"You think there is but one Odessa? No, there are several Odessas. It is something like a federation. The downtown is one thing. Moldavanka is another. Peresyp is yet a different thing. Slobodka is the fourth thing...", — Leonid Utyosov, a famous actor and singer, wrote in his book "My Odessa". Let's try to present to you, at least in short, the parts of "Odessa federation ".
We have already mentioned this "paradise corner", which is a Greek translation of the name of this most popular resort area in Odessa. Since the beginning of the XIX century, some aristocratic families settled down here. One of the first was the Vitgenstein's homestead. In 1818, prince Sergey Volkonsky — a future Decembrist and a good friend of Pushkin, bought a homestead in a "beautiful location above the sea". In the summer of 1824 Pushkin several times visited the place as well as the dacha (summer residence) of the Odessa Greek Antonio Feognosti.
The property of the descendants of the celebrated princely family of brothers Gagarins was on a spacious plateau rising above the Arcadia beaches. The name "the Gagarins' plateau" has survived through this day. It is a pity that only few old buildings have remained. Not so far from the temple of Georgy the Enlightener built for the money of the Armenian community at the end of the last century, there is an octagonal structure — a prayer house which belonged to Alexander Sturdza, a diplomat and a literary man, the Moldova ruler's son and an acquaintance of Pushkin from long ago.
The remains of a wide Gagarins' stairway lead from the plateau straight to the next attraction — the building of the restaurant (Kursaal), put up here to the design of a Saxon architect Christian Beitelsbacher. Now there is a restaurant "The Palmyra of the South" here. This building is unique in its own way. The German architect had to return to his motherland when the First World War started. And now this building plus few other notable houses in Odessa (for instance, on Pushkinskaya Str., 32 and Richelieu Str., 26) is everything that reminds us of the master.
Not so much these romantic remains of the old times as the attractions of the modern Arcadia lure thousands of visitors here every day. Arcadia is known for its beaches, sanatoriums, hotels, restaurants, and night clubs. The best of them have become the trendsetters in the fast developing Odessa industry of hospitality: the restaurants "Rush Hour", "City-Time", "Le Due", hotels "Arcadia Plaza", "Morskoy" ("Maritime"), "Palace del Mar", nightclubs "Itaka" ("Ithaka"), "Ibiza", "Western", "Assol"....
It is fun to travel here by a tram (streetcar) No 5. It is recommended to start this ride not from the Bus station and not from the noisy "Privoz" market, but rather from the Railway station square or the Musical Comedy Theater. It will take you some 20 minutes to make a fascinating excursion along old mansion houses and cast iron delicate railings of the French Boulevard, to see The Tenth of April Square decorated by the monument in the honor of the hero-city Odessa, and new architectural ensembles of Genuezskaya (Genova) Street.
If the time permits, we recommend you to get off at the intermediate stop and take a stroll through a beautiful park of the sanatorium "Magnolia". One more paradise corner of the holiday season Odessa — the sanatorium named after V. Chkalov surrounded by a relict park which is a memorial of the park and garden art and historic mansions. It used to be the dacha of the city mayor G.G. Marazli.
How to get to the place: by tram No 5, trolley-buses No 5, 13, and by mini-vans.
At present, one of the contemporary Odessa landmarks is located on this site - the restaurant "Dacha".
In the restaurant "Dacha" Odessa restaurateur Savely Libkin has managed to recreate the atmosphere of Odessa summer resting as it was in the 30-ies of the XX century. The clients are offered enjoyment of more than one way — inside a cozy mansion or outside in an old park. Sumptuous shashlik (shish kebab) and the "vegetable patch" (assortment of vegetables), kebabs, young wine "Lydia", vodka "Dachnaya" and home-made fruit drink — this is just a small portion of what the home-like abundant local cuisine offers its guests.
How to get to the place:
85/15, Frantsuzsky Bulvar
by tram No 5 and by mini-vans.
The first few decades of her existence Odessa did feel an acute shortage of potable water. The water mongers would get it from different places and Odessans after tasting it would say: "No, not the Fountain". That's the origin of a popular Odessa colloquialism "not the fountain" meaning "a commodity of a dubious quality". There was not enough good water in the underground wells which were drilled close to the city, but those who seek, they usually find. That is how the Small, Middle and Big Fountains appeared on the maps of Odessa.
These blessed places soon became a popular recreation area. The history of the Big Fountain is connected with the names of many outstanding writers and cultural workers. Anna Akhmatova was born here, Babel and Olesha loved to spend their free time here, Shalyapin and Gorky often visited these places as well as Lesya Ukrainka, Bagritsky, Katayev, Paustovsky, Lev Slavin, Les Kurbas... Today it is an area of prestigious mansions, restaurants and beach clubs, health resorts and children's health camps.
How to get to the place: by trams No 17 (as far as the 11-th station), 18 (as far as the 16-th station) and by mini-vans.
The city beach which served many generations of Odessans faithfully and truthfully is named after one of the first builders of Odessa. And it is not without ground. In this area count Langeron who was the governor of the Novorossia region and the city mayor, had his dacha (country house). Today Langeron includes a part of the Shevchenko Park and the beach bearing the same name (Langeronovsky) with all the small bays and slopes up to Lermontovsky resort area.
Langeron is attractive because of its water entertainments and its cafes and restaurants which are more democratic than those of Arcadia and the Big Fountain.
A year-round dolphinarium "Nemo", which became very popular soon after its opening, was inaugurated at the lower terrace of the beach by the beginning of the holiday season of 2005. And two years later the Odessa oceanarium started its work as well.
How to get to the place: by tram No 28, by trolley-buses No 2, 3, and by mini-vans.
This name is well known even to those millions of people who have never been to Odessa. The colorful outskirts of the old Odessa celebrated by Isaac Babel have become a rightful symbol of the city same as the Potemkin steps or Deribasovskaya Street.
Having emerged at the end of the XVIII century as the Moldavian settlement, Moldavanka with time absorbed the neighboring villages and became the biggest and the most polyethnic suburb of Odessa. In the XIX century it was separated from the city by the "porto franco" border, which ran along the modern Staroportofrankovskaya Street (Old Porto Franco Street). There was a time when Moldavanka rivaled the downtown of Odessa by the beauty of the temples and social structures. The streets and squares of Moldavanka were decorated by the creations of architects Bernardazzi, Boffo, Gonsiorovsky, Dallaqua, Dmitrenko, and Torricelli. Alas, many of the buildings have not survived to the present time.! Irreparable damage was caused to thisj part of the city during the years of the Soviet power, especially the Staling era, when many of the architecturalj monuments were demolished.
The examples of haute architecture that survived to our days stand as the monuments to the bygone beauty. These are the former Invalid house, the orphanage I (Staroportofrancovskaya Str., 34, 8), the remains of the Blagoveschenie (Annunciation) Church (Mechnikov.1 Str., 132), the complex of the Jewish] hospital on Myasoedovskaya Street...
Moldavanka is also famous for the" houses and streets described in Babel's short stories. Mishka Yaponchik (a little Japanese guy) whose real name was Mikhail Vinnitsky — the prototype of the romantic hero of "Odessa Stories" by Isaac Babel, the king of Moldavanka Benya Krik, lived here.
To walk through the places described by Babel and to get to know the history and legends of Moldavanka is best during a special tour. You may fail to experience the uniqueness of this place without comments of an experienced tour-guide.
How to get to the place: by trams No 4, 12, II, 15, 21, 28, by trolley-buses No 3, 8 and by mini-vans.
Otrada, like Arcadia, is one of the most eloquent names in the city toponymy. It started to be indwelt with the houses of the nobility. The streets and lanes of Otrada keep quite a few interesting buildings — ranging from old mansions to most fanciful modern structures. In 2005, in the very heart of Otrada on Uyutnaya Street (Cozy Street), 11 — another meaningful name — the hotel "Otrada" was opened in a historic building by architect Rossi. It is an impressive example of an organic blend of architectural classics with the achievements of modern designers and comfort technologies. Local beaches, restaurants, and night clubs are among the best in town. But unlike those in Arcadia, they are more intimate, almost domestically cozy. While modern Arcadia key word is •'entertainment", the word for Otrada is "leisure".
The best view of the surrounding landscape opens from the cars of the cable rail-road descending from the French Boulevard to the beaches of Otrada.
The walk along the French Boulevard to Otrada and from there further on to Arcadia will let you discover one of the most fascinating places in Odessa.
How to get to the place: by tram No 5 and by mini-vans (or walking for about 10 minutes from the stop'Tolitechnichesky Universitet"of trolley-buses No 5, 7, 9).
With the development of industry in the 60-ies of the XIX century, the largest Odessa enterprises began to be developed here. It is a pitiful circumstance because the place could have become a beautiful resort area in proximity to the historic center of the city.
Peresyp is separated from the central part of Odessa by a high railroad embankment with tunnels of Peresyp bridges cut in it. There are transport routes leading through the bridge spans to the beaches of Luzanovka, Dofinovka, Chabanka, Kuyalnik resort area and the biggest "residential suburb" of the city — Kotovsky district.
The resort predestination of this place is developing gradually. There are more comfortable hotels appearing at the sandy beaches and the aquapark "Luzanovka" becomes more and more popular. It is worth while coming here in order to visit the unique salty beach of Kuyalnik coastal lake. The Kuyalnik peloid and brine (extremely salty water of the coastal lake) are considered exemplary due to their healing properties. And those to whom, as the Odessa saying goes, "the doctor has prescribed" such treatment, should take the shortest route to the sanatorium "Kuyalnik". How to get to the place: by trams No 3, 12, 20, 30, by trolley-buses No 4, 10, by buses and mini-vans heading towards the Peresyp bridge, sanatorium "Kuyalnik" or Kotovskogo settlement.
Quite recently the historic name of this area — Lustdorf — was brought back into the official toponymy of Odessa. It was the name of a German colony which appeared in these Black sea steppes as the area began to be cultivated. The German colonists who settled here under the duke de Richelieu's rule, made an invaluable input into the city's development. They supplied their wine-growers, bakers, architects, and merchants to the city.
Lustdorf, unlike the outskirts described above, appeared and developed as a country area. There is a reason why the name of the place is translated from the German like "the Jolly Village". It is a quiet holiday resort where inexpensive holiday hotels (guest houses) and sanatoriums are neighboring with the private sector on the background of almost idyllic combination of the sea and steppe landscapes.
Chernomorka is known for its healing mixture of the sea and steppe air. open (unlimited by wave-breakers), sea beaches, and besides, these beaches are rich in blue clay which is good for skin and joints.
The areas of ultra modern dwellings for the rich — the so called Tsar's Village and especially Sovinyon (Sauvignon) — have been listed among the local attractions within the last few years. Sovinyon is famous for its beach — one of the most comfortable on the coast.
How to get to the place: by tram No 31, by buses and mini-vans heading towards Chernomorka and the fishing port.