We made it to Cossacks’ Zaporizhzhia, formerly (until 1921) Oleksandrivsk, Russian Aleksandrovsk. The city is located on the Dnieper River just below its former rapids. In 1770 the fortress of Oleksandrivsk was established to ensure government control over the Zaporozhian Cossacks, whose headquarters were on nearby Khortytsia Island. The settlement became a town in 1806, and with the coming of the railroad in the 1870s, it became an important hub for the rail and river transport of goods. It suffered extensive damage in 1917–20 during the Russian Revolution, but its fortunes improved considerably with the construction in 1927–32 of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station, that time the largest in the world. In World War II the dam was destroyed, but it was subsequently reconstructed. We explored the largest river island in Europe which stretches for 12 km along the banks of the Dnieper. In the north of the island, there is the “Zaporozhian Sich” (entrance 60 UAH), the reconstruction of the Cossacks’ Sich. In the afternoon we have visited the Faeton Museum (entrance 100 UAH) – a huge hangar in the gritty industrial part of the city with a lovingly arranged exhibition of more than 200 civilian and military vehicles. Highlights include Soviet government limousines (such as ZIL and Chaika) facing their American prototypes in the main hall, and the full range of Zaporozhets – USSR’s most ridiculed (and beloved) mini produced in Zaporizhzhia. We have parked just next to Dnieper River in the area with a nice sandy beach, restaurants, and clubs.

Parking location – Zaporizhzhia: 47.837643N 35.100365E (🚻)