Invitation to the Museum

    The museum is located in the centre of Odesa in the mansion of palace type at 4 Gavannaya str. It was designed by the famous Odessa architect Feliks Gonsiorovsky and built in 1876.
    The building was built for one of the major representatives of the industrial and commercial elite of that time - Alexander Novikov. He was grandson of the famous Odesa merchant of the First Guild Ilya Novikov, the owner of a rope factory founded in 1806.
    The architecture of the two-storey mansion, as in the previous works of Feliks Gonciorovsky, is based on the style of late Renaissance with variations of patterns and motifs drawn from the architectural heritage of Italy. The building was organically integrated into street design and became one of the masterpieces that create the unique appearance of the city.
    Until 1899 the mansion was known in Odesa as the "Novikov House" (by the way Novikovs were considered not only large industrialists, but also homeowners). At the beginning of XX c. it was bought by the city authorities.
    In 1907 the house was leased to the Odesa Commercial Assembly. After October 1917 its owners were changed frequently. The ceremonial halls housed various club institutions, departmental libraries and regional party courses. The basement and part of the first floor rooms were used as housing.
    For the first time the museum exposition was located here in 1948. It was the exhibition "The Heroic Defense of Odesa", which became the basis for the Museum of Defense of Odessa of republican significance.
    On May 6, 1956 the Odesa State Regional History Museum was opened. It was formed on the basis of the Museum of Defense of Odesa and the Odesa Regional History Museum. Documents, printed publications, objects of applied and fine art, numismatic collections of XVII-XIX cc., associated with the history of the city and the region from collections of the Museum of Odesa Society of History and Antiquities, the Museum of Books, the Museum of Old Odesa and some others became the part of its funds.
    Now Odessa Regional History Museum (4 Gavanna str.) has a branch "Memorial of the Heroic Defense of Odessa 1941" (150 Dacha Kovalevskogo str.) and departments: Museum "Stepova Ukraina (Steppe Ukraine)" (24a Lanzheronivska str.) and Historical and Ethnographic Museum in Bolgrad, Odessa region.
    Visitors' attention is always drawn to the current expositions: "Old Odesa", "Weapons from Museum Collection", "Odesa and Region during the Second World War 1939-1945", "Odesa Region 1917-1941: View Through Years"; "Awakening of Memory (Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Odesa Region)" and others.
    The Museum collection has about 120,000 exhibits and is considered one of the best in Ukraine.

Vira Solodova
Director of Odesa Regional History Museum