Odesa/Odessa: secrets of the underground catacombs, Ukraine

Odessa, catacombs

Odessa is famous not only for Derebasivska Street, Sea port or Potemkinska Stairs, but also for its catacombs – system of underground ways or coridors, which are connected between each other.

The aim of our trip to Odessa was to visit one of such catacombs, to learn more about its history.

Museum “Secrets of the underground Odessa” helped us to implement this plan.

We had an underground excursion there. Museum is located on the Moldavanka district of Odessa.

After the organisers of the excursion had given us helmets and flashlights, we started to descend into the catacombs. Excursion lasted for about 3 hours.

Odessa, catacombs

It is neccessary to admit that the system of catacombs is very complicated: there are a lot of routes and exits.
Odessa, catacombs
Odessa, catacombs
Odessa, catacombs

So you should always follow your guide, otherwise you can easily get lost.

There were 10 persons in our group.
Darkness is everywhere, light comes only from our flashlights. There are different signs and paintings on the walls.

You will definetely feel here like a hero from Ukrainian film ” Shtolnia”.

The deeper you go into the catacombs, the more water appears on the ground (there are even small underground lakes, which are extremeltly cold).
Initially the catacombs were digged in order to get stones for house building.
Odessa, catacombs
Later the catacombs were considered to use in the cases of natural catastrophes or technical damages.
The catacombs also were used by partisans (hide from the enemies),
Odessa, catacombs
Odessa, catacombs
slave traders (they kidnapped beautiful women and hide them in catacombs, after that led them by the underground corridors to the sea, where there were a boat which went to Turkey).
Archeological works are held here now.
That’s why you can see ancient weapons, which were used for getting stone; guns of partisans and even bones of mammoth, which are about millions year old.

The catacombs are also used as locations for film broadcasting.

The total length of catacombs in Odessa and its suburbs is about 2500 km. These are the longest catacombs in the world.

We recommend this excursion to people, who like unordinarity, mistery and partly extreme.

Author (с) : Irina Kodinets
Photo (с) : Nick Melnyk

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