Following Odessa’s Foreign Settlers (90 min)


The four foreigners met on a Russian military vessel in 1780s- Jose de Ribas, Duc de Richelieu, Count of Langeron and François de Wollant. The first one convinced Russian Empress to found Odessa on a totally deserted piece of land, the second one made it the 3rd largest city in Russia in just 11 years, the third one established here a free economic zone, which boosted city’s economy, and, finally, the last one created the city plan used to built Odessa. Quite an impact!

Those four took the lead and were supported by hundreds of Frenchmen, Germans, Englishmen, Greeks and Italians who were encouraged to settle in Odessa. 

This walk takes you through the ethnic districts of the city center, soaked in history and packed full of the most entertaining stories. After all, it can’t be any other way! Odessa’s foreign settlers were adventurous and entrepreneurial people. Fanconi, Astoridi, Frapolli, Torrichelli- they opened the city’s first coffee shops and bakeries, designed splendid buildings which still exist nowadays. We’ll walk through Odessa’s Palais Royal (you did not know we have one as well? :)) and through one of the finest and longest streets once called Italian (which will never be called so again). We’ll see the first English gentlemen’s club (well, when English aristocracy moved in, they needed to feel at home, right ?:) ). Totally off the beaten track Greek street and La Strata Ribas – that part of it, which starts with the statue to Odessa’s founder in his actual size (I bet you’ll be surprised to see how he looked… especially if I say that the man was an Empress’ favorite). You’ll enjoy this walk – it will make you forget that you are somewhere there… Eastern Europe….. traveling…. You’ll feel at home!

Meeting point: Near the entrance to the City Garden cafe in City Garden off Deribasovskaya street.

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