Shah palace in Odessa

The Shah´s palace is in the very center of the Old Town of Odessa near the Teshchin bridge. This magnificent mansion was built in style of an English castle with oriental elements was built for a Polish nobleman, but since for several decades it was inhabited by an Iranian shah, the mansion had got the name Shah´s.

The Shah´s palace was built in 1851 for the Polish nobleman Zenon Brzozowski on the side of the Military Descent opposite to that of the Vorontsovsky palace. The long Teshchin bridge is over the Military Descent.  It is a very beautiful place on the high bank of Odessa.

The architect of the Shah´s palace was the Pole F. Gonsiorovskiy who designed a two-storey castle in the English neo-Gothic style. The Shah´s palace was built from shell rock and faced with the Inkerman stone. Apart from the main architectural idea of the time of English knights, it features some elements of oriental ornaments.

For several decades after its construction the Shah´s palace was owned by the Brzozowskis who led a fairly secluded life. Everything was changed in 1910, when the castle passed into possession of the other Polish noble Shenbek, who, in turn, rented it out to the former Iranian shah Mohammad Ali. It was there that he plotted his return to power in Iran, but when in 1911 his plans failed, the shah continued to live in Odessa.

The shah led a very open life, often went to the city and received guests at his house, and consequently the name «Shah´s palace» was stuck to the house. The palace was occupied by the shah up to 1920 when the Bolsheviks nationalized the palace together with the other mansions.

At the end of the 90th of the 20th century the Shah´s palace was in the state of decay. Finally, the palace was bought out by the Marine Transport Bank and completely restored. Today it houses the head office of the bank, so the Shah´s palace is closed for tourists. 

As mentioned above, the Shah´s palace is in the very center of the Old Town. The palace is within easy walking distance of the Deribasovskaya Street, Primorsky Boulevard and the Potemkin Stairs, as well as the other sights of Odessa.