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Must See Places in Ukraine: Odessa's Museums

13. November 2009 by Daniel 0 Comments

The city of Odessa is known for its abundance of museums, displaying some of the finest art and architecture from Ukraine and throughout the world. No visit to this part of Ukraine would be complete without an exploration of just some of these sites, which house some of the world’s most fantastic treasures.


Here is an overview of three of the city’s best museums – the perfect place to explore with your Ukrainian bride when you first meet.


Odessa Archaeological Museum

Odessa Archaeological Museum is one of the oldest museums in Ukraine. Founded in 1825, there are more than 160,000 exhibits, which make up one of the largest collections of information on the ancient history of Northern Black Sea region.


The collection includes archaeological relics of primitive and classical culture, the relics of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as a large and valuable collection of coins and medals. The vestibule of the building, specially built for the museum in 1883, exhibits the museum’s best antique sculptures. The genuine, unique pieces of art made of precious metals are represented in "The Golden Treasure.” The oldest of these dates from the second millennium B.C.


The museum’s collection of Egyptian antiquities is the third most valuable in the former Soviet Union. It includes wooden and stone sarcophagi, funeral inventory, stone slabs and fragments of papyrus with hieroglyphics.


Odessa Art Museum

The Odessa Art Museum’s collection of the domestic fine arts of is one of the most prestigious in Ukraine. In addition to modern paintings, sculptures and other pieces, the collection also includes the works of Russian and Ukrainian masters of iconic art from the 16th century to the present, totalling more than 10,000 original works.


The museum opened in 1899 under the initiative of the Odessa Society of Fine Arts. It was first assembled as an exhibition of pieces borrowed from the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. It stands in the center of the city, in a spot known for being a hub of historic architecture since the beginning of the 19th century. Visitors today also enjoy exploring the museum’s underground grotto.


Museum of Western and Oriental Arts

The building that houses the Museum of Western and Oriental Arts stands as an architectural icon of the city of Odessa. Erected in 1857, its most noticeable feature is the magnificent multi-flight staircase leading to the second floor, inside of which are the luxurious lobby and halls with patterned parquet floors. The museum includes three sections exhibiting antique arts of ancient Greece and Rome, Western European paintings of the 14th-19th centuries, and the works of various Central and East Asian artists of the 17th-19th centuries.


The museum also features the works of American artist Rockwell Kate, French artist Susanna Sovari, and block-prints of Japanese engraver Toekuni, which were presented as gifts.