"Dawn Town" Zorinsk by hunterV

Zorinsk Travel Guide: 50 reviews and 135 photos

Road Street houses and the coalmine slug heap - Zorinsk
Road Street houses and the coalmine slug heap
Perevalsk County

Dawn Town - this is how the town's name would sound in English. It was called so in honor of dawn as a symbol of future and hope.
In 1963, when the coalminers' settlement was about to get the minicipal rights, hundreds of coalminers took part in the contest for the best town's name. The offer “Zorinsk” won the contest for is was considered to be the embodiment of the essence of the coalminers’ labor:
- valuable undertakings at the coalmine;
- first morning lights welcoming the coalminers at dawn;
- evening lights all over the town.

I went to Zorinsk for the first time with my Scottish friend (VT: scotsguy) who had come to Luhansk to meet his pen pals and wanted to see his pen pal in Zorinsk.
So we made several new friends there. I went there for the second time to see my new friends at the town council, who had helped us a lot during our first visit.
Zorinsk is located 22 km/13.7 miles from the county center, the town of Perevalsk. The name of that town, Perevalsk, means "Mountain Pass Town" in English. Perevalsk County is located to the west of Luhansk, not far from M21 motorway Luhansk-Debaltsevo, an hour drive from Luhansk.
So we went there by the Donetsk bus departing at 9.10 a.m. and managed to do a lot during our day trip and return to Luhansk soon after 9 p.m. by the Donetsk train.
Zorinsk has held municipal rights since December 1963. December 17, 1963 is the official foundation date of Zorinsk. On that day settlements of Manuilovka and “Nickanor” coalmine were united into one town.
It is one of the smallest towns of Luhansk region with the population of about nine thousand inhabitants. The town is subjected to the county. This is a town where everyone seems to know everyone like in a small village.
It is located 1 km away from Luhansk-Debaltsevo highway on the hills of the Donets Plateau at the height from 270 (886 feet) to 290 meters (951 feet) above the sea level (for comparison: Luhansk is located at about 70 meters (230 feet).
The settlement of Bayrachki located at the opposite side of the motorway with the population of about 1,000 inhabitants is subordinated to the town.
You can also take a look at the map of the area (the southern part of Luhansk and Donetsk regions with Zorinsk there):
Zorinsk is the first town on the left located to the northeast of the crossing of two highways marked red:

Map of Zorinsk area

Zorinsk City

Video of/from Zorinsk

Some History
Old fountain in the town park, Zorinsk - Zorinsk

Old fountain in the town park, Zorinsk

The town history is closely connected with the development of the coalmines in the area.
Nickanor-New coalmine is located on the town outskirts. The coalmine has operated since 1930 and was reconstructed afterwards.
At present this coalmine is the only operating one in the entire Perevalsk County.
The town grew around the coalmine workers settlement called Yelenovka located to the west of the village of Yelenovka at the Lozova River. The village was called so by its founder, Colonel Nickolay Rayevsky, the father of General Nickolay Rayevsky, the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812, whose son Nickolay was a friend of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. General Rayevsky called the settlement Yelenovka in honor of his daughter Yelena.
In 1808 Archangel St.Michael's Cathedral was consecrated in the village. It is still one of the oldest cathedrals in Luhansk region. It is also called "Pushkin's church" for Alexander Pushkin visited his friends, the Rayevsky family, on his way to the Caucasus.
According to the legend, General Nickolay Rayevsky together with his daughters Sophia and Mary and Alexander Pushkin visited Yelenovka on their way to the Causasus and spent several days in the village of Yelenovka. The Rayevskys attended the mass at St.Michael Cathedral. Nobody can confirm that fact now, but the people are proud of this history.
The coalminers’ settlement to the west of the village was first called Yelenovka Mine. The coalmine was built in the thirties during the period of intensive industrialization of the Soviet Union.
Zorinsk is the town of district subordination now.

Getting There and Back
"To the Stars!" monument, Coalminers Square - Zorinsk

"To the Stars!" monument, Coalminers Square

The area around the present Zorinsk belonged to the Serb Hussar Major Vuyich at the end of the 18th century. His widow Ann Vuich had an estate located near the present railway station of Manuilovka.
The town’s railway station is called Manuilovka and was built in 1878 during the construction of Debaltsevo-Luhansk railway. It is a typical Russian railway station of the 19th century. It takes you about two hours to get to Luhansk by train from there. The train is very convenient for it departs at 7.32 p.m. (Donetsk-Starobelsk train).
Theater Street is the main street of Zorinsk.
There are several war memorials in the town.
During the Second World War the town territory was occupied by the Nazi invaders from July 12, 1942 till September 3, 1943. September 3 is observed as Liberation Day.
The town streets have rather typical names for Soviet towns and cities:
Lenin Street, October Street, Sovietskaya Street, Komsomol Street, 40 Years of Victory Block.
You can see several old sculptures in the streets of the town.
In fact, 19 sculptural groups appeared there in 1958, in the period of flourishing of the coalmines: Family sculptural group in Lenin Street, Young Guards Heroes monument in front of the coalmine’s club, war memorial behind the town club and Lenin monument dedicated on September 28, 1958 at the town square. Now all there sculptures look very old and neglected.

By the way, there was a vessel at the Black Sea Company called “Zorinsk”. Regretfully it was sold by BLASCO, the Black Sea Company, on April 24, 1996 during large-scale sales. The vessel was turned into a universal vessel and has sailed since March 1997 from Calcutta as “Deneb”.
The town's coordinates are:
38°37'25"E - 48°24'43"N
You can see the place details at:

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Clean streets without big portholes, friendly people, lots of trees
  • Cons:Neglected Soviet monuments and sculptures; private houses still heat on coal
  • In a nutshell:A friendly coalminers’ town
  • Last visit to Zorinsk: Nov 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (50)

Travelogues (3)

  • Entrance sign of the coalmine, Zorinsk - Zorinsk

    Written May 9, 2016

    8 photos

    “Nickanor – New” Coalmine, Zorinsk

  • War Memorial, Bayrachki, Zorinsk, Ukraine - Zorinsk

    Written May 9, 2016

    8 photos

    The Village of Bayrachki

  • Rare Pictures - Zorinsk

    Written May 9, 2016

    8 photos

    Aerial Views of Zorinsk

Comments (15)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Victor, great page about this Ukrainian town in the Luhansk region. It seems to be one of the very few places which don't have a map on sale. Interesting to read about the Clean Thursday tradition. I have never heard about it before.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    I encountered this clean Thursday in Russia before :-) Would love some of those pelmeni at the roadside café!

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    The Memorials, Monuments, and statues are always a favorite of mine. Love the way you make your photographs look like lovely postcards. A very wonderful page!

  • nada1712's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    The Dawn town is delightfully charming! And only one slag heap! I liked the Clean Thursday and the Town Hall. What a pretty town, I would love to visit one day! A real Ukraine country town. Nada

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    interesting as always. cheers. sb

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    Thank you Victor for the virtual tour! Great VT job!

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    May 14, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    Fascinating Zorinsk travel page. The town certainly has numerous attractions to attract foreign tourists. Town monuments and the war memorial seems interesting to visit and explore. Thanks for sharing. ~ho & pang

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Amazed that there are not street signs and no street lights! Loved the poem! Favorites are tips about the ship, coalminers War Memorial, gift pole, and descriptions of holidays. Marvelous.

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2009 at 8:00 AM

    Wow! I'd never expect the best food in the area coming from a hospital chef. Hope your holidays were special and I wish you many adventures in this New Year!

  • Rupanworld's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2008 at 4:13 AM

    Nice tips and very well written Victor. Its always nice to know about small towns like Lorinsk.

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