Prague Hotels Articles

August 23, 2010

Odessa – a Multi Cultural City That Can Offer you a Taste of the World in One Place

Odessa city being the administrative center of the region of the same name with its over 1 million inhabitants population and satellite cities of Illyichevsk and Yuzhny is an important industrial and trading complex.

The city is situated on the Black sea north-western seashore on the trading routes from the Central and Northern Europe to the Close East and Asia crossing. Developed highways network, city location near Danube, Dnestr, Southern Bug, and Dnepr rivers, as well as large seaports of Odessa, Illyichevsk and Yuzhny with Odessa international airport and railway create the unique favorable conditions for loads accepting, processing, saving and transporting and the powerful passenger flows processing.

The city is the major seaport on the Black Sea, the largest port in Ukraine.

From 1819–1858 Odessa was a free port (porto franco). During the Soviet period it was the most important port of trade in the U.S.S.R. and a Soviet naval base. On January 1, 2000 the Quarantine Pier of Odessa trade sea port was declared a free port and free economic zone for a term of 25 years.

In the 19th century it was the fourth city of Imperial Russia, after Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Warsaw. Its historical architecture has a flavor more Mediterranean than Russian, having been heavily influenced by French and Italian styles.

Odessa is a warm water port, but of limited military value. Turkey’s control of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus has enabled NATO to control water traffic between Odessa and the Mediterranean Sea. The city of Odessa hosts two important ports: Odessa itself and Yuzhny (also an internationally important oil terminal), situated in the city’s suburbs. Another important port, Illichivs’k (or Ilyichyovsk), is located in the same oblast, to the south-west of Odessa. Together they represent a major transportation junction integrated with railways. Odessa’s oil- and chemical-processing facilities are connected to Russia’s and EU’s respective networks by strategic pipelines.

Odessa is a popular tourist destination, with many therapeutic resorts in and around the city.

Most of the city’s 19th century houses were built of limestone mined nearby. Abandoned mines were later used and broadened by local smugglers. This created a gigantic complicated labyrinth of underground tunnels beneath Odessa, known as “catacombs”. They are a now a great attraction for extreme tourists. Such tours, however, are not officially sanctioned and are dangerous because the layout of the catacombs has not been fully mapped and the tunnels themselves are unsafe. The tunnels are a primary reason why a subway system was never built in Odessa.

Urban public transit in Odessa is currently represented by trams (streetcars), trolleybuses, buses and fixed-route taxis (marshrutkas). Odessa also has a cable car, cable-way, and recreational ferry service. Odessa International Airport is served by major airline carriers, including Aerosvit, Ukraine International, Austrian Airlines, El Al, and Turkey Airlines. These and other airlines provide flights to numerous locations in Europe and Asia. Passenger trains connect Odessa with Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, Vienna, Berlin, Moscow, St.-Petersburg, the basic cities of Ukraine and many other cities of the former USSR. Intercity bus services are available from Odessa to many cities in Germany (Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), Greece (Saloniki and Athens), Bulgaria (Varna and Sofia) and several cities of Ukraine and Europe.

Passenger ships and ferries connect Odessa with Istanbul, Haifa, and Varna.

Odessa offers a waste amount of hotels for the visitors, in all price classes and qualities. Read my separate article about these in order to select the one you would like to stay at in your next stay in Odessa.

A large variety of theatres, music halls, and museums makes Odessa an exiting tourist goal. The outstanding monuments including the Potemkin stairs are worth the trip alone.

Odessa offers monuments of history, architecture, culture and arts, so it should be enough to choose from.

If you want to enjoy the beaches, Odessa can offer you this as well with its numerous beaches in its surroundings.

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