Donbas Arena is the home stadium of the Ukrainian ‘Shakhtar’ football club, which became the first of the ‘elite’ category in Ukraine and in all of Eastern Europe.
Before April 7, 2022.
Donbas Arena is the home stadium of the Ukrainian ‘Shakhtar’ football club. It was designed and built according to UEFA standards and became the first of the ‘elite’ category in Ukraine and in all of Eastern Europe.
The stadium was designed by the British company ArupSport, which also elaborated on the stadiums ‘Manchester City’ in England, ‘Sydney’ in Australia, and ‘Allianz Arena’ in Germany. From the outside, Donbas Arena resembles an alien flying saucer or a huge diamond. The building has a unique glazed facade and is shiny day and night. Its roof was intentionally tilted from north to south in order to increase the amount of natural lighting reaching inside, as well as the aeration of the pitch.
The stadium was meticulously designed to fit organically into the landscape around it. The building is surrounded by a large, cosy park, where more than 70,000 bushes and trees were planted. The tree seedlings were brought from the oldest nurseries in Germany, Lappen and Lorberg. A cascade of waterfalls, light-dynamic fountains, an artificial lake, and a rock garden were arranged here. However, a huge 28-ton soccer ball rotating under the pressure of two powerful water jets became the recreation area’s main adornment. It was designed by German craftsmen using a special Tittlinger granite.
The stadium was built in a record time, from 2006 to 2009, and it could accommodate more than 50,000 spectators. The lawn, where spectacular and emotional football matches took place later, was brought from Slovakia. It was grown even at night due to the first artificial sunlight system in Eastern Europe.
Donbas Arena has become a significant landmark in Donetsk. People supported their favourite football clubs here, sang along to Ukrainian and foreign musicians at concerts, met with loved ones and friends, and enjoyed life. A fitness centre and the largest interactive sports museum in Ukraine dedicated to the Shakhtar football club were opened here. In 2012, Donbas Arena became a finalist for the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award and was listed among the 45 best new European museums.
In 2010, the stadium received ‘The Best Mobotix Project of 2009 in the World’ and ‘The Best Building of 2009 in Ukraine’ awards. In addition, the opening ceremony at the Donbas Arena was recognized as the event of the year by the Stadium Business Awards. So, it was not surprising that the stadium was added to the list of arenas for Euro 2012 matches. After the championship, the European Football Union announced the Donbas Arena the best stadium for Euro 2012.
Donbas Arena received many awards during the 5 years of its functioning and won the world recognition of football professionals and the love of hundreds of thousands of fans. However, in 2014, Russia launched a military invasion of the East of Ukraine. The Russian troops shelled the stadium in August and October 2014, causing significant damage. Sports life has stopped here since then. However, Donbas Arena became a humanitarian aid distribution centre for the Donbas residents living under occupation. It lasted until 2017 because the authorities of the so-called ‘DPR,’ the Russian puppet state, took hold of the stadium.
Since then, the Donbas Arena’s heart has stood still, as has the life of the Donetsk region’s occupied part. EuroCups and excited fans’ chanting are left in the past. The park has turned into an abandoned, grassy wasteland with painted benches and a clogged lake. A new generation of Ukrainian football stars has emerged in the past 8 years. They have already conquered the world arenas but have never played in the Donbas Arena at home. Someday they will have such an opportunity in free Ukrainian Donetsk.
Meanwhile, the city that once held memories is now turning into a memory itself.
Formerly Palace of Culture of the Azovstal plant. The building of the former Continental hotel (1887–1910).
A unique monastery complex of the XVI–XIX centuries with natural caves.
Historical buildings reflecting the Mariupol architecture of the late XIX and early XX centuries before the Bolshevik Revolution.
An ancient building of 1902 in the Northern Art Nouveau style, which comprised under its roof the works by respected Ukrainian landscape painters, as well as world-famous marine and realist artists.
Invaluable monumental artworks, created by a group of Ukrainian monumentalists led by Alla Horska, a dissident artist and one of the Sixtiers movement’s founders. These panels incorporated elements of Ukrainian folk tradition, contemporary world trends, and Soviet art.
Formerly prospering trade and then a metallurgical centre of Ukraine that has become the symbol of the bloody Russian invasion of Ukraine and the genocide committed by the Russian army and government.
The only church in the world entirely decorated with Petrykivka paintings, an ancient style of folk Ukrainian decorative painting included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.
The museum was established at the Faculty of History of Mariupol State University. It has become an important cultural and educational site bringing together students, professors, and citizens around the native land’s history.
The manor of Mariupol City Council’s mayor, having more than 150 years of history behind. Its architecture incorporated elements of the Stalinist Empire, Neoclassicism, and Baroque.
One of the oldest and largest Ukrainian museums, which collection comprised over 180 thousand exhibits, including the monuments and artefacts of world importance.
One of the biggest steam mills in the German Mennonite colony that existed in the Donetsk region at the turn of the 20th century. Built in 1903, this mill had been feeding people of New York and all of its suburbs for decades.
The central church of the Sviatohirsk Lavra’s convent, erected in the neoclassical style with baroque elements in 2005 in the site of a stone church of 19th century dismantled by the Bolsheviks.
The house was built in the constructivist style in 1929. It has been the centre of the city’s creative life for almost a hundred years.
Former State Bank’s building, constructed at the turn of the 20th century. In 2019, this site housed the city library, which history began back in 1904. An intellectual and educational centre of the city.
A two-storey manor in the classical style with a neo-Gothic tower, built in Mariupol 125 years ago. The state was a property of respected doctors.
Part of the Sviatohirsk Lavra. All the skete’s buildings are made of massive pine trunks. The All Saints Church, the main skete’s sanctuary, used to be the biggest wooden church in Ukraine.
The Azovstal plant in Mariupol was one of the largest iron and steel producers in Europe. In 2022 it became a symbol of resistance to brutal Russian aggression and the incredible courage of Ukrainian fighters.
Educational institution with more than 140 years of history where many generations of Mariupol citizens studied.
Center of spiritual life of Muslims of Donetsk region.
Two buildings are a monument to an entire era. They were the last buildings in Mariupol designed in the Stalinist Neoclassicism style.
One of the oldest theatres in the Left-bank Ukraine.
The mosque was built in 2007 on the site of a mosque built in 1906 and destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1936.
St. Demetrius Church dedicated to the holy martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki is one of the oldest in the region.