Location: Odessa Oblast


Odessa is a city in the south of Ukraine. The administrative center of Odessa region and the main naval base of the Naval forces of Ukraine. Hero City

The third most populated city in the country. The population of the city as of January 1, 2018 was 993,831 permanent residents and 1,011,494 people of the current population. Over 1.2 million people live within the agglomeration. The national composition of the population: 61.7% of Ukrainians, 29.0% of Russians, 1.3% of Bulgarians, 1.2% of Jews (2001). Located on the shore of the Odessa Gulf of the Black Sea.

The largest seaport of Ukraine. Developed trade, metal processing, oil refining, mechanical engineering, the production of drugs and food. Sanatorium-resort treatment and beach vacations, cruise tourism. Large scientific and educational center.

The historic center is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The ensemble of Primorsky Boulevard, Duc de Richelieu Square and the Potemkin Stairs.


Travel Destinations in Odessa

Statue of Duc de Richelieu



From the 5th century BC e. - a group of ancient settlements. On the territory of Odessa and the Gulf of Odessa, an ancient Greek colony was once located, the remains of which were discovered right under the current Seaside Boulevard. The water level was different, lower, and the coastline ran much further than the Odessa lighthouse is now. It is not far from the lighthouse and behind it that ancient Greek artifacts are sometimes still found. Due to the lower water level, the Tendra Spit continued much further than now, and the settlement in the lighthouse area actually controlled the exit from the mouth of the Bug and Dnieper to the Black Sea, and thus had strategic importance. Archaeological artifacts confirm the existence of links between the Odessa region and the eastern Mediterranean. In the Middle Ages, the territory of Odessa was in the possession of various nomadic tribes (Pechenegs, Polovtsy), the Golden Horde, the Crimean Khanate, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Ottoman Empire.

The modern city as a naval port on the Black Sea was founded by the Russian Empire in 1794 on the site of the Tatar-Turkish settlement of Hadzhibey (known, according to the hypothesis of A. I. Markevich, from the 15th century), which went to Russia in 1791; renamed Odessa (presumably from the ancient city of Odessos) in 1795. By the end of the 19th century, Odessa turned into the fourth city in terms of population and the second port in the cargo turnover of the Russian Empire. Since the 20s of the XX century - one of the largest cities of the Ukrainian SSR, since 1991 - independent Ukraine.

XVIII - beginning of XX century
Officially, the history of Odessa as a city is counted from 1794, when on May 27 (June 7), 1794, Empress Catherine II issued a script about the founding of the city and harbor on the site of Hadzhibey, and on August 22 (September 2), 1794, after the prayer and consecration of construction sites, the first piles are driven into the base of the city. Earlier, Osip de Ribas submitted a report to Yekaterinoslav and Tauride Governor General Prince Zubov, together with a request for the construction of a city and port on the site of Hadzhibey, as well as plans drawn up by colonel engineer of the Russian army Franz de Wollan. De Ribas finally managed to convince Catherine, and thus his project for founding a port and a city was approved. The city was built according to the plan drawn up by de Vollan.

The new name of the city of Odessa first occurs on January 10, 1795. There are several versions about the origin of the name of the city, but the most reliable is the assumption that the city was named after the ancient Greek colony Odessos, which was located near the Odessa Gulf.

In 1880, a horse-drawn railway was opened here. Under the mayor of Richelieu, Odessa turned into the main port of the Russian Empire on the Black Sea. After the appointment of Richelieu in 1805, the Governor-General of the Novorossiysk Territory, Odessa became the administrative center of the Novorossiysk Governor-General. Under Richelieu, the city budget received 10% of local customs duties. Under the Governor-General M.S. Vorontsov, Odessa received the unique status of a free port, port-free, and goods were exported and imported into the city without any duties. This gave an additional acceleration to the development of the city and its industry. At the same time, Odessa was developing so rapidly that in just one century it turned from a small village into the largest seaport of Russia on the Black Sea and the fourth largest city of the Russian Empire after St. Petersburg, Moscow and Warsaw. In 1865, the Odessa-Balta railway came into operation. In 1891, the first car in the Russian Empire appeared in Odessa: a Benz brought from France, owned by V.V. Navrotsky, the publisher of the Odessa Leaflet newspaper, a very popular city newspaper. On March 11 (24), 1908, the first aeroclub in Russia was founded in Odessa, and on March 8 (21), 1910, the first demonstration flights in Russia of the first Russian pilot M.N. Efimov took place.


After the October Socialist Revolution, on October 27, 1917 (according to the old style), the Council of Soldiers' Deputies (the Romanian Front, the Black Sea Fleet and Odessa - Rumcherod) announced the transfer of power to the Revolutionary Council. In early November 1917, representatives of the old city administration were invited to the Revolutionary Council. In the early days of December 1917, battles took place in the city between the Red Guards and supporters of the Central Rada of the UPR (independent). As a result of this confrontation, power in the city passed under the control of the Central Council. December 21, 1917, Odessa was proclaimed a “free city” until the convocation of the Constituent Assembly. In mid-January 1918, the Bolsheviks revolted, recaptured the city from supporters of the Central Council and the Provisional Government. Soviet power was established in the city, which went down in history under the name of the Odessa Soviet Republic. On March 14, 1918 (hereinafter in a new style), as a result of the agreements of the Central Council with the Central Powers, Austrian troops entered Odessa. Soviet power was overthrown. Power in the city formally belonged to the Ukrainian government of Hetman Skoropadsky. As a result of the defeat in the First World War and the revolutions in Germany and Austria-Hungary in November 1918, the Austrian troops left Odessa. On December 2, 1918, various troops of the Entente countries began to arrive in Odessa - Serbian, French, Greek. Under the cover of Entente troops, the troops of the Volunteer Army in mid-December 1918 drove out the troops of Petliurists from Odessa. In Odessa, the rule of the French military administration was established. As a result of the general Bolshevik offensive, the Entente and the Volunteer Army left Odessa on April 6, 1919. Units of the Soviet troops of the ataman Grigoriev entered the city and Soviet power was established until August 23, 1919, when the troops of the Volunteer Army returned to the city. But on February 7, 1920, Soviet power was finally established in Odessa.

On October 11, 1939, by order of the NPO of the USSR No. 0157, the Odessa Military District was formed with control in Odessa. Commander of the District Forces Comcor I.V. Boldin.

The Great Patriotic War
On June 22, 1941, the command of the Odessa Military District assigned the field command of the 9th separate army. On June 24-25, the 9th separate army became part of the Southern Front.

During World War II, the Odessa defensive area fought with superior enemy forces for 73 days, from August 5 to October 16, 1941. On August 8, a state of siege was declared in the city. From August 13, Odessa was completely blocked from land. Despite the land blockade and numerical superiority, the enemy failed to break the resistance of the defenders - the Soviet troops were planned to be evacuated and deployed to strengthen the 51st separate army defending in the Crimea.

In 1941-1944 Odessa was occupied by Romanian troops and was part of Transnistria, G. Punta was appointed governor of the city. In early 1944, due to the advance of the Red Army, German troops were brought into Odessa, and the Romanian administration was liquidated. During the occupation of Odessa, the city population actively resisted the invaders. During the years of occupation, tens of thousands of civilians in Odessa, mostly Jews, were executed.

As a result of fierce fighting on April 10, 1944, troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, with the assistance of the forces of the Black Sea Fleet, liberated Odessa. The country praised the feat of its defenders. By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of December 22, 1942, the medal "For the Defense of Odessa" was established, which was awarded to over 30 thousand people. 14 soldiers were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, 57 - were awarded the Order of Lenin, over 2100 - with other orders and medals.

By order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief dated May 1, 1945 No. 20 Odessa, Sevastopol, Stalingrad and Leningrad were named hero cities. May 8, 1965, by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the city was awarded the Golden Star medal and the Order of Lenin.

Post-war period
In the second half of the 20th century, the city continued to be saturated with industry, was actively landscaping, and became a prominent tourist center.