Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dnepropetrovsk

The central streets of the city were renamed during the Soviet time in honor of the outstanding revolutionaries. (And it is interesting, the largest of them is in honor of German figures.) So the central street of the city has the name of Karl Marx. It is a very beautiful, wide and long parkway, which stretches east to west through the central part of the city. It was founded in the XVIII century and parts of its buildings are the actual decoration of the city. In the nucleus of the city is Zhovtneva square, on which is the majestic Cathedral that was founded by order of Katherine II (Russian empress) in 1787.



On the square, there are some remarkable buildings: the Museum of History, Diorama "Battle for the Dnieper River (Second World War)", and also the beautiful park in which you can rest in the hot summer. Walking down the hill to the Dnieper River, you will arrive in the large Taras Shevchenko Park (which is on the right bank of the river) and on Monastyrskiy Island. This island is one of the most interesting places in the city. In the IX century, the Byzantian monks based a monastery here. It was destroyed by Mongol-Tatars in the XIII century.

The compact "old town" does not exist in Dnipropetrovsk anymore. Many historic buildings and churches were destroyed in the Second World War and in Stalin's communist times in the 1930s. (You can see pictures of the old city of the 19th century Yekaterinoslav here).

However all of Central Avenue, some street-blocks on the main hill (the Nagornaya part) between Pushkina Prospekt and Embankment, and sections near Globy and Shevchenka parks have been untouched for 150 years. An evening walk through those parts of the city is very pleasurable...

The Dnieper River is a wonderful creation of nature that keeps the climate mild and the air fresh. You can see it from many points in Dnepropetrovsk. From any hill (there are 7 in the city) you will find a beautiful view of the river, islands, parks, outskirts, river banks and hills.
There was no need to build huge skyscrapers in the city in Soviet times. Powerful industries preferred to construct offices close to their main factories away from the centre of town. In the last ten years of independence the price of land in Ukraine has grown considerably. All the new office buildings are being built in the same architectural style as the old buildings....