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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 6:42 PM
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Запоріжжя | Zaporizhzhia

This is the fifth part of my trip through Ukraine. Other picturethreads can be found here:

Zaporizhia (Ukrainian: Запоріжжя, translit. Zaporizhzhia, Russian: Запорожье, translit. Zaporozh'ye, Polish: Zaporoże) 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, "behind the cataracts", referring to the Dnieper cataracts near Khortytsia). It is currently the sixth largest city in Ukraine and has a current estimated population of 790,000 (as of 2007).

Zaporizhia is an important industrial center of Ukraine, particularly a home for:
famous hydroelectric power plant known as "DnieproGES";
ZAZ, the country's main car manufacturing company;
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 market economy since the independence of Ukraine has seen the demise of some of these concerns. This has improved the air quality. Although Zaporizhia is not regarded as a particularly attractive city, Dnieper River cruise ships make it one of their scheduled stops in order to visit Khortytsia Island.


01) The first impression of the city, some new constructed houses, commieblocks and an industrial skyline.

02) The city was according to the Lonely Planet also known for it's pollution.




06) In the distance, at the end of the street a statue of Lenin is visible.

07) The main street of Zaporizhzhia, the prospekt Lenina strechtes for 10 km through the city. The city does not have a city center, this is street is the center!










17) Near this location is witnessed some children eating from the trashcan. From all cities I have visited, this was the one with the biggest contract between the rich and poor.



20) Forget Detroit or Stuttgart, this is the real car-city! This city was home for the not so famous ZAZ cars. But most Sovietcitizens prefered Lada!







27) Rembering the Godfather.





32) Typical Soviet symbolism: human labour conquers nature.


34) Once again a very proud statue of Lenin. These kind of statues are common in all cities I have visited in Ukraine.


The Dnieper Hydroelectric Station (or DniproHES) is the largest hydroelectric power station in Ukraine and was the largest in Europe at the time of its construction. It is situated on the Dnieper River in Zaporizhzhia.

The earliest plans for a hydroelectric station date back to 1905, but plans for a dam to inundate the Dnieper Rapids and make the whole length of the river navigable had been made in the 19th century. One of the designs for a station was proposed by a Ukrainian engineer, Mohylko.[1] The design that was accepted dates back to the GOELRO electrification plan for the USSR, which was adopted in early 1920s. The station was designed by Prof. Ivan Alexandrov, a chief expert of GOELRO who later became a head of the RSFSR State Planning Commission. The station was planned to provide electricity for several aluminium production plants and a high quality steel production plant that were also to be constructed in the area.[2]

The construction of this heavyweight of the Soviet Industrialization was accompanied by a wide propaganda effort. Leon Trotsky, by then out of power, campaigned for the idea within the ruling Politburo in early 1926. In a speech to the Komsomol youth movement, he said:

In the south the Dnieper runs its course through the wealthiest industrial lands; and it is wasting the prodigious weight of its pressure, playing over age-old rapids and waiting until we harness its stream, curb it with dams, and compel it to give lights to cities, to drive factories, and to enrich ploughland. We shall compel it!

The dam and its buildings were designed by the Constructivist architects Viktor Vesnin and Nikolai Kolli. Construction began in 1927 and the plant started to produce electricity in October 1932.[2] Generating some 650 MW, the station became the largest Soviet power plant at the time and one of the largest in the world.[2] American specialists under the direction of Col H. Cooper took part in the construction. The first five giant power generators were manufactured by General Electric. During the second 5-year plan four more generators of similar power produced by Elektrosila in Leningrad were installed.[2]

The industrial centres of Zaporizhia, Kryvy Rih and Dnipropetrovsk grew from the power provided by the station, including such energy-consuming industries as aluminum production, which was vitally important for Soviet army aviation.

During World War II, the strategically important dam and plant, then known as the Dniprostoj Hydro Power Plant, was dynamited by retreating Soviet troops in 1941, and then again by the retreating German troops in 1943. In the end the dam suffered extensive damage, and the powerhouse hall was nearly destroyed. Both were rebuilt between 1944 and 1949. Power generation was restarted in 1950. In 1969-80, the second powerhouse was built with a planned production capacity of 836 MW.

Currently, the dam is over 800 metres long and 61 metres high. When constructed it raised the level of the Dnieper by 37 metres, flooding the rapids above and making the entire Dnieper navigable. Over its long history, the dam was hailed as one of the biggest achievements of Soviet industrialization programs. Today the dam has been privatized and continues to fuel the adjacent industrial complexes with an output of 3,64 billion kW hours. The pressure of the water leaving the dam is at 38,7 metres and the reservoir that is behind it is 33.3 cubic kilometres. The dam is also used by automobile traffic as it is the only second point in the city of Zaporizhia to cross the river.









44) From the dam we can see Khortytsia island. This island extends for more than twelve kilometers and has an average width of 2,500 meters.


46) A fake Cossack fortress. The island was a Cossack stronghold during the 14th century and played a vital role in the history of Ukraine. It was also here that the Cossacks wrote the notorious reply to the Ottoman Sultan, which can be seen on this painting.





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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 8:11 PM
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its interesting to see pics from that part of the world
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 11:57 PM
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This Ukraine tour has been most interesting.
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2009, 1:19 AM
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Not exactly the most attractive city in the world, but still fun to see a city I've never seen before. Thanks for the tour.
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2009, 2:50 AM
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Really enjoying your threads. Lots of the pics do not seem to download.
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 8:52 AM
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Thank you thank you thank you! I loved this thread!! You take amazing photos, and the city is very fascinating! The stalinist architecture (for exampel in pic 16-18) and all the chimneys are so cool. Fav pics: 4, 5, 7, 16, 50.
My flickr!
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2009, 8:34 PM
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fascinating, thanks all you'r Ukraine threads has been great.
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Old Posted Feb 19, 2009, 1:27 PM
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cool stuff
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Old Posted Feb 19, 2009, 10:50 PM
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Loving the Ukrainian pictures. My grandpa drove a Zaporzhnetz back in the day. I will (hopefully) be visiting Kiev this summer and look forward to adding to the grown Ukrainian body of work on this site.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 12:28 AM
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Incredibly interesting tour!
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2009, 9:52 AM
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Juicy stuff!
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