Location: eastern part of Ukraine
Area: 854.9 km²
Elevation: 169 m
Time zone: EET (UTC+2)
Donetsk was found in 1869 when the English metallurgist and businessman John Hughes started to build the ironworks (metal works). The first department of the future metallurgical plant was a forge. The fact Donetsk blacksmiths are very proud with. A settlement, which appeared there, was named Hughesovka after Hughes. It got its present name only in 1961.
In August 1999 Donbass symbol and key element of the Donetsk region coat of arms became the Mertsalov’s Palm. This unique sculpture was forged out of a rail by the master-blacksmiths Aleksey Mertsalov, worker of Hughes’s metal works in 1896. It was presented at the All-Russian art-industrial exhibition in Nijniy Novgorod where it got the Grand Prix. In 1900 the Palm was shown at the World Exhibition in Paris and also got the Grand Prix. The Mertsalov’s Palm has 350 kilograms in weight and 3.5 meters in height. Its leaves have 2.5 meter in diameter. Now it is kept in the museum of Petersburg Institute of Mines.
Nowadays Donetsk is a great industrial, scientific and cultural centre of Ukraine with the population of one million. It is a dynamically developing megalopolis with high industrial and scientific potential, developed infrastructure and production plant. The main industrial sectors, providing economic power of the region, are coal production, metal manufacture, machine building and chemical industry.
There are beautiful flowers on numerous lawns of the city, buried in verdure of trees in parks and public gardens in summer. In 1970 Donetsk was recognized by UNESKO to be the greenest industrial city in the world. Earlier lots of pleasing the eye flowers were planted in the parks, squares, boulevards every year year. Roses were the most popular and there were more than 180 species of flower. The quantity of the roses planted had to be not less than the quantity of people in the city. That’s why Donetsk was called the city of million roses. It was the flower that became the first sculpture of the Forged Figures Park, established in 2001 in the public garden of the City Council building. The project was initiated by Victor Burduk, chief director of the Ukrainian Gefest blacksmiths enterprise and Honoured Master of decorative and applied arts. Developing from year to year under the aegis of the Donetsk City Council, the park has become one of the most famous places of interest in the capital city of Donetsk region. There are works by masters form all corners of Ukraine and abroad. It is a favourite place for rest of Donetsk citizens and city guests. Every year there are new-married couples visiting the park to strengthen their new families with a kiss in the Sweethearts Pavilion.
There are 114 works of various styles, sizes and orientation represented in the park now. So, there are Zodiac Signs Alley, Fairy Tales Alley, Arch Alley, and Rings Alley in the park. See the photos here .
Every year dozens of different international festivals take place in Donetsk. One of the most important of them is the Forged Figures Park blacksmiths art festival that is held on the third weekend of September. In 2008 there were more than 200 people from 9 countries of the world, including the delegation from Ybbsitz headed by the President of the Ring of European Cities with Iron Works Josef Hofmarcher, participating in the festival.
Read more about the 13th international Forged Figures Park 2011 festival of blacksmiths art
Address:98, Artema Street