Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine: May 23, 2013

Karl Marx Avenue in Dnipropetrovsk

Sunday, May 19, we took the "fast" train almost 300 miles (474 km) southeast to Dnipropetrovsk.  Dnipropetrovsk is the third or fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of about 1 million.  Dan had to go to Dnipropetrovsk to teach three 2-day classes to Ukrainian defense attorneys.  After the fourth night, I abandoned Dan and took another "fast" train (5 hours and 13 minutes) back to Kyiv.

The city was originally named Yekaterineoslav after Catherine the Great (now an Orthodox saint), but with the demise of imperialism, in 1926 the city was renamed for the communist Ukrainian leader named Grigory Petrovsky.  And, the city is on the Dnipro River.

Prince Potemkin of Potemkin village fame founded Yekaterineoslav in 1776.  His plans were, of course, ambitious and mostly not carried out.  For instance, the Transfiguration Church was intended to be larger than St. Peter's in Rome.  It didn't quite make it.

Preobrazhensky (Transfiguration) Church
and its lovely Garden

Dnipropetrovsk's Karl Marx Boulevard is lovely.  It is almost completely lined with locust trees which sadly had already dropped their blossoms.  The tram and a wide pedestrian walkway run down the center of the tree lined Karl Marx Boulevard.

Our hotel, Grand Hotel Ukraine

 Dnipropetrovsk's History Museum on Karl Marx Boulevard.

On a grassy lot next to the History Museum stand several stone sculptures called "stoney women." These sculptures are remnants from an early nomadic steppe people called the Cumans or Kipchaks.  There wasn't much information about the statues or the early people who created them, but these silent sentinels were so interesting--and not all women.

Basically, while Dan was away from 7 a.m. to almost 7 p.m. each day, I walked around Dnipropetrovsk taking photos.

Street Vendors:


The fish seller objected to me taking photos of her merchandise.  She came over and put her hand under my camera to keep me from taking another photo.  She was quite vociferous.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the language to tell her that I found her product display very photogenic and wasn't trying to steal her merchandising secrets.

Taras Shevchenko Park sights:
Park Entrance
Chess Tables

Sights on Monastyrskyi Island:
 Taras Shevchenko statue (seems to be missing)

St. Mykolay Church

An Amusement Park
Dnipro River:

An Iron Tree festooned with locks and ribbons left by lovers

The view from a floating restaurant on the Dnipro.  As we waited for our dinner, the restaurant noticeably leaned into the river. 

Dnipropetrovsk has only been open to the public since 1987.  Before that it was a closed city because the Soviets built rockets here.  It wasn't even on maps.  Mail had to be addressed in another city's name with a special box number on it for Dnipropetrovsk.  

Now, it is a city of shopping malls.  There is a block wide, several story mall of designer labels every 3-4 blocks.  

And, Yulia Tymoshenko was born and schooled here.

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