Unexplored mystery in the underground city
Known as the pearl of the Black Sea, Odessa is one of the sexiest destinations in Ukraine. But besides the magnificent architecture and famous famous beaches, the most enchanting destination here lies below the city.
Deep in the Moldavanka neighborhood, inside a deserted garage, is a special gateway to one of the world's largest mazes - the Odessa Catacombs.
As the oldest underground quarry in Odessa, it offers an interesting view of the catacombs world, as well as the early history of the city. Upon entering the tomb, visitors are given a helmet and flashlight to prepare to descend about 25 meters below the dungeon.
Catacombs in the city of Odessa must not be used to bury the dead. The size of Odessa's tomb is exceptionally vast, with more than 2,000 km of tunnels, the underground city is so vast and complex with at least 1,000 paths that travelers are advised not to explore without themselves. tour guide.
Visitors here will be confused by a chaotic system of caves, tunnels and abandoned quarries interconnected underground. The story behind their existence dates back to the time Odessa was founded in the late 18th century.
Coquina, a sedimentary rock, contributed greatly to the city's rapid development when it was used to build buildings in Odessa at the time. With the extremely simple rule: If you want to build yourself a house, the easiest way to find materials is to set up a quarry yourself and exploit coquina.
When the city experienced a huge commercial boom between 1819 and 1859, many buildings were erected, which meant that countless quarries had been dug underground. The process is largely unregulated and that may explain why Odessa's tomb is so vast and chaotic.
Stepping inside the crypt, you'll find an anti-nuclear bunker along the tunnel network. This is also one of many strange attractions under this tomb.
Only a weak trail of light from the flashlight helps you venture underground in cold temperatures of about 13 degrees C. Along the walls of the catacombs are paintings painted with coal. "There are hundreds of different inscriptions, symbols and paintings in the catacombs," explains Andriy Dembitskyi, a tour guide for Tudoy-Sudoy.
Exploring tombs in Odessa can be an intriguing and sometimes awful experience. Dembitskyi recounted how his colleague found a decomposed body mostly thought to be a World War II victim, in an unexplored tunnel on the outskirts of Odessa.
Another story is about World War II disputes, according to locals who have some group certificates occupied in the catacombs and a fierce firefight with many casualties. It was only later when these corpses were buried.
These horrific stories are just two of many dark stories related to this labyrinth tomb, also related to smugglers and illegal living.
Since many parts remain undiscovered to this day, we may never know all the secrets hidden in this underground maze. But not only death and darkness to find here.
Dembitskyi pointed to the center of a compact underground lake where a small fish was swimming. "Recently, we have started raising fish here as an experiment," he explained. "So far these fishes have lived well." This is considered a ray of life in a darkness full of death and gruesome stories.
In addition, people are planning to rebuild an underground museum that displays ancient mining objects and an underground restaurant in the Odessa tomb. When the tour was over, Dembitsky explained that today's outing included only about 3 km of catacombs, less than 1% of the total area.
Back on the ground, bustling, visitors find the atmosphere in Odessa is completely different from the tomb. The difference between the other city below - a cold maze of never ending tunnels with the jubilant atmosphere of the city on the ground.
Leonid Ashtulenko, a guide who has spent more than 50 years of his life exploring the tomb of Odessa, is currently trying to publish a book about the inscriptions inside the crypt.
Both Dembitsky and Ashtulenko are part of the local movement to make this underworld more accessible to visitors. The group fought, with admirable fervor, to the tomb that was recognized as a attraction of Odessa.
And so far they are successful. Interest in the crypt increased every year, as more and more people went underground. And can not deny the attraction of this strange underground area. Mysterious and wild, the tomb of Odessa city offers an exciting adventure for anyone who dares to enter.