Zaporizhzhia is the regional city located on the Dnieper river. It’s one of the largest cities in Ukraine (85 km from Dnipro). During the of Kievan Rus times, this land was mentioned to be a passage across the Dnieper river. In the XVI century, the first center of the Cossacks liberty, known as the Zaporizhzhia Sich, was formed on the territory of the present city. Today Zaporozhzhia is an industrial and a cultural center. That’s the place where one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aircraft engines, Motor-Sich, is located.
The main highlight of Zaporozhzhia is the Dnipro HPP Dam (60-m high and 760-m long). The construction of the Dnipro HPP falls on the 1930s. At that time it was the largest hydroelectric power station in Europe. The cultural fund of the city consists of theaters, museums and exhibitions. Among the museums the most popular ones are the Local History Museum, Art Museum and also the private museum of technology “Phaeton”, where the largest number of retro cars and motorcycles in Ukraine is collected. In 2013 the collection of the museum got into the Book of Records of Ukraine. One of the favorite places for walking among the townspeople is the “Dubova Roshcha” central park of culture and leisure (with the area around 57 hectares), which stretches from the river port along the embankment.
Another unique spot of Zaporizhzhia is the largest island on the Dnieper River – Khortytsia, located within the city vicinity. Today it is the National Reserve “Khortytsya”. Here you will find a museum of the Zaporizhzhian Cossacks history and the “Scythian mill” complex – an open-air museum where monuments of the regional history are collected. The historical and cultural complex “Zaporizhzhia Sich” is the most visited place. It is a reconstruction of the Cossack capital fortress of the XVI-XVIII centuries. On its territory, one can see towers, a church, a house of the ataman and an army chancery. The complex will familiarize you with the culture and life of the Zaporizhzhian Cossacks. the The All-Ukrainian Cossack festival is held in the “Zaporizhzhya Sich” complex annually.
Petrykivka is a village famous for its folk art – Petrykivskyii painting (54 km from Dnipro). Petrykivskyii painting is a national decorative painting, known since the XIX century, and is an object of cultural heritage of Ukraine. Petrykivskyii painting is also included in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
In the village there is a museum of ethnography, everyday life and applied folkloric art, where you can get acquainted with the local art of painting and attend the master class. Every year there is a festival-fair called “Petrykivskyii wonder-color”. The most iconic building of Petrykivka is the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, founded in 1772 and is now in a dilapidated state. Also you will find there an ethnographic complex called “The Cossacks’ Settlement” with mockups of houses from the XVIII-XIX centuries and the military fortification of the “Sich”. There you will exprtience lots of entertainment, master classes, a museum and a mini-zoo. Not far from Petyikivka, another ethnographic complex “Cossack Farm Galushkivka” in the village of Hrechane (62 km from Dnipro).
Pavlograd is a district city in the Dnipro region, located 77 km from Dnipro. Starting from the middle of the XVII century, the territory of modern Pavlograd there was a river crossing where the secret Cossack path to Kalmius and Kagalnyk was located. Therefore, the first settlers of this area are the Cossacks of the Samara and Kalmius peninsulas. In 1770, the retired Cossack Matvii Khyzhniak built a winter residence here, which gave the beginning to little Matviivski villages to become the settlement of Matviivka later. In 1784, the settlement was renamed into Pavlograd and received the status of a district town.
Active development of Pavlograd falls on the second half of the XIX century. The Holy Dormition Church was erected, educational institutions appeared and the theater was built. Later the city government building (nowadays it’s building of Ukrposhta), the railway station, factories and plants were raised. By the end of the XIX century, the city became the center of grain and flour trade, and Pavlograd bread started being exported not only within the country, but also to Europe. After the Second World War, the city was rebuilt to become one of the industrial centers of the country.
Today Pavlograd is not a merely city of miners. Until now, 27 architectural monuments have survived here, namely: the Cathedral of the Holy Face (1892-1898), the Count’s Theater (1896), the Dormitory Church (1896), the Church of St. Archangel Mikhail (1896), the former women’s gymnasium (today – registrar’s office), mansions and noble houses in the Art Nouveau style. There are the Drama Theater, the Museum of Local Lore and the Museum of Miner’s Glory. Also you will find a reserve on the territory of the Pavlograd Chemical Plant, where deer, wild boar and Przewalski horses live. You can get here by appointment.
Kryvyi Rig is a district city, 146 km from Dnipro and one of the largest cities of Ukraine. It was founded in 1775 and is located at the confluence of the rivers Ingulets and Saksagan. It is considered to be one of the longest cities in Europe (126 km). In 1881, with the beginning of mining of iron ore, Krivyi Rig becomes economically important. After the Second World War, the city was rebuilt and turned into an important industrial center not only of the region, but of the whole country. Today Krivyi Rig is the second most important city in the region after Dnipro. It is also known for the largest metallurgical enterprise of Ukraine “Krivorozhstal”.
Apart from being the industrial center, Kryvyi Rig is also a scientific and an educational center. Here one will find research institutes, branches of various universities and technical schools. The cultural part of the city includes museums, exhibitions, theaters, cinemas and festivals. The main attractions include pieces architecture (railway station, drama and comedy theater), a historical museum and a museum of Jewish culture and history of the Holocaust, created at the Beis Shtern Shulman synagogue. The symbol of the city is the “Cossack Kryvyi Rig” monument honoring the founder of the city Cossack Rig.
The Southern Mining and Processing Plant should also be mentioned, as it’s one of the largest ones in the world. Its depth is 370 m, length – 3 thousand meters and width – 2,5 thousand meters. Access to the viewing platform of the mine strictly by passes. The most picturesque place in Krivyi Rig is the White Falls on the rapids of the river Ingulets (up to 12-m high). It was formed in the 1930s when constructing a reservoir dam. Near the waterfall one can see the highest bridge of the Krivyi Rig Mining (53-m high and more than 160-m long). Another highlight of Krivyi Rig is the geological nature sight called the “Eagle’s Nest”. It is recognized as one of the best natural sites of Ukraine and is formed from rocks of iron ore, located along the river Ingulets. In some places, the height of the rocks reaches 28 m, which attracts rock climbers. There is also a panoramic view of the Krivyi Rig surroundings.
Kamenske is is a district town, 45 km from Dnipro, until recently known as Dniprodzerzhinsk. The settlement was founded by the Zaporozhian Cossacks. The first mention of the village is found in 1750. The heyday of the village falls on 1887-1889, when the construction of the Dnipro Metallurgical Plant started. In Soviet times, the village was given the status of a city and renamed into Dniprodzerzhinsk. After the Second World War, the architectural appearance of the city was formed and the hydroelectric power station has been commissioned.
In 2016, the city has got its historical name back. Kamenske is one of the important centers of the region after Dnipro and Krivyi Rig. The city has got both plenty of industry and attractions. The main sighst include local history museum, St. Nicholas Cathedral in the old Russian style (1894) and the Roman Catholic Church of St. Nicholas (1905) in the Gothic style.
Obukhiv Flood Plains
The Obukhivski floods is a zoological reserve with an area of 631 hectares. It was founded in 1974 in the village of Kirovske (Obukhivka). In 1990 the reserve became the basis of the Dnieper-Orel Reserve. The Obukhivski floods is a unique place where virgin nature has been preserved. Today the reserve houses 3,7 thousand hectares of floods with many plants, some of them being listed in the Red Book of Ukraine. On the territory there live wild animals (roe deer, hares, wild boar, etc.) and up to 150 species of birds, including some rare species. Obukhivski floods is a piece of land untouched by civilization.
The Cascade Waterfall of Sholokhove
Sholokhov cascading waterfall is is located in the village of Sholokhov (Nikopol region), 150 km from Dnipro. It is also known as the “Tokovskiy Falls”. Reddish granite stones, spreading along the waterfall, became the reason of acquiring yet another name – “Red Stones”. The length of the waterfall is about 14 m. Along the waterfall there are several granite baths where locals love to enjoy water. The Sholokhov waterfall is considered to be one of the most beautiful ones in the region.
The Salt Lake
Salted coastal lake is located in the village of Novotroitske (53 km from Dnipro). A unique lake with an area of 3.5 square meters (length of the coast is 11.5 km) is a place with the rarest species of saline soil and seaside flora. The bottom of the lake preserves mud deposits that have healing properties. Near the estuary, one can find mineral water springs used for hydrotherapy. Novotroitske is famous for a specialized “Salted coastal lake”sanatorium.
Ostrich farm is located in the village of Maikoye, 64 km from Dnipro. The “Agro-Soyuz” agricultural enterprise, engaged in breeding of a black African ostrich, has built the only one in Ukraine and the largest in Europe ostrich farm. There are over 500 South African black-footed ostriches. You can get an excursion to the farm, where you will see not only the ostrich but also the dairy farm. Also the territory contains a mini-zoo where you can see various pets (goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, etc.). In addition, you can buy ostrich eggs and meat in the farm.
The Mavrynskyi Maidan
Mavrinskyi Maidan is an archaeological monument of local importance, located not far from Pavlograd in the village of Mezhyrich (66 km from the Dnipro). Researchers date it by the 2nd millennium BC. It’s listed in the catalog of archaeological monuments of local importance. It is a giant earth crab, located on the bank of the Vovcha river. The size of the Maidan is impressive.
Thus, the depth of the central bowl reaches 10 m, and its diameter is about 60 m. The length of the whisker of the “miracle crab” is 65 m (the maximum span of the mustache is 200 m). The total area of the Maidan is 5.5 hectares. Due to the geometrically correct form of the Maidan, whereof rays are clearly directed to the east, west and south, there is a suggestion that the Mavrinskyi Maidan served as a kind of observatory, showing the position of the sun at different times of the year. There is no final idea of the origin of the Maidan. Researchers carry on studying this natural phenomenon. Local people say that the Maidan has a healing energy. People from the surrounding areas like to come here to watch the sunset and enjoy the beauty of the picturesque region.
Kodak fortress is the remains of the Polish fortress walls. It is located in the village of Old Kodak (18 km from the Dnopro). The construction of the fortress started in 1635 by the Polish King Vladislav IV for controlling the Zaporozhian Cossacks. Due to its location, the citadel used to block the road along which the Zaporozhian Cossacks were entering the coasts of Turkey and Crimea. It also prevented the peasants from escaping into the Cossack freemen. Near the fortress walls a settlement appeared, which later became the village of Stari Kodaky.
In 1648, the fortress was captured by Cossack regiments. In 1910, at the initiative of the historian D. Yavornytsky, an obelisk was erected in honor of capturing of the Kodak fortress by the Cossacks in 1648. The fort was completely destroyed in 1944, and a granite quarry was built in its place. Today, you can see only a part of the earthen rampart next to the lake formed after the quarry flooding. This picturesque place attracts not only the beauty of its nature, but also by its energy. On the way to the fortress in the village of Old Kodaky you can see an old Cossack cemetery, the first burials on which were taking place in the time of Zaporizhian Sich. Today, the the oldest of the surviving tombstones date back to the XIX century.
Kurgan burial mount (Chapli)
Kurgan is a burial mound on the outskirts of Dnipro (the former village of Chapli). The Chaplin kurgan is an ancient Slavonic burial mound, discovered by archaeologists in 1950. The burials date back to the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Copper Ages. In addition to the remains, diadems, ornaments of copper, belts made of shells, as well as mother-of-pearl circles from river mollusks with a hole were found in the mound, which, according to scientists, served as monetary units. In total, 26 burials were investigated. This place is considered to be the highest point on the left bank of the Dnieper (height above sea level – 170 m). On the mound, there is a geodesic triangular sign. The village has a necropolis, interesting with its burials (XIX-XX centuries). Here you can find one of the oldest graves that survived on the territory of Dnipro (1822).
The St. Nicholas Cathedral
St. Nicholas Church is located on the outskirts of Dnipro (Novi Kaidaky, 108 Zhovteniat Street). It was erected in 1810 on a natural foundation – an underground rock. The church is considered to be one of the oldest stone cathedrals of the Dnipro city. It is also a monument of architecture of national importance. It is a single-domed church with a bell tower in the style of Ukrainian architecture. Inside, there are murals from the beginning of the 20th century. The sacred of the church include the relics of Archbishop Theodosius and St. Lawrence of Chernihiv, as well as of the Holy Optina Elders. Sunday school operates at the church too.
Dnipro Botanical garden
Botanical Garden of Dnipro National University (DNU) named after O. Gonchar, founded in 1931 on the slopes of the Gendarmerie Gully, is an object of a nature reserve fund. The first planting of trees was carried out on an area of 12 hectares by students and employees of the Department of Botany under the guidance of Professor A. Reingard. Since 1933, the botanical garden has become a research division of the university, being the scientific base of the practice by students-botanists. During the Second World War, the garden was almost destroyed.
Restoring of the botanical garden started in the 1950s. In the 1980s, the collection of plants increased to 3.5 thousand species. Today, the collection of the botanical garden includes heather plants, evergreens, rosary, and greenhouses with tropical and subtropical plants from Africa and South America. There are also exotic plants, such as sequoia, Japanese medlar, ceratonia, mango, guava, passion fruit, etc. You can get into the botanical garden by purchasing a pass to the territory in the central building.