Odessa Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by arturowan
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by arturowan
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by arturowan

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Odessa

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    The Wall House...

    by arturowan Written Nov 15, 2013
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    The Wall House on 4 Vorontsovskiy Pereoolok is an essential place to view for any 0dessa sightseer, although it's easily bypassed, unless you're aware of what to look for...
    At 1 end of the building, the dwelling actually appears to consist of no more than a single wall - a convincing illusion because the floorpan is triangular, so at the most acute corner, the side backwall, cannot be seen...
    It's not the only triangular-shaped house in 0dessa, & the reason for them is supposed to have been in order to cut costs, rather than create a mind-boggling illusion...
    The Wall House, also known as The Witch House, or The Flat House, has become 1 of the city's iconic structures, & authorities are under pressure to restore it, as like many properties in 0dessa, it's in a state of subsidence...
    So, the apartment owners are paying for patchwork repairs, which means that though an extraordinary vision, the aged architecture of 'the house with 1 wall', is characteristic of all original 0dessa...
    The 3-storey house is easy to find, as Vorontsovskiy passage is a turning off from central Primorskiy Boulevard...
    However, it's not the only triangular house in 0dessa, but others are located at;
    90 Mechnikov 0olitsa
    21 Stepovaya 0olitsa
    21 Liderovskiy Bulvar
    12 Vera Inber 0olitsa
    3 Vera Kholdnaya 0olitsa
    96 Bohdan Khmelnitskiy 0olitsa

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    Artificial cave...

    by arturowan Written Nov 15, 2013

    It might seem obtuse to include a feature of the famous Primorskiy Boulevard under the heading - 'off the beaten path', but there is 1 feature of this iconic stretch of 0dessa, which receives no recommendation to the tourist...
    & such a peculiarly subtle, almost hidden feature of the city's seafront area is the artificial cave, built there, that unless you're specifically looking for it, you'll probably stroll past & not even recognise it...
    Just why this artifical cave was built into the cliff, below the boulevard that is listed as a UNESCO site of culture, is anybody's guess...
    In England, the gentry had artificial caves built on their estates & paid for a hermit to reside in the dwelling for the entertainment of guests, while suffering only the basic essentials to survive...
    I'm not sure if this feature of 0dessa has ever actually been used, or was just built for the fun of it, but whatever, it remains as 1 of the city's most eccentric features, & is worth seeking out...

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    Nuns; cats; icons; shadows...

    by arturowan Updated Nov 6, 2013

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    Saint Archangel Michael 0rthodox Monastery is a magnificent pale blue building with several silver onion domes, situated outside central 0dessa...
    If you are visiting this contrasting city & feel overwhelmed by its volatile extremes, take solace in this ecclesiastical setting, (& you will always be within walking distance of some such place...)
    You do not need to be religious to appreciate the tranquility to be found in 0dessa's plethora of churches & you do not need to be Sister Wendy Beckett to study the art of the icon, these buildings act as galleries to...
    In the museum at the monastery, there is an illutrated history of the 0rthodox faith in 0dessa, which you need to be fluent in Russian, in order to understand, & scale models of the cathedral that gives its name to Preobrazhenskaya 0olitsa, the Uspensky cathedral in the same street, as well as the city's other churches...
    Saint Michael 0rthodox Monastery is 1 of those places where time seems to stand still, & there is a tangible ambience of inertia written the timeless grounds...
    I strayed into this a place in the suffocating heat of August, when the gardens were lush with the colours of Eden & monastic cats snored prostrate in the shadows...
    This is an image of 0dessa from my original visit that will always characterise the place for me, even if it is an image at odds with what the city represents to so many...
    But for me, that nun-tended garden, with its memorial to the perished crew of the Kursk submarine, parched, yet magicolour flowerbeds, & comatose cats, is the true 0dessa & 1 of the best places to dally awhile, before returning to the streets of semi-dressed 'dyevooshkee'...

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    0dessa - A winter's tale...

    by arturowan Updated Feb 2, 2013

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    0dessa might be famed for its packed beaches & sunshine obsessed holidaymakers - each to their own...
    I do not go there to sunbathe - & I recommend anybody with a serious interest in the city to go out of season when it is actually at its most scenic...
    The magic of standing at a window, watching snow fall, never ceases to touch me - I have witnessed 3 such 'snyekaupat' on my last couple of visits & I hope to see this spectacle again...
    0f course, it's easy for me to romanticise about wintry beauty, from the cosy comfort of a centrally heated apartment, when outside are homeless cats, dogs, & people...
    It is difficult to be complacent, especially when walking the iced streets, on which pensioners & cripples, sit & beg for a few kopeks to buy their daily bread...
    It surely illustrates the extent of the poverty of the old, & the war veterans, that they risk hypothermia on a daily basis, when the wind chill factor is lower than -10
    If you have ever seen David Lean's epic, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO - you cannot forget the scene when a troika ride into the country reaches a house encrusted in rime frost & icicles - such was 0dessa in January 2011
    0dessa might be a coastal city, less prone to the freezeovers that afflict the north & east of Ukraine, but in 2010 & 2011 - it suffered a fortnight of freezing, tundra-like conditions, that made it treacherous underfoot, but stunning to witness...
    Most spectacular were the record-breaking icicles - 'sausoolkee', hanging from gutters & overhead power lines, all the way to ground level in some places & threatening to topple these already, precariously unmaintained structures...
    0dessa's local news service was full of images of the overgrown icicles, amidst public concern that walking beneath them was truly dangerous, because even if they did just snap off without bringing a roof down with them, these spears of ice were heavy enough to kill anything they landed upon!
    0dessa is a dirty, dusty city at peak season, but in the winter months when the temperature drops below freezing, it is transformed by a censoring layer of snow, into a feature of a fairy tale...

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    beaches of Zatoka or trip to my childhood

    by om_212 Updated Oct 7, 2011

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    Zatoka sand spit (picture from www.baza.crimea.ua)
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    Zatoka (Bay) is a natural sand spit, washed by the Black Sea from the south, and by fresh waters of the Dniester and Shabolatsky estuaries in the north. (On the map it looks the same as the Curonian Spit in Lithuania).

    In my childhood, Zatoka was THE ultimate summer vacation destination. one was considered a very lucky to get a place in one of the sanatoriums or recreation bases here. the place was crowded, and not very clean (there were signs - do not drink tap water, it's for washing fruits only). the price for fruits and vegetables doubled and sometimes tripled cause summer was the ultimate profit time for locals.

    Thirty years after, I decided to revisit Zatoka to refresh my childhood memories and see if the place has moved anywhere. Well, unfortunately, it seemed to move backward. The place is the state of the decay. With exception of some places that has been privatized, most of the hotels/ recreation houses are crumbling under the weight of time. The place is still heavily oriented towards summer tourism - in the beginning of September, the majority of cafes are restaurants are already closed, and the only option to have meal is at the place where you stay. One thing that didn’t fail to impress me is beaches. Zatoka’s wide golden beaches would be a golden mine for any savvy tourism-oriented country. So while Ukraine is still thinking what to do with them, come and enjoy them at least for a day trip. And consider a non-existing infrastructure as a bonus trip back to my childhood.

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    feed the 'stanstseeya strays'

    by arturowan Written Mar 2, 2011

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    When you visit Ukraine you will notice there's a big population of stray cats & dogs (if you're afraid of dogs, there's no need to worry about the packs of homeless animals, they're placid & only a few will bark if you approach - I have only been bitten once in the street, & that was NOT by a stray...) These creatures survive on scraps they can scavage, so tend to congregate in public places, like transport stations - why not consider feeding a few of them? I had a long wait last time I used 0dessa autovoksal, & took the opportunity to take along some catfood & feed a nice little 'kot' there - hopefully he will still be alive when I return, waiting, like a friend in a faraway place...

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    The Black Sea Hollywood

    by hunterV Updated Feb 5, 2011

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    Odessa Film Studio, Ukraine
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    The Black Sea Hollywood - this is how Odessa Film Studio is often called.
    It was founded in 1919 and is now one of the three Ukrainian film studios.
    Lots of famous films have been created by this studio.
    It's located in French Boulevard.
    If you want to see the building, take tram #5 from the railway station in the direction of Arcadia sanatorium and Russia hotel. (10 minutes' ride by tram) or just take a taxi ($5-$10).

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    Holy Assumption Cathedral

    by hunterV Updated Feb 14, 2010

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    Assumption Cathedral, Odessa, Ukraine
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    I remember visiting Uspenskaya Cathedral (Holy (Assumption Cathedral) located at 70 Preobrazhenskaya (Transfiguration) Street.
    It is not far from the railway station.
    The cathedral is quite old. It was dedicated in 1869.
    The Orthodox people call it "a temple". It has five domes and a high belfry.
    The main relic of the Assumption Cathedral is the wonder-working icon of the Most Holy Mother of God of Caspersk.
    This icon is known to have saved the city from complete destruction during the Crimean War in October 1855.
    The cathedral dean is Fr. Agaphangel, Metropolitan of Odessa and Ismail.

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    Memorial Plaques

    by hunterV Updated Nov 6, 2009

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    Georgy Zhukov memorial plaque, Ostrovidov Street

    There are dozens of memorial plaques at the city buildings and apartment houses.
    They commemorate people who used to live and to work there.
    This is one of them.
    It is located in Ostrovidov Street and dedicated to Georgy Zhukov (1896 – 1974), Marshall of the Soviet Union, who used to live and to serve in Odessa from June 13, 1946 till December 1947 as the Commander-in-Chief of Odessa Military District. That was a kind of exile for him for he had been the Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces of the Soviet Union since March 1946 and then suddenly fell into Stalin’s disgrace and was urgently sent to Odessa: out of sight, out of mind…
    He resumed his leadership as the Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces of the Soviet Union only after Stalin’s death in March 1953 and had to resign finally in 1957.
    Marshall Zhukov is considered to be Russia’s most talented general after Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov who died in 1801.

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    Laocoon

    by hunterV Updated Feb 20, 2008

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    Laocoon sculpture

    There is an interesting sculpture to the right of the entrance to the archeological museum: Laocoon.
    It depicts old Laocoon and two of his sons being stifled by a huge snake.
    The sculpture illustrates a famous Greek legend.

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    Rent a car and visit Moldova for the weekend

    by 0ssi Updated Jul 29, 2007
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    The established car rental companies will not allow you to travel to Moldova as they can not provide insurance, but may forward you to private companies. Eugeny provides an excellent service! (Chevrolet Lancet for 90 euro per day)

    On the way to Chisinau you may see lovely villages, picnic along the Dnestr (easy to join some locals and spend a great afternoon together), visit the Purcari vineyards with excellent Pinot Noir and abandoned Kolchoz. Chisinau is lovely for spending a sunny Saturday wandering around along its streets and bazaars

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    Modern Knights in Action

    by hunterV Updated Oct 14, 2006

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    Belgorod-Dniestrovsky, Odessa region

    If you want to see a real Knights’ Tournament, you can go to the city of Belgorod-Dnistrovsky located about 100 km to the west of Odessa.
    The knights have imitation armor made carefully after ancient samples of the 12th and 13th century.
    The tournament is officially called
    Open Championship of Odessa Region in Historic Fencing,
    although in practice this competition is All-Ukrainian for there are participants from all over Ukraine here. Besides, “knights” from neighboring Moldova and Russian also take part in it.
    There are several nominations for participants:
    Sword-Sword
    and Shield-Sword.
    The jury is very strict and checks not only the “authentic look” of the knight, but also his technical fighting.
    The spectacular event takes place at the old fortress located on the outskirts of that southern city.

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    Vylkovo, Venice Of Ukraine

    by Enzyme_X Updated Aug 7, 2005

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    This is a great one-day trip from Odessa. Vylkovo is on the very south of Ukraine, on a boarder with Romainia, with just Danube river between.

    Vylkovo is crisscrossed by narrow cannals (therefore comparison with Venice), where you can walk among small, picturesque houses or take a bout tour and observe how people of Vylkovo are living. The feeling is like time stooped here.

    My Vylkovo Page

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    Cable Cars Built During the Soviet Era

    by Bastardino Written Aug 3, 2004

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    Here you can ride very old but sturdy cable cars that allow you an awesome view of the black sea as well as a beach called 'Otrada'. If you are not afraid of heights and accept the possibility of cable car's collapse this is something you must do.

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    Primorsky boulevard

    by Klod5 Written Jul 18, 2003

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    Because of the numerous magnificent buildings, the Primorsky boulevard is in Odessa kicks it the more beautiful and largely free of automotive circulation. Northbound, it begins with the ruins of the palace of summer of the Count Woronzow. Woronzow was of 1823 until 1844 governor of Russia of the South and also had beautiful palaces in other places, for example in Crimea.

    The small, but very fine, Londonskaya hotel and the palace of the sailors hold the half of the south of the Primorsky boulevard. It ends, to the south, on the Puschkin place in front of the palace of the government of the city..

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