As a wise man once said: «Odessa is not quite a city — it is a smile of God.» Odessa is known not only for its beautiful architectural ensemble, its humor and friendly citizens, but also for the catacombs.
The catacombs are a network of underground tunnels and mazes near Odessa. Most of the catacombs are the former quarries from which the building stone was mined. At present, the length of the Odessa catacombs is estimated at approximately 2.5 — 3 thousand km.
The catacombs had an important place in the life of Odessa at different times. In the 18-19 centuries the catacombs served as a conduit for smugglers, stashes for different gangs, prison for women, sold into slavery.
During October revolution they were a gathering place for members of the underground organizations and location for printery of Bolshevik newspaper. During the World War II, partisans and a sabotage units took refuge in the catacombs of Odessa. In the years after the war (Cold War period) a system of catacombs used for the construction of anti-nuclear bunkers.