Architectural landscape of the city is unique. All the central part of the city is an incredible architectural reserved area where Gothic and classicism, Empire style and Baroque, Renaissance and Art Nouveau style have all intertwined most organically. Some of these architectural styles had become the part of history long before the name of the city appeared on European maps.
The historical center of Odessa is of a comfortable size. The important streets and squares can be easily covered on foot in half a day.
Deribasovskaya street is the main pedestrian street in Odessa. It’s named for Admiral De Ribas who built the city under orders from Catherine the Great. In the summer the street is overrun by tourists.. This is no ordinary shopping high street. To be here is “to see, and to be seen”. Modern café and exotic restaurants line the way .The most expensive shops and elegant boutiques can be found on there. On a summer’s evening, you may get the feeling that the entire population of Odessa has come to congregate in this street.
Primorskiy Boulevard. The building that line Primorskiy boulevard are particularly striking. This seafront walkway is one of Odessa oldest streets and a favorite meeting place for Odessites. The opulent early 19th century structures are well proportioned and laid out. A promenade under the horse chestnuts and maples that line the Boulevard is an experience at any time of year. The Boulevard is divided into two halves along its length by a central crescent – a semi circular place, lined by curved buildings. This crescent is directly above the famous Potemkin stairs and boasts the statue of Odessa’s first Mayor Duke Richelieu. Under his leadership (1803-1814) Odessa began its ascent to become one of Europe’s most beautiful and richest cities.
Potemkin stairs. It’s an essential part of any visit to Odessa to walk the Potemkin stairs and count the 192 steps on your way up and down. Both the Stairs and the Richeleu statue at its summit are considered symbols of Odessa. From the Stairs there is a fantastic view over the harbor, including the docks, Hotel “Odessa”, the entrance into the harbor and the lighthouse, and out onto the Black Sea that lies beyond.
Vorontsov Palace. On the Northwest side of Primorskiy boulevard lies the former Palace of Count Vorontsov. It was built in the Empire style and also includes a colonnade, which was erected on a terraced foundation, close to the cliffs. From here one may see a wonderful view on the port and the streets descending towards to it.
Vorontsovsky Lane. It stretches from the Vorontsov Palace towards the Catherine square. The houses here were erected on the site of the ruined fortifications. A small Odessa miracle will open before everyone who stops at the edge of the façade wall of the building No 4: the house that consists of the façade only. This illusion is very plausibly created by the end wall put up at a sharp angle and as if hidden into the depth of the courtyard.
Catherine Square. Just above the Potemkins Stairs there is the small round Catherine Square. It was on of the best squares in Europe till 1917. It is lined with nice pubs cafes, as well as not-exactly cheap shores.
Gogolya street. It’s easy to breathe in this shady, open to the sea and to the sun street. The Mediterranean coloring and the port’s proximity call up comparisons with the cities of Italy. There are several architectural gems in this street; Shah’s Palace, the baron Falz-Fein house with Atlantes. They are worth to be seen.
City garden. It’s a comfortable green oasis in the very center of the city, also a relic and a favorite place of rest. It was given to the city by Felix de Ribas, the famous brother of Odessa founder. Everybody likes coming here under the shade of century-old locust trees, to the tender whisper of the old fountain.
Sobornaya (Cathedral) Square and Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral. This place is very special for all Odessites. It takes its name from the Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral. This has always been the central square of Odessa The Preobrazhensky Cathedral was built during the founding of the city and was for the longest time the most important cathedral in Odessa. It was demolished during soviet regime . Thanks to generous donations we have the newly rebuilt Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral.
Palaris-Royal Courtyard. It’s situated next to the famous Odessa Opera and Ballet theatre. This is a romantic corner of the old Odessa, a cozy inner little garden with a fountain, restaurants, coffee shops and elite department.
Lanzheronovskaya street. It was named after one of the fathers-founders of the city count Alexandr Langeron.The majority of local buildings here was held with their historic and aesthetic value. The bright examples are the “Mozart” Hotel across from the Opera House, the building of the English Club, fountain “Children and frog”, Archeological museum.
Arcadia. It’s translates to “Paradise”. It’s a famous resort area of Odessa. Since the beginning of XIX century some aristocratic families settled down here. Now it is very popular with tourists and locals alike, and can get extremely busy in summer. There an enormous number of restaurants, several good hotels, reaching from the very expensive to the better middle-class. The view is beautiful, as the sea lies just below the row of restaurants.
The beach “Lanzheron” is located close to the city center and named after the first builders of Odessa. In this area count Langeron had his dacha (country house) Today it includes a part of Shevchenko park and the beach. Langeron is attractive with its water entertainments. Boats and water bikes are available to rent and many cafes and restaurants line the shore.
Bolshoy Fontan (Big Fountain). This is the famous and popular resort area of Odessa. Big Fountain is connected with the names of many outstanding Russian writers and cultural workers. Today it is an area of prestigious mansions and beach clubs, health resorts and children’ health camps.