southern Ukraine made it Russia's
principal port for grain exports. Within a short period of time the
city, with its beautiful harbour on the Black Sea, has become "Ukraine's
southern window to Europe".
By its hundredth anniversary (1894), Odessa occupied the 4th place in
the Russian Empire in size and economic power – after Saint Petersburg,
Moscow, and Warsaw. Odessa inhibitors were noted for their wonderful
spirit of freedom, which allowed them to achieve great success in the
field of science, education and the arts.
Odessa’s cosmopolitan atmosphere can be attributed to its importance as
one of the major foreign trade ports and fishing fleet bases of the
region, with traffic to and from the countries of the Mediterranean
basin, Africa, Middle East, and Asia. The city’s dependence on the
industrialised waterfront gives it a large blue-collar population as
well as a reputation of a place where you can buy anything.
A diversified manufacturing centre, Odessa produces a wide range of
machinery and equipment, as well as chemicals. Shipyards and an oil
refinery are important to the economy. Food processing in flour mills,
stockyards, canneries, and sugar refineries is developed due to the
proximity to rich Ukrainian farmlands.
Odessa is a leading educational centre, the seat of Odessa State
University (founded in 1865), Odessa State Polytechnic University
(founded in 1918) and a number of specialised higher education
institutions. The Ukraine Experimental Institute for Eye Diseases and
Tissue Therapy is also situated in Odessa.
Odessa is renowned for its artistic and cultural life. The city has an
Opera and Ballet Theatre (claimed among the world-best architectural
monuments), a philharmonic hall, numerous museums and theatres, a public
library, and an astronomical observatory. Odessa is the site of the
oldest cinema studio in the former Soviet Union. The city has been a
centre for publishing numerous literary works.
ODESSA AND THE WORLD
Among the great cities of the world, Odessa can claim certain
distinctions. One of the major cities of contemporary Europe, Odessa,
officially founded in 1794, is among the youngest. No other European
city can match its growth rate in the 19th century. It also developed in
an area of the continent that has an ancient tradition of trade and a
long, though discontinuous, history of urban settlement.
Odessa is a city of contrasts. Its stately 19th century classical
architecture is set on orderly planned streets that are surrounded with
green space, giving the city an air of elegance. Strikingly ornate
buildings of the late 19th and early 20th century are reminiscent of
Right Bank Paris. It is also a seaport with boardwalks and bathing
beaches, a resort city with health spas. With its balmy climate, seaside
vistas and sandy beaches, and year round lively street life, Odessa has
an ambience more Mediterranean than Slavic. Odessa is a member of the
World Federation of Twinned Cities. Of all Ukrainian cities, it has been
   3