Zaporozhye history

Foundation date of Zaporozhye

For a long time the foundation date of Zaporozhye was considered 1770 — the year when the fortress of Aleksandrovsk was founded.

However, on June 27, 2014, the deputies of the city council of Zaporozhye approved the year 952 as the date of the founding of Zaporozhye — the last mentioned year of the treatise De Administrando Imperio (“On the Governance of the Empire”) of the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos “as the first written mention of the existing fortifications on both banks of the Dnieper and the island of Khortytsia.”

In fact, in this treatise, no mention was made of a specific fortified settlement, only the river crossing of Krajia (identified with the Kichkas crossing) and the island of St. Gregory (Khortytsia Island) located on the territory of present Zaporozhye. Among the scientists there is no consensus about the date of the foundation of Zaporozhye.

Zaporozhye from ancient times to 1770

People began to settle in these lands since ancient times due to a favorable climate and geographical location. The oldest sites of people in the valley of the Dnieper River date back to the Middle Paleolithic.

In the 7th century BC, the Northern Black Sea coast was controlled by the Scythians. In the 4th century AD, these lands were captured by the Huns, in the 6th century — the Avars, in the 8th century — the Khazars. In the 960s, after the Kiev prince Svyatoslav defeated the Khazar Khaganate, a new nomadic tribe came to the region — the Pechenegs.

Khortytsia Island has been known since the times of Kievan Rus. Below the island along the Dnieper, after the rapids, the waterway from the Varangians to the Greeks continued. The narrowest place in the lower reaches of the Dnieper, it was actively used in different historical periods. On Khortytsia, troops of Russian princes gathered several times for joint military operations in 1103, 1190, 1223 (Battle of the Kalka River).

More Historical Facts…

Zaporozhye pictures

Zaporozhye features

Zaporozhye is located on both banks of the Dnieper River, between them the island of Khortytsia is situated.

The climate is continental. Summer is warm, usually begins in the first days of May and lasts until early October. Winter is moderately mild, often there is a lack of snow. The average temperature in July is plus 22.5 degrees Celsius, in January — minus 3.1 degrees Celsius.

Zaporozhye is the fourth largest industrial center in Ukraine. The economic potential of the city includes more than 280 industrial enterprises, among which the major share is formed by the enterprises of machine building, metallurgy and metal processing, chemical and petrochemical industry, food industry. Zaporozhye has more than 60% of the region’s productive capacities and 40% of the region’s population.

Passenger transportation in Zaporozhye is provided by trams, trolleybuses, buses, taxis, and suburban electric trains. Zaporozhye railway junction is formed by the intersection of two main lines: Moscow — Kharkiv — Zaporozhye I — Sevastopol and Krivoy Rog — Zaporozhye II — Donbass.

Transport links between the left and right banks of the Dnieper are provided through the dam of the Dnieper Hydropower Station, the Arch bridge and the Preobrazhensky bridges that pass through Khortytsia Island. A significant traffic problem in Zaporozhye is the low capacity of the dam and bridges.

The environmental situation in Zaporozhye and the region is unfavorable because of a large number of industrial enterprises. A significant part of them is located in the center of residential districts.

The main street of Zaporozhye is Soborny Avenue, which crosses almost the entire left-bank part of the city from the railway station to the Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Station. Its length is about 11 km, which makes this avenue one of the longest streets in Europe.

Along Soborny Avenue, monumental buildings constructed in the Stalin Empire style coexist with architectural monuments of constructivism of the 1930s. In the Aleksandrovsky district — the oldest part of the city — the buildings of the late 19th — early 20th centuries have been preserved.

The city of Zaporozhye has a significant tourist potential because of its favorable geographical location, rich history, national and cultural diversity, specific architecture, natural sites, unique combination of urbanized and industrialized areas with protected areas within the city limits.

The City Day of Zaporozhye is celebrated on the first Saturday of October.

Zaporozhye sights

Khortytsia Island

The first tourist object associated with Zaporozhye is the Khortytsia National Reserve, one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine. It is the largest river island in Europe stretching for 12 km along the banks of the Dnieper River. The nature of the island is unique. Almost all landscapes of Ukraine are combined on its territory.

More than one thousand species of plants, as many species of insects, two hundred species of birds, and two dozen species of mammals live here. A lot of them are listed in the Red Book of Ukraine.

Khortytsia is a favorite recreation place for locals and visitors of Zaporozhye. There are recreation centers, sanatoriums, beaches, water excursions around the island. The reserve has a number of tourist routes, where you can get acquainted with the history of Zaporozhye and its unique nature.

In the north of the island there is the Historical and Cultural Complex “Zaporozhian Sich”. This is a generalized image of the Cossack capital with a church, house of the ataman, school, smithy, tavern, etc. There are regular excursions, master classes and performances of Cossacks. Nearby you can find the Museum of the History of the Cossacks with an observation deck, which offers an impressive view of the Dnieper Hydropower Station. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00 (16:00 in winter). Day off: Monday.

The central part of Khortytsia is a real southern steppe. In this part of the island there is the Historical and Cultural Complex “Scythian camp”. In the beginning of the 20th century, on there were 129 burial mounds on the island. The oldest of them were built in the Bronze Age, in the 3rd-2nd millennium BC. There are a lot of interesting stone artifacts in this open-air museum.

In the south-eastern part of Khortytsia there is the Folk-Ethnographic Equestrian Theater “Zaporozhye Cossacks”. By order of large tourist groups, horse and folklore performances are held here. After the performances, you can ride horses, as well as buy handmade souvenirs. On the territory there is the cafe “Cossack Zaloga” (traditional Ukrainian cuisine). Phone: +380 67 619 52 90.

Zaporozhye views


Museum of Retro Cars “Faeton”. The main exhibits of the museum are 22 cars produced in the 1930s-1960s (“Dodge”, “Willis”, “Ural-ZiS”, ZiS-5, ZiS-6 (Katyusha) and others). In addition, you can see old weapons, equipment, military uniforms, badges, motorcycles, and a lot of other interesting collections. Vyborz’ka Street, 8. Opening hours: 09:00-17:00.

Museum of the History of Weapons. The museum has a large and diverse collection of historical weapons of different times and peoples: assault rifles, rifles, pistols, swords, sabers, axes, chain mails, and much more. In total, there are more than 4,500 exhibits. Soborny Avenue, 189. Opening hours: 10:00-19:00.

Museum of Engineering of Bohuslaev. The exposition includes more than 400 exhibits: a unique collection of aircraft engines, an open air exposition of military equipment, a collection of motorcycles, a collection of samovars, a collection of unique hunting weapons. Kopenkina Street, 27?. Opening hours: 10:00-16:00.

Zaporozhye Regional Museum. The museum is located in the former building of the Zemstvo Board (1912) — one of the few preserved houses of the pre-revolutionary Alexandrovsk. In total, there are more than 100,000 exhibits presenting the history of Zaporozhye from ancient times until the Second World War.

The most interesting collections are the paleontological collection, archaeological finds from the Zaporozhye burial mound, Sarmatian jewelry, collections of insects, weapons and household items of the Cossacks. Troitska Street, 29/16. Opening hours: 9:00-18:00. Days off: Sunday, Monday.

Zaporozhye Art Museum. The collection has more than 13,000 exhibits — icons, paintings, sculptures, graphics, Ukrainian folk and decorative art. Here you can see the stages of development of the fine arts of Ukraine and Russia from the 18th to the beginning of the 21st centuries. Nezalezhnoi Ukrainy Street, 76B. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00. Days off: Sunday, Monday.


Holy Protection Cathedral. The first church in place of the current main cathedral of Zaporozhye was built in 1778. The old Pokrovskaya church was mostly wooden. May 5, 1886, in place of the already dismantled church, a new cathedral was laid — Holy Protection Cathedral. It was destroyed by the Bolsheviks in the 1930s.

Construction of almost an exact copy of the destroyed cathedral began in 1993 and lasted 14 years. The 53-meter Holy Protection Cathedral is among the most beautiful churches in Ukraine. Soborny Avenue, 37.

St. Andrew’s Cathedral (2000). This church was built in the form of a cross with a large central dome and two small domes on its sides. Nearby, there is a high bell tower. Motorostroiteley Street, 50.

Cathedral of God the Merciful Father — the only Catholic church in Zaporozhye. The Roman Catholic parish existed in Aleksandrovsk (Zaporozhye) before the revolutionary events of 1917. In the 1930s, the Catholic church was closed and later destroyed. In 2004, a new church was consecrated — the Cathedral of God the Merciful Father (the only one with such name in Eastern Europe). Zavods’ka Street, 21A.

Other places of interest

Dnieper Hydroelectric Station (1927-1932) — the second most famous tourist symbol of Zaporozhye and the second largest hydroelectric power station in Ukraine. The dam of the station stretches for 1.3 km across the Dnieper and connects its right and left banks. It is an industrial object, but at the same time a magnificent architectural monument.

Soborny Avenue — one of the longest streets in Europe (about 11 km). It is the central, most beautiful and busiest street in Zaporozhye. The residential quarters of Sotsgorod in the area of the dam are considered one of the best examples of the city-planning art of the USSR of the pre-war period. Several squares with fountains, a lot of restaurants and cafes, most of the attractions of Zaporozhye are located on this street.

Preobrazhensky Bridges (1949-1952) — two bridges connecting right and left banks of the Dnieper River through Khortytsia Island, a monument of cultural heritage of Ukraine. The bridges were named in honor of the author of the project — engineer and bridge builder B. Preobrazhensky. These bridges are the highest bridges in Ukraine (54 meters).

Zaporozhye Children’s Railway (1972) — one of the best and biggest children’s railways in Ukraine. The total length is 9.4 km, there is a tunnel 80 m long. This is one of the few children’s railways operating all year round. The train runs 8 times a day on Sundays, and daily during school holidays, except Monday and Tuesday. Pryvokzalna Street, 1.

Music and Drama Theater named after V.G. Magar (1953) — an architectural monument of the era of Soviet monumental classicism. One of the best theaters in Ukraine in terms of architecture, aesthetic performance, technical equipment.

The repertoire of the theater is Ukrainian classical, world and contemporary drama, operettas and musicals, performances of heroic and romantic orientation, comedies, musical and plastic performances, and fairy tales for children. Soborny Avenue, 41.

Voznesenovsky Park — one of the most romantic places in Zaporozhye. This open landscaped area of 4.5 hectares with elements of modern landscape design is located next to the cascade of fountains “Rainbow” on the embankment of the Dnieper.

The park was named after the village of Voznesenka, which in the old days was in this place. There is an artificial pond with fountains. This is one of the cleanest and well-organized parks in Zaporozhye, a place for recreation and various cultural events. Pryberezhna Highway.

Best hotels in Zaporozhye

In total, there are about two dozen different hotels in Zaporozhye. The following English friendly hotels located in the central part of the city offer the best level of service according to visitors’ reviews.

Hotel “Teatralny”. The hotel is located near the historical center of Zaporozhye. 109 rooms. Air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, family rooms, parking, restaurant (Ukrainian and European cuisine), bar, wheelchair accessible, shuttle service, safe, elevator, souvenir shop, pets are not allowed. Troitska Street, 23. Phone: +380 61 228 80 00.

Hotel “Khortitsa Palace Hotel”. This 15-storey hotel offers beautiful views of the center of Zaporozhye, the Dnieper River, Khortytsia Island. 164 rooms. Air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, parking, fitness center, bar, wheelchair accessible, ATM, safe, elevator, souvenir shop, pets are allowed on request. Shevchenko Avenue, 71A. Phone: : +38 061 766 00 00.

Hotel “Soborny” — a modern building near the historical center of Zaporozhye. Nearby, you can find the Holy Protection Cathedral, after which the hotel was named (“soborny” literally means “cathedral”). 16 rooms. Air conditioning, safe, free Wi-Fi and parking, bar, no elevator and the stairs are narrow, pets are not allowed. Soborny Avenue, 28. Phone: +380 61 227 10 00.

Hotel “Reikartz Zaporizhia”. This hotel of the Reikartz Hotels and Resorts is located in the center of Zaporozhye, in the park area on the bank of the Dnieper River, near the central beach. 69 rooms. Air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and parking, shuttle service, swimming pool, bar, restaurant, safe, elevator, pets are allowed on request. Mayakovs’koho Avenue, 19. Phone: +380 61 228 44 90.


Zaporozhye: The city in which I live

My native city is the city of Zaporozhye. It is very dear to me, because I was born here. Zaporozhye is situated in the south of Ukraine. It’s territory stretches for about 50 square kilometres. The city is divided into two parts by the river Dnieper. The population of Zaporozhye is approximately 900 thousand people. Our city is then 225 years old. Primary it was a town of Alexandrovsk. But when the Dnieper HydroElectric Power Station the Dneproges was built here it was renamed. And since that time on the Dneproges is one of the places of interest of our city. By the way there are not so many places of interest in Zaporozhye. But if you want to go sightseeing around the city I advise you to visit the Historical Museum on the island of Chortitsa and the Museum of Local Lore, you’ll enjoy splendid sights of the Dnieper-river and of Nature reserve on the Chortitsa island, you will be impressed by the ancient oak tree which is 800 years old. They say that the Zaporozhye Cossacks used to rest under its branches. If you make a tour about the city, you’ll see that its streets are long and beautiful. The main street of the city the Lenin Avenue stretches for about 15 kilometres. Zaporozhye is an industrial centre. It is famous for its steel-making plants and factories, such as Zaporozhstal, Dnieprospetstal, and other.

There are two universities, three academies and a great number of colleges in Zaporozhye. We have here a drama theatre, the theatre of young spectator and a circus. There are many cinemas, restaurants and cafes in Zaporozhye.

The Zaporozhye district has its history. In the 17 century the Zaporozhye Cossacks lived on the territory of our district. The Cossacks were freedom-loving people who defended the boundaries of Russia. Their camp was situated on the island of Chortitsa and it was called Zaporozhskaya Sech. The Cossacks were very skilful warriors.

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