About past, present and future of Ukraine

Search mobile

Main Culture — Babel's house in Odessa


Babel's house in Odessa

18 Dec, 2020
Babel's house in Odessa

Share this article

The most famous writer of Odessa lived, since 1907, in a historical building in Zhukovskogo street n. 22, 4th floor, apartment 10, with a balcony to Rishelievskaya street.

Perhaps, the very air in Odessa suggests the birth of so many writers and poets. They are all different, with different creativity and destinies. But one thing unites them: love for their small homeland. And the City, in turn, continues to love her sons. Especially those for whom Odessa has long been one of the heroes of the works, such as Isaac Babel. In Odessa, his memory was immortalized in a commemorative plaque on the house and the monument opposite him.

The area in which Babel's house is located is considered the very center of the City. Just five minutes from the crossroads where it stands: Deribasovskaya Street, Opera House, Primorsky Boulevard. The intersection of Zhukovsky and Rishelievskaya streets has become an excellent memorial to the Jewish writer. The monument with the sitting writer and the wheel is perfectly visible from the windows of the writer's father's apartment, in which he spent his childhood.

Architecture of Babel's House

The house was built at the very end of the 19th century as a tenement house of the engineer-technologist S. Reich. The author of the project was the famous architect Samuil Galperson in Odessa at that time. At the same time, the house itself in the original turned out to be quite original: the middle part of it is three-story, and the outer ones have one more floor. And, since they are all of the same height and are crowned with a common attic, this constructive feature of the house is not immediately striking, but if you look closely, you can distinguish it. The corner of the house is decorated with semicircular closed balconies at the level of the upper floors.

History of Babel's house

The most diverse people lived in the house: doctors, engineers, officials, clerks. The writer's father was an entrepreneur and kept an office selling agricultural machinery on Police Street. The first floors of the house were occupied by commercial premises, in particular, the Trading House "Makler and Pintel". Among the tenants, it was not just anyone who stood out, but a professor of mnemonics, who promised to strengthen the memory of everyone who wanted it personally or in absentia in just ten lessons. There was also an excellent cafe Onipko with its own pastry shop for all lovers of pastries. In a word, it was a typical Odessa house.

The house was located in a prestigious area and was considered quite fashionable, at least the rent was quite high. Therefore, the shops and other establishments that were located in the house were quite respectable, the goods were offered only of high quality. In the building it was possible to find the sale of gold watches and jewelry, bicycles and baguette picture frames. Of course, shops or their owners changed from time to time, but one thing remained unchanged; it was a respectable house in a good area.

Restoration of the famous building

House of Babel became one of the first contenders for restoration in modern Odessa. It did not go smoothly; the work was suspended for several years. But the end result was the return of the house to its fashionable appearance.

The restorers did not stop at this, and painted the blank walls overlooking the house courtyard, with plots on Odessa themes. So, in the courtyard of Babel's house, the heroes of the works of him and other Odessa writers came to life. Today, this courtyard, like the house, continues to be one of the most famous tourist attractions. On the facade of the house a memorial plaque dedicated to Isaac Babel was installed.

Monument to the Odessa writer

In September 2011, on the initiative of the Worldwide Club of Odessites, a monument to Isaac Babel was erected (sculptor: Georgy Frangulyana; architect: Michael Reva). The complex of the monument stands on a natural Odessa pavement, representing the past relief of the old Babel Odessa.

odessajournal 0
(Copyright Odessawalks)

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

more articles

Top article

The Ministry of Defense has signed a contract for the construction of a service center for repairing drones in Ukraine

The Ministry of Defense has signed a contract ...

Dmytro Kuleba: Ukraine and Croatia have agreed to use Croatian ports for exporting Ukrainian grain

Dmytro Kuleba: Ukraine and Croatia have agree ...

New sanctions: Defence industry, political parties and individuals linked to oligarchs

New sanctions: Defence industry, political pa ...

Volodymyr Zelensky: We are preparing for the next Ramstein meeting, we expect solidly grounded decisions to meet the prospects on the battlefield

Volodymyr Zelensky: We are preparing for the ...