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Ekaterininskaya Square commemorates the founder of Odessa city, Russian Empress Catherine the Great (1729 – 1796). In 1794 she had issued a decree to lay the city with a harbor. At the center of the square there is a Monument to Odessa’s Founders which includes apart from the Empress herself 4 figures of the people involved into Odessa’s birth: the Spanish officer José de Ribas, the Dutch architect François de Wollant and two Catherine's favorites Grigoriy Potyomkin and Platon Zubov. The Monument was destroyed in the 1920s and restored in 2007.Read more
Belvedere of Vorontsov's Palace is situated in the middle of the seaside promenade at the city center. The Palace and the former stables are nearby. The owner, Count Mikhail Vorontsov, was a well-reputed governor of Odessa in 1823—1854. The Belvedere offers a stunning view on Odessa bay and the port.Read more
House with Atlantes is one of Odessa’s symbols. This house in Art Nouveau style was built in 1899 for the barons Falz-Fein, the noble family from Liechtenstein. In Ukraine this family is well-known thanks to their biosphere reserve Askania Nova located 350 km from Odessa.Read more
Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater or Odessa Opera is the most famous Odessa highlight worldwide. Built in 1887 by the famous European theaters architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer, it is one of the most beautiful Odessa buildings. Its cost was 1,300,000 rubles then. The legend says, that when the people of Odessa had discovered how much the construction cost, they gasped. However, when they saw the building with their own eyes, they gasped again.
Opera Theater always was the main public building in Odessa. No sooner Odessa was founded in 1794, the first Odessa Opera was built.
Odessa Opera strikes with its splendor: rococo statues, lots of gold and Venetian mirrows, a crystal chandelier, the ceiling paintings, an organ, elegant sofas and lamps. All this luxury was renovated quite recently, in 2007.
Odessa Opera was the most modern building in the 19th – early 20th centuries. To keep the spectators away from the summer heat, there was a huge amount of ice stored in the 35-feet dungeons. The fresh icy air came through the ventilation holes. Today, of course, the theater is equipped with air conditioners.
Odessa Opera is famous not only thanks to its beauty, but also thanks to the famous artists, opera singers, ballet dancers, who used to shine on its stage: Titto Ruffo, Mattia Battistini, Fyodor Shalyapin, Antponina Nezhdanova to name just a few.
Potyomkin Steps were built in 1835 as a main entrance to the City of Odessa for the guests arriving by sea. It has 192 steps now. The name had to commemorate the rebellious battleship “Potyomkin” which had started the revolution in Odessa in 1905. After the famous Eisenstein’s movie “The Battleship Potyomkin” (1925) these steps became known worldwide. Now it is the largest amphitheater in Odessa used for the open air events.Read more
The bronze monument to Armand Emmanuel Sophie Septimanie de Vignerot du Plessis, (5th) Duke de Richelieu was built in 1828 as a gratitude sign of Odessa’s people to its first governor (1805 – 1814). Duke de Richelieu, a great-nephew of the famous Cardinal de Richelieu, is depicted in a Roman toga with a scroll in his hand.Read more