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Philharmonic theater (филармония)

Philharmonic theater (филармония)
Bunina 15 (Бунина)
Tel: 25-69-03 (Cashier)

The foundation stone for this building was laid September 3rd, 1894, a day after Odessa's 100-year birthday. A world competition was announced for a conceptual design of a new Odessa stock exchange. The design of Viennese architect V.J. Prohaska was considered the best. But this design did not meet all of the requirements, therefore it was modified and improved by Alexander Bernardacci. Construction was completed in 1898.

The building was intended as the new stock exchange, to replace the old stock exchange (Which today is the Mayor's office). Since 1924 the building has housed the Odessa philharmonic.

The architecture resembles the famous Doge Palace in Venice and other Renaissance palaces of Northern Italy, done in Venetian Gothic style. The building stands on a high concrete base designed to appear like granite. The stain glass windows are majestic at night. The front is decorated with terra cota tiles of different colors, and the huge windows with pieces of Carrara marble.

Roof of the opera theater


The domed roof is covered with tiling of different colors, which can be viewed from up the hill.

Ceiling of philharmonic gallery

Stairway in philharmonic gallery

Monster on Column

Column in the roofed gallery

Interesting Site

Along Bunina (Бунина) street is an open-sided, roofed gallery.

Its arch is decorated with frescoes, and on top of the columns at the side of the stairs are lighted globes.

The ceiling is painted like the heavens with the twelve symbols of the Zodiac.

A bust of Bernardacci, the architect of this building, stands in an alcove on the left-hand side. It was unveiled in 1900 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Bernardacci's career. The plaque states:

In commemoration of 50 years of architectural work of the architect and Trade Exchange builder Mr. Alexander Osipovich Bernardazzi


Door on both sides of the stairway in philharmonic gallery

Sculpture above doors on both sides
of the stairway in philharmonic gallery

Bust of Bernardacci in philharmonic gallery

Philharmonic Stage

Inside, the walls of the vast hall, 910 square meters and 15 meters high, reflect its original intention, decorated with six panels near the roof by the artist Nikiolai Karazin, depicting the history of commerce.




The panels over the doors, by the Italian artist Guideppe Cassioli illustrate "Agriculture", "Industry", and "Trade".

In 1961 and again in early 2000, the building was restored. In 1961 a wide marble stairway added to link the large hall with the hallway on the ground floor.

The theater can accommodate an audience of almost a thousand.

Sculpture inside of the philharmonic theater

Ornate walls inside the theater

 Philharmonic balcony

Painting on the stairway to the balcony

Odessa's philharmonic is the best in Ukraine, playing around Europe and opening for President Clinton's visit in Kiev in the summer of 2000.

For the past five years, the American conductor Herbert Earl has become a household name among Odessites. He often plays to sold-out crowds. He regularly entertains the crowds by announcing songs with his poor grammar and broken Ukrainian.

Poster advertising Philharmonic conductor Herbert Earl

Turret in Courtyard of philharmonic theater

Next door, is an archway into a courtyard. On the right side is the "Union of Theatre Workers of Ukraine Odessa House of Actors".

The club houses many small cultural gatherings and conferences. The central hall of the club has stained glass windows and an ancient Venetian chandelier.

Wall of the philharmonica courtyard above the arch

Every night, especially on the weekends, large groups of prostitutes gather outside of the philharmonic. Dressed like average Odessa girls, with high-heels, a lot of cosmetics, and short skirts, a tourist would be hard pressed to distinguish the two.

Continue your virtul tour by walking to the
Heart of Pushkinskaya (Пушкинская)
Return to the The primary streets of Odessa,
including Pushkinskaya (Пушкинская) overview

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