Zaporizhia or Zaporozhye (Ukrainian: Запоріжжя, transcript. Zaporizhzhia or Zaporizhzhya, Russian: Запорожье, transcript. Zaporozh'ye) is a city in south-central Ukraine, which rests on the banks of the Dnieper River. It is the administrative center of the Zaporizhia Oblast (province), as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Zaporizkyi Raion (district) within the oblast. The city itself is directly subordinate to the oblast, and is located approximately 70 km (43 mi) south of the city of Dnipropetrovsk. Zaporizhia was formerly referred to as Aleksandrovsk (Russian: Александровск), after the commander of the first Russian Army, Prince Alexander Golitsyn, but was renamed in 1921 to Zaporizhia (literally, "after the rapids", referring to the Dnieper rapids near Khortytsia island). It is currently the sixth largest city in Ukraine and has a current estimated population of 776,918 (as of 2010)
Zaporizhia is an important industrial center of Ukraine, particularly a home for the hydroelectric power plant known as "DnieproGES," the ZAZ, the country's main car manufacturing company, and the Motor-Sich design-bureau and production company, the world-famous aircraft engine manufacturer. The city was very much an 'engineering city' during Soviet times, with all the consequences in terms of pollution that might be expected. The move to a market economy since the independence of Ukraine has seen the demise of some of these concerns. This has improved the air quality. The Dnieper River cruise ships make it one of their scheduled stops in order to visit Khortytsia Island.
Archaeological finds in the area suggest that Scythian nomads were living here about 2 to 3 thousand years ago. From the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries this place was famous for the Cossacks' fortress Zaporizka Sich.
Zaporizhia was the name of the territory of the Cossack state, the Zaporozhian Host, whose fortified capital was the Zaporizhian Sich. From the 15th century to the late 17th century it was fought over by Muscovy, the Polish Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire. For most of that time it was controlled by Poland, but it was never peaceful, and was widely regarded as turbulent and dangerous, the refuge of outlaws and bandits. In addition to many invasions by neighboring countries, inhabitants of the Zaporozhe had to deal with an influx of new settlers from all directions and conflicts between the szlachta (Polish nobility) and independent Cossacks, who enjoyed a kind of autonomy in the region. Further, Cossacks often raided the nearby rich lands of the Ottoman Empire, in return provoking raids by Ottoman vassals, the Tatars, on the Polish soil.
After the 1654 Treaty of Pereyaslav, the state became a suzerainty of Muscovy, and was split in two. The Cossack Hetmanate of Left-bank Ukraine had its capital at Chyhyryn, and later at Baturyn and Hlukhiv.
The more independent Army of Lower Zaporozhia was centered at the Old Sich (Stara Sich). In 1709, Tsar Peter I ordered the destruction of the Old Sich, forcing the Zaporozhian Cossacks to flee to Oleshky, on the Black Sea in Ottoman territory. In 1734, the Russians allowed the Cossacks to re-establish their republic as the Free Lands of the Zaporozhian Host, based at the New Sich (Nova Sich), but brought in many foreign settlers, and destroyed the Sich for good in 1775, incorporating the territory into New Russia
In 1770, the Russian government established a new fortress at the Dnieper River and named it Aleksandrovsk. Until the beginning of the 20th century Aleksandrovsk was a small town. The city was named Aleksandrovsk until 1921 when the city's name was changed to Zaporizhia. During and after the World War II years, the city was the location of prisoner-of-war camps. The city's Khortytsia Island which faces modern Zaporojie across the Dnieper River, was one of the historic locations for the Zaporizhian Sich - the main fortress capital of the Cossack state (the Zaporozhian Host) and the Cossack Hetmanate republic.
In 1789 Mennonites from Prussia accepted an invitation from Catherine II of Russia and settled in what became the Chortitza Colony, northwest of Khortytsia Island. Mennonite-owned mills and factories were built in Alexandrovsk and later appropriated by the Communist government. After the Russian Revolution many Mennonites immigrated, fled as refugees, or were deported from the area. Currently few Mennonites live in Zaporojie. Mennonite buildings still exist in the area and in the other main Mennonite colony center, current day Molochansk.
Geography and Population
Zaporojie region has a favorable economic and geographical position. It is situated in the south-east of Ukraine at the south of East-European plain on the chernozem of a steppe zone. Its neighbors are Kherson, Dnipropetrovs'k and Donetsk regions. The southern borders of the region are washed by the Azov Sea with its coastline of more than 300 km. The Zaporojie region is 27 200 sq. km, i.e. 4.5 % of the Ukrainian territory. It stretches for 208 km. from the north to the south and 235 km. from the east to the west.
The climate is moderate-continental and is characterized by the clear defined droughty. The average annual temperatures are: summer + 22 C°, winter – 4.5 C°. The average number of sunny days is 225; the average annual precipitation level is 448 mm. Zaporizhzhya region is divided on three natural and agricultural areas: steppe area (50.8%), droughty steppe area (34.8%) and dry steppe area (14.4%). Such climatic conditions are favorable for the development of agriculture, health resorts and tourism.
The region is mostly plain. The soils are predominantly fertile “black earth” varieties. By the amount of the natural recourses Zaporojie region takes one of the leading places in Ukraine. Rich sources of iron and manganese ores, granites are concentrated in the region. The share of the region in total Ukrainian stocks of mineral raw materials is: pegmatite – 88.06%, manganese ore – 69.1%, apatite – 63.42%, secondary kaolin – 22.9%, iron ore – 10%, fireclay- 8.6%. The territory of Zaporizhzhya region is divided on two water-supply sources: source of Dnipro River and source of the Azov Sea.
The source of Dnipro River (the third biggest river in Europe) possesses the north-western part of the region and consists of: Kakhovs'ke and Dniprovs'ke water sources, three middle-sized rivers (Molochna, Konka, Gaychur) and 118 small rivers with 28 water sources and 849 ponds on them.
The source of the Azov Sea is situated at the southwestern part of Priazovs'ka height and eastern part of Prichernomors'ka lowland. Almost all the water sources of the Azov Sea are small rivers. The biggest among them are Molochna, Obitochna, Berda, Velykyj Utluk rivers.
The northern part of the Azov Sea is abundant in fish and it is a recreational area of the region. The seashore is rich in mineral medicinal resources, such as: sea therapeutic mud (“Velyke” and “Kyrylivske” lakes), mineral waters (“Berdyansky” and “Kyrylivsky”).
Dnipro River is the main source of regional industrial objects water supply, including such giants as Zaporojie nuclear power station and Zaporizhzhya heat power station; drink water supply for the 50% of the regional population (90% in perspective); irrigation, etc. Moreover the Dnipro River is used as the energy source (Dniprovs'ka hydro electro power station), transport way and precious health resort and recreation resource.
After the end of the Russian Revolution, the city became an important industrial center. The presence of cheap labor and the proximity of deposits of coal, iron ore, and manganese created favorable conditions for large-scale enterprises of the iron and mechanical engineering industry. Today Zaporojie is an important industrial centre of the region with heavy industry (particularly metallurgy), aluminum, and chemical industry. In the city cars, avia motors, radio electronics are manufactured. The port of Zaporizhia is an important place of transshipment for goods from the Donbass. Zaporizhstal, Ukraine's fourth largest steel maker, ranks 54th in the world and is based in the city.
Zaporojie also has big electricity generating complex catering to industrial demand. The biggest nuclear power plants in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, as well as the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station are located near the city, in addition to fossil fuel power plants.
Public transport is provided by buses, minibuses, tramway, river transport, and railway. The city has two railway stations, Zaporojie #1 and #2. Zaporizhia #1 is the central station and located in the southern part of the city. It is easily accessible by taxi and minibus. Located along the Simferopol-Moscow transit route, there is convenient ground transportation to the north and south of Zaporizhia.The city's sole airport operates both domestic and international flights. The neighboring city of Dnepropetrovsk also has an airport with more frequent international flights
Zaporizhzhya region is one of the largest producers of agriculture products and food among Ukrainian regions. Area of regional lands dedicated for agriculture makes 2 248 500 hectares that is 5, 4% of Ukrainian agricultural lands. Regional arable lands area equals 1 904 600 hectares. The implementation of agrarian reform became a basis for development of agriculture. There are 579 communities, 94 agricultural cooperative societies, 295 private (private-rental) enterprises, 2337 privatized farms operating in the region. The total product of agriculture in 2005 made $492,15 millions and increased compared with 2004 on 4,7%.
Plant-growing prevails in the structure of agricultural production. Average share of plant-growing during 2005 year composed 68% while cattle-breeding made only 32%.There are favorable conditions in all agro climatic areas for cultivation of vegetables, melons and gourds. The central place in the structure of plant-growing now and in a long-term perspective is taken by grain growing which is a basis for the development of other agricultural branches, and especially cattle-breeding.
The main crop of Zaporizhzhya region is sunflower. Zaporojie region is the third biggest Ukrainian manufacturer of sunflower. Total gathering of grain and leguminous cultures in 2005 made 1 806 400 tons at average productivity of 2350 kg/hectare. It was threshed 734 700 tons of sunflower seeds (158.5 % compared with 2004). In 2005 by all categories of facilities were produced: meat – 77 200 tones (103, 1 % in comparing with 2004), milk – 383 800 tones (102, 0 %), eggs – 556, 7 million pieces (116, 1%).
Poultry keeping and swine-breeding are defied as the priorities in the development of cattle breeding for the next three years. The agricultural enterprises of all types of property increase their livestock of pigs and poultry. Taking the experience of partners from Denmark, Austria, Holland, the enterprises of the region implement step by step the newest technologies in cattle-breeding sector.
There are 546 enterprises of food and processing industry operating in the region. 474 of them are the enterprises, which belong to the sphere of small-sized business and are focused on supplying of the local demand in food products (mini-bakeries, oil mills, dairies, grit cutters and other). The enterprises which are Ukrainian leaders by the output volumes are located in Zaporojie region. They are “Pology oil-extracting plant”, “Zaporizhzhya oil-fat mill”, “Zaporojie meat processing factory”, “Melitopol meat processing”. Such enterprises as JSC “Zaporojie brewery and non-alcoholic combine “Slavutych” and “Zaporizhzhya factory of non-alcoholic drinks” are marvelous examples of profitable investment into the food industry ad regional agriculture. The share of regional food enterprises in total state volume of production composed 8, 6% in 2005 year.
The optimal network of market formations is created. 2 accredited commodity stock exchanges, 22 trading houses, 62 wholesale food and fruit-and-vegetable markets, 54 serving cooperative societies, 178 shops of firm trade, 8 credit societies successfully work on the territory of the region. The rural aria of Zaporojie region has a well developed social infrastructure which is presented by more than 110 hospitals, 730 institutions of primary and middle education level as well as almost 900 libraries.
Therefore, agricultural complex of the region can be estimated as extremely attractive for investing. The basis of investment attraction is fertile soils, inexpensive and qualified labor resources, significant production capacities of industrial enterprises, favorable geographical situation for exporting.
Cultural life of the population of Zaporizhzhya region is varied and full of events. In order to meet cultural requirements of the population there are operating in the region: 4 theatres, regional philharmonic, circus, 2 recreation parks, 518 libraries, 421 arts and leisure centers, 19 museums, 2 museums-reserves, 73 schools of aesthetic children's education, 90 movies.
Zaporojie region has numerous memorials – unique products of material and mental culture. Studying, protection and use of these memorials are important directions of cultural policy. There are 8031 objects of cultural property, from them 6276 monuments of archaeology 1677 of history and 78 of art in the region.
8 monuments of archaeology, 3 of history and 3 reserves (National reserve “Khortitsya”, historical and archaeological museum-reserve “Kamyana Mogyla”, historical and architectural museum-reserve “Sadyba Popova”) are included into the State Register of Cultural Ukrainian National Property. The laborious work for preservation and popularization of historical and cultural legacy is carried out by libraries and museums.
Regional universal scientific library named after M. Gorky is the recognized among libraries. Founded in 1905, it became a significant treasury of printed editions. Its library fund contains 1.5 million copies; 10 thousand of them are rare editions.
Among state museums the leading place is taken by the Regional museum founded in 1921 by famous historian, archaeologist and ethnographer Yakov Novyc'kiy. Its funds have more than 100 thousand exhibits, many of them are unique. Each regional museum has the unique collection.
Visiting the State historical and archaeological museum-reserve “Kamyana Mogyla” near Melitopol you can see invaluable on worldwide scale rock paintings – petro glyphs. The reserve territory is 15 hectares. There is a sandy hill (aria 3 hectares) unique monument of ancient history and culture. Petroglyphical complexes – unique samples of primitive art by age near 14 million years have been found in grottoes and caves of this hill.
Museum “Sadyba Popova” near Vasylivka - attracts connoisseurs of late classicism castle architecture. The museum, represented by palace-parks buildings, was well-known in Europe as General V. Popov's estate which has been built in 1884.
The unite of an architectural genius and skill execution has created a real miracle of a city building, as specialist say, doesn't have any analogies of high-quality brickworks neither in Ukraine, nor in CIS, nor in Europe at all. The pride and beauty of Zaporojie city is the Regional Ukrainian Musical and Dramatic Theatre, which continues developing cultural traditions of national scene coryphaeus. Nowadays classical plays are the most popular in theatre's repertoire. This theatre preserves its great status of the most powerful cradle of the Ukrainian culture.
Zaporojie Regional Philharmonic Society - one of the biggest concert organizations in Ukraine. Symphonic Orchestra directed by national artist of Ukraine М. Redya is well-known far away from Ukraine. High professional level of performance lets the orchestra to cooperate with world famous musicians. A lot of culture institutions of a club type actively operate in the region. During the last years due to reconstruction of club network the institutions of a new type have being created: district and city recreation centers, club-libraries, rural cinema clubs, houses of national creativity, culture and leisure.
The deep knowledge of the Ukrainian traditions, originality, and independence of art thinking marked works of the masters of decorative-applied art and amateur artists. There are more than 1500 such masters in the region; among them are sewers, carvers, carpet makers, and others.
Museum of History of Cossacks the Khortytsia National Reserve - This is a "must" visit in Zaporojie. The reserve is located on the "Khortytsia" island (2,650 hectares) that was inhabited in prehistoric times. The island was for the first time mentioned in the work "Management of the Empire" (10th c. A.D.) written by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine the Porphyrogenitus.Yet its utmost fame the island gained as a stronghold of the Ukrainian Cossacks about 500 years ago. For 2 centuries it was a cradle of independence and free-thinking. Historical sources testify that the first Zaporiska Sich (legendary military advanced post of the defenders of the Ukrainian lands) was located in this very island. The Cossacks launched their anti-Polish rebellions in the 17th c. from here. The post was destroyed by the Russian army in 1775.On the island of Khortytsia one can visit the Museum of Zaporojie Cossacks History. On the island the guests will meet real Cossacks, watch their consummate mastery of horse-riding, their cheerful games during the Equestrian Show and finally the tourists will appreciate a traditional Cossack Cuisine in "Cossack Podvirya" Restaurant.
Cossack show at horse theatre - Actors and acrobats dressed into national costumes will help you to feel atmosphere of Ukrainian military fortress where Cossacks used to live, you will witness original tricks with rifles, swords, horse riding and even have chance to take part in show. Before the show you can visit the small museum of national art, you can see 200-year-old “seagull” boat found in the Dniper river, listen to singing and playing national Ukrainian instruments.
Museum of the history of weapon - Museum of the weapon history is. the Only one in Ukraine and one of the biggest museums of history of weapon in Europe which displays the relics, chronologic frame of which spreads from 150-140 thousand years B.C. till the middle of the 20th century. More than 2000 pieces of cold and fire arms display all the periods of human civilization.
Museum of Regional History - The museum of local lore was founded in 1921 by well-known archaeologist, ethnographer and folklorist Y. Novytskyi, and in 1939 it received the status of regional. Museum collections were lost during the Second World War. In 194-1977 the museum changed several buildings. In 1977 it removed to architectural note, building of Oleksandriv town council built in 1915. Fond collections of the museum count over 106 thousand exhibits that represent the history of the region from ancient times. The museum keeps and exhibits archaeological, numismatic and ethnographic collections of world significance. Its archaeological collection in Zaporizhia is the largest one among regional museums of Ukraine. Unique notes of Bronze Age and Scythian period, periods of Cherniakhiv culture and Middle Age are of special interest. Over 4300 original antiquities are exhibited in four halls of ancient history of the region. The collection of things destined to victory and objects of activity of village movement led by Nestor Makhno, building of Dniproges, objects of the Second World War and after-war reconstruction of one of the biggest industrial complex of Zaporizhia is quite large.
Multinational culture of Zaporojie from its settlement in the 18 - beginning of the 19 century is represented in several halls by exposition "Ethnographic treasure of Zaporizhia". Halls dedicated to nature attract by their numerous exhibits of flora and fauna of steppe, forest and Sea of Azov. Modern Museum exposition still being in the process of development is located in 12 halls of departments of nature, archaeology and history and in 6 halls of stationery exhibitions of local lore. Mobile exhibitions of the leading museums of Ukraine, Russia and other countries constantly function in large exhibition hall of 200 square meters. Presently Zaporizhia regional museum of local lore is one of the leading museums
Central Botanic Garden - A real cornucopia of trees and plant life awaits visitors. The garden’s collection embraces a total of about 13000 kinds of trees, bushes and grasses hailing from 5 continents. The garden also hosts frequent flower and plant exhibitions.