Sunday, April 4, 2010

UKRAINE - Odessa : Monument to empress Katherine II

UKRAINE stamps

ODESSA location in UKRAINE

Odessa or Odesa (Ukrainian: Одеса) is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast (province) located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine.

The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement, was founded by Hacı I Giray, the Khan of Crimea, in 1240 and originally named after him as "Hacıbey". After a period of LithuanianOttoman Sultan in 1529 and remained in Ottoman hands until the Ottoman Empire's defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1792.

The city of Odessa was founded by a decree of the Empress Catherine the Great in 1794. From 1819-1858 Odessa was a free port. During the Soviet period it was the most important port of trade in the Soviet Union and a Soviet naval base. On January 1, 2000 the Quarantine Pier of Odessa trade sea port was declared a free port and free economic zone for a term of 25 years. control, it passed into the domain of the

In the 19th century it was the fourth largest city of Imperial Russia, after Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Warsaw. Its historical architecture has a style more Mediterranean than Russian, having been heavily influenced by French and Italian styles. Some buildings are built in a mixture of different styles, including Art Nouveau, Renaissance and Classicist.


Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, born 2 May [O.S. 21 April] 1729, reigned as Empress of Russia from 9 July [O.S. 28 June] 1762 until her death (17 November [O.S. 6 November] 1796). Under her direct auspices the Russian Empire expanded, improved its administration, and continued to modernize along Western European lines. Catherine's rule re-vitalized Russia, which grew ever stronger and became recognized as one of the great powers of Europe. Her successes in complex foreign policy and her sometimes brutal reprisals in the wake of rebellion (most notably Pugachev's Rebellion) complemented her hectic private life.


The origin of the name, or the reasons for naming the town Odessa,
are not known, though etymologies and anecdotes abound. According to one of the stories, when someone suggested Odessos as a name for the new port (see History), Catherine II said that all names in the South of the Empire were already 'masculine,' and didn't want yet another one, so she decided to change it to more 'feminine' Odessa. This anecdote is highly dubious, because there were at least two cities (Yevpatoria and Theodosia) whose names sound 'feminine' for a Russian. Furthermore, the Tsaritsa was not a native Russian speaker, and finally, all cities are feminine in Greek (as well as in Latin). Another legend derives the name 'Odessa' from the word-play: in French (which was then the language spoken at the Russian court), 'plenty of water' is assez d'eau; if said backwards, it sounds similar to that of the Greek colony's name (and water-related pun makes perfect sense, because Odessa, though situated next to the huge body of water, has limited fresh water supply). Regardless, a legend regarding a link with the name of the ancient Greek colony persists, so there might be some truth in the oral tradition. The Turkish name for the district was Yedisan, meaning "nine arrows", and this is a more likely explanation of the name Odessa (whose correct pronunciation is "uh-DYEE-suh").


Postcard sent by Diana, as "Akopusik"

Private swap - Reference UA003

Monument to empress Katherine II

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