There was a time when Donetsk was considered a city of miners, metallurgists and chemists, terricones and steaming factories’ pipes. But today it is a business, scientific and cultural center. With the regards to social – and economical development, in 2010 Donetsk was recognized as the best city of Ukraine.
In addition, it is also a football center of the country with the most capacious stadium in the Eastern Europe named Donbass Arena, where Euro 2012 semi-final matches will be held. This is a native place for Shakhtar football team that is a holder of UEFA Cup–2009. Donetsk is called a city of million roses, and a “producer” of millionaires and politicians…There used to be a slogan in the region “Policy is developed in Kiev, but money is made in Donetsk”.
In Yenakiyevo, which is a neighboring town to Donetsk, the current President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovich was born and grown up. Donetsk is a native city for Rinat Akhmetov, one of the richest persons of the country.
Donetsk is associated with such famous people as world – known sportsmen Sergei Bubka and Liliya Podkopayeva, leaders of ballet dancing and opera singing Vadim Pisarev and Anatoliy Solovyanenko respectively, a painter Arkhip Kuinji and a film director Aleksandr Khanzhonkov, and a composer Sergei Prokofjev…
For some historical reasons Donetsk region, its mental and cultural style differs from the Central and Western Ukraine. The majority of local population speaks Russian (according to the population count in 2001, 74,9 % of local population think that Russian is their native language). Citizens of Donetsk actively support an idea of making Russian language as the second national language in Ukraine. Donetsk cooperates with Russia in economic and cultural spheres more actively than any other regions.
Local citizens’ adherence to principles and economy orientation was put in legends. And a saying of a poet Pavlo Besposhadny “Nobody has managed to put Donbass on knees, and nobody will be able to do it!” has become a slogan for local citizens. Nevertheless, foreigners who visit Donetsk speak about hospitality and openness of its citizens.
Donetsk is a megapolis located in the most multinational region of Ukraine. The city has become native for representatives of more than 130 ethnos and it has absorbed their cultural traditions. For example, Miners’ Day and City Day (celebrated in the last weekend of August) are the main holidays for the citizens, which are followed by Festival of Ethnic cuisines. By the way, it is possible to remember “flavor” of Donetsk after eating “Shakhtarsky” cake or a cutlet “po-Donbassky”…
Every year Donetsk become more and more known in the world. International Investment summits and Economic Forums are held here. Every spring Donetsk hosts the International Pole Vaulting Tournament «Zvyozdy shesta», and in autumn admirers of ballet choreography can visit the International Festival “Stars of the World Ballet”.
In addition, Donetsk is a city of masters in smithcraft. It was included into “the Circle of European towns-smithcrafters”. In the center of Donetsk there is a unique Park of forged figures. Visitors say that there is nothing similar to it all over Europe. The International Craftsmith festivals are held here every year, and after their holding a collection of the park is enlarged with some new amazing forged figures.
In the central park in Pushkina Boulevard near the monument to the Russian poet, youth of Donetsk usually meet here to sing guitar songs and participate in competitions on weekends. At the very beginning of the boulevard there is Donetsk Montmartre where local paints expose and sell their paintings.
Donets region has a reputation of a “theatres” center. With the aim to learn more about the cultural life of the city, it is recommended to visit Donetsk Academics Ukrainian Musical and Drama Theatre or Donetsk State Opera and Ballet Theater named after Anatoliy Solovyanenko. People famous in the world often come here to give concerts.
Donetsk Oblast Puppet is one of the oldest theatres of Ukraine. Admirers of chamber music might be pleased by the program of Donetsk Oblast Philharmonic Hall named after Sergei Prokofyev.
State Regional Universal Library named after Nadezhda Krupskaya, which is not far from Lenin Square is considered storage of periodicals and literature, as well as a cultural center of Donetsk.
Donetsk Regional Museum of Local History can help to learn more about the city. Its collection is one of the largest in Ukraine Here, for example, it is possible to see a skeleton of mammoth and Scythian stone statutes, which are called “babas”, and some personal things of the famous composer Sergei Prokofyev, a stage director Vladimir Nemirovych-Danchenko and a famous seaman and the pole explorer Geirgiy Sedov.
A very interesting collection of rarity things is collected in the Museum of Donetsk Rail History and Development. Paintings of the famous paints Repin, Shyshkin, and Aivazovsky can be watched in Donetsk Regional Museum of Arts. A modern museum of Ukrainian football, where it is possible to learn about the Football Club Shakhtar, is located at the Stadium Donbass Arena. This is really an exciting place for football fans.
Citizens of Donetsk like going to the cinema. In the city there are about ten cinema theaters and cafes. Shevchenko cinema theatre is the oldest one. There is also Zvyozdochka cinema palace, a cinema hall in “Zolotoye Koltso” Shopping and Leisure Center, KinoCult cinema theatre and Multiplex in Donetsk-City Shopping and Leisure Center.
Visitors of the city can also go to Digital Planetarium or the Circus “Kosmos”, to walk around Botanic Garden where about 7 thousand plants are collected, or visit Dolfinarium “Nemo” located in Shebrakova Park.
Those ones who love horseback riding can go to Donbass Equicentre, which is on the outskirts of Donetsk.
In other words, in any season and in any weather Donetsk is worth visiting. And with the aim to have a “virtual” tour around the city, we recommend you to visit Section Entertainment.
The problem that foreign visitors might have with is the language barrier. It will be complicated to ask something in English in the streets, but citizens of Donetsk are generally friendly and ready to give a helping hand.
In public places you can frequently see people smoking or drinking alcohol. Foreigners are surprised at the number of people who regularly consume alcohol. Actually it is forbidden to smoke and drink alcohol in public places by the law. But citizens of Donetsk are just on their way for adjusting to new rules and penalties…