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Odessa is the Black Sea gateway to Ukraine. It is the country's largest commercial Black Sea port and a large industrial city.

Odessa is a crossroads of cultures, languages and trade. Pushkin lived here in exile during the 1820s, and also it was home to writer and film director Alexander Dovzhenko.

The site of Odessa was controlled from 1526 to 1789 by the Ottoman Turks. In the 18th century Russia took this region and constructed a new port at Odessa. It was named after the ancient Greek colony Odessos. By the 1880s it was the second biggest Russian port and an important industrial city. Odessa was a hotbed of the 1905 revolution.

The beauty of Odessa is in Prymorsky boulevard with its beautiful buildings and the Potemkin Steps. Film director Eisenstein used Potemkin Steps in his film "Battleship Potemkin". The 193 steps, built between 1827 and 1841, descend from the statue of Duc de Richelieu. At the eastern end of Prymorsky boulevard Pushkin statue and a British cannon from the Crimean War stand in front of the Odessa City Hall.

Several of the city's fine museums are the Museum of Maritime History, the Literature Museum, the Pushkin Museum, the Museum of Western and Oriental Art and others. The Archaeology Museum is the first museum of this kind in the former Russian Empire. Its Gold Room has jewellery and coins from early Black Sea civilizations, including the first Slavic coins of St Volodymyr with the trident symbol on them.

Odessa is famous for its beaches. The southern beaches are less crowded and more picturesque than the northern ones. The Arkadia area is the most popular and has lots of restaurants and activities.

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