar. He decided to accept it, as he described in his memoires (who won´t ?).Among his sailors there were two Russians and English, too. They all got land in Madagascar and stayed there with their captain. This made angry French administration and in spite of the fact MB was protege of Marie Antoinette, one sunny day a French naval commando arrived and made it clear, who is the world power here. As history of world powers has been always written by blood.
M. Benovsky was killed, his burial place is unknown. But local people have reminded him until now. I saw a copy of table, brought by Polish expedition from Madagascar to Vrbove, which proves it.
So, leaving the museum with very very few artefacts.

If you wish to see his statue, it is not made yet. But I saw a draft – it will be unveiled this autumn.
This is the end of report for today.
Thanks to all who hoped for some gardening tips.
Those will come in my next blog.

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As a lover of historical buildings and all that goes with them I found your blog very imformative and thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks Katerina for the photo`s and the history lesson...

19 Mar, 2012


Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it :)
In 1783 Benovsky presented his Memoirs and Travels (in French) to J. H. Magellan a descendant of Ferdinand Magellan for publication in the United Kingdom. With Benjamin Franklin's assistance he founded an American-British company for business with Madagascar.

19 Mar, 2012


wow that's really interesting Katarina, a fabulous blog with so much information.. thanks for sharing that with us...

20 Mar, 2012


Thank you, Surreylad. I appreciate it :)

20 Mar, 2012

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