15.06.2015 Russian

Odessa Catacombs to Be Passed Under the UNESCO Aegis

Odessa catacombs are suggested to be added to nomination dossier for including Odessa historical center in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was informed today by the municipal information department.

Odessa catacombs have hosted a visiting session of the II International Workshop Conference Preserving historic buildings of Odessa downtown by including them in UNESCO World Heritage List organizing committee.

The place was not accidental: Odessa catacombs are suggested to be added to nomination dossier for including Odessa historical center in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The dossier is being processed by the Research-and-Development Institute of Monument Protection Resarches of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.

The nomimation was previously oriented on the historical downtown of Odessa as a port city with certain borders. But now, after consulting the experts from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMODS), nomination was suggested to be extended and made serial. Suggested for including were also Odessa quarries, unique conglomerations of olden Odessa inner yards, and regular block layout based on Herodotus works.

The serial nomination provides also for the further possibility of including other, newly disclosed artefacts of urban environment, unique for the world culture heritage, into the UNESCO World Heritage List.

A reminder: Odessa catacombs are one of the world most complex and intricate dungeons. They are many-layered, galleries lie at different depths from the Earth surfce. Some passages are up to 3 meters high and up to 5 meters wide, but along with that there still are narrow and low passages passable only by crawling. The catacombs are partly flooded.

According to information of the State Emergency Service Regional Department, Odessa catacombs boast over a thousand entrances, most of which are long-walled but there are some still opened.

Full cartography of Odessa catacombs is still unavailable. State Emergency Service presents theie lengths as follows: 1,4 kilometers under Odessa and up to 4 thousand kilometers inder Odessa Region.

Photos from Odessa official site.


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