History of Zaporizhia

Zaporizhzhya municipal arms Zaporizhzhya (Zaporizhia) - is a Ukrainian city, an administrative centre of Zaporizhzhya region, located on the river Dnepro. Its population is 790 thousand people (2007). The former name -is Aleksandrovsk (until 1921).The date of its foundation- 14 of October 1770, the area is 334 square kilometers. The city occupies the 3-rd place for industrial potential in Ukraine.
Successful geographical position and favorable climate of Zaporizhzhya attracted people from time immemorial. The most ancient encampment of primitive people in the river valley of rapids part of Dnepro refers to an epoch of an average paleolith (100 - 40 thousand years ago). Throughout many centuries through that territory passed different people, different cultures crossed there. In Pridneprovsk steppes, there were numerous archeological monuments, which were left behind by Kimmeriytsi, Scythians and Sarmatians, Goty and Gunny, Avary, Khazary, Polovtsi, Pechenegi, Slavs.

After tataro-mongolian invasion in 1237-1240, the territory of Zaporizhzhya was a part of Golden Horde for two centuries.

Slavic castles, vessels of Byzantian and Scandinavian merchants moored on the big waterway "from Varangian to Greeks" to coast of island Hortitsa, which is now a component of Zaporizhzhya. The island repeatedly became a place of collisions of Slavs with steppe tribes. Historians suggest, that exactly in this place in 972 Kiev Prince Svyatoslav fell in unequal fight with perfidious nomads.

The lands behind Dneprovsky thresholds belonged to freedom-loving Cossacks for a long time: to the peasants, who ran from feudal oppression and in XVI century based Zaporozhian Host, a free Cossack republic.

The gates of Zaporizhian Host, Sovutinaya rock, Sagaydachny stow are witnesses of military glory of Zaporozhian Cossacs. The heroic past of Hortitsa is closely connected with the names of Bohdan Khmelnitsky, ataman Ivan Sirko, the legendary national hero Bayda.

The lands of so-called Wild Field in the end of XVIII century were parts of Russian empire.

After Zaporozhian Host was liquidated according to the imperial decree of 1775, in 1770 around Hortitsa appeared an outer settlement named Aleksandrovsky settlement - in honour of the commander of 1st Russian army Aleksander Golitsyn. There the Aleksandrovsky fortress was founded- an advanced post in Russian-Turkish war which had outgrown by 1806 in the city of Aleksandrovsk, a district city of Ekaterinoslavsk province. (Some scientists nevertheless suggest 1552 a date of city birth - the date of construction of fortress on island Hortitsa by Bayda-Vishnevetsky). Free Cossacks began to lodge around the Aleksandrovsk fortress. The military settlement gradually expanded. Local residents were engaged in agriculture, cattle breeding, and fishery. Crafts and trade were developing.

In first half of XIX century there was a fast settling of region territory, there came German colonists, Jews, Bulgarians, sectarians-duhobors, prickly -lettuce and dissenters from Russia.

Occurrence of the first educational institutions in Aleksandrovsk refers to 70th years of XVIII century. In 1773 the garrison school was created in the fortress, in 1798 it was transformed into initial national school of usual type. Gradually extending, it became a district in 1808 and had existed until 1880.

In 20-th years the parish school, and in 50-th one more elementary school and private finishing school opened. In 1861, 1862 educational years nine teachers were working and 113 children of both sexes were studying in all educational institutions.

Agriculture was the basis of economics for a long time. With the beginning of XIX century on that territory, the industry development began with creation of manufactories on processing of agricultural raw materials. Agricultural mechanical engineering appeared both in Aleksandrovsk and in German colonies adjoining to it and some time later entered into the city boundaries. In 1863, the German capitalist I.Kopp opened there the workshops on manufacture of straw cutters and iron details to windmills. Soon transformed to the factory of agricultural cars, which was letting out harvesters, threshers, drill ploughs, ploughs and other agricultural tools. In 70-th in Aleksandrovsk and its suburbs five factories of agricultural mechanical engineering operated. The city became one of the basic centers of agricultural mechanical engineering in Ukraine with high concentration of manufacture and working class. In 1881-1905 there were tens new enterprises. The ruined peasants of Ekaterinoslavsk, Poltava, Chernigov, Kursk, Oryol and other provinces were the main source of replenishment of working class. In addition, ruined local craftsmen and handworkers went to work on manufacture.

To the beginning of XX century Aleksandrovsk had become an appreciable shopping centre in the south of Ukraine. Four times in a year big fairs gathered, each one lasted a week. They traded in bread, cattle, agricultural cars, various economic utensils. The turnover of each fair on the average made from 50 thousand to 175 thousand roubles. About 440 shops, small shops and other ¬ trading institutions with an annual turnover of 6,2 million roubles operated in the city. In 1902, the total sum of trade turnover in the city made more than 20 million roubles. There were three city and 7 private hotels, 6 hostelries, 3 barrel shops, eight taverns.

In the end of XIX - beginning of XX centuries in Aleksandrovsk, as well as in other industrial cities of Russia, the number of large factories and factories increased, inflow of the foreign capital amplified, there was a process of manufacture concentration. The Aleksandrovsk machine-building company, which was founded in early 80-th of XIX century turned to industrial association with 220 workers. In 1902 Aleksandrovsk iron foundry entered in the structure of large all-Russian syndicate "Prodamet", and next year Aleksandrovsk nailery entered into All-Russia syndicate "Gvozd" ("Nail").

There was a concentration of industrial enterprises of Aleksandrovsk. The city became one of the centers of agricultural mechanical engineering in Ukraine. However, working conditions at factories and factories were very hard. In December, 1905 irregular working hours, unreasonable penalties, low salaries lead to the armed revolt of workers, which was suppressed by the authority. As well as in all Russia, the revolutionary movement accrued in Aleksandrovsk.

October revolution of 1917 also came to Aleksandrovsk. On the night of 12 of December 1917, the fights began in the city. The Bolshevist staff headed armed revolt. The group of Black Sea seamen led by A.Mokrousov joined the workers. Three days there was a fierce fight. Nevertheless, forces were unequal, and revolt suffered defeat. In the beginning of 1918, groups of Krasnogvardeytsy from Petrograd and Moscow arrived to Aleksandrovsk; the Soviet power was established in the city.

In days of civil war red regiments under V.Antonov-Ovseenko's, S.Budyonny's, P.Dybenko's, V.Primakov's, I.Uborevich's, M.Frunze's, I.Jakira's command defended the gains of revolution in Zaporizhzhya.

In 1921, Aleksandrovsk was renamed into Zaporizhzhya. In addition, in 1923 the city became the centre of just formed Zaporozhzhya district.

The new stage in history of Zaporozhzhya began with foundation of Dnepro hydroelectric power station, which start-up took place in August 1932. In the middle of 1930, the majority of enterprises of Zaporizhizhya industrial complex were put into operation.

During the Great Patriotic War, fascists had occupied the city on October 3, 1941. Yesterday's metallurgists, power engineers, machine engineers arose on Fatherland protection. Thousand inhabitants of Zaporizhzhya heroically battled on fronts, in guerrilla groups, conducted underground struggle in conditions of enemy occupation.
When the Soviet armies approached to Zaporizhzhya in autumn 1943, the General headquarters rate issued the special order in which it was informed about importance of rescue of Dnepro hydroelectric power station during the city freedom. In October, 1943 armies under the command of general R.Malinovsky released Zaporizhzhya. In October, 14 the group of tanks T-34 battled through the city, memory about which is immortalized by a monument in the city center.
One of the brightest pages in region history is a post-war revival of Zaporizhzhya industrial Dnepro hydroelectric power station and the enterprises of black and nonferrous metallurgy. Already on March 3, 1947, revived Dnepro hydroelectric power station gave the first current. To the beginning of 1950 all 670 factories and area factories had renewed the work. In 1950 - 1970 new branches of industry: electro technical and chemical were created in the region. The energy potential of the region continued to increase. Together with putting into operation of Dnepro hydroelectric power station-2, it was built Zaporozhzhya state district power station and Zaporizhzhya atomic power station.

During the post-war period the main factories of the city - "Zaporozhstal'" and "Dneprospecstal'" increased their capacities. The factory "Communar" passed to the release of the first midget cars in the country . On the right coast of Dnepro bulks of new transformer factory grew. Port capacity of V.Lenin river port considerably increased.

Zaporizhzhya -is a considerable center of science. Universities, numerous technical schools and technical training colleges prepare highly skilled experts. Creative collectives of research and project institutes fruitfully work. The cultural life has reached the new heights. The Musical-Drama theatres of N.Shchors, a Puppet theatre, a Philharmonic society, numerous palaces of culture and clubs have widely opened their doors for Zaporizhzhya inhabitants and its visitors.

On island Hortitsa, the picturesque corner of the Ukrainian land, which is poeticized in national songs and thoughts, the state historical and cultural reserve is created. Each stone of this legendary edge addresses to us from time immemorial. Pertinently to recollect, that A. Pushkin, Т.Shevchenko, M.Kropivnitsky, M.Gorky, I.Repin, V.Mayakovsky, had visited Zaporizhzhya at various times.
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