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Dniepropetrovsk

formerly Ekaterinoslav

 

Birthplace of H P Blavatsky

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Blavatsky Chronology

 

 

Dniepropetrovsk formerly Ekaterinoslav is Ukraine's third largest city with 1.1 million inhabitants. It is located in the south-central section of the country, south of Kiev on the Dnieper river. Dniepropetrovsk is the administrative centre of the Dnipropetrovs'ka oblast'.

 

A vital industrial centre of Ukraine, Dniepropetrovsk was one of the key centres of the nuclear, arms, and space industries of the former Soviet Union. In particular , it is home to Yuzhmash, a major space and ballistic missile designer and manufacturer. Because of its military industry, the city was a closed city (no foreigners were allowed there) until the mid-nineties.

 

Dniepropetrovsk has a highly-developed transportation system, including one metro line with 6 stations. Points of interest 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 Dniepropetrovsk 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 Ekaterinoslav 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 Dniepropetrovsk. 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.... Climate Very warm in summer (average day temperature in July is 24 to 27 C, (76 to 80 F), cold in winter (average day temperature in January is -5 to +4 C (24 to 39 F).

 

 

Best time for visiting is in late spring - second part of April and May (nice nature and fresh air), and early in autumn: September, October (beauty of yellow town's parks). Long periods of rain are normal in autumn. Other times are mainly dry with a few showers.

 

Climate is temperate, continental and sometimes in winter it is very cold and snowy down to -20 to -25 C (-4 to -13F), and in summer is hot up to 37 to 38 C (98 to 100F)

 

History

 

The first people appeared in our area somewhere about 150,000 years ago.

According to modern historians, they had a brain of insignificant volume, a low forehead, massive jaws and large teeth..." The settlements of the primitive people were found in the outskirts of the city and on Monastyrskiy Island. This unique island appears throughout the history of Prydniprovye, constantly being in the center of events. As a matter of fact, it is also the ancient nucleus of the city. After the last Ice Age - 10 thousand years ago - the settling of the Prydniprovye area began more intensely. In ~3500-2700 BC the first farmers lived here (the so-called Tripolskaya culture people).

 

The mighty, broad Dnieper River (Greeks called it the Borisphen) with its

picturesque islands and peaceful backwaters, lush flood-meadows and shadowy oak woods stretches along river valleys and ravines. Abundant game and fish in local forests and waters are a result of good climate and vast fertile land... All this attracted hunters, fishers, cattle-breeders and land-tillers to these parts. 3000 years ago the cattle-breeders came from the East - Cimmerians, written about by Homer and glorified by Hollywood ("Conan the Barbarian"). They gradually overcame the Scythians (~ 700 BC), who were known for their graceful creations from bronze and named as a frontier area of ancient civilization (Crimea). The invasions from the East proceeded and in 200 BC the Sarmatians came here. They won and assimilated the rests of Scythians.

 

Most inhabitants of the city and visitors know and like the distinctive features of the small square near the Museum of History - the place where the Stony Women stay (which actually are not females...). The visitors are amazed with the centuries-old natives - their oval forms. They were ancient creations of the steppe nomadic people and are a modular collection from neighboring barrows. In the past they served as the index points for the steppe inhabitants.

 

The first century of the new era was marked by fast inhabitation of the Dnieper River banks by Slavic tribes. The rocks of Monastyrskiy Island remember well the first time Slavs floated down the Dnieper River to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

 

On this island in the IX century the Monastery was founded by Byzantin monks (from it the island received its name). It existed until 1240 when it was destroyed by Tatars. The Dnieper River has for many centuries served as a border between East and West and its banks have served as arena of struggle between the Slavs and the Asian nomads. This situation continued for many centuries until the XV century when there appeared a new force - the free people - Cossacks - Zaporiz'ki Kazaky (Zaporizhya - the lands south of Prydniprovye, translate as

"The Land After the Weirs [Rapids]")...

 

Through the 17th and 18th century until 1775: Cossacks struggled with the rivarly of Poland, Turkey and Russia for supremacy in the region

The Ukraine was part of the Russian Tsarist Empire: 1775 - 1917

 

The city was founded in the 18th century as a result of southern expansion of the Russian Empire. One former name, Ekaterinoslav, translates in English to "The glory of Yekaterina" (Catherine the Great).

 

1917-1919: times of revolutions, Russia was engaged in a civil war between the Bolsheviks and the supporters of the Tsar. In 1941 Ukraine was invaded and occupied by the Germans.

 

1919-1991: Ukraine was a Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union

 

In the 20th to 21st centuries, the economic potential of the city has defined

its political importance. Dniepropetrovsk and the surrounding oblast are the

birthplace of the so-called "Dniepropetrovsk Clan", an influential informal

political group inside the CPSU, members of whom were the industrial and party

elite. Leonid Brezhnev, a native of the nearby city of Dniprodzerzhyns'k and

later Soviet Union Communist Party General Secretary, founded and pushed the

Clan to the highest levels of the Soviet power structure. Its members are

believed by many political scientists to have ruled not only the Ukrainian SSR

but also the entire Soviet Union up to the ascendancy of Mikhail Gorbachev.

After 1991: Since Ukrainian independence

 

In 2005, the most powerful representative of that clan is Leonid Kuchma, the

former President of Ukraine, previously senior manager of Yuzhmash.

Transportation The city is served by an international airport (IATA code DNK)

and is connected to other Russian and European cities with daily flights.

 

By train The city is a large railway junction. Daily trains run to and from many

parts of East Europe. Two rapid trains at day time from Kyiv and few expresses

at night. Trains from Moscow, Lviv, Sankt-Petersburg etc.

 

By bus The largest bus station in Eastern Ukraine is in Dniepropetrovsk. It is

near the Central railway station. Bus routes to all over the country, including

some routes to Russia, Poland, Germany, Moldova and Turkey are available.

 

By car Some highways cross through city. The most popular routes are from Kyiv, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhya. Transit through the city is available.

 

By boat There are some routes available by hydrofoils in the summer time.

Tourist ships, on their way down the Dnieper River, (Kiev - Kherson - Odessa)

always make a stop in the city.

 

Urban Transport

 

Dniepropetrovsk city has comprehensive transportation network. There are 20

trolleybus, 16 tram, more than 150 bus routes, 6 station of the underground

(metro), more 30 stations of Suburbs Railway network.

 

Famous people from Dniepropretovsk

 

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky; The Founder of Modern Theosophy

Ilya Kabakov, contemporary art

Oksana Baiul, Figure Skating Gold Medalist 1994

Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine 1994-2005

Yulia Tymoshenko, Prime Minister of Ukraine 2005 - Present

External links Dniepropetrovsk city Internet portal.

 

 

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