Odessa is famous as a city with a mysterious soul and an extraordinary temper. It is inhabited by anecdote and song characters, its backyards are full of unbelievable tales, living heroes walk down its streets, and under its ground there live secrets of history. Today tourists can choose from a great variety of theme excursions offered, such as “Odessa Markets”, ”The Jewish Odessa”, “The catacombs of Odessa”, “The Literary Odessa” and “The Criminal Odessa” to name a few. This port city is so motley and versatile one could never characterize it in few words or fit it in any frame.
Besides the world-known Potiomkin Steps familiar even to those who have never been to Odessa, the Duc De Richelieu monument and the Deribasovskaya street which has long been the city’s acknowledged brand, there are so many more astonishing, touching and amusing points of interest that can help a curious visitor to fully experience the city’s spirit.
The Odessans are aware of their city’s history and are proud of it. This is seen from the number of monuments dedicated to the famous personalities and significant historical events in the city. They include the Monument to the Founders of Odessa, the José de Ribas monument, the Heroic Defense of Odessa memorial. In 2004 a peculiar sculpture commemorating an interesting historical fact was installed on the Zhvanetsky boulevard. Its name is Monument to Orange. It is believed that after the resourceful Odessans sent these fruit to the Russian emperor Paul I he started building a port in Odessa and investing into the city’s development. With love and not without irony the locals call the sculpture a “monument to the bribe”.
“Mum Odessa” – since old times the citizens have called their motherland this tender name, and this is also how one of the famous monuments of the Literature Yard is called. The “mum” holds in her hands the future city administrators - De Ribas, Devolan, Langeron, Richelieu, and Vorontsov, and firmly stands on the three whales that represent the commerce, the art and the medicine.
People of art – writers, poets, musicians who have been born here and worked here – have played a significant part in the formation of the city’s unique character. In this curious city they don’t only construct monuments to great figures of the past or the famous contemporaries. There is even a “Monument to the Future Odessa Genius”. The great “eagles” of literature – Pushkin, Gogol, and Babel – whose life and work was closely connected with Odessa, bent over an egg waiting to see who will be the next talent.
And here comes Rabinovich. Do you know him? He’s the central figure of countless anecdotes, jokes and stories, and just a vivid generalized character, an old sly and pinching Odessan Jew. The sculpture is called just the same: “The Monument to Rabinovich, the Character of Odessa anecdotes”, it is a tiny man wrapped in an old plaid cunningly looking through his monocle either at the sky or at the passers-by who put coins on his table.
The very well-known song by Mark Bernes about Kostya the Fisherman is so loved by the Odessa citizens that they have already placed several monuments depicting the plot of the song in different parts of the city. And of course, the image of a typical Odessa woman, Aunt Sonia, should by no means be left unattended. One could hardly find a better place for this monument – the famous Privoz market. Aunt Sonia has a bundle of dried fish with her, wears a wide brim hat and looks rather amiably with a cat rubbing against her legs.
In this city you will encounter surprises, weird things and riddles at every step. There is the 12th chair with hidden treasures from the world-known novel by Ilf and Petrov, there is Karlsson who lives on the roof, there is a house with a single wall…
When you get to Odessa you will certainly want to stay for longer to see, hear, and feel as much as possible. Renting an apartment in Odessa you will be free spending your time, and you will surely feel at home in this wonderful city.