Opera House Rooftop – Odessa, Ukraine

With most of my time being spent underground over the last week I thought it was time to try something a bit different, a rooftop attempt. The rooftop that held the most interest was that of the famous Odessa Opera House. Constructed in 1887, the Opera House is widely recognised as being one of the most ornate and beautiful buildings in all of Ukraine. Stunning statues surround the roof of the building looking down on the city below, statues which the public do not get to see up close.

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This seems to be one of the more popular roofs in the city for climbing and judging from the photos online a good few other explorers have made it up here. In my last few days I had also heard two accounts from people who had climbed it previously. General Kosmosa from Kyiv had recommended the roof to me a few days before and had said it was dead easy and should be no problem to climb. The other person who had climbed it previously was a friend of Egor and Vanya’s. This friend had been caught climbing it and was arrested by the notorious Berkut Riot Police! So, I knew this could go one of two ways! Luckily for me, the Berkut Riot Police had been disbanded during the revolution a month before my visit so it would only be the regular Police I would have to deal with if I was caught.

I arrived at the Opera House at 5am hoping to get up onto the roof before the city awoke. The only sign of life near my access point was a homeless man wandering around. I had to hide for a few minutes until he finally cleared out of sight. When he was far enough away I quickly sprung into action making my way to the entry point and navigated to the roof. The 5am start had paid off and I made it to the top unseen.

I wandered around on the roof taking photos for the next half an hour as the sun started to rise and the city below me slowly started coming to life. It was great to see the statues up close and in detail, something which the general public are most likely never going to see.

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As the city started to awake I decided I should probably make my way back down before I was seen. In no time at all I was back to the surface unseen and was able to slip back into the streets of Odessa as the sun slowly rose above the city. This was my last day in Odessa so this climb was a great send off to one of the most interesting cities I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.

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