Natalya Stadnikova columnist of The Odessa Journal reveals the secrets of Odessa hotels. She talks about the magnificent years of Odessa in the 19th century which turned into the modern gilded age.
She is ready to share her knowledge and love for Odessa with Odessa citizens and guests of the city.
The Hotel Mozart building, located at 13 Lanzheronovskaya Street, is a testament to local architecture and urban design. It stands in an area that has witnessed continuous changes since the foundation of Odessa.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the intersection of Lanzheronovskaya and Rishelyevskaya streets
, was home to many ‘firsts’. First city theatre. First Odessa hotel. First restaurant, where “wine from cellars is brought to the table by helpful Otton …” (Pushkin). This is an intersection where times and customs, past and present, weave together.
The construction of the first building on the hotel’s site was initiated in 1795 by Major Gregory Kiryakov. During Odessa’s early years, it was visited by many prominent personalities, including admiral De Ribas, architect De Wollant, and Prince Volkonsky.
In 1803, the building was occupied by Odessa military governor Duc de Richelieu. Later, in 1808, it was transformed into a two-story office building, and was frequented by many key figures in the city’s development, including Count Rochechouart, Count Venanson, Baron Castelnau, General Thomas Coble, Charles Sicard, Egor Kalantaev, Francesco Frapolli and Felix de Ribas.
From 1826 to 1828, the building housed the management of the City Theater, as well as the Italian opera troupe and orchestra musicians. The lodge even had a rehearsal hall.
During the same period, on the corner currently occupied by a garden, the Governor’s house was built, called the Mayor’s House . Here, the famous restaurateur Caesar Otton opened a fashionable restaurant, a favourite of the local beau monde and important city visitors. This was the first local restaurant visited by local ladies of high society. Otton’s establishment was visited by Nikolay Gogol. During the construction and acceptance of the Mayor’s House with services, Count Vorontsov, mayors, engineers, architects Boffo, Toricelli and many others visited here.
The building also housed thea first-class Hotel Richelievskaya that offered hospitality to many prominent travellers, including Lev Pushkin and Count Viazemskiy, and hosted frequent elaborate receptions.
From the 1830s to 1910s, parts of the Mayor’s House were leased to individuals, companies, and banking institutions. Various shops, offices and taverns occupied the façade of the ground floor. Former hotel’s building was totally reconstructed in 1870-1871s.
The Mayor’s House and the courtyard constituted a single complex. During the war of 1941-1945, the corner block was badly damaged. It was later restored, but collapsed again, causing deaths. The block was dismantled in 1949, and replaced by a garden.
In 2002, the 40-room Hotel Mozart was developed, designed by the architect brothers Povstaniuk. Its facade and interior were restored based on old photographs of the hotel building from the early 19th century.
In 2012, two floors were completed above the outbuilding from the side of the park along Richelievskaya Street. During the reconstruction, a two-level attic was built over the side and courtyard one-story wings. As a result, the hotel capacity has increased to 80 rooms.
Hotel Mozart has long been a symbol of Odessa’s hospitality. The Hotel is proud to have earned the trust of prominent personalities like Jackie Stallone (Sylvester Stallone’s mother), Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, actress Ada Rogovtseva, singer Vakhtang Kikabidze, musicians and performers Alessandro Safina and Keiko Matsui, stars of opera and ballet, theater and film.
In 2018, a memorial plaque was installed on the Mozart hotel’s wall in memory of the fact that earlier, from 1803 to 1814, this place was the building of the office of the Governor-General and Mayor of Odessa, Duke de Richelieu.
The Mozart Hotel is part of the Mozart Hotel Group, which currently operates 9 hotels in 5 European countries.
The article was prepared based on the Oleg Gubar studies.