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Dear Guest of Ukraine,
If you look for experienced,
responsible, honest and
friendly interpreter-guide,
you are at the right place!

 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 Black sea".

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, Ukraine. The 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, Ukraine 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, Ukraine architect Dmitry Povstaniuk. This distinguished structure has become a real orient pearl of Odessa, Ukraine.



Arabian Cultural Center, an orient architecrural jewel of Odessa


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".

Yours Sincerely,
Elena Krivova

   

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