Odessa Catacombs is a network of underground tunnels and labyrinths, located near Odessa. Most of them are the former stone quarries, where was produced the building stone, limestone, used for construction of urban buildings. According to recent data, the length of Odessa catacombs is more than 2500 km.
Odessa catacombs in the XX century caused the complications of engineering-geological conditions of the city, because about 40% of the old part of Odessa is located on its territory that resulted in more than 100 failures.
In addition to the quarries, the system of Odessa catacombs also includes the caves of natural origin, bunkers, cellars, drains, tunnels, rain collectors and other cavities.
The idea of creating quarries first appeared in the XIX century, during the rapid construction of the city. The underground caves served as the source of production of cheap building material - limestone, which was extracted with the help of saws. However, the intensive development of underground tunnels caused failures in different parts of Odessa, so local authorities banned on the extraction of limestone in the city line.
During World War II Odessa catacombs, as well as Adzhimushkayskie quarries, were the shelter for the Soviet partisans, who fought against the Nazi invaders and caused considerable damage to the German army. Odessa Catacombs were also the shelter for the detachment of V.A. Molodtsov, whose feat was described in the work of Katayev “Waves of the Black Sea”.
On the moment of the release of the USSR from the Nazi invaders in the archives of the city of Odessa there was stored the information on the underground ways up to 1700 km long. In 1961 the Speleological Club "Search", founded for the study of the partisan movement during World War II, greatly enriched the cartographic researches of catacombs.
Currently, the limestone production continues, resulting in a daily increase of the length of Odessa catacombs.