Exploring Donetsk Region

Community Highlights Europe Exploring Donetsk Region

Central Square fountain

Central Square fountain

Sloviansk is a well-known city in Donetsk region, Ukraine. I have visited it on business more than once. It is convenient for us to take an express train to Kyiv from Sloviansk railway station. It was also great to arrive to Sloviansk railway station from our vacation in Myrhorod since it was a big shortcut for us. We did not have to travel north to Kharkiv and catch a bus home.

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One day we had our lunch at Butleggers Restaurant and enjoyed the meals and the ambience there. We also went for a walk downtown and saw a number of interesting places in Shevchenko Street, University Street and Torska Street. We visited the Local Lore Museum as well.

At Store 20 Inn

At Store 20 Inn

There is a nice pub near Shevchenko monument. The pub is called "The Twentieth Store Area Pub".

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Central Square in Sloviansk

Central Square in Sloviansk


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The fountain at the Central Square is a nice place for relaxation and a favourite place for selfies and photo sessions. It dates back to Soviet times. It has chased images of marching soldiers, a horseman and a fighting man, as well as a hammer and a sickle at the base of each fountain. Nobody really cares what the name of the fountain is. I would call it Fighters Fountains given all the ever-fighting images.
One evening we had a great dinner at Miata Restaurant ("Mint Restaurant") whose entrance is located just opposite the fountain.

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Central Square fountain

Central Square fountain

The city got its name in 1784. It used to be a border fortress called Thor. The fortress was founded in 1645 to protect the northern territories from the raids of the Crimean Tatars. In 1887, Anton Chekhov compared Sloviansk with “the Myrhorod of Nickolay Gogol”. Locals say that Sloviansk is a beautiful and green city that gladly welcomes its guests and tourists. There are unique medical lakes, as well as the legendary Mount Karachoune and the landscape park of Sloviansk Reesort. Besides, you can have a day trip from Sloviansk to Sviatohorsk, where the main shrine of Donetsk region - Sviatohorsk Laura (a merited monastery) – is located.

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April 19, 2011 is a special date in the city history. On that day, the salt lakes resort of Sloviansk became a resort of national importance. The resort specializes in balneotherapy mud and sulphide mud treatment. They use the mud that covers the bottom of the three salt lakes. There are three salt lakes in the city: Salty Lake, Lake Rapne and Lake Weiss. Rapunet (Ripne Lake) is the most popular among tourists. Its popularity was ensured by its convenient location and excellent salt ratio in the water (salt does not pinch the eyes and does not leave white spots on the body after bathing). It is easy to stay on the water in this lake, therefore, if you come with a child, then it is easy to teach him/her swimming here. At the same time, Lake Weiss is not so picturesque, but the strength of the medicinal properties of the mud attracts many tourists every day. Salt extraction is not conducted in Sloviansk lakes, but the lake dirt is regularly extracted for the needs of sanatoriums.
Kron’s Monopoly Grounds and Pub is at 67 Tosrka Street, near the riverbank. Tel. 066 664 840. The pub started in May 2019 and is a promising spot having a huge space for different concerts and parties. Here is a nice photograph: a bird’s eye view of Kron’s Veranda and a nice Krom's Monopoly Company invitation video for you.

Kron's veranda pub

Kron's veranda pub


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The city was occupied by Nazi invaders from October 28, 1941 until February 17, 1943 and from March 1, 1943 until September 6, 1943. September 6 is celebrated as City Liberation Day.

The monument to the soldier's mother

The monument to the soldier's mother


Mother monument inscription

Mother monument inscription


We saw an interesting monument to the Mother in front of the huge apartment house in Liberty Street. The inscription at the foot of the Mother sculpture reads,
May this place be sacred,
May the memory not become short,
People in Sloviansk will remember forever
The widow and the mother of a soldier.

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Ukraine Hotel and Atmosphere Pizzeria (the best one in town) in Shevchenko Street

Ukraine Hotel and Atmosphere Pizzeria (the best one in town) in Shevchenko Street


Liberty Street apartment house and supermarket

Liberty Street apartment house and supermarket


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The city is a district center. The city was famous for its colour pencils that were manufactured here. Now only postcards remind us of the past industrial glory.
In addition, Sloviansk ceramics has been known for years. Here you can visit the local lore museum, two picture galleries, five Orthodox churches, the monument to the victims of 1932-1933 famine and many other monuments. Website: The City of Sloviansk.

Chernobyl memorial in Sloviansk

Chernobyl memorial in Sloviansk


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Like in any big city of Ukraine, there is Shevchenko Street and Shevchenko monument in Sloviansk.

At Shevchenko monument in Sloviansk

At Shevchenko monument in Sloviansk

Shevchenko bust

Shevchenko bust

Many historical houses have survived

Many historical houses have survived

Visiting the local lore museum in Sloviansk: at the entrance to the museum

Visiting the local lore museum in Sloviansk: at the entrance to the museum


Coat-of-arms of Sloviansk at the local lore museum

Coat-of-arms of Sloviansk at the local lore museum


One day my colleague and I allowed some time for visiting Sloviansk Local History Museum. The museum was founded in 1974 in an old merchant mansion, that had been built in the late 19th century. The modern has eleven halls, and its exhibition consists of four sections.
Nature Section has one of the best natural science collections among museums in Donetsk region. You can see features of the landscape, climate, phenology, flora and fauna of the region, and the Holy Mountains National Nature Park. We enjoyed looking at the collection of stuffed animals and birds, the herbarium of unique species of plants.

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Archaeology Section has unique exhibits dating back to the copper and bronze period (3rd-2nd millennium B.C.), a collection of copper and silver coins of the Golden Horde (13th-14th centuries). The bronze medallion of the 13th century is the pride of the museum.
History Section tells us about the time of the settlement of the province, the development of crafts, industry, and about the cultural heritage.

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Visiting the local lore museum in Sloviansk:  the old coat-of-arms of Sloviansk

Visiting the local lore museum in Sloviansk: the old coat-of-arms of Sloviansk


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In addition, there is a separate exhibition dedicated to Sloviansk ceramics. It presents the main stages of the development of ceramic production in Sloviansk District, modern technology of making ceramic products, samples of renown ceramic products, works of local ceramic artists, materials for holding the All-Ukrainian Symposiums of Ceramics in Sloviansk. Here is a small video about the museum: Museum exhibits

City bus terminal, Sloviansk

City bus terminal, Sloviansk


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At the River Torets embankment

At the River Torets embankment

Bakhmut is a city in the northeast of Donetsk region, Ukraine. The city was founded in 1571 and is one of the oldest Cossack cities in Ukraine. It received municipal rights in 1783.In 1924, Bakhmut was renamed into Artemivsk to honor Artem, the revolutionary leader of Ukrainian Communists. On September 23, 2015 the deputies of the city council voted for returning the historical nameto the city. On February 4, 2016 by the Resolution of the Ukrainian Parliament the city got back its historical name - Bakhmut.

The city entry roadside marker

The city entry roadside marker


The city is located right in the middle of the ancient Bakhmut Trail connecting Kiev and Eastern Ukraine.Bakhmut is center of a district in Donetsk region. It is located on the River Bakhmutka about 55 miles awayfrom Donetsk, the administrative center of the region and the Capital of the Donets Basin. The city population is about 80 thousand inhabitants.

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On the way to the winery

On the way to the winery


The city is famous for its huge sparkling wine factory called Artemivsk Winery. We all enjoy its quality products. However, it had never occurred to me I could do a winery tour, until my American friend Gordon found out about that winery and wished to look at it on the way from Donetsk airport to Luhansk, that was his destination then.

Therefore, I called the winery and reserved a tour for the three of us: our driver, Gordon and myself. During the tour that lasted for two and a half hours, we learnt many new things about sparkling wine productionand took lots ofpictures and did wine tasting in the special Bacchus Room. It was a great experience and I am glad we did it!

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Bacchus bas-relief over the entrance to the winery

Bacchus bas-relief over the entrance to the winery


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During the winery tour

During the winery tour


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Artemivsk Winery is famous for being the world’s only winery located 72 meters below ground. The wine production takes places deep below ground in the special microclimate of former gypsum tunnels.
Prussian engineer Edmund Farke, who built several factories in Bakhmut, used localdeposits of gypsum for development of production of plaster of Paris (called “alebaster” here) at the end ofthe 19th century. Later, the gypsum tunnels were neglected and flooded. They were only rediscovered after the Second World War. On June 29, 1950, a new winery was dedicated. The unique microclimate of gypsum tunnels was used for successful production of many wine sorts.
The winery premises boast stable annual temperature of +12+14 degrees Centigrade and favorable humidity of 88-90%. The winery uses wine materials from Crimea as well as from Ukraine’s southern regions: Odessa Region, Kherson Region and Mykolayiv Region. They use the French method of sparkling wine production. The wine is aged for at least a year to become asparkling wine. Some white wines are aged for three years or more.
You can read wise words of Omar Khayyam about wine on the walls of the factory corridors.
Artemivsk sparkling wine is exported into thirty countries of the world. We were told that Artemivsk Winery was the world’s only winery that produced Red Brut – a very special and expensive sort of sparkling wine.

During the winery tour

During the winery tour


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Glory to Bacchus

Glory to Bacchus

After the winery tour we were invited into the Wane Tasting Hall - a nice hall with a sculpture of Bacchus and his Graces. The wine maker told us about different wines and the process of their production.There was no menu on the table. We were simply served with different wines, starting with what they callwine material (white) and ending with red brut sparkling wine.

Bacchus - the Roman God of Wine - is duly revered here. You can see two of his sculptures: a bas-relief overthe entrance to the production premises and his sculpture with two female assistants in the Wine Tasting Hall.I especially admired the latter one. We had our pictures taken in front of it after the wine tasting session wasover.

The winery’s products became well known all over the world after 1972 when the winery started its export program. Germany, Russia, United States, Canada and Australia are its biggest trade partners now. World connoisseurs of wines value the products of Artemivsk Winery. These wines have won a lot of prestigious international prizes, among them:

- the Prize of the International Trade Leaders’ Club;
- the Golden Star “The Arc of Europe” for mastership and quality;
- the Best Sparkling Wine of Eastern Europe - the VITeff’s award.

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At present, the winery produces over a dozen of sorts of sparkling wines:

  • - White Brut Zero;
  • - White Extra Brut;
  • - White Brut;
  • - White Dry;
  • - White Semidry;
  • - White Semisweet;
  • - Muscat Brut;
  • - Muscat Semidry;
  • - Muscat Semisweet;
  • - Muscat Rose Semisweet;
  • - Rose Brut;
  • - Rose Semidry;
  • - Red Brut;
  • - Red Semisweet.

We simply walked down the tunnel and soon we were told we were walking at the depth of 72 meters below ground. We did not visit all the production premises. The winery has 29 hectares of production premises below ground. We walked for about two hours, but did not feel tired at all, whether it was due to the air or to ventilation there. Besides, curiosity did not allow us to get tired, I believe. Our curiosity was duly awarded. We managed to find out many interesting things about how the wines are brewed and bottled. Who could have thought the process requires so much tedious attitude and care! I think I will have more appreciation to a bottle of sparkling wine now and will consume it not bottoms up, but sipping and enjoying every moment of this “Drink of Gods”.

During our winery tour the guide warned us about taking pictures. It is prohibited to take pictures inside the production premises, where the workers operate robots and other machines. I think it is connected with flash that can blind operators, and thus interfere with production process. In spite of the warning, I managed to take a picture of a female worker doing visual control of filled bottles. No flash was needed/allowed. Taking pictures of the corridors and bottle storage shop is not prohibited.

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The old gypsum tunnels are also known as the place of mass executions during the Second World War. There is a memorial to the Innocent Victims of Nazism here. You can see three white figures of victims and candles installed onto the wall. There is a Book of Mourning in front of the memorial. The inscription on the memorial plaque reads, “Here, during the period of the temporary Nazi occupation, within the period from January 5 through 9, 1942,over 3,000 Soviet citizens were barbarically slaughtered. The residents of Artemivsk shall never forget that unheard-of atrocity of Nazi invaders. Eternal Glory to you, innocent victims of fascism.”
There is another memorial plaque near that one. It is the memorial plaque to hundreds of Jewish residents of Artemivsk massacred here during the last war. The Hebrew and Russian inscriptions on the white memorial plaque with the Star of David read,
“May God remember the souls of the Jews! Amen!”
The Winery Foundation Memorial with the year 1950 is next to the war memorial.

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During the winery tour at the war memorial

During the winery tour at the war memorial


Winery tour reservation: Winery Tours Address:87 Patris Lumumba Street; Phone:+38 /0627/ 49-8595.

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At the entrance to the winery

At the entrance to the winery

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The city of Bakhmut boasts of such architectural landmarks as:

  • St.Nicolas Church dedicated in 1797;
  • Belfry of St.John the Baptist Church (the church was dedicated in 1861);
  • All Saints Church dedicated in 1903;
  • Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God Church dedicated in 1903.

The Winery is undoubtedly the city sight #1.

You can also pay a visit to the Local Lore Museum+38 06274 2 25 95; +38 06274 2 19 68; 26 Sovietskaya Street.

The city observes its City Day on the second Saturday of September after September 1. The city’s coat-of-arms was adopted on March 26, 1996. The local deputes approved the resolution on using the old coat-of-arms of Bakhmut, as the city was called before 1924 and as it will be called since 2016, when the Ukrainian Parliament approves of the local deputies resolution to return to the historical name of the city.

City symbols

City symbols

The coat-of-arms symbolizes natural richness of the Bakhmut Area: coal (black) and fertility of vegetation (green). You can see the chemical sign of salt in the middle. Bakhmut District has its own coat-of-arms and flag too. They have similar symbolism plus wheat ears and the sun with wheat ears as its rays.

This featured blog entry was written by Vic_IV from the blog Things to Do in Ukraine.
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By Vic_IV

Posted Wed, Jul 31, 2019 | Ukraine | Comments