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Culture in Odessa

The city of Odessa is arguably the most important artistic centre in the Ukraine. Its landscape stands firmly within the artist's field of vision, transformed into a creative image by figurative experiment. Indeed, with its spectacular topography and pan-meditteranean, Odessa has long been an inspriation to the great painters, who exploit the bright sun filled colours of the Odessa landscape.

Culture In Odessa
The Odessa Art Museum.

Odessa has a lot to offThis 18th-century house, built for nobility, is now home to a very interesting selection of Ukrainian and Russian art. The exhibits range from 400-year-old icons to 19th- and 20th-century modernists and present day photographers. On the top floor, there's a selection of Soviet era propaganda art.

The most precious elements of the exposition are the pictures of I. Aivazovsky, I. Repin, O. Savrasov, M. Vrubel, and V. Serov. The museum is also famous for its excellent collection of the early 20th century paintings by M. Rerykh, V. Kandinsky, and Z. Serebryakova.

"Liberty" Gallery.

It was inagurated in 1993 and was knowingly blind-alley affair then-however, it is quite the same story now – to hang pictures in the show-room, and to bide the time till would be clients appear. The idea of air gallery by itself, frankly speaking, appeared as literature contiguity.

There was for the first time not only shown in the “Liberty” but offered for sale pieces of art by Southern Ukraine masters: Dvornikov, Kostandi, Zauze and by Ukrainian graphics classics as well-Mikhail Zhuk, Leopold Levitskii. The first personal exhibition of Alexandr Roitburg, exhibition of Igor Markovskiy.

Museums in Odessa.

Odessa has an excellent collection of museums, mostly of an agreeably moderate size, and all housed in sumptuous former palaces, worth a visit for their architecture alone.

Museum of Eastern and Western Art.

The Museum of Eastern and Western art is situated in the center of the city, on well-known Pushkin street. The palace building, once as lavish inside as outside, is in desperate need of renovation.

West-Europe XVI-XX Museum's collection is represent the works by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Gerard David, Jan van Seorel, Rubens, Alexander Adriaenssen, Abraham Bluemart, Barbieri, Frans Hals, Pierre Mignard, Alexandro Magnasco and many other.

The museum sculptural exhibits are interesting from the viewpoint that they may be considered as links connecting various stages in the development of European art over a period of three and a half centuries.

The museum exhibition of works of decorative and applied art is of great importance due to the fact that visitors have a possibility to appreciate stylistic principles characteristic of different epochs.

The museum collection of Oriental art contains works by masters spanning several generations from Central and Southern Asia, the Near and Middle East. All the exhibits date from a comparatively recent period — the eighteenth-twentieth centuries. It was also the time when the popularity of Chinese porcelain in the West reached its acme (the museum displays articles dating from the period when a Chinese cup was paid for in gold).

A hundred years ago, a passion for Japanese culture seized both Western and Eastern hemispheres. This led to the situation that works of certain kinds of Japanese art, which sold particularly well across the ocean, have now become a rarity in Japan itself (this applies to Utamaro's engravings and Satsuma faience vases, both represented in the museum). It maybe only in museums that one can now see the interiors of Odessan palaces,looking just as they did up to 1917,when art became the property of the people,which means that it belonged to nobody.

Archeology Museum.

This museum was founded in 1825 and it is one of the oldest in Ukraine. The lure of antiquity has attracted explorers and corio-hunters to Odessa since the time the city was founded. In the Archeological Museum one can see material evidence of the history of the peoples of the Northen Black Sea region from period to period –through pre-historic-communal times, antiquity, the Scythian-Sarmatian period and the era of the early Slaves.

The collection of Egyptian antiquities is considered the richest in Ukraine. The pride of meseum is the ‘Golden Treasure House’; the gold and silver coins displayed here are far more valuable than their nominal cost because of the uniqueness of the tiny precious petals, which by some miracle have escaped being melted down.

In front of the building stands what could almost be another museum exhibit Laocoon, a copy of the sculpture work by Hagesandros now housed in Vatican gifted to Odessa. The Russian Numismatic section is presented by Zlatnick of Prince Volodimir, one of ten that remained in the world to nowadays. Russian Empire is represented by coins minted during the Romanovs' dynasty, gold and silver medals, which were produced in honor of memorable events in the Russian history.

Naval Museum.

The building of Naval Museum was originally the English Club raised in 1842. The club’s visitor’s had a reputation for eccentricity. This eccentric spirit has been retained in the museum,which was founded in 1965.It is only museum dedicated to the merchant – as opposed to military - fleet in the whole of the former USSR, and boasts a splendid collection of model ships, as well as interesting information about the history of the merchant flеet, which played such vital role in the development of Odessa.

The exhibits of the museum tell in details about the development of shipbuilding which initiated regular fleet, numerous scientific expeditions undertaken in the 18th - the first half of the 19th century, outstanding geographical discoveries, including the discovery of a new continent - Antarctica. In the hall devoted to this period one can see vessels of filigree work.

In spite of that the collection is shown in strict order, it is remarkable for ingenious alternation of forms and the way the exhibits are shown. Next to the original documents you will see photos, paintings, models, maps, instruments and anchors. Considerable part of the exposition reflects not only the history of the trade fleet but development of today fleet and trade ports of Ukraine.

Churches in Odessa.

If you come to Odessa don't forget to visit the picturesque historical center of Odessa and you will plunge into history of the Orthodox Church, its traditions and rites. You can visit famous churches and cathedrals such as the Cathedral of the Assumption, which was built in 1869. This is an impressive blue-and-white ensemble of five swooping domes and a very tall bell tower rising over the entrance.

There are two fine churches on the southeast side of the city center, near the railway station. Five very bulbous silver domes and a pointed bell tower rise from the now Byzantine Panteleymonovsky Church
Just down the Pushkin avenue is the blue Illinsky Cathedral (1886), very richly adorned beneath a large central dome.

Many years have passed by since one of the most interesting Odessa architecture monument - St.Paul Lutheran church - was built. The tower vertical line of its western front crowned with tiled roof is seen from distant approaches of the city and determines the originality of the silhouette of the church.

In 1795, just one year after the founding of Odessa, the Nickolayev church was built on Sobornaya square. The cathedral became one of the biggest in Ukraine. It was almost 50 meters wide and over 100 meters long. It could accommodated over 10,000 people and was the pride of Odessa.

In 1932 it was closed down. The square was officially renamed Soviet Army square, but unlike the over 170 other street and park name changes, the newer name never stuck with Odessites. In 1936 Stalin order the Cathedral destroyed. In a cowardly manner the cathedral was dynamited in the night. The church has begun to be rebuilt since 1999.

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