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Odessa, Ukraine

Odessa, known as the "Pearl of the Black Sea" is a crossroads of cultures, languages and trade, as well as a major seaport and industrial center. Past associations make it dear to Russian hearts - in the 1820s, Pushkin spent some of his time in exile here - and historically it conjures up reminders of Turkish campaigns and of revolutionary activities, which were strongly supported in 1905 by the mutinous battleship Potemkin. Miles of prime beaches attract scores of Eastern Europeans to this "Riviera of the Black Sea." Odessa also features various points of architectural interest including the outstanding Opera House and several interesting museums and former palaces.