Odessa is the third largest city in Ukraine, a seaport and a hot tourist destination on the Black Sea. Today, September 2nd is Odessa’s birthday. She is 220 years old 🙂
The city of Odessa was founded in 1794 by a decree of the Empress Catherine the Great, for which the Odessites are endlessly grateful, having named one of the central streets in her name and establishing quite an impressive monument with a hint of typical Odessa humor. The monument is a column with a full-sized Empress holding the Decree on the top. The bottom, however, is guarded by four male figures who contributed to the creation and well-being of the city. A couple out of the four were Catherine’s lovers 🙂
Potemkin Stairs with the statue of Duke de Richelieu is another famous – guess, The most famous – Odessa place-mark. As any other significant place, the giant staircase bore many names throughout the turbulent history. The current name stuck from the Soviet times. The stars is about 30 meters high, but 142 meters long, with 192 steps. Opened in 1841, there were exactly 200 steps descending right into the sea. However, construction of the port and the street below “ate up” 8 steps later on.
This year Potemkin Stairs was dressed in yellow and blue – national flag of Ukraine – on the Independence Day.
Duke de Richelieu was one of the forefathers to Odessa, it’s first Mayor. A modern look, a peek into the past and the recent Independence Day look. By the way, the Square of Catherine the Great with the above described monument, is right behind the Duke.
The last of the three most well-known and loved symbols of Odessa is our Opera and Ballet Theater. This impressive building in neo-baroque style opened to public in 1887, replacing the original theater destroyed by fire. Here more than anywhere a picture is worth a thousand words and no picture is enough to give credit to our pride and joy:
Interior from the stage:
The ceiling with a 2 ton, 9-meter chandelier:
The stage curtain:
Happy Birthday, Odessa!