Old Town of Odessa photo

Officially, Odessa was founded in 1794, but just on the site of today Primorsky Boulevard there were found the ruins of an ancient Greek city, and on the site of the Vorontsovsky palace there was a fortress built by the Italians and then reconstructed by the Turks, so the Old Town is full of historic sights of various periods.

Seaport is an undoubted center of the Old Town. Taking into account its advantageous location, this port has become the largest port in the Ukraine. Everyday there come not only cargo ships, but also cruise liners bringing thousands of tourists.

The Old Town is located high above the seaport. You can come down to it by the Potemkin Stairs, which is quite rightly considered one of the most beautiful stairs in the world. It links the port with the Primorsky Boulevard. Its wide alleys begin at the Archaeological Museum and stretch for several kilometers to the Vorontsovsky palace.

The place of the Vorontsovsky palace may be considered the center of the Old Town. It is the most advantageous point to protect the bay, so as far back as in the 13 century there was built the Genoese fortress on the site. By the 15 century it fell into decay but was restored by the Turks. So, by the 16 century there was located the strong fortress Hacibey, which was destroyed by the Russians in the 18 century.

Now there remained no traces of either the Genoese or Turkish fortresses, and on the edge of а high bank, on the site of the former fortress walls, there was erected the colonnade of the Vorontsovsky palace. Near it is located the most interesting district of the Old Town of Odessa. In the Vorontsovskaya Street are the oldest houses of the 18-19 centuries with characteristic small yards of Odessa. It is there that the «One-Wall Building» is located.

Over the Teshchin (mother-in-law) bridge you can cross a wide ravine, which is called the Military Descent, and come to the Shah`s palace. Unfortunately, the palace is not a museum, so it is closed for tourists. Then by Gogol Street you may return to the Deribasovskaya Street.