Dnepropetrovsk is the third largest city in on the Ukrainian territory in terms of population size. The reason for which this city is the topic of one of the articles on this website is that it situates itself among the most beautiful towns of this state. Just as a parenthesis, it should be known that the city under discussion is an important industrial center – this is where metallurgical products, equipment, aircrafts and rockets are produced.
But while this aspect might be less relevant for tourists, it is a factor that determines the structure of the city. Dnepropetrovsk is a mixture of old buildings and new edifices, more accurately skyscrapers. While this combination leads to a dent in the unity of the overall design, there is something fascinating about this city.
In terms of old edifices, we should mention 3 fortresses which date from the 17th century (Kodakskaia, Novobogorodizkaia and New Kaidaky) and Potemkin Palace from 1786. But the municipality has showed interest in preserving these remnants of the past, in as much that these were restored and today attract many tourists to the area.
There are also numerous houses of culture, including theaters and museums, which are bound to raise interest among tourists, at which a variety of parks, cafés, restaurants and beaches can be added.
The city has decided to honor the Marxist heroes of the Soviet period, so the main streets of the city bear their names. Right through the center of the city stretches a beautiful and wide boulevard, Karla Marksa Prospekt, which was constructed in the 18th century. The epicenter of the city, so to speak, is October Square where tourists can visit an impressive 1787 cathedral whose construction was demanded by the Empress of Russia, Catherine the Great. The same square comprises several other buildings which are deemed tourist attractions, such as the Museum of History or the Potemkin Palace.
As it has been previously mentioned, Dnepropetrovsk is a dual city as it preserves an authentic feel to it (due to the old edifices that are still maintained in several parts of the city) and because skyscrapers have sprung from the ground every here and there, thus conferring a modern touch to the city.
But many of the old constructions have perished at the hands of the Soviet army – the majority of them being churches, as some of the ideological beliefs conflicted with the Soviet ones. But among the areas which preserve their historical character, Central Avenue, the area near Globa and Shevchenko parks are worth mentioning, as these have not been interfered with for 150 years.
Dnepropetrovsk is also known for having been the home of many famous people. Among these, we will mention the prominent Russian writer Alexander Pushkin who had come to this Ukrainian town in May, 1820, after he was exiled from Sankt Petersburg.
Another important tourist attraction in this area is the Monastic (Konsomol) Island, considered the most romantic place in Dnepropetrovsk. There are many legends which revolve around this island. Some believe that St. Andrew, on his journey to spread the teaching of Christ, had reached the island. Komsomol Island initially bore the name of Monastic Island and the explanation lies in the fact that a Byzantine monastery used to reign over the island. The name was later on changed to Komsomol, only to be endowed with its original name in 1999.
In 1990, the Church of St. Nicholas was built in the northern part of the island and while it did seem out of place in the park due to the fact that it broke away from the architectural design used initially, it blended well into the scenery. In time, the white church with a gilded dome has become an iconic edifice of Dnepropetrovsk.