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Deribasovskaya Park (Дерибасовская)

Click here to jump to the first half of Deribasovskaya


Photo by klod5 at virtualtourist.com

Deribasovskaya park
Official name: Gor-saud (Горсад)

This is Odessa's first park, built shortly after the foundation of the city in 1803 by De Ribas's brothers, Joseph and Felix. The Count Potosky sent the first young plants for the park from his famous Sofievsky Park, in Uman. Being delighted with the brilliant work and dedication of Duke Armand Emmanual Richelieu, Felix De Ribas decided to support the duke and donate the garden to the city.

Located on the North side of Deribasovskaya (Дерибасовская), it has a large number of souvenir stands, numerous benches, a bandstand, and a fountain. During the Soviet Union, the bandstand in the very center of the park was used for numerous performances throughout the summer, but today it is only used as a hanging stand for paintings that are being sold in the bazaar. The thriving souvenir market is the best place in the city to buy authentic art and crafts directly from the artists. (Click here for more souvenir markets, and more on the Deribasovskaya park market)

Woman and cat in park from Odecca.com

Public Toilet
On the west side of this park is a pay toilet, between the Klarabara (Кларабара) and the glass Voronstov (Воронстов) resturaunts.

The park is decorated with two bronze statues of a lion and lioness with cubs, sculpted by A. Sayn.


SO (Russian) , page 183 photo of Gor-saud (Deribasovskaya park) in the 19th century

In front of Dive restaurant, in the back of the park, are two female sculptures in alcoves

Recently, four new monuments have been built in the park, bordering Deribasovskaya street:

The most popular is the "12 chairs" monument, a golden chair on a pedestal, honoring the famous book and movie of the same name. The monument was unveiled on Humor day, April 1st, 1999. Odessites love this book. Odessa also has a street named after these authors, Ilfa e Petrova (Ильфа и Петрова), located in the Southern Kievsky Region of the city. Ilya Ilf was an Odessite himself.

(Click here for more on the 12 chairs, for more on Humor day, click here)

On a bench sits the monument of Leonid O. Utesov, a famous Odessa jazz singer and songwriter. He sits on a bench, and many tourists sit down and take a picture together.

The short inscription in front of this sculpture states:

To Leonid Utesov - from grateful Odessa

In front of the Utesov monument is a gray telephone booth with two speakers sitting on top. The telephone will play a person's choice of Utesov's songs.


A sculpture that plays music

Sergey Utochkin on the stairs of Utochkeno Movie Theater


On the stairs of Utochkino Movie Theater is a delighted Sergey Utochkin, ready to throw a paper airplane. Utochkin was one of the first aviators, born in Odessa.

The plaque below the sculpture reads:

Encircling the frame are the words:
Utochkin is in the sky!
To Odessa's favorite, aeronaut and dreamer,
Sergey Utochkin - from grateful descendants

The Soviet famous "12 chairs" novel and movie

The 12 chairs story, the inspiration behind the chair monument in Deribasovskaya park/ Gor-saud (Горсад) is a modern Russian classic, known fondly by all of the former Soviet people.

Ilya Ilf (1897-1937) and Yevgeny Petrov's (1903-42) Dvenadtsat' stul'ev ("12 Chairs" translated as "Diamonds to Sit On") is a classic treasure hunt adventure with a Soviet twist. In the opening scene, Ippolit Matveevich learns that in 1917, just before the Bolsheviks came to throw his aristocratic family out of their house, his mother-in-law hid her diamonds in one of the living room chairs.

Ippolit Matveevich decides to try to find the diamonds. He is your typical bumbling aristocrat (working as an insignificant office clerk), so he teams up with Ostap Bender, a cynical con artist who knows his way around Soviet Russia. The unlikely pair travels all over the country, usually penniless and only one step away from trouble, but always hopeful. One of the most hilarious chapters in the book is "Interplanetary Chess Congress", still perhaps the greatest piece of chess humor ever written. (Available at www.sovlit.com/chess.html)

The book barely squeaked by Stalinist censorship and was dutifully ignored by critics, but it became an enormous popular success. The Twelve Chairs entered into the popular consciousness in a way that is hard for Americans to envision. People memorized this novel, and held trivia contests based on it; quotes from the books entered the language as satirical one-liners.

That popularity has not diminished. On the contrary, as the Russia of today increasingly resembles the era of the novel, with its chaos, homeless waifs, and con artists, references to the novel in daily life are on the rise: restaurants are being named for the novel's characters, and newspapers name regular columns after them. The novel is a touchstone of Russian society, and anyone who studies the language and culture must become familiar with it.

Leonid Gajdaj's film, Twelve Chairs, was made in the 1960s. Mel Brooks's film version from 1970 received mixed reviews.

The duo also wrote "The Little Golden Calf ", in 1930 (translated in 1931).(See Golden Calf) It is the sequel to Twelve Chairs, and the rogue in this novel Ostap Bender is the same hero.

On an automobile trip across the United States the duo met Ernest Hemingway and Henry Ford, and after seeing over one hundred movies the two committed communists preferred their own country. This book inspired them to write "One-Storied America" (translated as Little Golden America in 1937). In large part this was an expose of the materialistic and uncultured character of American life, the work nevertheless indicates that many aspects of capitalist society appealed to the authors.

A quasi-sequel to One-Storied America work was the long story Tonya (1937), which portrays with satirical touches the life of Soviet people compelled to live in a capitalist society.

In 1937 Ilf died of tuberculosis which he had contracted on his journey in the United States. During World War II Petrov served as a war correspondent. He died in an airplane crash returning from besieged Sevastopol to Moscow on July 2, 1942.

--partially adapted from Lexiconbridge.com

The video may be ordered from the Lexiconbridge.com web site.

Yevgeny Petrov's and Ilya Ilf is a pen name. Petrov's real name was Yevgeny Petrovich Katayev, he was the younger brother of Valentin Katayev author of "A White Sail Gleams" (See Peter and Gavrik Monument) Ilf's real name was Ilya Arnoldovich Faynzilberg.

(Yevgeny Petrov's was born at Bazarnaya 4, today there is a memorial plaque)
(Ilya Ilf was born at Staroportofrankovskaya 19 (Старопортофранковская), today there is a memorial plaque)


Vendor advertising artistic ability to draw self-portraits


Click here for more photos of the park bazaar