In 1869, an ironworks was founded there by a Welshman, John Hughes (from whom the town’s pre-revolutionary name Yuzovka was derived), to produce iron rails for the growing Russian rail network. Later steel rails were made in Donetsk. The plant used coal from the immediate vicinity, and both coal mining and steel making developed rapidly.
By 1914, there were 4 metallurgical plants, 10 coal-pits, and a population of about 50 000. After the October Revolution (1917), Yuzovka was renamed Stalino and, in 1961, Donetsk. Heavy destruction in World War II led to postwar modernization and an increase in the scale of industry. Subsequent growth of Donetsk was rapid and sustained.
In April 1978, the population of Donetsk outnumbered 1 million.
Today there are more than 40 coal-pits within Donetsk limits. A major integrated coking, iron-smelting, and steel-making plant makes modern Donetsk one of the largest metallurgical centers in Ukraine.
Coke by-products are the basis of a chemical industry producing plastics. There are several heavy-engineering works in Donetsk, which produce, in the main, mining equipment. Refrigerators are manufactured in the city, and there are other light industries.
The necessity of avoiding areas subject to subsidence caused by mining has led to a patchy development of the densely built-up residential and factory areas and open spaces over the extensive area of Donetsk city administrative limits.
A free economic area “Donetsk” - one of the largest in Ukraine - is located on the territory of the city. The economic structure of Donetsk consists of industry of many branches together with the developed transportation and financial economy of the city.
Almost all branches of industry are presented in Donetsk, but the share of metallurgy (both ferrous and non-ferrous), coal, chemical (including coke-chemical) and heavy machine-building is the highest. Beside traditional branches of heavy industry other industries are also developed: light, food, wood-processing and machine-building.
Over 119,000 people work at industrial plants of Donetsk. Judging by product the following branches have the largest share in the industry structure: metallurgy (29,4%), food industry (13,9%), machine-building (12,1%), coal industry (9,1%).
Most of Donetsk hotels are located in Voroshilovsky (central), Kievsky and Kalininsky districts. In preparation for hosting “Euro-2012” several large hotels were built: 23-storeyed hotel “Victoria”, 24-storeyed hotel “Pushkinsky”, “Flora”, hotel “Central” was reconstructed, hotel “Shakhtyor” (“Miner”) was reconstructed too.
Donetsk is a very green city, there are a lot of beautiful parks and boulevards. A botanic garden is open all year round. A special place is taken by a park of forged figures where annual European blacksmiths’ competition takes place. Reconstruction of the river Kalmius embankment was finished in 2009.
Within Donetsk there are 22 operating coal mines which waste heaps are located close to inhabited districts. In central part of the city there is a large metallurgic plant. There are also plants of chemical (plastic and chemical reagents production) and coke chemical industries.
The pollution made by city plants which are concentrated on a small territory and the plants of Donetsky agglomeration form steady smog and it covers the city with dark violet smoke almost all year round.
Heavy air pollution in Donetsk is partly compensated by a lot of greenery and flowers. Over a half of the total city territory is occupied by greenery. The micro climate is favored by 30 ponds and water reservoirs with the total territory over 600 hectares, both within the city and in its outskirts.
There are a university, polytechnic, medical and trade institutes in Donetsk city, and more than 30 scientific research establishments, including a branch of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Cultural amenities of Donetsk include several theaters and a philharmonic hall.
The principal street, from the railway station to the steelworks, is main Donetsk attraction. Artem Street with main shops, hotels, administrative buildings is 5.5 miles (9 km) long.
In Donetsk there are 254 officially registered monuments of cultural heritage. In 2009, Donetsk returned its status of the city where there is a rose per person. 1,014,000 roses are grown in the city.
There are 140 museums and museum rooms in Donetsk. Among them there are 2 large state regional museums: Donetsk regional art museum and Donetsk regional museum of local study. Beside state museums there are museums formed by plants and organizations of the city.
Among them are as follows: Museum of history and development of Donetsk railway (Artyomovskaya Street, 47); Museum of communication (Komsomolsky Prospekt (avenue), 22); Museum of Jewish heritage in Donbass (Oktyabrskaya Street, 39); Museum of history of Donetsk metallurgic plants (Tkachenko Street, 122) and others.
Donbass Arena Stadium. It is Ukraine’s first stadium built for the European Football Championship 2012 in accordance with the standards of the UEFA Elite Category (five stars). Due to the unusual design (the effect of floating roof) Donetsk stadium is shaped like a “flying saucer”. The complex houses three restaurants, several bars, fitness center and museum of FC “Shakhtar” with a multimedia exhibition and gift shop.
On the square in front of “Donbass Arena” the soccer ball fountain is set. 28-ton ball with a diameter of 2.7 m is spinning because of the pressure of the water. It is considered to be the largest spinning granite ball in the world. Next to the stadium there is a park with fountains, ponds and rock garden. The total area of the park is about 2.5 hectares. Address: Donetsk, Chelyuskintsev Str., 189-e. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00.
Museum of Donetsk railway. The museum of history and development of Donetsk railway is one of the few museums of this type in Ukraine. It is located right at the railway station - in the former locomotive depot of Yuzovka railway station (1872). The museum was opened in 2000 in honor of the 130th anniversary of Donetsk railway.
The exposition has more than 6.5 thousand exhibits. Among the main exhibits are rare locomotives and railway cars of 1930-1950. Address: Donetsk, Artemovskaya Str., 47. Opening hours: 9:00-15:00 (break - 12:00-13:00), days off - Saturday, Sunday.
The park of forged sculptures. The best works of blacksmiths of Donbass region are collected there. The park holds annual international festival of blacksmithing skills. After the festival the best works are usually left in the park as a gift to the city. The garden of fairy tales with wooden sculptures of fairytale characters is located nearby. Address: Donetsk, Artem Str., 98.
Shcherbakov park. The park of culture and rest named after A. Shcherbakov is the central park in Donetsk. It is located in the Voroshilov district, on the banks of two ponds, near the old stadium “Shakhtar”. The park occupies an area of 62 hectares. The central entrance to the park is from University Str. Long pedestrian bridge over the pond #1 has long been considered the most romantic meeting place of lovers. By tradition, the young couple hangs the lock on the bridge as the symbol of eternal love.
In the middle of the park the statue of “The Kind Angel of the World” is standing. On the right you can find children’s rides, Ferris wheel, rollerdrome and boat station. On the left the main fountain of the park and the largest rose garden in Ukraine are located. In Soviet times Donetsk was called the city of million roses. On the waterfront the sculpture of blue lion (gift from Lviv city) has been installed recently. Address: Donetsk, Stadionnaya Str., 1-d. Opening hours: 8:00-24:00 (winter: 10:00-21:00), day off - Monday.
Palm Tree of Mertsalov. It is a replica of famous “Palm of Mertsalov” which has become a symbol of Donbass (depicted on the coat of arms of Donetsk oblast). Filigree sculpture in the form of a palm tree, forged from one steel rail at the end of the 19th century by Donetsk blacksmith A. Mertsalov, was awarded the Grand Prix at the Paris International Industrial Exhibition in 1900.
The original sculpture is located in the Museum of the Mining Institute in St. Petersburg. Numerous copies of this sculpture made by Donetsk blacksmith S. Kaspruk can be found in Kiev, Lviv, Crimea, Moscow, Hanover and Ottawa. In Donetsk, the first copy was set in 1999 near the exhibition center “Expo-Donbass”; the other was placed in the heart of the city - on the Pushkin Blvd., near the building of Donetsk Regional State Administration. Address: Donetsk, Pushkin Blvd., 34.
Botanical Garden. Donetsk botanical garden is one of the largest in Europe. It was established as a research institute in 1964. The collection has more than eight thousand plants of two thousand species. Thanks to the work of the garden Donetsk is considered to be one of the greenest industrial cities in the world. There is a winter greenhouse. Address: Donetsk, Ilyich Ave., 110. Opening hours: May-October (greenhouse - all year round), 10:00-16:00, day off – Monday.
Opera House. Donetsk academic opera and ballet theater named after A. Solovyanenko was designed by architect L. Kotovsky and built in 1941. The monumental building was constructed in socialist realism style. The theater has 970 seats. The repertory of the theater includes the plays: “Bohdan Khmelnytsky”, “Falstaff”. Address: Donetsk, Artem Str., 82. Opening hours: ticket office: 10:00-19:00.
Dolphinarium “Nemo”. The year-round dolphinarium located in Donetsk is a part of a national network of cultural and recreation centers “Nemo”. You can watch the dolphins through special “windows” in the foyer. The show “With Love to Nature” involves bottlenose dolphins, South American fur seals and sea lion.
In addition to performances, you can swim and dive with the dolphins. Also the sessions of dolphin therapy are being held. Colorful night shows are held during various celebrations. The dolphinarium is open in any weather. Address: Donetsk, Stadionnaya Str., 1-d, Shcherbakov park. Shows start at: 12:00, 15:00 and 18:00.
Drama Theater. Donetsk music and drama theater dates back to 1927 when Ukrainian theater of workers was created in Kharkov (the capital of Ukraine that time). The main purpose of the theater was to carry out cultural and educational mission in the east of the country. In 1933 the theater moved to Donetsk. It is one of the most visited theaters in Ukraine. One of the best plays of recent years was the play “Aeneid”. Address: Donetsk, Artem Str., 74-a.
Tsar Cannon. The monument placed in the square in front of city council is a replica of the famous Moscow Tsar Cannon, the largest in caliber gun in the world. It was a gift from the people of Moscow to residents of Donetsk. The cannon was cast at “Izhstal” plant in Izhevsk city (Russia) in 2001.
The cannon is mounted on decorative cast-iron gun-carriage, decorative cast-iron cannonballs lie next to it. The carriage weighs 20 tons, the cannon itself - 44 tons. The length of gun barrel is 5.28 m, which is 6 cm shorter than the original. Address: Donetsk, Artem, 98.
Pushkin Boulevard. The boulevard is one of the most beautiful streets of Donetsk, favorite walking place of residents and visitors of the city. The boulevard was named after Great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin in 1947. Special amphitheater was built near the bust of Pushkin, in the central part of the boulevard. This place brings together poets, writers and other creative people.
The opposite end of the boulevard was chosen by the artists. You can buy not only the paintings with urban landscapes, but also all kinds of souvenirs there. The park of sculptures “Ukrainian steppe” has 11 works based on Slavic mythology created by Ukrainian and German artists. Throughout the boulevard there are various sculptures and flowerbeds. At the intersection with Gurov Avenue several restaurants are located. Address: Donetsk, Pushkin Blvd.
Tunneling machine KSP-32. The monument to tunneling machine KSP-32 is installed near the Technical University of Donetsk. Tunneling machine is mining machinery intended for underground work in mines: the destruction of rocks, loading on the conveyor, etc. Address: Donetsk, Artema Str., 58.
Royal Marine Water Park. This water park is scheduled to open in 2012. It will have an open aqua zone with swimming pools and rides, as well as indoor entertainment zone, which will be covered by transparent dome with a diameter of 85 meters and a height of 24 meters. Thus, the water park will be able to work at any time of the year, and in all weather conditions. Address: Donetsk, Solovianenko Str., Shcherbakov park.
Hotel Great Britain. The historic hotel “Great Britain” is the first hotel opened in Donetsk. In 1883, in the city center two-storey building was built. The second floor was constructed soon. Since then the building did not change its specialization, while in the Soviet times the hotel was called the “October”. A. Kuprin, A. Serafimovich, V. Mayakovsky stayed in this hotel. Address: Donetsk, Postysheva Str., 20.
The House of Hughes. The family house of John Hughes, the founder of Donetsk (Yuzovka), was constructed in 1873 to the south-west of Yuzovsky Iron and Steel Works. Originally it was a one-storey house. The house was rebuilt when the family of John Hughes moved to Yuzovka from England. Two years after the start of reconstruction John Hughes died, but his sons continued the construction. It was completed in 1891.
In 1903, Hughes family returned to England. Directors and managers of metallurgical plant were living in the house. The building was damaged during the Second World War. It was used for various purposes until 1990. Today the house of Hughes is located on the territory of private enterprise and the access to it is not easy. There are plans to restore the house. Address: Donetsk, Klinicheskaya (Clinical) Str., 1.
Donetsk planetarium. The planetarium is located in a two-storey building on 700 square meters. There are 88 seats available. Digital equipment (6 projectors BarcoReality SIM 5R) allows creating three-dimensional images, showing topography, geological parameters and atmospheric characteristics of planets in the Solar system. It is possible to simulate the flight to other planets, stars, etc. Address: Donetsk, Artema Str., 46-b. Opening hours: 15:00-18:00 (Saturday, Sunday - 11:00-18:00).
Local History Museum. The museum is housed in a modern building located near the “Donbass Arena” stadium. Extensive exhibition, presented in 24 halls, has about 120 thousand exhibits.
Among them are the remains of fossil of animals, imprints of fossil plants and trees, large archaeological collection of different tools, weapons, ornaments and amulets, numismatic collection (copper and silver coins of the 15th-18th centuries), ethnographic collection. The most valuable exhibits are rare old books, including geographical and botanical atlases of the 17th century. Address: Donetsk, Chelyuskintsev Str., 189-a. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00.
Puppet Theater. Donetsk Academic Regional Puppet Theater is one of the oldest theaters in Ukraine. The story of the theater began in 1933. Theatrical team of eight people was making their own decorations and dolls. Address: Donetsk, Ilyich Ave., 18.
Monument to the Beatles. The monument to the British rock group “The Beatles” was installed at the entrance to the entertainment complex “Liverpool”. The sculpture depicts the legendary four in characteristic poses with musical instruments in their hands. The wall behind the figures is covered with mosaics in the form of the British flag. Address: Donetsk, Artem Str., 131-a.
Monument to Bubka. The monument to one of the greatest athletes of the world S. Bubka was erected in Donetsk in 1999. Bubka has 35 world records in pole vaulting. He is six-time world champion and Olympic champion. The monument is placed in front of the stadium “Olympic”.
Bronze sculpture depicts an athlete who is preparing for his attempt. The height of the sculpture is 3.5 meters. The pedestal has a symbolic height of 6 m 15 cm - the record set by Bubka in 1993. It remains unsurpassed till today. Address: Donetsk, Artem Str., 145.
Monument to John Hughes. The monument is honoring British industrialist John James Hughes, the founder of Yuzovka (Donetsk). The monument was opened in 2001 in the center of the campus of Donetsk technical university. Address: Donetsk, Artem Str., 96.
Monument to stratosphere fliers. The monument to four stratosphere fliers was installed near the crash site of the Soviet stratospheric balloon. In 1938, stratosphere fliers Ya. Ukrainsky, S. Kuchumov, P. Batenko and D. Stolbun soared into the stratosphere in a gondola of stratospheric balloon BBA-I to study the effect of altitude pressure on the human body.
The balloon was launched from an airfield located near Moscow. The machine went out of order at high altitude - something was wrong with oxygen equipment. The balloon fell to the high-voltage line in Shcherbakov park in Donetsk and exploded. The dead crew was buried at the intersection of Pushkin Boulevard and 25th anniversary of the Red Army Avenue. Bronze statue of 2-meter-high stratosphere flier in special suit was placed at the grave. Address: Donetsk, Pushkin Blvd., 2.
Lenin Square. It is the main square in Donetsk, the pedestrian zone, and open air place of public festivals and performances. The square appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. The architectural ensemble of it was formed in 1927-1967. The dominant building is the former building of Ministry of Coal Industry of Ukraine. At this place, the fans of Donetsk FC “Shakhtar” celebrate the victories of their team. Address: Donetsk, Lenin Square.
Museum of Art. Donetsk Regional Museum of Art is a large museum of art, cultural center of Donetsk region. The collection includes 11,500 works of painting, drawing, sculpture, decorative arts. In particular, the paintings of artists from Italy, Holland, France and Germany are presented.
Russian landscape painting of the 19th-20th centuries is presented by works of I. Aivazovsky, I. Shishkin, A. Bogolyubov, S. Zhukovsky, and others. The collection of crafts of ancient Greece and Rome (vases, dishes of various shapes and purposes, lamps, glass and bronze wares) are of particular interest. Address: Donetsk, Pushkin Blvd., 35. Opening hours: 8:30-17:00, days off - Monday, Tuesday.
Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. The construction of stone building of Orthodox Church in Yuzovka began in place of a wooden church in autumn 1883. The church was opened in 1886. The cathedral was destroyed in 1933 during Soviet campaign against religion.
In 1992, the city council of Donetsk decided to start the construction of the cathedral on the site of the old cemetery. The new cathedral is not a replica of the destroyed one. The location of the cathedral is not the same also. The construction began in 1997. Today the cathedral is one of the main churches of Donetsk. Address: Donetsk, Artema Str, 129-v.