The settlement is known since the early 16th century as a Cossack fortress, but it turned into a real town in 1778-1780. Christian Greeks taken from the Crimean khanate in 1778 settled in Mariupol and its surroundings in 1780.
The town was heavily damaged during the Crimean War of 1853-1856. Trade was stopped because of the war. In spring 1855, English-French squadron entered the Azov Sea. On May 24, the enemy troops with the help of ship artillery landed in the town, destroyed store-houses in the port and burnt several houses.
In 1882, the railway connected Mariupol with Donbas and other economic centers of the country. It was a fact of great importance for the town. The coal from Donetsk started to be brought to local port located in the mouth of the river Kalmius.
More Historical Facts…
The growing number of freight caused construction of a new trade port (1886-1889). The new port revived trade and enlarged the population of the town. Mariupol became an important industrial port at the end of the 19th century when metallurgic plants were built in the town.
On December 30, 1917, Soviet power was established as a result of an armed revolt. In 1920, metallurgic plants were nationalized and united into one plant. In the early 30s, the construction of a metallurgic plant “Azovstal” became the main construction site in the town.
By the end of the 30s, Mariupol grew and changed a lot. In 1925, the population was over 50,000, by 1941, it grew up to 241,100. The first tram line was opened in 1933, it connected the city with the plant and later with the port. In 1948, the city was named Zhdanov.
As the economics grew, so did the population: 280,300 in 1958; 436,000 in 1970; 540,300 in 1989.
In the second half of the 80s, perestroika started in the USSR and it caused economic and political changes in the city. In 1989, the historical name “Mariupol” was returned to the city on the citizens’ request.
In 1996, thanks to Greek neighborhood, Greek Republic Consulate was opened here.
In 2000, the government of Greece supported foundation of a Greek cultural center.
The city has two steel mills (“Ilyich Iron and Steel Works” and “Azovstal”), making up a significant part of Ukraine’s total export.
Machine-building concern “Azovmash” is the largest in Ukraine. Industrial area of the city produces about one third of Donetsk region exports and about 7.0% of all Ukrainian exports.
Present day Mariupol is a metallurgic and machine-building center of Ukraine, the important region for the country, one of the main donors and the source of currency flow into the country’s budget (over 10%), the largest sea trade port.
Mariupol is among Top 10 largest cities in Ukraine, together with Nikolaev it is 9th/10th largest Ukrainian city. However, it remains a resort city.
After Ukrainian independence was declared, the importance of the city as the center of sports grew. It is also the center of Greek culture in Ukraine.
The old Mariupol (the district within the Azov Sea in the south, the river Kalmius in the east, Shevchenko boulevard in the north, Metallurgist prospect in the west) consists mainly of small buildings and preserved its architecture of the Russian Empire times.
The Azov Sea coast and the museum of local study are the main tourist attractions. A line of resort settlements stretches around the city. The first sanatoriums were opened in 1926.
A narrow line of sandy beaches stretches for 16 km. The water temperature is 22-24 degrees Celsius above zero. The period of swimming lasts over 120 days, warm sea water is rich in iodine and minerals.
Beside state holidays there are the following local holidays:
- The Day when German army left the city during the World War II (September 10);
- The City Day (the next Sunday after September 10);
- Metallurgist Day (the 3rd Sunday in July);
- The Day of Machine-builders;
- The Day of Sailor and other professional holidays.
Mariupol apartment houses
Museum of the Greeks of Azov. The Museum of History and Ethnography of the Greeks of Azov is located in the center of Sartana Village (a suburb of Mariupol). The museum exposition (six rooms on two floors) is very rich in exhibits related to the culture and daily life of the Greeks after their relocation from the Crimea in 1778-1780.
The museum staff also pays attention to the cuisine of the Greeks of Azov regularly publishing the collections of receipts. Sartana Village, General Kurkchi Street, 37-a. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00, day off - Sunday.
Local History Museum. The museum was founded February 6, 1920. The exhibition highlights the natural conditions of the southern part of Donetsk region and the history of the region from ancient times to the present.
The museum has more than 53,000 museum objects, including written (handwritten and printed), numismatic, archaeological, natural, and others. Georgievskaya Street, 20.
Museum of Folk Life. The museum was opened in 1989. The exposition is about the features of daily life and culture of different nationalities that settled in the territory of the Azov Sea from the end of the 18th century - Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks, Jews, and Germans. Georgievskaya Street, 55.
Pushkin Monument. The monument to famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin is installed near the Palace of Culture “Markokhim” in 2000. Pushkin visited Mariupol on his trip to the Caucasus in 1820. Metalurgov Street, 27.
Monument to “Azovstal” personnel. The monument is devoted to the personnel of “Azovstal” plant died during the Second World War. The monument is a composition of three figures: soldier, sailor, and worker. Leporsky Street, 1.
Other places of interest
Vashury Village. Cultural and entertainment center “Vashury Village” is located in the village of Sartana in the north-eastern outskirts of Mariupol. In 2008, a small zoo was opened there.
There is a children’s town with a variety of rides, fountain and artificial waterfall in the zoo. The place also has a cafe with summer terrace and children’s cafe. Sartana Village, Parkovy Street, 4. Opening hours: 9:00-20:00.
The observation point. The observation area overlooking the Sea of Azov is located in Primorsky (Seaside) Park near Lenin Komsomol Square. You can see industrial panorama of Mariupol - one of the largest plants in the city “Azovstal” and Mariupol sea port. Klinovaya Balka Street.
Extreme Park. The park is located in Ilichevsky district, bordered by a park named after N. Gurov. There are 14 rides in the park. Children’s playground, cafe, shopping pavilions can also be found there. Open from April to October. Karpinsky Street, 90. Opening hours: 15:00-22:00, day off - Monday.
Hotel “Park-Hotel”. This new hotel is located in a park area (15 minute walk from the beach). Main services: bar (European cuisine), 2 saunas with pool, transfer, parking. Primorsky Boulevard, 29. Contact phone: +380 50 470 00 73.
Hotel “Grand Hotel”. Up-to-date hotel located on the outskirts of the city opened in 2007. Main services: restaurant (European cuisine), bar, Wi-Fi, taxi, transfer, car rental, translator, laundry, dry-cleaning, parking. Korolenko Street, 6. Contact phones: +380 629 40 24 64, +380 629 40 17 06.
Hotel “The European”. New luxury hotel “The European” is located near the center. It was built in 2003 and renovated in 2008. Main services: restaurant (European and Ukrainian cuisine), billiards, laundry, dry-cleaning, Wi-Fi, business center, translator, transfer, parking. Primorsky Boulevard, 9. Contact phones: +380 629 53 03 73, +380 629 53 03 85, +380 629 53 03 82, +380 629 53 03 86.
Hotel “Priazovje”. The hotel can be found in the park area of the city. Main services: restaurant (European and Ukrainian cuisine), cafe-bar, billiards, beauty salon, Wi-Fi, parking. Pobedy Street, 20. Contact phones: +380 629 58 24 50, +380 629 58 24 51, +380 629 58 24 52, +380 629 58 24 53.
Hotel “Meridian”. The hotel belongs to the sea port of the city. It is located close to the railway station and sea port. Main services: restaurant (European cuisine), bar, billiards, business center, gym, sauna, parking. Admiral Lunin Street, 3. Contact phones: +380 629 40 02 34, +380 629 37 10 72.
Tourist complex “Tourist”. This four-storey building is located in the center of the city, 100 meters from the beach. Main services: buffet, sauna, conference hall, volleyball and basketball pitch, concert hall, gym, excursions, parking. Primorsky Boulevard, 1/5. Contact phone: +380 629 37 57 78.
Hotel “Spartak”. The hotel is located in historic building built in the 19th century in the center close to beach, sea port, and railway station. Main services: restaurant (European cuisine), cafe, bar, billiards, beauty salon, safe, Wi-Fi, conference hall, ATM, taxi, parking. Kharlampievskaya Street, 13. Contact phones: +380 629 33 10 88, +380 629 33 11 33.
Hotel “Druzhba”. This renovated hotel with cafe-bar and parking is located near the pool “Neptun”. Metalurgov Street, 211. Contact phones: +380 629 38 77 67, +380 629 38 77 61, +380 629 38 77 59, +380 629 38 77 84.
Hotel “Moryak”. Modern hotel located in Primorsky district of the city near the sea port. Main services: cafe-bar (European cuisine), sauna, laundry, Wi-Fi, parking. Admiral Lunin Street, 85. Contact phones: +380 629 37 98 87, +380 629 53 03 70.
Hotel “Chaika”. Four-storey building of the hotel with cafe-bar and parking is located on Primorsky Boulevard, 7 of Mariupol. Contact phones: +380 629 37 60 84, +380 629 37 21 86.