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Odessa Opera and Ballet House. The Theatre itself is interesting not only by us architecture, but by its rich creative biography. The great merit in the development of musical culture in the south of our country belongs, to this theatre. There are 25 operas, such as "Carmen", "Aida", "Il Trovatore", "La Traviata", "Cavaleria Rusticana", "I Pagliacci", "Iolanta", "Madam Batterfly", Rigoletto", and jthers are in the repertoire of theatre. The theatre opera singers were appearing on the stages of Spain, Italy, France, Finland, Japan, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Belgium, Greece and the individual opera soloists - practically in all the countries of the world.
Armand Emmanuel Sophie Septemanie du Plessis, duc de Richelieu (1766 - 1822) was a prominent French statesman during the Bourbon Restoration. As a Royalist aristocrat, during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars, he served as a soldier in the Russian Imperial Army. He was present at Alexander Suvorov's capture of Izmail. For his service in that battle, he was decorated by the Russian empress Catherine the Great with the Order of St. George and given a golden sword. In the Russian army, he achieved the rank of Major General. Russian emperor, Czar Alexander I, was one of his friends and in 1803 Alexander appointed him Governor of Odessa. In the eleven years of his administration, Odessa rose from a miserable village to an important city, and the grateful citizens erected a bronze monument to him.
Potemkin Steps (Potemkinskaya Ladder or Odessa Stairs) were constructed between 1837 and 1841. The stairs were designed to create an optical illusion. A person looking down the stairs sees only the landings, and the steps are invisible, but a person looking up sees only steps, and the landings are invisible. The stairs are considered a formal entrance into the city from the direction of the sea and are the best known symbol of Odessa.
Primorsky Boulevard is a shady seaside promenade with many historic landmarks and interesting monuments. The architectural ensemble of Primorsky Boulevard attests to the high standards of Odessa architects. Designed as the compositional pivot of the city, the Boulevard runs along the sealine.
The middle section of the Boulevard is occupied by the semi-circular square with the monument to A. E. Richelieu in the center. The buildings of the former stock exchange and the Vorontsov Palace terminate the Boulevard on each end to form an integral balanced whole. The architectural rhythm of Primorsky Boulevard, enhanced by horizontal terraces, is interrupted by the vertical line of the grandiose Potemkin stairs terraces. Situated on the Primorskiy Boulevard the building which houses the City Hall nowadays is the place of the former old Stock Exchange in Odessa. Trading has always been the main source of Odessa budget income, so it is only natural that the Stock Exchange building occupied the foreground of the city and was further converted into the City Council and Major place.
Deribasovskaya Street Isnamed after Don Josef de Ribas. This street is the very heart of Odessa. What lends Deribasovskaya its unique character is magnificent architecture, crowds of people leisurely sitting on terraces of numerous cafes and restaurants, perfect cobblestones, no vehicle traffic and big shady linden trees.
Deribasovskaya leads to the City Gardens with its fountain, old summerhouse and sculpture of lion and lioness. City Gardens were laid out shortly after the foundation of Odessa and were its first park. The Souvenir Market with a crowd of artists and craftsmen demonstrating their works is situated right here. Don’t miss it if you want to get originally Odessan souvenirs.
Sobornaya Square houses an impressive looking Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral. Sobornaya Square is a pleasant location to take in the scenery while sitting on a bench, people watch or do a little shopping in the Passage shopping mall, located directly across it. Even if you have no desire to shop, it is worth seeing this work of art.
In 1795 the Nickolayev Church was built on Sobornaya Square. The cathedral was one of the biggest in Russia. In 1936 Stalin order the Cathedral to be destroyed. In a cowardly manner the cathedral was dynamited in the night. Bricks recovered from the site were used to build a school. Now the Cathedral is rebuilt. The architects have only the old paintings and drawings to guide them in the rebuilding. The Cathedral is one of the most important monuments of the city's history and culture.
The Passage was built in the end of the 19. century as a hotel and a shopping center. This combination was at that time quite common in European cities. Both hotel and shopping center still exist today, but both have seen more glorious times in the past.
Crossing Park Shevchenko you'll reach Otrada, Dolphin (Delphin), Arcadia (Arkadia), Lanzeron beaches.
Privoz (Russian translation is 'Supply Place') is an enormously sized outdoor and indoor market, which rivals those of Istanbul and Mexico City. During the days of Communism, Privoz was the only market that assured generous supply of every food type imaginable. Even though the Communist days are long over, Privoz remains a sight to see due to its massive size and array of products offered. It is fair to say, that anything can be found at Odessa's Privoz although to see it all may take hours. Privoz is located in Odessa's center, 5 min. on foot from Odessa central railway station.
Count Vorontsov Palace and a Grecian colonnade which overlooks the harbor and also provides a fine view of the bay. The Count Vorontsov Palace and the Colonnade were built from 1824 to 1827. Before the Soviet revolution, the palace was owned by Count Mikhail S.Vorontsov, the governor of the Odessa region. In 1936 the palace became the children's palace for young pioneers. After the war, it was named in memory of sixteen-year-old Young Communist League member Yakov Gordienko.
The Palace and Colonnade are built in Russian classic style. Each facade of the palace is unique. The side facing the boulevard and the Black Sea has a four-column porch with Ionic columns. The entrance side has a walkway with Doric columns. The ten column crescent colonnade is separate from the palace and stands on a precipice, providing a panoramic view of the entire bay and the industrial port.
At the Primorskij Boulevard's west end note the (pre-revolutionary) governor's palace, which incidentally was heavily damaged in 1854 when the British and French bombarded it. Count Vorontsov built a Grecian colonnade which overlooks the harbor and also provides a fine view of the bay.
Prince Mikhail Semenovich Vorontsov, born 19th May 1782, St. Petersburg, fought for Russians in Napoleon's retreat from Moscow 1812 to 1813, recovered Napoleon's despatch case as a trophy (now in Wilton House), Russia was an ally of Britain against France at this time, he was appointed commander of the Russian forces in Wellington's allied army 1815, governor-general of Novorossia (New Russia) and Bessarabia 1823, set up his court at Odessa, which he helped develop, built Alupka Palace, near Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine, 1828-46, also known as "Vorontsov Palace", governor-general (viceroy) of the Caucasus 1844, elevated to rank of Prince 1845 by Nicholas I, Tsar of Russia, incredibly, his nephew Sidney Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Lea was British Secretary of State for War 1845-6 and again 1852-5, during the Crimean War 1854-6, when Britain was allied with France against Russia, incredible to have two such important men on either side so closely related, died 6th Nov 1856, Odessa, age 74 yrs, buried in Odessa Cathedral.
Odessa is located on land that millions of years ago was covered by the Black Sea. Shells of mollusks combined and formed light yellow shell rock. Examining any of this rock, a person can see that it is composed of millions of shells.
Sandstone was both the foundation for the city and a primary building material. Easy to dig through, the sandstone allowed for the construction an estimated 2,000 kilometers of labyrinths stretching out under the city. Nearly the entire older section of Odessa is built with this stone.
There are no forests or hills around Odessa, during World War II the only place were the Ukrainian partisans could hide were in the catacombs. The partisans used the tunnels as a base from which to attack the occupying Nazi troops
*Сolumnist Denisova J
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