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Odessa Sights and Landmarks Guide, Ukraine

Odessa is known to many people as a mere industrial port city on the shores of the Black Sea. However, even people who are not used to the distinctive atmosphere of the Balkans will easily see the charm of Odessa. Apart from being an exciting Eastern European cultural cocktail, Odessa is full of interesting bits of architecture. Communism and Russian domination has taken its toll on the city, but despite the somewhat dilapidated feel of the city centre, the streets still have an echo of their bygone grandeur. This vibrant city will sometimes make you feel like a time-traveler and sometimes like a stranger on another planet, but this Ukrainian holiday experience will definitely leave a deep impression on you. Before you hop on a flight to Odessa, find out more about the city’s attractions from this Odessa Sights Guide.

Odessa Sights - Buildings and Monuments

The most interesting part of Odessa is the old city centre that has gradually been regaining its former glory. While some streets and buildings look virtually the same as they did in 1917, they are worth seeing nonetheless. One of the most prominent sights in the city are the Potemkin Stairs, which climb up upwards the city from the sea. The structure numbers over a hundred stairs, so brace yourself for a long climb.

The Odessa Opera House is one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Ukraine, and older than the equally impressive Kiev Opera. Odessa is home to one of the few copies of the statue of Laocoon by Polydorus of Rhodes. The Odessa Philharmonic is another amazing building, modeled after the Doge Palace in Venice. Don’t forget to visit Privoz Market, the largest and oldest market in Odessa.

Odessa Sights - Museums

Odessa has quite a few museums to show off to its visitors. If you’re interested in Eastern European art, head to the Museums of Western and Eastern Art, where you can see famous painting by masters from nearly every European country. There are a few interesting pieces by Caravaggio as well, and some lovely paintings by Armenian painter Ivan Aivazovsky.

Being a port city, it’s only natural that Odessa should have a Maritime Museum detailing the history of the port. The Archaeology Museum is a great starting point for a deeper exploration of Ukraine’s ancient history. After a few hours in the museum, you’ll probably want to visit the huge catacombs that stretch out under the city’s belly. Odessa Catacombs are the result of stone mining rather than burial sites, but their labyrinthine structure gave thm this mysterious name.

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