s. Nerubayskoye, Belyaevskiy district, Nerubayskoe, Odessa 65000.
All year daily 10-17 after appointment.
Underground tour: after appointment.
Ukrainians Adults UAH 100, Children UAH 70, Foreigners Adults UAH 300, Children UAH 210.
Underground tour: Ukrainians UAH 22, Foreigners UAH 75.
|Limestone Mine Room and Pillar Mining Odessa Catacombs
self guided, Ar=1,000 m², D=14 m.
|Museum of Partisan Glory, s. Nerubayskoye, Belyaevskiy district, Nerubayskoe, Odessa 65000, Tel: +380-67-292-30-55, Tel: +380-67-729-24-85.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|used by partisans during World War II.
|Museum of Partisan Glory opened.
The Музей партизанської слави (Museum of Partisan Glory) is located at the village of Nerubayskoye north of Odessa. It is dedicated to the Ukrainian partisans, who used the tunnels during World War II as a base to attack the occupying Nazi troops. When the German and Romanian army occupied Odessa in 1941, the Soviet Military headquarters gave the order to organize the partisan resistance. Odessa Catacombs were equipped with provisions and weapons for half a year. Five partisan units were fighting the Nazi and Romanian army. It was supported by a wide range of civilians who provided food and necessary equipment. But there were 45 other groups, hiding in the passages, a total of 6,000 people.
A part of the museum is using the underground passages for an exhibition of a reconstructed partisan camp. There is an exhibition for the Hero of the Soviet Union Volodymyr Molodtsov-Badayev unit. This was a group of 69 people, 64 men and 5 women, commanded by Volodymyr Molodtsov-Badayev, which had its base at these catacombs. Actually they used a section which is about 2 km from here, but this part of the tunnels is now flooded. Local historians examined archival documents and interviewed eyewitnesses to recreate its original appearance. It was equipped with a bathhouse, kitchen, armory, shooting range, male and female dormitories, and places for rest. Partisan household items and samples of weapons are presented. There are inscriptions from those times on the walls, which is weird as they were actually somewhere else. We can only guess that they were "copied".
More interesting than the military memorabilia are the ways how they chose the camp with the help of local quarry workers. All passages to the camp were carefully barricaded. The strategic possibilities of a narrow passage for a small group of partisans fighting a mighty army are obvious. However, the obvious drawback is that they can be easily killed by blocking the only entrance. This is what happened here, and the whole group died inside their base.
As the unit which is commemorated here was almost completely killed, they were awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union state award posthumous, and a socialist realism monument was created which is quite bombastic. It strongly resembles the bombastic Blut und Boden (blood-and-soil) monuments of the Nazis, but obviously nobody noticed that in the 1960s. 80 years after the war and 50 years after the creation of the monument and museum the whole design is more a museum of the Cold War and the Soviet Union than the partisans. The museum was visited by famous people like the Cuban leader Fidel Castro. During Soviet times the war was called the Great Patriotic War, the Ukrainians of today use the term German-Soviet War.
Until a decade ago this was the only possibility to actually visit the catacombs of Odessa. The underground museum is visited self-guided, has electric light and is mostly level. It is located 12 to 14 m below ground. A more adventurous visit to the catacombs is also possible for individuals after appointment. It is a guided visit through a not developed part of the former quarries, lamps are provided. Good walking shoes and a warm jacked are recommended.
Close to Odessa, at the city of Nerubayskoye, rocks were mined, which were needed for the buildings. Soon the rock outcrops were not enough and the rocks were mined underground. One of the oldest mining technologies is called room and pillar. To avoid the collapse of the ceiling only passages of a width between 2 m and 4.5 m were mined, the rock in between remained as a pillar supporting the ceiling. The result is a maze of some 2,500 kilometers in length, at least this is the number generally given, some even claim they were 3,000 km long. Actually explored are about 1,700 km of passages, the other numbers are an estimation or just wishful thinking. The height is between 1.5 m and 3.5 m, depending on the thickness of the mined stone.