This place offers the same temperature of +9°С throughout the year. You will find a lot of wild bats taking some rest before their night hunt. All the walls are covered with inscriptions made in different ages. Some of them were made just a couple of years ago, while others were made two centuries ago when the restless miners created the catacombs in order to get stone. However, the most surprising thing for the visitors is the total silence and lack of total confusion.
These are catacombs of Odessa – the longest and the most complex system of catacombs in the world. They are the most interesting and the most dangerous at the same time.
Mine transformed into the underground city
Catacombs of Odessa are the wide network of caves, and the majority of them was made be real people. This place was rich in shell-stone, which was used to build the biggest part of the historical center of the city. An interesting fact is that shell-stone was taken right from the ground under the new streets. At that time people had no chance to make a geological examination, and some buildings were falling down. The local administration prohibited to take shell-stone in the area of the city, and people started to create catacombs in such distant locations near Odessa: Zhevakhova Gora, Holodnaya Balka, Usatovo and other places.
Nevertheless, the system of catacombs in Odessa includes such natural objects as caves and underground lakes. The overall length of the catacombs reaches 2.5 thousand kilometers, but nobody knows the precise value because there’s still an undiscovered part of the catacombs.
Imagine the total darkness and silence in the atmosphere of the constant temperature and the lack of time and space… add bats and inscriptions on the walls made by famous contrabandists and bandits from Odessa. All of these can be found in the famous catacombs of Odessa.
Unique location and the complexity of catacombs attracted a lot of bandits and contrabandists throughout the years in order to create hideaways and bring their belongings. These catacombs were also used by partisans during the civil war and the World War 2.
These days catacombs are a unique attraction, which is interesting yet really dangerous for the tourists, who want to visit this place on their own.
Tours to the catacombs of Odessa
It’s not really difficult to visit these catacombs because there are many licensed companies and individuals, who are ready to show you this place. The safest way is to visit Usatovo village in the outskirts of Odessa in order to visit the museum of catacombs and walk through the biggest halls and caves equipped with lamps and special signs. In case if you want something more extreme, you can find one of the rescuers of travelers, who will show you several kilometers of caves and pathways, walking from one village to another. In case if you are lucky, you can even spend a night in the catacombs.
Such tours are not really expensive, and worth only $15-20 per person, and they give you an incredible array of feelings. After going under the ground, you won’t feel the time. There’s no sun, and minutes can be hours, while hours can be minutes. It’s pretty hard to navigate here, and the majority of newcomers get lost. That’s why you need to remember that it’s not just an interesting, but very dangerous and complex trip. In case if you are tired from the laziness on the seaside, you are more than welcome to secret catacombs!