CYCLE TOURS IN ODESSA
ARTICLE: "FLAT HOUSE"
Оdessa is famous to everyone as the capital of humor and laughter. And what is the thing that Odessa doesn’t have its flavour in? Humorous and cheerful, ready to joke residents of this city, Festival of Laughter, unique stories, jokes and folk thin stories, Sculpture Garden in a cozy yard, Literary Museum. You can continue the list endlessly. However, Odessa wouldn’t be Odessa, if it hadn’t embodied its lambent humour in architecture. Don’t you believe?
One of unique architectural flavours of Odessa is locatedat the end of Primorsky boulevard, behind Vorontsov Palace. It is an amazing and funny Odessa house– Flat house. This interesting historic site is known not only to every Odessan, but also to a number of tourists from all over the world who haven’t missed a chance to visit this mysterious house at the address: 4, Vorontsov lane.
“the Flat House”, “the House of Shades”, “the Witch’s House”, “the Card House”, “the House of One Wall”– all these are the names of one unique historic site of Odessa.
From the first site it is a plain house, almost not differing from the rest of old buildings. But if you step aside a bit and look at the house at a particular angle, you will see this house quite differently.You get an impression that it is completely flat and front wall it the only thing left! Exactly this reason caused all the names given to the house.
For those,who know the key to the Flat House’s mystery, it is another entertainment to see surprised and puzzled faces of people who see this building for the very first time. They friendly laugh at the surprise of city guests, who vividly express their surprise, loudly exclaim, walk to and fro and try to understand the secret of this house. A bit recovered from light shock and astonishment, tourists ask: “How is it possible? Do people really live there?” No flat people live here and they don’t stand all the time. It’s rather difficult to believe, but people really live in “Card House”, and air-conditioners, curtains, plants and pots on window-sills persistently prove it. Due to care of house residents, inner part of the Flat House is a true treasure, storing old interiors, elegant stucco on the ceilings, marble staircases, and swaged handrails.
The key to this architectural deception is the fact that the house has a triangular form, аnd its side walls adjoin the front wall at an acute angle. This creates such an optical illusion.
Another mystery of “the Card House” is the date of its construction and the architect’s name. Historians suggest that the house was built at the end of30th of XIX century, when main construction of the street was performed or at the beginning of ХХ century. Unknown architect presented to Odessa this wonderful architectural site, though while construction works nobody was going to impress anybody or create an architectural masterpiece. There exist several suggested reasons why the house turned out to be triangular. One of them states that there was not enough space, another states that it wascaused by lack of money, but one way or another, the architect couldn’t back out historic construction of the street. Thus, such a building was erected. On one hand it is rather traditional, on the other it is absolutely unique, surprising and mysterious.
The Flat House is one of the most amazing architectural constructions in the world. The key to this mystery once more proves that Оdessa is a joyful and surprising city! Everyone who comes in Odessa for rest hurries up to see this mysterious house, take a photo and bring some gayety to their relatives and friends from the Southern Palmira.
Author Marina Melnichenko