Extraordinary places in Odessa
Once hearing the word “Odessa”, its attractions flash in our mind: the Potemkin stairs and the Duke, the Opera theatre and the Tyoshchin bridge, Arcadia and Deribasovskaya, Privoz and the Sea station. Yet apart from these famous sights known to everyone, Odessa may offer other extraordinary options to have a good time, to impress and to remember. If you are looking for something unique in Odessa, this article is for you!
Odessa is a port city, so the renown Vorontsov Lighthouse is the first to welcome and to say good bye to guests coming to Odessa by sea. It was constructed in 1845 according to Admiral Lazarev’s initiative at the edge of the Quarantine mole. It was made from wood at first, yet it turned into a 17 meters high white cast iron tower narrowed on the top in 1863. It was equipped with Fresnel’s light system which was the most modern one at that time.
Sadly, during the heroic defence of Odessa in the WW II, the lighthouse was exploded on September 15th, 1941, as it was an easy target for the enemy’s artillery. However, the Reidoviy mole (the former Quarantine mole) was reconstructed by 1953. A new lighthouse was erected in its rightful place, still bearing Vorontsov’s name. Its silhouette is depicted on the Defence of Odessa medal. A walk on the Reidoviy mole today is an unforgettable pastime available to anyone.
The Odessa Catacombs are one of the most mysterious places. They are situated in the city suburbs, its entrance is near Nerubayskoye village. These are endless labyrinths of underground tunnels and ways. Its most part is old stone quarries where shell limestone was mined beginning from the middle of the 19th century. All old Odessa is built of them. Their winding labyrinths are over 2.5 km long.
Most of the tunnels are not explored so they attract speleologists. Yet not only professionals are able to visit them, both in individual and group tours, with experienced guides. Apart from impressions from the place itself you will have a glimpse on mysterious and heroic events which it witnessed.
An interesting option of extraordinary pastime in Odessa may be visiting various art-cafes and anti-cafes. You may relax in a friendly home atmosphere with a glass of something or a cup of coffee and enjoy live music by various groups.
The most popular art-cafes are the art-café Shkaf and the True Man offering concerts and literature events, films and interesting games. They are great for friendly meetings, new acquaintances, parties and just relaxation. By the way, the cuisine is not bad at all!
Anti-cafes represent quite a new but popular format of entertainment. All treats, including coffee, tea and various yummies are absolutely free. All entertainment and events are free there as well. What is more, high speed internet is available too! it is possible to hold various workshops and seminars in a casual atmosphere, to participate in concerts and parties. It should be mentioned that alcohol drinks are not served in anti-cafes.
Terminal 42 is a vivid example of such an alternative café which is located right in the centre of Odessa. It is a big co-working centre to work on some project in the company of your fellow thinkers or just with your notebook, to attend interesting lectures, to watch a performance or participate in a festival. Perhaps your congenial startup will begin from here after a cup of coffee.
Lots of the so called quest rooms have been opened in Odessa recently. These are places for those who like to use their brains and to solve puzzles. It is remarkable that decorations in such places are often gloomy and even scary. You may find plots to any taste, detective stories, thrillers and even horrors. You will have to find the way out listening to dreadful sounds and hitting frightening items.
The Vykhod network of quest rooms offers you various and interesting locations like Game of Thrones, Stalker, the Fifth Element or the Black Pearl. If you want mystics then here is the Conjuring or Cursed House. The Kidnapping and Saw will reveal what a maniac's victim feels. Horror fans are welcome to Labyrinth quest with spine-chilling 800 square meters of entire darkness.
Fans of extremities will be interested in walking on Devolanovsky descent in Quarantine gully. It is rather an anti-sight of Southern Palmira. It brings you back to the war times, with windows broken, buildings destroyed, and no roads at all. The post-apocalyptic scenery impresses and scares at the same time. It is a striking contrast to the beautiful city centre which is so near!
There is a peculiar entertainment for cinema fans – the theatre under the open sky which welcomes visitors at the Seamen’s Palace in Primorsky Boulevard. The ray of its projector has revived after 30 years’ break. It is such a pleasure to enjoy your favourite film under the open sky breathing the sea breeze mixed with the scent of chestnuts in bloom!
The cinema implements interesting technical and designer’s decisions. Thus, seats are made of special wooden pallets covered with puffs and the sound is transmitted in the silent cinema format, via radio station and headsets. It provides a wonderful sound for visitors and silence for the people living nearby at the same time. The entrance price is less than cheap, and the atmosphere is unforgettable.
By the way, it is possible not only to watch a film under an open sky in Odessa but to have a nice meal, to visit a concert or to dance. Such an exciting relax is available at the Sea roof night club which is located right at the seashore, at Langeron beach. It offers live music, concerts, parties, delicious grilled dishes and the starry Odessa sky.
There is something really unique at Dolphin beach which is next to Langeron beach. It is the Tunnel of fairy tales. It is a tunnel 200 meters long where an old lift descends its passengers from the Magnolia sanatorium to Dolphin beach. Its fabulous name originates from different scenes from fairy tales in mosaics on its walls. What is more, the tunnel is illuminated with multicoloured lights which make it look really fascinating.
Melpomene’s admirers will be pleased visiting Odessa theatres. The most popular among them are the Theatre in Chaynaya and the Green Theatre.
The Theatre in Chaynaya is a truly experimental theatre, it is like a breeze on the theatrical map of Odessa. There is no velvet or gilding there, and you won’t find any columns or marble stairs. There are only actors’ talented playing and exciting staging. It’s a young theatre and there is something characteristic of young theatres only. It is an amazing unity of actors with spectators.
The Green Theatre in Shevchenko Park is worth attention as well. It is the first and only amphitheatre under the open sky. You may not only enjoy theatrical and cinematographic performances but participate in educational projects, master-classes, literature readings as well. It is possible to practice yoga on the real lawn, or to relax on a puff, chaise lounge or hammock. It has the so called “eco space” with various ecological projects, numerous seats and interesting gastronomic experiments.
Fans of live instrumental music are welcome in the so called event grounds in Odessa. They offer quite an interesting format of pastime. Perron №7 jazz club is a bright example of that. There is a record studio with jazz bands playing in its chamber hall, a cozy restaurant and even a soft “lounge” in the attic. The main thing is that you may listen to true author’s jazz in a good quality here!
The Dvor Kultury (Yard of culture) in Frantsuzkiy boulevard is worth visiting in summer. Located in a cozy yard of the Odessa factory of sparkling wines, it turns into a cultural residence of the city. There are various exhibitions, performances, concerts and even thematic carnivals, with musicians, actors, writers and artists to communicate. You will be able to taste traditional dishes of the country of the thematic events. Professional animators will entertain your children in the children’s zone.
Besides, Odessa is famous for its museums. You may visit the navy museum or the museum of Oriental and Western arts and even the archeological museum. However a few people know about the Shustov cognac winery museum. You will be able to find out everything about cognac and even taste it. You will have an opportunity to blend cognac of different ages yourself under the eye of an experienced master, or even get your ideal blending!
We would recommend you to pay attention to street art: fancy drawings, sculptures and graffiti. For example, there are two street art objects not far from the Academy of communications and the famous Kirkha in Novoselskogo street. These are a huge hand made of metal trash, gears and screw nuts with Apple logo. This is a sculpture to the founder of the company, Steve Jobs. There is a mural with flying Opera Theatre here as well, on the façade of the Academy dormitory.
The Odessa Maman sculpture welded of metal plates can be found in Langeronovskaya street, and the Contrabass-Woman will please the eye at the Odessa Polytechnic. It is a fine work with metal. What about a telephone boot from Doctor Who? Or Warhol's and Magritte’s masterpieces? Yes, they can be found in Odessa
There is a strikingly beautiful picture on the entire wall of the building in 32, Evreyskaya street telling about Odessa and its famous citizens. Most likely, Quarantine descent with retro pictures is the crown of street art in Odessa
Of course, the listed places are not all extraordinary places in Odessa. One could write a book about it with wonderful pictures, as Odessa is extraordinary itself and anyone will find something to fall in love with in this southern city.