Russian empire has the tradition to name some city squares by the memory of Russian’s army victory during Kulikovskaya battle. This squares usually used for military parades. Odessa has such a square as well. Years ago it was empty vacant lot overgrown with weeds on the southern outskirts of the city, near the Porto-Franko moat.
And now Kulykove pole (field) – it’s one of the largest squares in Odessa.
In 1818 the city Custom was built not far from the Kulikovo field. A little bit later the city prison was built near too. It was the first prison in Odessa. This neighborhood played a trick joke with the place of future square, because during decades a lot of prisoners was secretly buried there. A lot of them were political prisoners, which were disagreeable tsarist regime.
The citizens of Odessa did not like this district, believing that the march on the bones – it’s at least not Christian. Therefore, the land of Kulikovo they called not only as “stale.”
The street which occurred near the prison, called Turemnaya (The Prison street). Now it’s the street of Leitenant Shmidt. Near square was called Turemnaya square; now it’s called Privokzalnaya square.
Gradually, at the beginning of the XX century, the largest in the city, though deplorable field has become a traditional venue for folk festivals. There were organized various attractions, performances of circus tent, exhibited waxworks with wax figures and strange creatures of nature. On the square were marked different massive festivals such as New Year, Christmas, Easter, followed by the same fairs and a variety of attractions.
At the 100-th jubilee of Odessa City council released an edition, where was listed the following: “Square Kulikovo field – it’s a huge area, bordered by buildings and gardens. During the Easter holidays on Kulikovo needs to be arrange festivities with booths, carousels, circus, menagerie and other holiday amusements”.
After the revolution, when the inhabitants of Odessa was not up to fun, Kulikovo Field regained its notorious of mass grave.
In January 1918, in the days of the heroic uprising of the Odessa proletariat, there were fierce battles Red Guards workers, revolutionary soldiers and sailors with the Haidamaks and cadets; there was machine-gun fire, rifle volleys, shouting “Hurrah!”, “For the power of the Soviets!”, and of course there were killed.
17 (30) Januarry 1918 the Red Flag hoisted over the building of the Odessa station. Four days later, on January 21, 1918, all those who died in the three-day Civil War revolutionaries (there were 119 fatalities) was buried in a mass grave on the Kulikovo field that since began to refer to the Revolution Square.
After the war, Kulikovo field was replanning. Kulikovo field now looks like a square in 10.5 hectares, which skirted flower gardens and green lawns.
In 1967 in the middle of the square, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Soviet power, there was erected a monument to Vladimir Lenin, made by the sculptor Manizer.
In the 1990s, the city authorities decided to revive an old tradition and make Kulykove Field a public gathering spot. Furthermore, there are held political meetings of different parties, and the military garrison parades. Former city outskirts – Kulykove field – now almost the geographic center of the city, and all the roads to the remote areas of the city are going from here.