Founded by Russia’s Catherine the Great in the late 18th century, Odessa combines the chilly sea breeze from the Black Sea with astonishing architecture and the most famous party scene in Ukraine. This decadent and energetic city will be the point of interest of our excursion this day.
Let us take you to a town known for its sunny climate, sandy beaches and beachside nightclubs. To people that are known for being stylish, funny, savvy and not easily impressed in the old USSR. We’ll arrive to Odessa in the morning and start the day right away with a tour through the old town, starting in the Port with the founding of Odessa as a Russian Naval Fortress where we will pass by the Belvedere of Vorontsov’s Palace & the Monument of L-Utesov. Continuing to a monument to the city’s founders, including Catherine the Great, we will move on in history to the first Russian revolution in 1905 where the crew of the battleship Potemkin stood up against the Russian regime over to the foundation of the Odessa Soviet Republic (which lasted almost two months, until it was sacked by German and Austrian-Hungarian forces) to the Bolshevik Uprising in 1917/1918, through the Ukrainian Independence and finally to the Trade Union House, where in January 2014 the bloodiest civil conflict in Odessa since 1918 escalated. With the city’s origin as a Tatar settlement, it has always been the host of a multiethnic population which is still represented today in a large Russian minority of 30 %.
Odessa’s national opera and theatre – the jewel of Odessa, designed by the same architects that also designed the Vienna state opera – and the Spaso-Preobazhenskj Cathedral, will introduce us in the Odessan architecture and diverse but simple beauty of the city. Additionally, we will visit the Odessa Privoz, a market filled with Soviet relics and the Museum of Western & Eastern Art.
In the evening we will explore Vul Derybasivska, the famous promenade of Odessa with its neo-renaissance architecture leading us to the Potemkin steps with a beautiful view over the harbor. Passing by the Duke of Richlieu statue we will stroll along the tree-lined Primorsky Boulevard, a slight sea breeze accompanying us to the Arcadia district where beach clubs and loud music only leave us to say – Let’s party.
The morning after – if you are still able – we would like to take you to one of Odessa’s famous beaches and soak up the sun, build a sandcastle or go for a swim – whatever your heart desires. In the afternoon we will take you back to Kyiv, while taking a little break in the fabled Uman – with its beautiful landscape and the center point of Jewish pilgrims travelling to see the burial site of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. In Jewish faith, it is believed that a travel to his grave provides the best chance of getting unscathed through the stern judgement.
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