The Odessa File

July/August 2001


Where is Odessa?

Odessa is located on the Black Sea in Ukraine. 



What's there?

Sun, sand, surf, pumping nightlife, beautiful girls wearing g-strings as a form of national dress and .... no English.  That's why Dan and I went there.  At one point, Odessa used to be the Ibiza for the denizens of the former USSR.


Errr....according to the the Lonely Planet Guide, this is what there is to see in Odessa. 



"Odessa is a curious mix of enticing seaside holiday retreat and polluted industrial port. Long the shipping centre of the Black Sea region and the major urban centre of southern Ukraine, the city is famous for its role in the 1905 revolution, when the mutinous battleship Potemkin Tavrichesky supported rebellious workers. Today it's best known for its excellent collection of museums. The city centre is a few hundred metres south-west of the waterfront; it's filled with beautiful low-rise buildings and tree-lined streets, and is home to the elaborate and famous Opera & Ballet Theatre [SAW IT]. Dating from the 1880s, the theatre was designed by Viennese architects who gave it a Baroque cast with a Renaissance twist. Nearby is the Pasazh, a lavishly ornate shopping mall built in the late 19th century, boasting rows of Baroque sculptures. [SAW IT]

The city centre is also the locale of Odessa's famous museums. One of the most interesting is the Archaeology Museum [SAW IT]. Dating from 1875, it contains an excellent collection of artefacts from early Black Sea civilisations, including a tempting display of jewellery and coins. Across the road is the Museum of Maritime History [SAW IT], covering the history of shipbuilding and navigation with lots of models and naval paraphernalia. Nearby is the Literature Museum, where you can steep yourself in the lives of Ukrainian masters like Shevchenko and Franko and Russian authors such as Chekov, Pushkin, Tolstoy and Gorky. Don't miss one of Odessa's most famous sights - the massive Potemkin Steps [SAW THEM], immortalised in the 1925 Eisenstein film Battleship Potemkin [SAW THE FIRST 15 MINS].

The sandstone on which Odessa stands is riddled with about 1000km (620mi) of tunnels, known as the katakombi (catacombs)  [DIDN'T SEE THEM]. Quarried out for building in the 19th century, they have since been used by smugglers, revolutionaries and WWII partisans. In Nerubayske village on the north-western edge of Odessa, a network of tunnels that sheltered partisans in WWII has been turned into the Museum of Partisan Glory [DIDN'T SEE IT], where visitors are given guided tours (in Russian or Ukrainian) of relics of the partisan occupation. The catacombs are accessible by city bus".

Lonely Planet Guide Link



What's in the Odessa File?

Girls, discos, girls, buildings, bars, locals, horses ... the lot.


Party Time In Odessa

Around Town In Odessa

Hanging Out Wid Da Locals

On The Beach In Odessa


Cool Shots