Odessa is a city with outstanding history, extraordinary people and unusual architecture. Each street distinguishes itself with a special image. The fame of some of them spreads far beyond the city border. José de Ribas together with civil engineer François de Wollant were the ones who started building the city. François de Wollant had a task at hand to build the town that attracts nobility, brainpower, merchants and craftsmen from all the nearby areas. On projecting the city, the architect took Ancient Roman urban development as a basis and divided the area into 8 residential zones. According to the project, streets were heading from sea to the center. In centre of Cathedral Square a Church of St. Nicholas was built that later turned into the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour which in its turn is a soul of Odessa.
Every building in Odessa has its unique architectural style. The first building was constructed in 1794 for Prince Volkonsky. The buildings in neo-baroque, classic, renaissance, gothic styles were constructed according to the projects of the most talented engineers from all over Europe. Thanks to their talents and genius this coastal city became a citadel of treasures of art.
This is a real monument of architecture that has remained to this day almost in its original form. Despite the fact that the Passage building was built in the shortest period of time (1898-1899) it is still unique in its elegant luxury. Architect Vlodek managed to combine several architectural styles in a talented manner taking elements from splendid baroque, modern and classics. Besides compelling attention fretwork and sculptures there is another wonderful thing – a skylight atrium. All these elements give the impression of being in the royal palace.
The main highlight of Odessa is its Opera House. The first building of it was constructed in 1810 by Thomas de Thomon and the second one after the fire in 1887 by architectors Fellner and Helmer who harmoniously combined several rich styles such as baroque, rococo and Italian Renaissance.
After the general reconstruction in 2007 the theater got the style of the Viennese baroque. The front is framed with colonnaded two-deck gallery and sculptures of the Muses Melpomene, Orpheus and Terpsichore. The apses above are ornamented with 16 cupids. The busts of prominent personalities are placed in roundel place. Audience space is created in French rococo with stucco ornaments in fine gilding. All the details complement each other creating harmony and beauty that amazes the audience.
House with atlantes
One of the most popular and recognizable buildings in Odessa. It was owned by the family of the baron Faltz-Fein who founded Askania-Nova reserve in the Kherson region. The name of the building is associated with its looks. The second floor balcony is supported by atlantes whose backs "hold" starry heaven. The building has overall interesting architecture forming the letter “П” and decorated with exquisite balusters, consoles, mansard roof and elegant turrets. The back of the building has an incredible sea view. One can find this pretty building at 5, Hoholya Street.
Vorontsov Palace is a real pearl of the city. It was being build about 8 years finishing in1834. Central part of the whole manor was made in classic style by design of F. Boffo. After the revolutions and wars some of buildings were destroyed but the restoration finished in 2005 changed it looks.
The exterior decoration of the main building includes several components such as colonnaded porches on west and south, friso over windows, cornice with baluster. Indoor architecture is strictly separated. The living room is ornamented with stucco and gilding, the floor is covered with an expensive parquet, the doors are supplied with amber pens and ceiling is decorated with crystal-bronze lusters. The style of each room is well thought through meticulously representing classic taste of the owner. The complex includes also a stable, an outhouse, a courtyard.
Primorsky Boulevard takes its beginning near Potemkin Stairs located by the sea side. It was designed by F. Boffo and constructed by engineers Walton and Morozov in the period from 1837 to 1841. The rumour has it that Prince Vorontsov ordered it as a gift for his wife and invested about 800 thousand rubles into this present.
One can go down to the passenger ship terminal or up to Duke monument. Nowadays, it consists of 192 steps though there were 200 initially and of 10 passages. Its underside is much wider than its upside but it is hard to tell looking from above. There is a very interesting thing about Potemkin stairs: one can see only steps cascade looking from below and passages only looking from above.
The Philharmonic Hall was created by the famous architect Bernardazzi by the project of the Viennese engineer V. Prohasky who won the international competition arranged by by the City Duma of Odessa.The construction took 4 years (1894-1898). It is made in gothic style complemented by Renaissance elements. The front is facing Pushkinskaya and Bunina streets and is decorated with terracotta tiles. The entrance is ornamented with 12 Zodiac signs.
A Polish architect Felix Gonsiorovsky came to Odessa in 1848. He has built several houses for the nobility but the most famous of his creations was the Archaeological Museum. He has combined different styles such as Neo-Gothic with the arches and towers neo-Renaissance with peculiar responders and ornamental front divisions. This combination created buildings that amaze with its looks and interior decoration.
This masterpiece is located on Lanzheronovskaya Street, on Krutoy descent. Such a location makes one see only one storey from one side and two storeys from another. The museum was built in 1824by the famous architect Giorgio Toricelli and it amazes with its beauty and luxury.
Lutheran Church of St. Peter and Paul
The design and construction of Kircha (as it is called in Odessa) was done by two architects G. Shevrembrant and H. Skweder. This building, and now and then back in 1897, draws awe and admiration thanks to its strict classic style.
The Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour
The construction of one of the oldest churches in Odessa began in 1794 and finished in 1808. In 1837 according to D.Franolli's project another 72m tall bell tower was erected that was used as a lighthouse by ships entering the port. Everyone who sees this building admit that they are very much attracted by its greatness.