Dnipropetrovsk

Dnipropetrovsk (Ukrainian: Дніпропетровськ) is a major industrial city in Eastern Ukraine.

Understand

Dniepropetrovsk is an industrial centre of Ukraine that was a hub for the Soviet military industry. As such, no foreigners were allowed to visit without official permission until the 1990s. As an industrial centre still, it suffers from heavy pollution issues, but is generally well maintained and provides an interesting insight into real working life in Ukraine.

History

Karl Marx Avenue in Dnipropetrovsk

Immediately after its foundation Dnipropetrovsk, or as it was then known Yekaterinoslav, began to develop exclusively on the right bank of the Dnieper River. At first the city developed radially from the central point provided by the Transfiguration Cathedral. Neo-classical structures of brick and stone construction were preferred and the city began to take on the appearance of a typical European city of the era. Of these buildings many have been retained in the city's older Zhovtnevy Raion (district). Amongst the most important buildings of this era are the Transfiguration Cathedral, and a number of buildings in the area surrounding Karla Marksa Prospekt. - Over the next few decades, until the October Revolution in 1917 the city did not change much in appearance and the predominant architectural style remained that of neo-classicism. Notable buildings built in the era preceding the Bolshevik's rise to power and the establishment of communist Ukraine and later its absorption into the Soviet Union, include the main building of the National Mining University, which was built in 1899–1901, the art-nouveau inspired building of the city's former Duma, the Dnipropetrovsk National Historical Museum, and the Mechnikov Regional Hospital. Other buildings of the era that did not fit the typical architectural style of the time in Dnipropetrovsk include, the Ukrainian-influenced Grand Hotel Ukraine, the Russian revivalist style railway station (since reconstructed), and the art-nouveau Astoriya building on Karla Marksa Prospekt. - Stalinist architecture (monumental soviet classicism) dominates in the city centre. Once the bolsheviks had taken power in Dnipropetrovsk the city was gradually purged of tsarist-era monuments and monumental architecture was stripped of Imperial coats of arms and other non-socialist symbolism. In 1917, a monument to Catherine the Great that stood in front of the Mining Institute was replaced with one of Russian academic Mikhail Lomonosov. Later, due to damage from the Second World War, a number of large buildings were reconstructed. The main railway station, for example, was stripped of its Russian-revival ornamentation and redesigned in the style of Stalinist social-realism, whilst the Grand Hotel Ukraine survived the war but was later simplified much in design, with its roof being reconstructed in a typical French mansard style as opposed to the ornamental Ukrainian baroque of the pre-war era. Other badly damaged buildings were, more often than not, demolished completely and replaced with new structures. This is one of the main reasons why much of Dnipropetrovsk's central avenue, Karla Marksa Prospekt, is designed in the style of Stalinist Social Realism. Many pre-revolution buildings were also reconstructed to suit new purposes. For example, the Emperor Nicholas II Commercial Institute in Dnipropetrovsk was reconstructed to serve as the administrative centre for the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, a function it fulfils to this day. Other buildings, such as the Potemkin Palace were given over to the proletariat, in this case as the students' union of the Dnipropetrovsk National University. - Stalinist architecture blends with the post-modernism of Dnipropetrovsk's 'Passage' shopping and entertainment centre. After 1950's, the industrialisation of Dnipropetrovsk became even more profound, with the Southern (Yuzhne) Missile and Rocket factory being set up in the city. However, this was not the only development and many other factories, especially metallurgical and heavy-manufacturing plants, were set up in the city. At this point Dnipropetrovsk became one of the most important manufacturing cities in the Soviet Union, producing many goods from small articles like screws and vacuum cleaners to aircraft engine pieces and ballistic missiles. As a result of all this industrialisation the city's inner suburbs became increasingly polluted and were gradually given over to large, unsightly industrial enterprises. At the same time the estensive development of the city's left bank and western suburbs as new residential areas began. The low-rise tenant houses of the Khrushchev era (Khrushchyovkas) gave way to the construction of high-rise prefabricated apartment blocks (similar to German Plattenbaus). In 1976 in line with the city's 1926 renaming a large monumental statue of Grigoriy Petrovsky was placed on the square in front of the city's station. - To this day the city is characterised by its mix of architectural styles, with much of the city's centre consisting of pre-revolutionary buildings in a variety of styles, stalinist buildings and constructivist architecture, whilst residential districts are, more often than not, made up of aesthetically simple, technically outdated mid-rise and high-rise housing stock from the Soviet era. Despite this, the city does have a large number of 'private sectors' were the tradition of building and maintaining individual detached housing has continued to this day. - Since the independence of Ukraine in 1991 and the economic development that followed, a number of large commercial and business centres have been built in the city's outskirts.

Geography

The city is built mainly upon the both banks of the Dnieper, at its confluence with the Samara River. The area the city is built on is mainly devoid of hills and other geographical features. Being mainly flat, the land is easy to use, which explains why the city has been able to grow to such a great extent over the past 200 years. Whilst most residential, commercial, and industrial districts of the city are along the less marshy south bank of the river, some residential, commercial, and industrial areas have developed on the previously less-hospitable northern bank. Subdivisions: Amur-Nyzhnodniprovskyi, Babushkinskyi, Zhovtnevyi, Industrialnyi, Kirovskyi, Krasnohvardiiskyi, Leninskyi, Samarskyi.

Climate

During the summer, Dnipropetrovsk is very warm (average day temperature in July is 24 to 28 °C (75 to 82 °F), even hot sometimes 32 to 36 °C (90 to 97 °F). Temperatures as high as 36 °C (97 °F) have been recorded in May. Winter is not so cold (average day temperature in January is −4 to 0 °C (25 to 32 °F), but when there is no snow and the wind blows hard, it feels extremely cold. A mix of snow and rain happens usually in December. - The best time for visiting the city is in late spring — late April and May, and early in autumn: September, October, when the city's trees turn yellow. Other times are mainly dry with a few showers.

Get in

By plane

By train

By bus

By boat

There are reports about ferries that go down the Dineper from Kiev.

Get around

There is a network of Trams and Marshutkas that go around the city. Trams cost 1.5 hryvnias, and Marshutkas cost 2.5-3.5 hryvnias.

See

Do

Parks

Theatres

Work

There is no shortage of Teacher positions for native English speakers.

Central Square is a small extension to Maidan heroes square, next to the Europe Shopping-Centre

Buy

Eat

Borscht, cutlet po Kiev, and cutlet po domashanoy, olivea (mayonnaise salad) and plove for a good rice dish.

For a quick meal get a schwarma, there is a great place in the city center.

Drink

Though there are few quality drinking spots some do exist. The best would be Reporter on Karl Marx - a couple blocks past the town square. The second would be Master Schmidt, which has some live music and is a bit more alternative (on Schmidt Street about 3 or 4 blocks up from Karl Marx). For more of a club scene there is Labyrinth and Berlin (inquire locally for the exact location). And, if you choose to be really adventurous you can attempt a Metro Party - getting off at each of the 5 metro stops and drinking a drink. Lastly, for more of a local scene you can simply have a drink on the street-- by the river which is a quite nice walk, or just in the city center. This is the custom known as drinking "na lavochke."

Sleep

Dnieper River, on left the bridge to Monastic Island, on right the Eastern part of the three km long Promenad

There are a nice amount of hotels around the city. It's also possible to rent an apartment.

Budget

Hotel Dinamo

Mid-range

Hotel Dnipropetrovsk. Along the embankment and close to the city center, address 33 Nabereznaya. Rooms "economy-class" on the 6th floor in "1970 years like style" and all furniture not maintained, looks very old and ugly.

Splurge

Hotel Ukraina

Stay safe

Be wary of groups of drunken people roaming around. Be careful drinking on the street at night because although the number has decreased since the 1990s, Gopniks still exist in Dnipropetrovsk. They are people that enjoy drinking and fighting and little else and will not hesitate to fight you.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.