One of numerous church buildings worth seeing in Dnipropetrovsk, the orthodox Transfiguration Cathedral is located at October Square, one of the largest urban squares in Europe in the Zhovtnevyi city district on the right river bank. Construction was due to begin in 1787 with the cornerstone being laid by Catherine the Great together with the Austrian Emperor but was delayed until 1830 with the opening of the Cathedral in 1835. From 1930 on, the building was not used for church purposes as the Soviet rulers banned most church activities. Damaged in World War II, repairs and reconstructions only started in 1975 and once these were finished, the structure was used to host a museum on religion. Transfiguration Cathedral is today a regularly used church building.
Karla Marksa Prospect
The street, named after German philosopher Karl Marx, is Dnipropetrovsk’s main thoroughfare. The broad street is about 5 kilometers long, beginning at the central railway station and is seamed by many boutiques and shopping centers as well as by some other significant buildings, including the National Mining University of Ukraine, theater buildings, the picturesque Grand Hotel at the corner of Korolenko Street and the administrative offices of the regional governor. It also traverses several squares, including the extensive October Square and the market square “Osjorka”. The boulevard was planned and first constructed in 1790 and underwent several name changes as well as a renovation in the middle of the 19th century.
Also located at Karla Marksa Prospect is the National Museum of History (at number 18), one of the oldest museums in Ukraine, founded in 1849. It has exhibits covering many areas of history on display, ranging from ancient Egypt to contemporary regional history and culture. There is a large diorama depicting the “Battle of the Dnieper river”, which is considered one of the museum’s highlights. The museum is officially named after Dmytro Yavornytski, historian of the Cossacks, whose personal collection of documents and artefacts formed a part of the basic stock. Foreign visitors should take note that currently, there aren’t many English language explanations available for the exhibits.
Once hosting a Byzantine monastery, the long-stretched island in the Dnieper river is today a major day trip destination for residents and one of the foremost attractions of Dnipropetrovsk. The history of this place is not certain. According to orthodox folklore, the apostle Andrew stopped here on his missionary travels, but this has not been proven. The monastery that lent the island its name was set up in the 9th century and ceased its existence in the mid-13th century. The church building that can today be found in the northern half of the island, St. Nicholas Church, is an orthodox one that was completed in 1999. The island belongs to the large Taras Shevchenko Park, Dnipropetrovsk’s most popular urban park, which also has a part on the mainland, connected to the island by a foot bridge. Shortly after crossing the bridge, there is a very large statue dedicated to the famous writer. Monastic Island (also called “Monastery” or “Monastyrsky”) is a favorite among residents and visitors alike, as it contains an amusement park, a zoo and a beach area.