Thursday, February 21, 2008

Russia Betancourt FDC

Russia FDC
The 250th birth anniversary of A.Betancourt (1758-1824), an engineer and an architect.
Issue date: 1 February 2008

Agustín de Betancourt y Molina (Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain, 1758 - Saint Petersburg, Russia, 1824) was a prominent engineer, who worked in Spain, France and Russia. His work ranged from steam engines and balloons to structural engineering and urban planning. As an educator, Betancourt founded and managed the Spanish Corps of Engineers and the Saint Petersburg Institute of Communications Engineers. As an urban planner and construction manager, Betancourt supervised planning and construction in Saint Petersburg, Kronstadt, Nizhny Novgorod and other Russian cities.

Betancourt joined Russian service in the rank of Major General, assigned to the Directorate of Communications. His first extant work is the famous fountain in Tsarskoye Selo (1810), with sculpture by Pavel Sokolov immortalized by Alexander Pushkin's poetry. In 1816, Betancourt was promoted to head the Commission for Construction and Hydraulics, a national institution targeted primarily at Saint Petersburg development; since 1819 he also headed the Directorate of Communications. He recruited and trained such architects as Auguste de Montferrand and Leo Carboniere. More...

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