Catherine the Great founded the city in 1794, envisioning a glorious seaside southern capital. Creating an urban pearl on the shores of the Black Sea, her team of international architects didn’t disappoint. Fabulous frontages went up, displaying an eclectic blend of neo-Renaissance and Art Nouveau designs. Limes, acacias, chestnuts and plane trees were planted, adding greenery and shading streets to keep the Russian aristocrats who flocked here cool in summer.
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