RUS

Odessa

Odessa is the administrative center of the Odessa Province located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of more than one million people.
The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement, was founded by Haci I Giray, the Khan of Crimea, in 1240 and originally named after him as "Hacibey". After a period of Lithuanian control, it passed into the domain of the Ottoman Sultan in 1529 and remained in Ottoman hands until the Ottoman Empire's defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1792. The city of Odessa was founded by a decree of the Empress Catherine the Great in 1794. From 1819 to 1858 Odessa was a free port. During the Soviet period it was the most important port of trade in the Soviet Union and a Soviet naval base. On January 1, 2000 the Quarantine Pier of Odessa trade sea port was declared a free port and free economic zone for a term of 25 years.
In the 19th century it was the 4th largest city of Imperial Russia, after Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Warsaw. Its historical architecture has a style more Mediterranean than Russian, having been heavily influenced by French and Italian styles. Some buildings are built in a mixture of different styles, including Art Nouveau, Renaissance and Classicist.

Odessa is also an important cultural centre. It owns six State Theaters, the Philharmony, State circus. The stage of the National Academic Opera House has been trampled down by great artists like Fedor Shaliapin and Leonid Sobinov. Some rich collections are gathered in the painting Gallery and in the city's Museums.

 

A few sights of Odessa