Regional history


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Zaporozhye is a major administrative, cultural and industrial center in southern Ukraine. Compared to other cities in the Ukraine, it has the third largest industrial potential and the fourth largest population (ca. 1 million inhabitants).

It is more than 200 years old and is located in South East Ukraine about 600 km from the capital of Kiev, at the intersection of canals and rivers. railway and motorways.


Festival Square at the center of town

Zaporozhye is a city of metallurgists, medical doctors, power station and mechanical engineers. Other people work in education and culture and Zaporozhye is also home to well-known athletes and musicians.


Picturesque view of Khortitsa Island

The region of Zaporozhye is rich in history, culture and natural beauty, above all Khortitsa Island which is in the middle of the River Dnepr. A number of works of art from Zaporozhye artists, authors and poets are dedicated to this legendary island, the pearl of the Dnepr, which has been officially dedicated as a protected area of particular historical and cultural intertest. Hills and 40 m high cliffs witnesses to the hundreds of years of Zaporozhye history. Khortitsa Island was viisted by the Kiev Prices Oleg, Igor, Olga and Svjatopolk. The inaccessible Khortitsa with its banks which are similar to a mediaval castle was the center of the Zaporozhye cossacks.

Zaporozhye is home to the Zaporozhye State University, which evolved from Zaporozhye Pedagogical Institute in 1985. During the country's time of transition to a market economy, the University managed to create its own economic model and not only survived, but continued to develop successfully successfully in spite of the economic difficulties experienced by the whole of the Ukraine.

Other educational institutions in Zaporozhye include the Technical University, the Medical University, die Technical Academy, one music college, two pedagogical colleges, two medical colleges, a large numbewr of technical colleges and more than one hundred schools.

The city of Zaporozhye is more than 200 years old and is situated about 600 km south-east of Kiev - Ukraine's capital - and half-way between the fields of iron ore in Krivoi Rog to the West and the coal in the Donetsk basin to the East. The city is built on the wide plains along both banks of the mighty and ancient Dniepr River, which gives Zaporozhye a unique atmosphere (photo).

The residential areas of Zaporozhye are very spacious with plenty of light and greenery, and the streets crossing Lenin Prospekt - the longest road - slant down towards the Dnieper River. The city stretches out for over 30 kilometres along the river, and in its width the new residential districts extend for 25 kilometres. A most remarkable sight and the pride of Zaporozhye's citizens is Khortitsa Island, which is the custodian of ancient statues and Cossack antiquities and also has a museum and a nature reserve, both of which are popular with weekend visitors and tourists.

Railways, highways, airlines and waterways connect Zaporozhye with Moscow, Kiev, Khrakov, Poltava, Simferopol and many other cities and towns in our country. Just beyond the borders of the city to the South, you can find the vast Kakhovsky Reservoir, which is often called a sea, and the Sea of Azov - a very popular health-resort area - lies about 150-200 kilometres further towards the South. Kakhovsky Reservoir finally flows into the Black Sea close to Odessa, one of Ukraine's major ports. You can travel all of the way from Kiev to Odessa by boat on the Ukrainian Waterways.

Historians and archaeologists tell us that the territory of Zaporozhye has been inhabited by people from time immemorial. This is shown for example by discoveries of stone tools of the Late Palaeolithic Age (about 15 thousand years ago), two settlements of the Heolithic Age( 6th millennium BC) and objects of material culture of the Late Bronze Epoch (1st. millennium B.C). Both the Scythians (4th millennium B.C ) and the Samatians (2nd century BC- 2nd century AD) lived here, while in the 9th-13th centuries the area was already heavily populated by Slavs, which is shown by the remains of 57 Slavonic settlements which were discovered near the Dneproges Hydroelectric Dam. However, according to the historians, most of the Slav dwellers left this area in the 13th century, running away from the Golden Horde invasion, and by the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, Zaporozhye Cossacks became masters of the lands beyond the rapids of the Dnieper River.

The impregnable Khortitsa Island became one of the centres of Cossack civilisation, and became a mighty force for the Ukrainian people in the struggle against foreign invaders and the feudal yoke and in the fight for the reunion of the Ukraine with Russia.

The town itself was founded much later during a period of united struggle of the fraternal peoples against the Turkish Sultanate. Its origins go back to the end of 1770, when one of the fortresses of the Dnieper Fortified Line was built at the mouth of the Mokraya Moskovka. Zaporozhye was originally named Alexandrovsk after the commander of the first Russian Army, Prince Alexander Golitsyn. The builders - a battalion of Russian soldiers and toilers "lopatniki" (shovellers) who had come here with their families - became the first settlers of the future town. Among them were also Zaporozhye Cossacks, who founded a large village nearby after the abolition of the Zaporozhskaya Sech in 1775.

Initially, the settlement grew up very slowly. Plague, epidemics and wartime hardships had a negative effect on its development. At that time, the people were mainly occupied in raising cattle, farming, growing vegetables, hunting and fishing. Handicrafts and trade were poorly developed.

The Dnieper fortified line lost its military significance following the victory over the Turkish Sultanate and the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to Russia in 1783, and the fortress was turned into a "possad" (trading quarter in the suburbs of a settlement). Since 1785 it was called Alexandrovsk, and some administrative offices appeared here at that time. In 1802 the town was included into Ekaterinoslav Province and in 1806 it became a district town.

Present-day Zaporozhye has become a city with over 1 million inhabitants and is the centre of a range of industries and the home of Zaporozhye State University.

We'll refer to some figures to illustrate the present industrial strength of Zaporozhye:

It now produces nearly half of the stainless steel and ball-bearing steel in the Ukraine, a third of the cold-rolled steel sheets and about half of the transformers. It is the first domestic producer of the "Zaporozhyets" mini-car, and manufactures products from titanium, aluminium, ferroalloys etc.

About 400 different products are exported by the city's enterprises to more than seventy foreign countries.

In Zaporozhye there are now over 100 secondary schools, 14 professional schools, a university, three institutes, 13 technical secondary schools, two medical schools, two pedagogical institutes and a musical college and about 30 scientific research and design institutes. Every fourth inhabitant is a scholar. The community now has access to over 400 libraries, more than 50cinemas, a Musical and Drama Theatre, the Theatre of Young Spectators and a Puppet Theatre, a concert hall, a circus, 46 Palaces of Culture and various evening clubs.

The scientific community of the city encompasses more than 600 doctors and professors. Over 220 members of creative unions (writers, journalists and artists) live and work here too.

Zaporozhye has become a city of more than 1300 avenues, streets, side-streets and squares located in six administrative districts (Leninsky, Zavodskoi, Orjonikidzevsky, Zhovtnevy, Kommunarsky and Shevchenkovsky) with a total population of over one million. A child is born here every 48 minutes. There are now 270 medical establishments in Zaporozhye with more than two thousand doctors.

The tram, trolley-bus and motor bus routes are over 1000 km long. There are some 30 parks and public gardens, the total area of greenery of which covers 12,500 hectares- an average of 17 square metres of greenery per inhabitant.

The city has many true friends abroad, such as the twin-towns of Vrotslav and Legnitsa (Poland), Obrovats (Yugoslavia),Lakhti (Finland), Birmingham (England), Belfor (France) and Linz (Austria), Oberhausen (Germany), Hannover (Germany),Hildesheim (Germany) and Rouen (France). Delegations from these towns often come to visit the city and enjoy the hospitality of our residents.

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Zaporozhje State University, Ukraine