Dnepropetrovsk was founded in 1776 as Ekaterinoslav on the Dnieper’s north bank. The settlement was moved to its present site on the south bank in 1786 according to tsar’s decree. Since 1783, the town was the center of Ekaterinoslav region ruled by governor-general. In 1797, it was renamed as Novorossiysk and became the provincial center.
In 1802, old name was restored and the city became the center of Ekaterinoslav gubernia. Despite the bridging of the Dnieper river in 1796 and the growth of trade in the early 19th century, Ekaterinoslav remained small until the 1880s, when the railways were built (in 1884) to Odessa, Donets Basin, and Moscow and industrialization began. Soviet power was established in 1918. In 1926, the city was named Dnepropetrovsk.
After the Second World War, Dnepropetrovsk was rebuilt and again became one of the most important industrial centers in the USSR - one more enterprise was formed there - Yuzhny machine-building plant - the largest in rocket and space branch.
The city went on developing. By the end of 1970s the population of Dnepropetrovsk outnumbered 1 million. It was decided to build an underground. But due to crisis which became evident at the end of 1980s the development of the city slowed down and the population started decreasing.
Since the Revolution of 1917, Dnepropetrovsk has developed into one of the largest industrial cities of Ukraine. With the electric power from the cascade of hydroelectric plants on the Dnieper river, iron ore from Krivoy Rog, manganese from Nikopol, coal from Donets Basin, gas from Shebelinka a huge iron and steel industry has grown up in Dnepropetrovsk. Castings, plates, sheets, rails, tubes and wires are also produced in the city.
Large engineering industries make electric locomotives, agricultural machinery, mining and metallurgical equipment, presses and other heavy machinery, as well as light industrial machinery and radio equipment. Coke-based chemicals, tires, plastics, paint, clothing, footwear, foodstuffs, and other materials are also produced there.
Dnepropetrovsk city street
Dnepropetrovsk street view
The climate in Dnepropetrovsk is of moderate continental type with mild winters and warm (sometimes hot) summers. Average temperature is 8,5 degrees C above zero, it is the lowest (5,5 degrees C below zero) in January and the highest in July (21,3 degrees C above zero).
Dnepropetrovsk has a university and teaching institutes of mining, agriculture, chemical technology, metallurgy, medicine and railway and constructional engineering.
Cultural amenities of Dnepropetrovsk include several theaters and a philharmonic hall. Newer suburbs of Dnepropetrovsk have spread to the north bank. The neighboring suburbs of Igren and Pridneprovsk were annexed in the 1990s.
Dnepropetrovsk coat of arms
Three seven-pointed stars on Dnepropetrovsk coat of arms mean:
Eternity - the meaning of a star in heraldry;
Number 3 - past, present and future;
Stars are located in the shape of the letter V which means “Victoris” - Victory.
An arrow and a saber are central items of the coat of arms. An arrow symbolizes motion, going forward as well as rocket-building. A saber is a symbol of protection, strength of the powerful city.
Dnepropetrovsk main sights
Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. The construction began in 1787 during the journey of the Empress Catherine II in the southern regions of the Russian Empire. The empress personally laid the first stone; this fact is considered to be the foundation of the city. The construction was finished only in 1835.
The cathedral is located in the middle of the green square in the historic part of Dnepropetrovsk. During the Soviet times the building was used as a museum of atheism, which helped to save it from destruction and preserve the interior. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Sobornaya (Cathedral) Square, 1.
Holy Trinity Cathedral. The cathedral is the main church of the city. In 1930s Bolsheviks closed the cathedral, but the service was resumed in 1941. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Troitskaya (Trinity) Sqaure, 7.
Bryansk (Nicholas) Church. After the Second World War the building received the status of architectural monument and was converted into the Organ Hall. Dnepropetrovsk “House of Organ and Chamber Music” was opened in 1988.
Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Kalinin Str., 66.
Monastic Island. The island is the historic core of the city; it is a favorite vacation spot of townspeople. It is rocky in its upper part, sandy at the back, for centuries the island had served as a stop to rest on complicated trade or military ways along the Dnieper River.
According to the legend, in the 11th century, there was a Byzantine monastery here, where Princess Olga waited a storm on the way to Constantinople. There is a memorial cross in honor of the Byzantine monks; Nicholas Church is built on the cape. In Soviet times, zoo and aquarium, as well as children’s amusement park, were opened here. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Shevchenko Park.
Dnepropetrovsk city scenery
Dnepropetrovsk railway station
Historical Museum. The museum was founded in 1849. Here you can see about seven thousand exhibits telling the history of the region from ancient times to the mid-twentieth century. Near the museum there is a collection of Scythian monuments. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Karl Marx Ave., 16. Opening hours: 10:00-16:00, day off - Monday.
Art Museum. The museum of art was opened in Dnepropetrovsk in 1914. In 1936, the museum received a gift from the artist Isaak Brodsky. These paintings (more than 300) form the basis of the exposition now. The collection of the museum consists of 8.5 thousand paintings, sculptures, drawings and objects of decorative art of the 16th-21st centuries. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Shevchenko Str., 21. Opening hours: 10:00-17:30.
Potemkin’s Palace. It is one of the first and most significant buildings of Dnepropetrovsk. In 1952, the building was renovated and became the Palace of culture of students named after Yuri Gagarin. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Shevchenko Sqaure, 1, Shevchenko Park.
Marx Avenue. This avenue is the main street of the city built up differently-style buildings of the 19th-20th centuries: the house of the governor (1840-1850), “Khrennikov’s House” (1910-1913), the post office building, etc. There is a pedestrian zone in the area of the central Lenin Square - Ekaterinoslav Boulevard, known as the “New Arbat”. The vernissage is open on the boulevard, where you can buy paintings by local artists and crafts.
Ekaterinoslav Boulevard. The boulevard and the European Square are a new pedestrian area in the center of Dnepropetrovsk. Paved walkway of the boulevard is decorated with fountains. There are shopping centers, cafes and restaurants here. Today it is one of the favorite places of walks and rest of the townspeople.
Globa’s Park. Central park of Dnepropetrovsk is named after Zaporozhye Cossack Lazar Globa who founded the park on the territory of his estate in the 18th century. There is a children’s railway, rides, karting center and a summer concert venue in the park. In the middle of the park there is a large lake with beautiful swans. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Karl Marx Ave., 95.
Children’s Railway. The railway introduces children to the railway specialties. The railway opened in 1936 was the first children’s railway in Ukraine and the second in the USSR. The total length of the railway is 2 km. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Karl Marx Ave., 95 (Globa’s Park). Opening hours: 10:00-15:30 (May to September on weekends).
Dnepropetrovsk Embankment. It is one of the longest embankments in Europe (about 20 km). It is a favorite walking place of local people and tourists, one of the main sights of the city. There are many monuments, sculptures, cafes and restaurants.
It is interesting that till early 1960s Dnepropetrovsk seemed to turn back from the river: endless store-houses and small plants were located along Dnepr, there were no recreation areas and the river was used only as a waterway. But the fact that the city was an industrial giant and saved a lot of slag - waste of metallurgy - enabled to form and fix the bank with a wide boulevard.
The fountain-swan opened in 2005 on the embankment several meters from the water is unique as it can change its mode, “flap it wings” and rotate. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Naberezhnaya Zavodskaya Str., Naberezhnaya Lenin Str., Naberezhnaya Pobedy Str.
Dnepropetrovsk Circus. The circus was founded in the late 19th century. The current building of the circus was constructed in 1980. The circus has the latest lighting and sound equipment. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Naberezhnaya Lenin Str., 33.
Family Bench. Fifty meters bench is the longest bench in Ukraine. It was placed on the Dnieper embankment next to the Festival pier in 2011. The bench made of metal and pine is decorated with seven installations that reflect the life of family and eternal family values. The bench is located in the free Wi-Fi area. Address: Dnepropetrovsk, Naberezhnaya Lenin Str.
Dnepropetrovsk metro. It was opened in December 1995 and still can be called one of the shortest subways in the world: 6 stations and the line is just 7,8 km long.