"The Capital of the Donets Basin" Top 5 Page for this destination Donets'k by hunterV

Donets'k Travel Guide: 110 reviews and 427 photos

Some History

This is the exact replica of the Czar Cannon that stands in the Kremlin in Moscow.
It was commissioned in Izhevsk, Russia, in 2001 and was presented to the people of the Donets Basin as a symbol of the inviolable friendship of the Russian and the Ukrainian peoples.
The Ukrainian version of the Czar Cannon stands in Artem Street - the central street of Donetsk.
Who could have thought that replicas of such unique ancient monuments were possible!
Donetsk, the biggest city in the region, became the capital of the Donets Basin, a big industrial area in the east of Ukraine, with the total area of 60,000 sq.km/23.160 sq.miles and with about 400 coal mines.
Now Donetsk is one of the five Ukrainian cities with the population of over a million inhabitants. Donetsk is an important scientific and cultural center of the Donets Coal Mining Basin.
The city consists of nine vast districts. The central street in the city is called Artem Street (in Ukrainian - Artem Street). The main sites are located in this street, among them the Opera and Ballet Theater founded in 1941, Lenin Square, Shakhtar Plaza Hotel ***** ("Coalminer"), etc.
The city is 120 km/75 miles away from the seaside.
Staying in Donetsk, you can make a day trip to Mariupol, a big seaport and a resort at the Sea of Azov, and enjoy the sun on its beaches or have a short sea voyage.
If you stay a couple of days there, you can get to know a bit of the city's cultural life.
There are three theatres, the Concert Hall, the circus, movie theaters, leisure centers and clubs, museums, a picture gallery and a planetarium. Besides, there are architectural monuments of local importance, of sculpture and history, and memorial places.
Thanks to the city's remarkable architecture the residents have many places of interest in the city: Artem Street, Lenin Square, Shcherbakov Park and other recreation parks, etc.
The residents of Donetsk have places for rest after a hard working day other than just staying at home. At their service there is a huge city parh called Central Park of Culture and Rest and its branches – Lenin Komsomol Park and Shcherbakov Park. On the outskirts of city there are Donetsk Botanical Gardens.
Though Donetsk does look gloomy and gray in winter, as does every large industrial center, a lot of greenery, beautiful buildings, the River Calmius and numerous lakes make the city look wonderful in spring and in summer.

In Honor of James Hughes

Donetsk was founded in 1869 as a coalminers' settlement in a big coal-mining area.
It was called Yuzovka in honor of an English enterpreneur John James Hughes who was decisive enough to build a metallurgical plant here.
The first blast furnace was put into operation on January 24, 1872.

In 1924, soon after Joseph Stalin came to power, the city was renamed into Stalino by the decision of the Communist party leadership. At that time it was a district center. On July 22, 1932 Stalino became the administrative center of Donetsk region.

In 1961 after after the denunciation of Stalin's personality cult the city was renamed into Donetsk after the River Donets, the largest river in the Donets Basin, that flows across Donetsk region.

And now Donetsk is one of the largest industrial centers of Ukraine with such highly developed branches of industry as coal, metallurgy and machine building. Coal industry is the leading branch of industry in the city. There are 150 industrial enterprises and companies in Donetsk. One sixth of all the production of the huge Donetsk region is manufactured in the city.

My Experiences

I studied in Horlivka, an hour's drive from Donetsk. My friends and I used to visit Donetsk regularly when we were students. I enjoyed visiting Lenin Square area, movie theaters, the circus, the Calmius embankment and the numerous stores in Artem Street.
There were Soviet movies at one of the city movie theater called "Chronicle". The movies were dubbed into English in Paris, and it was a pleasure for us, students of the foreign languages college, to see and to understand what the characters said, since we knew many of those movies almost by heart in Russian.
In addition, I enjoyed strolling along University Street, one of the longest streets in the city, that is famous for its parks and squares.
Here are some links for you:
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Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lots of cafes and restaurants, nights clubs and decent hotels
  • Cons:Ecological situation, no streets signs in English
  • In a nutshell:Industrial and cultural center of the Donets coal-mining basin
  • Last visit to Donets'k: Aug 2012
  • Intro Updated Feb 25, 2016
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Reviews (43)

Comments (42)

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    Thanks Victor for the tour of Donetsk! The history & modern aspects are very interesting. I think you could make a few more tips from parts of your travelogues too! Really nice.

    • lmkluque's Profile Photo
      Mar 13, 2016 at 1:12 PM

      Oh, I didn't mean another visit, I mean that you have so much useful and interesting information in the travelogues that you could turn them into tips.

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Mar 13, 2016 at 11:11 PM

      All right, then! I will try...

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    Wellll-I have a lot to learn. I had no idea there were two Dontesks and one in Russia and one in Ukraine. Now I learned

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    Donetsk looks like a beautiful city. I know I would enjoy seeing a ballet there!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Interesting tips on a city that I never knew much about up to now.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2012 at 5:32 AM

    Victor, fantastic new tips and updates on your Doentsk page. Do they now have two football stadiums in the city: Donbass Arena and Central Stadium?

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Sep 10, 2012 at 7:34 AM

      Yes, Holger! Exactly: they have two stadiums now and one of them is an extra-class stadium....

    • Sep 17, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      Not quite. There are other stadiums as well. Apart from Donbass Arena and Shakhtar Stadium (or Central Stadium) there is also Olympic Stadium (or RSK Olimpiyskyi, former Lokomotyv Stadium), which is located just in front of Donbass Arena, on the other side of Chelyuskintsev street. It had been the primary FC Shakhtar's home ground before Donbass Arena was opened. Olympic Stadium and Shakhtar Stadium had been also occasionally used by Metalurh, another Premier League club from Donetsk, which also has its own stadium, Metalurh Stadium, but it is very small and not qualified for big domestic and European games. Furthermore, starting this season there is a third Premier League club from Donetsk, FC Olimpik Donetsk, which has also his own stadium, Sports Complex Olimpik and this stadium is even smaller than Metalurh's one. Unfortunately, all these facilities are not working now, because of the war and Donbass Arena has been recently damaged by shellfire. Metalurh and Olimpik are currently playing their matches in Kiev and Shakhtar - in Lviv and also in Kiev.

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Aug 23, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Great updating here since August 2009!
    It's amazing to know about Mertsalov’s Palm as one of the symbols of Donetsk. Donbass Arena is wellknown now after Euro-2012.

    • hunterV's Profile Photo
      Aug 23, 2012 at 11:09 PM

      Thanks, Sergey! I enjoy visiting this amazing city...

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Wonderful Donets'k travel pages with interesting tourist attractions to visit and explore. Thanks for sharing the pages with lovely photographs. We certainly hope to visit the city one day. Thanks also for visiting our Greece travel pages. ~ho & pang

  • May 20, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Victor, thank you so much for your info! Friends and I are coming to Ukraine this June. We feel a bit lost about our coming trip as there is not much information about Donetsk. We have no clue where to go for the few days in Donetsk(We would like to do 1 or 2 side trips), as we can't get the train tickets which fit our schedule. We would like to see more of Donetsk in this case, but we dunno many places in the region.
    I'm glad I found your page which did shed some light for us! Thank you!

  • slothtraveller's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Thanks for the tour of Donetsk, Victor. I like the Czar Cannon and the many statues, especially the one of the pole vaulter, Sergey Bubka! Hopefully the upcoming football championships will raise Donetsk's profile and make it more accessible to us in Western Europe because I would love to go there! :D

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    That cannon is so impressive. All the memorials are wonderful and needed. Excellent page!

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