Rus Articles Journal

What are the Odessa catacombs known for? History of emergence

All know Odessa with its well-known humour, the Privoz market, the Moldavian, Mishka - Yaponchiky, Sonka the Gold Handle. But also catacombs - the biggest in the world underground labyrinths of stone quarries are of a great interest. Many Odessa travel agencies offer

excursion to the village of Nerubayskoye where is muzeyno - the memorial complex devoted to the guerrillas who were at war here in days of the Great Patriotic War. The village of Nerubayskoye is in only 40 minutes of driving from the center of Odessa, and in general excursion takes about four hours. We go!

Catacombs are the former stone quarries which were artificially created as a result of extraction of limestone - a shell rock. Length of catacombs - more than 2500 kilometers, from them are studied no more than 1700 km. They pass practically under all territory of the city and villages the Curve Beam, Usatovo, Nerubayskoye and Kuyalnik. There is a lot of entrances, and some of them are directly in the yards of houses, however, the most part from them is closed.

The shell rock was used long since for construction of houses in the southern steppes of Ukraine because it was available and strong material. For the first time began to dig mines in the first half of H_H of a century when in high gear there was a building of Odessa. Construction material was extracted by means of special saws and scrap, in the beginning laid horizontal adits, and later dug out wells up to 40 meters in depth. It was the hardest work, all stone was taken out upward manually on a stretcher or took out on wooden wheelbarrows. Horses for this purpose for the first time began to be used only in 1874.

In 1870 there were 170 official stone quarries at which about 5000 people worked, and how many it was made underground production - nobody knows. Working conditions were difficult, the working day lasted for 15 - 16 hours, workers often had to eat and sleep below and not to come to a surface till several days.

As a result of active production some grounds were so damaged by mines that to build buildings on them it was not represented possible any more. In 1863 for the first time began to exercise official control over these works. As under the city emptiness were formed, threat of collapses became real danger, and there were cases when after heavy rains of construction left under the earth therefore in some places forbade to get a shell rock.

After revolution material for construction was necessary again, and works renewed. By the way, and today near Odessa the electrified mines where extract limestone with use of special equipment work.

In imperial times of a catacomb became a shelter of smugglers where they hid goods. It was very convenient for them because some exits conducted directly to the sea. Here often various gangster groups which were engaged in sale of women in slavery hid. The police could not do anything because it was easy to be lost in labyrinths.

Now various public organizations carry out research expeditions, and also a quest - excursions, lessons of underground orientation to districts with the card. Also plan more extreme visit of the flooded parts of labyrinths with use of diving suits. But such entertainments it is enough - are dangerous as there were many cases when people vanished in catacombs, even the scientific expedition which was not found still once disappeared. Speak, in due time there came researchers from Paris and recognized that the Parisian vaults which length of 500 km, - just baby talk in comparison with Odessa. In 1961 the spelestologichesky club “Poisk“ which carries out scientifically - research work still was created. He is also engaged in search of people, for any reasons for missing in catacombs.

The Odessa catacombs became famous during the Great Patriotic War when there guerrilla groups worked. Valentin Katayev`s book of “A wave of the Black Sea“ was devoted to the Odessa guerrillas.

Tourists are attracted, of course, by the Museum of guerrilla glory about which read in the second part of article.