Transfiguration Cathedral in Odessa

The Transfiguration Cathedral of Odessa is the largest Orthodox church in the city and the region. It was laid down in 1794. That year is the formal date of the foundation of Odessa, despite the fact that on the site there were strong Italian and Turkish fortresses, and in ancient times there was located a Greek colony.

In June, 1794 the empress Catherine issues the decree on the foundation of the Russian port and city on the site of the Turkish fortress Hacibey. Already in August of the same year there was held a ceremonial consecration of the building sites in the city of Odessa, including that of the Transfiguration Cathedral.

At first on the site of the Transfiguration Cathedral was erected a temporary church, and by 1808 it was replaced by the church that you can see today. The main altar of the cathedral was consecrated in the name of the Transfiguration of Christ, the right-hand altar – in the name of St. Nicholas of Myra, and the left-hand altar was consecrated in the name of St. Spyridon.

In 1837 there was built a tall bell tower, and the Transfiguration Cathedral became the main church of Odessa. In 1856 the prince Vorontsov died who was the governor-general of New Russia, and resided at the Vorontsovsky palace in Odessa for several decades. As he made a great contribution to the development of Odessa, it was decided to bury him and then his wife at the Transfiguration Cathedral.

Less than a hundred years later, in 1936, the Bolsheviks decided to blow up the cathedral as having no historic value. The tomb of the Vorontsovs was robbed by the Bolsheviks. However, in 1999 the reconstruction of the cathedral began. The first religious services were held at the various aisles of the church already in 2005. In the same year the tomb of the Vorontsovs was restored at the lower church.

But the reconstruction of the Transfiguration Cathedral was completed only in 2011. White marble was used for its interior and altar, as in the case of the original church, thanks to which it is light within the church.

The Transfiguration Cathedral is at the historic center of the Old Town of Odessa. Near it is the Deribasovskaya Street and the Odessa Opera Theatre.