The Primorsky Boulevard
Small in size, just half a kilometer long, the Primorsky (Seaside) Boulevard, like an open air museum, offers its exhibits. It does not matter which corner of the boulevard you may have, you will have a meeting with exciting past and real art. Primorsky (Seaside) Boulevard – another street of Odessa, captured in the film industry forever. A musical comedy of the same name directed by A. Polynnikova perfectly conveys a cheerful and light mood of Primorsky (Seaside) Boulevard. The Primorsky Boulevard starts from the old stock exchange building that is rightly called one of the most beautiful sights of the city and ends with wonderful architectural ensemble of the Vorontsov Palace.
People liked this picturesque place on the seaside about thousands years ago. During building up the boulevard at the beginning of XIX centurybuilders found traces of Greek settlements of VI-V centuries BC. From 1764to the end of XVIII century on the territory of the Vorontsov Palace and the modern boulevard was a Turkish fortress YeniDunaya. Today, the long-standing history of this territory indicate open-air museums: the site of the ancient Greek settlements VI-V centuries BC covered with glass domes and everyone can see the traces of lived here thousands years ago people. The look of the Primorsky Boulevard has changed with time. Buildings were restored and reconstructed, old trees have grown and appeared a lot of new, but the Seaside Boulevard is a beautiful as in its heyday. Primorsky Boulevard – one of the business cards of the city, close to the sea, with surprisingly unique beauty of architecture. The atmosphere of this place brings only positive emotions to locals and visitors.
Starting from the Duma area and up to the Vorontsov Palace, the ensemble of which is completed by a beautiful colonnade on the high cliff in the open air, the architecture presents mansions and palaces built in the best traditions of Russion classicism. The most beautiful monuments of Odessa are considered the hotel “London”, the ex-palace of Naryshkin – now the “Palace of seamen”. A center of the boulevard is composed by two buildings with semicircular shape and it is crowned by a monument to the duke Richelieu, built in 1828 by the sculptor Ivan Martos and the architector Alexandr Melnikov. The main entrance on the Seaside Boulevard has always been Potemkin Stairs. Its steps lead visitors from the Sea port to the Seaside Boulevard.
The building of the Odessa City Council (formerly the Merchants Exchange) was constructed in 1834 by architector F. Boffo. As a model it was used a middle part of the composition of the Alexander Palace, built near St. Petersburg by Kvarengi. Later the project of the building was modified under the direction of architect. F. Morandi. Statues of Ceres (the goddess of fertility and agriculture) and Mercury (the patron saint of merchants and travelers) were stated in niches on the right and on the left. They were madeby the sculptor Luigi Iorini. Up to the colonnade, symbolizing the eternity of time, there are two female figures – Day and Night.
In front of the City Council, on a pedestal installed 250 tons of pig iron cannon muzzle pointing towards the sea. It is a reminder of the events of the Crimean War of 1853-1856.
The monument to the great poet Alexander Pushkin was erected in 1888 (architect P.Vasiliev, sculptor J. Polonsky), despite resistanse of the authorities and the refusal of the City Council to fund it. Funds for the construction of the monument were collected from Odessa’s locals. The similarity of the portrait on this monument is considered one of the best.
Until the end of XIX century Seaside Boulevard was named Nikolaev Boulevard. This place was one of the favourite of artist Ivan Aivazovsky, writers Gogol, Belinsky and Lesia Ukrainka. Over the steep bank in front of the most beautiful buildings were planted four rows of century-old plane trees, according to legend, one of them (at the monument in front of the old stock exchange) Pushkin planted himself, also there were a lot of chestnuts, limes and maples. In the evening all the trees are decorated with colorful garlands, so the Seaside Boulevard looks like a fabulous show. Tourists, who arrives to Odessa by the sea and it perfectly fulfills its role, being a very accurate reflection of the beauty of the city and a place combining the brightest attractions in Odessa. It shows pleasant, vibrant and optimistic character of Odessa.