Odessa or Odesa is the third largest city in Ukraine located in the south of the country, the administrative center of the Odessa region and the main naval base of the Ukrainian Navy.
This city, standing on the shore of the Odessa Gulf of the Black Sea, is the largest commercial seaport of Ukraine. The population of Odessa is about 1 million people.
Some interesting facts about Odessa are:
- 2 centuries ago, in the 19th, it was the 4th largest city under the Tsars of Imperial Russia, after Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and Warsaw (Poland).
- Its historical architecture has a style more Mediterranean than Ukrainian or Russian, having been heavily influenced by French and Italian styles. Some buildings are built in a mixture of different styles, like the Opera.
- The city was named after the ancient Greek city of Odessos by Catherine the Great.
- During the battle for Odessa, in the 2nd World War, the world’s best female sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko was here. Her record shows 187 confirmed kills during the defense of Odessa. Her total confirmed kills during World War II was 309 (including 36 snipers). A film was dedicated to her, called “Battle for Sevastopol”.
- The city is located on the Black Sea and is a great fishing zone, as well as having great beaches.
- Despite the Ukrainian majority, the Russian language is dominant in the city.
- The Opera is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest opera houses.
- Odessa has an iconic symbol, the “Potemkin steps” (Primorsky Stairs) which are a wide staircase that has an illusion so that the people at the top only see a series of large steps, while at the bottom all the steps appear to merge into one pyramid-shaped mass.
- Deribasovskaya Street, a wonderful and attractive pedestrian avenue is famous for its unique character and magnificent architecture. During any season of the year, you find lots of people leisurely walking, sitting and talking on the outdoor or indoor terraces of numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants.