Odessa: Where History Resides
Odessa is a one of the largest cities city in Ukraine and is known for its immense beauty and magnificent sea port. Being among the most visited places in the world; Odessa might not have made a mark amongst the most visited international travel destinations, but is considered to be a one of the best when it comes to luxury and recluse. A family trip to the city is all it takes to unwind the daily boredom of your life and the craving for something adventurous that gets you going.
Things to do and see
With a rich history, the city is known for its different hues and shades of life. On the one hand, the nightlife and the restaurants thump with energetic life; on the other hand, there are historical sites and heritage points that introduce you to the history of the city and the way it has evolved. Some of the most important things to see include:
Laocoon: It is a sculptural ensemble that represents he mythological story of Laocoon-the Greek Pagan priest and Poseidon who was dissatisfied with him. Following this, Poseidon sent snakes upon the priest and his sons. While the original painting of Laocoon by El Greco is present in the Museum of Washington, the original sculpture is at the Vatican. The one at Odessa is just a replica of the one at the Vatican.
Archaeological Museum of Odessa: The achievements of North Pontic Greek states had greatly influenced local populations of the Southern Ukraine. The museum houses close to 200 rare examples of Greek antiquities, most of which have never been published. The publication of the catalogue would have never been possible without the efforts, initiatives and support from the Hellenic Foundation for Culture Odessa, Foundation Anastasios G. Leventis as well as the Consulate General of Greece in Odessa.
Odessa Philharmonic: Representative of the combination of the architecture of Odessa and the Venetian Gothic style, the Philharmonic is a heritage building that was designed by Mario Bernardazzi. The Philharmonic Hall opened its door in the year 1899. It is one of the popular historical monuments of the city and stands as a fine example of the architectural splendor of the city and also of Venetian Gothic style.
Svyato-Pantelemonovskiy cathedral: The cathedral is considered to be a piece of art since its construction on May 9, 1893. Designed and executed by architect N. Nikonov, the church located on the third floor symbolized the holy Aphon Mountain with gold icon stands; the cathedral holds the attention of anyone and everyone. Adding on to the beauty of the cathedral are the mural paintings that represent the Byzantine style of art.
Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy cathedral: The cathedral was built on Sobornaya square in 1795, just one year after the founding of Odessa. One of the biggest in Russia, it was approximately 50 meters wide and over 100 meters long. Accommodating over 10,000 people, it is the representative of Odessa’s culture and history. Having faced a number of political turmoil and demolition, the cathedral was bombarded on Stalin’s order in 1936. However, it was rebuilt and resurrected since 1999.
Odessa State Literature Museum: This museum opened in the year 1984. The museum is housed in a building which was constructed in 1840 by Ludwig Otton on order from Prince Gagarin family. Ludwig was a popular architect of Odessa at that time. By the end of XIX century, the building where the museum is housed was occupied by artistic literature society. Today, the museum boasts of 21 exhibition halls with more than five thousand exhibits of 358 masters.
Potemkim Stairs: Designed by renowned architect F. Bofford, the Potemkin Stairs were built between 1837- 1841 and well known as formal entrance in this city especially from the direction of the Black Sea. The Potemkin Stairs leads from Prymorsky Boulevard down to the Black Sea. This imposing monument of Odessa has a total of 192 stairs that are arranged in 10 flights and is flanked by parapets which are 2 metre thick. The difference in the width between the lowest and the highest is what creates an optical illusion enhancing the grandeur of this structure.
Odessa Opera House: Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater is an impressive structure that ranks in magnificence with Moscow’s Bolshoi and Milan’s La Scala. This Opera has witnessed several concerts performed by Peter Tchaikovsky and ballets which featured Anna Pavlova. The exquisite interior of this imposing structure is the finest example of the Viennese Baroque style combined with elements of French rococo, Italian Renaissance, and sculptural groups from the Greek mythology. The guilt friezes, stucco moldings combined with red velvet of boxes and seats tend to create a welcoming and special ambiance for guests and visitors.
Odessa Local History Museum: It was May 6, 1956 when Local History Museum Odessa was first opened. This palace type structure was designed and architected by Felix Gonsirovskyy in the year 1876. The building was erected for Alexander Yakovlevich Novikon the well known representatives of the commercial industrial elite of the bygone era. The very first exhibition organized there was in August 1944. The first exposition was on “Heroic defence of Odessa” and on the basis of which the Republican Museum of Defence in Odessa had also been created. Today, there are about 12 expositions that narrate the history of Odessa since 15th century.
City Hall: Located on Primorskiy Boulevard, the site of City Hall was the former venue for the old Stock Exchange in Odessa. Worth a look pertaining to its design, the city hall is a place that one should not miss. It is said that trading has been the major source of Odessa’s budget income. Therefore, it is natural that the building of Stock Exchange had occupied the center of the city and then transformed into the Mayor Place and City Council.
A vacation to the city needs to be planned well. However, if it’s an ad hoc plan, you can be rest assured that you would find a place to put up. Apartments in Odessa are very good options for visitors of the city.