| Welcome to Odessa, Ukraine,
?The Pearl of the Black Sea?!
Odessa, Ukraine is the most cosmopolitan city
not only in Ukraine, but in all ex-soviet space: there you
can find Greek street, Polish steet, Jewish street, French
boulevard, Italian boulevard... Besides that, it is the
largest city on the coastline of the Black sea and was once
the third biggest city in Russian Empire after Moscow and
St.Petersburg. Odessites have a special warm feeling for
their home city and call it "Odessa-Mama". It has the other
nicknames such as "Southern Palmira" and "The Pearl of the
The name "Odessa" probably came from the ancient Greek tribe
called "odessos", which inhabited the area until the IV-th
century AD. Later, in medieval time the city belonged to
different rulers, such as: the Golden Horde of Mongolia, the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Crimean Khanate, Ottoman
Empire. From 1789 Odessa, Ukraine got under control of
Russian Empire, from 1917 to 1991 it was one of the most
popular cultural and recreational attraction for the USSR
citizens, and finally from 1991 till today "Southern Palmira"
is the pride of Ukraine.
"Arcadia", the most popular beach in Odessa
If you plan to visit Odessa, Ukraine, here are at least four
attractions you must see:
Deribasovskaya street, the main street of Odessa, Ukraine.
It was named after Jose de Ribas, Russian admiral of Spanish
origin who played the major role in the Russian-Turkish war
and later in the foundation of Odessa, Ukraine. Since 1984
Deribasovskaya has been a pedestrian-only zone, completely
closed to traffic. The most prominent Odessa's street is
full of various shops, cafes and restaurants with a cousine
to any taste. Deribasovskaya street is also famous for the "Humorina"
festival that takes place every year on the 1-st of April.
Ukrainian people from different cities and towns come to
Odessa, Ukraine to see or to participate in the fiest. The "Humorina"
procession dressed in funny costumes goes along
Deribasovskaya. In 1803 brothers de Ribas also founded the
City Park ajacent to the main Odessa's street, that became
the favorite place of rest and meetings for local people. In
2007 the City Park was restored and several new monuments
were established: the monument to the "Twelfth Chair"
devoted to Odessa's writers Ilf and Petrov, to the popular
singer of the beginning of the XX-th century Utiosov, to the
lion's family and others. At the City Garden you can enjoy
listening to the symphony orchestras and watching amazing "singing
fountains" that are especially beautiful at night time.
Deribasovskaya street, the heart of Odessa
Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre is a real jewel of Odessa,
Ukraine, it is one the most beautiful architectural
monuments in Ukraine and in the world. The theatre was built
in 1809, soon after the foundation of Odessa,
most prominent European architects took part at the contest
for the best design of the theatre. So, its building is
constructed in the style of Viennese baroque. Above the
facade you can see a sculptural group depicting the Muse
Melpomene,the Protectress of Art. The interior of Odessa,
Ukraine Opera and Ballet Theatre ranks in grandeur with
Milan's La Scala and Moscow's Bolshoi theatres. It is richly
decorated in Louis XVI style. Everything inside is created
in full harmony with each other, though Viennese baroque
style is combined with Italian Renaissance and French rococo.
The seats and boxes are covered with dark red velvet, the
mirrors are in gilt frames. In combination with a splendid
music all this is just a delight!
World famous Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre
Odessa, Potemkin Stairs are the best known symbol of
Odessa, Ukraine. Original 200 steps were built in 1841
to get access to the city located on a high steep plateau
from the direction of the sea. Initially this giant
ctaircase was named as Primorsky Stairs. They were designed
to create an optical illusion because of the difference in
width between the top step which is 12,5 metres wide and the
lowest one that is 21,7 metres. So, a person looking down
the stairs sees only landings and the steps are invisible,
but the person, looking up sees only steps and the landings
are invisible. Potemkin Stairs became famous because of a
silent film "The Battleship Potemkin", shot by Sergei
Eisenstein in 1925. According to the film, on June, 14, 1905
soldiers opened the fire on the people on Odessa,
staircase. In 1933 Potemkin Stairs were reconstructed
because of erosion. Eight steps were lost under the sand
when Odessa, Ukraine port was being extended, reducing the
number of the steps to 192. In 1955 the Primorsky Stairs
were renamed Potemkin Stairs to honour the 50-th anniversary
of the uprising of the Battleship "Potemkin".
Potemkin Stairs, the symbol of Odessa
Odessa Islamic Center (The Mosque). When you walk
along central Odessa's streets, it's difficult not to notice
a beautiful building decorated with white tracery. It is
Arabian cultural centre, built not a long time ago on June,
12, 2001. The Mosque was constructed by request and by means
of arabic bussinessman Adnan Kivan. He was born in Syria and
came to the Soviet Union in 1980. The Arabian centre was
built according to the design of young Odessa,
architect Dmitry Povstaniuk. This distinguished structure
has become a real orient pearl of Odessa, Ukraine.
Arabian Cultural Center, an orient architecrural jewel of
If you enjoy extremal tourism, Odessa, Ukraine has something
to offer you too: welcome to Odessa's catacombs! By
the way, do you know that they are the longest in Europe. Odessa's 2,500 kilometres of catacombs eclipse the 300
kilometres found in Rome and the 500 kilometres in Paris.
Are you ready for this exciting tour? I would only recommend
you to go there with a big group and be led by an
experienced guide from the Partisan Glory museum.
There are plenty of other historical sights and attractions
in Odessa, Ukraine, so it would take you a lot of time to
read about all of them. That's why a wise proverb says: "One
time to see is better than seven times to hear".