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Children's Palace / Vorontsov Palace

This palace and the colonnade were built from 1824 to 1827, designed by F. K. Boffo. Before the Soviet revolution, the palace was owned by Count Mikhail S. Vorontsov, the governor of the Odessa region. (History of Vorontsov)

In 1936 the palace became the children's palace for young pioneers (a state children's organization similar to scouting).

The present day palace is only the front part of the original structure. the less valuable part of the complex (mainly apartments and outbuildings--nicknamed the "Orlovsky outhouse" stretching from today's mother -and-law's bridge, was not preserved.

In World War Two the building was severely damaged by the occupying Nazis.

After the war, it was named in memory of sixteen-year-old Young Communist League member Yakov Gordienko. Yakov was an informant for the resistance in the nearby village of Nerubaiskoy during the Nazi occupation of Odessa.

Yakov informed the resistance about the timetable of a train carrying high ranking nazi officials. The resistance then derailed the train.

Yakov also informed the resistance of a creation of a large fuel dump and found out the time and the route of a planned march of the Nazis to Nikolaev. Because of this information, Soviet fighter planes carried out an effective surprise raid.

Memorial plaque of Yakiv at School number 121, Lva Tolstovo 1

The Plaque says:
The young intelligence scout and guerrilla fighter
Yakov Gordienko, killed in June 1942,
studied in this school.

Acting on information from a traitor, in February and March 1942 the Nazis captured most of Yakov's detachment. After months of torture and interrogation, in June Yakov was shot and killed.

(The Catacomb museum has pictures of Yakov Gordienko)

The palace and colonnade are built in Russian classic style. Each facade of the palace is unique.

The side facing the boulevard and the Black Sea has a four-column porch with Ionic columns (Ionic architecture is one of the three orders invented by the Greeks. Its distinguishing feature is a capital (top of column) with a spiral scroll-like ornament).

The entrance side has a walkway with Doric columns (Doric architecture is the oldest and simplest of the three orders of architecture used by the Greeks).

Outside of the entrance is two inscriptions in Turkish.

On the south side of the children's palace, under the porch, are two plaques, one above the other:

The first Council of Odessa Workers' Deputies was stationed here in 1917.

Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Architecture Monument
Palace, 1826
The building is protected by the state of Ukraine
Any damage is punishable by law

Today both the palace and the colonnade are in major disrepair.

Both grand structures are marred by graffiti.

Two posted signs on the columns strongly warn visitors not to walk onto the columned porches because of the collapsing ceiling. The palace's entryway hosts a crude scaffolding to shield visitors from falling plaster.

The sign wired to the column warns:

The building of the palace is in emergency condition.
No walking under the columns!
Threat of collapse!

If Alla is working at the entrance, she may give you a tour of the palace.
The palace has two floors. The intricate ceiling murals
and crystal chandeliers, found in every room on the first floor, are majestically splendid. There is a special
Turkish room with more inscriptions in Turkish.

The ten column crescent colonnade is separate from the palace and stands on a
precipice, providing a panoramic view of the entire bay and the industrial port.

Besides the children's palace is a picturesque square with two stone lions flanking a well.


On the same square, the light yellow building to the south of the children's palace has a sign that reads:
городской центр хореографического искусства or, directly translated,
The City Center of Choreographic Art
Continue your virtul tour by walking to the Building with an optical illusion
Return to the Primorsky Boulevard (Приморский Бульвар) Overview
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