Odessa or Odesa is the third largest city in Ukraine, with a population of 1,003,705. From the 1920s it was the biggest city of Ukraine and had a special independent jurisdiction. The city is a major seaport and transportation hub located on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. Odessa is also an administrative center of the Odessa Oblast and major cultural center of multi-ethnic population. Its alternative Russian name is the Southern Palmira.The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement, was founded by Hacı I Giray, the Khan of Crimea, in 1440 and originally named after him as "Hacıbey". After a period of Lithuanian control, it passed into the domain of the Ottoman Sultan in 1529 and remained in Ottoman hands until the Ottoman Empire's defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1792. The city of Odessa was founded by a decree of the Empress Catherine the Great in 1794. From 1819 to 1858 Odessa was a free port. During the Soviet period it was the most important port of trade in the Soviet Union and a Soviet naval base. On 1 January 2000 the Quarantine Pier of Odessa trade sea port was declared a free port and free economic zone for a term of 25 years.In the 19th century it was the fourth largest city of Imperial Russia, after Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Warsaw. Its historical architecture has a style more Mediterranean than Russian, having been heavily influenced by French and Italian styles. Some buildings are built in a mixture of different styles, including Art Nouveau, Renaissance and Classicist.Odessa is a warm water port. The city of Odessa hosts two important ports: Port of Odessa itself and Port Yuzhne, situated in the city's suburbs. Another important port, Illichivsk, is located in the same oblast, to the south-west of Odessa. Together they represent a major transport hub integrating with railways. Odessa's oil and chemical processing facilities are connected to Russia's and EU's respective networks by strategic pipelines.