Cultural Adventure In Odessa

One of Ukraine’s Major Black Sea port cities, Odessa exhibits vestiges of both the former civilizations to which it was home and of today’s modern culture.

One of Ukraine’s culturally most vibrant cities, Odessa is home to people of 130 different nationalities. This city, where you will encounter influences of Ottoman and Russian culture thanks to the place it occupied in the history of both, was founded by the Russian Tsarina Catherine II around the Turkish fortress of Khadzhibei (Hacıbey). Its strategic location as a southern port city led inevitably to the construction of numerous large and important fortresses in and around the city. One of the most important of them all is Akkerman Fortress 80 kilometers away.

With its 30 towers, this fortress, which covers an area of nine hectares inside a 2-kilometer perimeter, is one of the Black Sea’s most majestic. Serving both the Ottoman and the Russian Empires, it was built over a commercial center founded by the ancient Greeks in the 6th century B.C. Since the region’s history dates back to ancient Greece, you can also see here remnants of several different cultures as you tour this monumental structure. If you happen to be in Odessa on November 5 or November 18, you can also take in some modern events at the city center after paying a visit to Odessa’s historic Akkerman Fortress. On November 5, Odessa Academy Musical Comedy Theater is hosting French singer Pierre Garand, aka Garou, who is known for his role as Quasimodo in the musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. On the same stage on November 18, you can see a show by Todes, a group of dancers from the dance teams of stars like Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey under the leadership of Alla Duhova.

GETTING THERE
Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Odessa-Istanbul flights seven days a week. For more information: www.turkishairlines.com

THE AKKERMAN FORTRESS PROJECT
The Akkerman Fortress Project is an academic project conducted by an international team and focusing on the fortress’s Ottoman period. Previously limited in funding, it is moving forward today with the support of several institutions from Ukraine, Turkey and Europe.

HUMOR FESTIVAL IN APRIL
You can witness colorful scenes in the city’s streets at Humorina, an annual festival of humor celebrated in Odessa on April Fool’s Day and the week following since 1972.