Zaporozhye is one of the largest cities in Ukraine located in the south-central part of the country on the Dnieper River beyond its once impassable rapids. It is an important industrial and cultural center, mainly for the world-famous aircraft engine manufacturer, hydroelectric power station and historical heritage of Khortytsia Island.
Thanks to Khortytsia Island, our city has a really special place in Ukraine’s history. Many years ago, Zaporozhye was the center of Cossack civilization and a strategic site, due to the fact that the island was strategically located (there were many rapids in the river) it was hard to get there. Therefore Cossacks — desperate and ruthless warriors — managed to build a new society free from Polish and Russian influence. Today Khortytsia Island is home to the Historical Museum of Zaporozhye Cossacks which holds a lot of Cossack artifacts found here.
Another interesting wonder of the city is the Zaporozhye Oak Tree. This ancient tree has always been a symbol of Zaporozhye and historical monument of the country as a whole. The mighty tree — 36 meters tall and twenty meters in the girth — must have seen unbelievably much in its life. According to the legend it was under this oak that Cossacks wrote the world-famous letter to the Turkish sultan.
Although the city of Zaporozhye is not a maritime city, there are some sandy beaches along the Dnieper River. They are mostly fairly small but very refreshing on hot summer days. One might also like to take a boat trip along the channels and inflows of the Dnieper River, go on a cruise round the island of Khortytsia or enjoy sluicing Dniprohes Dam.
Zaporozhye Dniprohes Dam — a magnificent achievement of the Soviet era — was built between 1927 and 1932. It is about 700 meters long and about 62 meters high. During the Second World War, the Dam was completely destroyed, but it was rebuilt by 1949. Now it is considered to be one of the Seven Modern Wonders of Ukraine.
Every year the city attracts more and more tourists interested in getting to know its culture and cuisine. The most popular attractions here are: The Musical Fountain, a peculiar visiting card of Zaporozhye; Museum of the Ancient Navigation, opening of which is planned for 2012; Lenin Prospect, which is believed to be the longest on the territory of Ukraine and across Europe; Intercession Cathedral, built in 1778. In addition, the Preobrazhensky Bridges, Church of St. Nicholas, Arch Bridge, City Botanical Garden, the “Sorrowful Mother” monument, Alley of Love, Children’s Railway, Glinka Concert Hall, Clock of Love, and Lenin’s monument are all very internationally famous. Besides seeing these attractions, visitors can also go shopping for art pieces in the central park or enjoy traditional food in many local restaurants.