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Berdyansk The Heart Of Azov.jpg
Flag of Berdiansk
Coat of arms of Berdiansk
Coat of arms
Berdiansk is located in Ukraine
Location of Berdyansk
Coordinates: 46°45′35″N 36°47′04″E / 46.75972°N 36.78444°E / 46.75972; 36.78444Coordinates: 46°45′35″N 36°47′04″E / 46.75972°N 36.78444°E / 46.75972; 36.78444
Country  Ukraine
Oblast  Zaporizhia Oblast
Raion Berdiansk City Municipality
Founded 1827
City rights 1835
 • Mayor Oleksiy Bakay
 • Total 82.65 km2 (31.91 sq mi)
Elevation 10 m (30 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 116,034
 • Density 1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)
Postal code 71100-71127
Area code(s) (+380) 6153
Vehicle registration AP/08
Climate Cfa
Website City Council Official website

Berdiansk (Ukrainian: Бердя́нськ, translit. Berdyans'k, Russian: Бердя́нск, Berdyansk) is a port city in the Zaporizhia Oblast (province) of south-east Ukraine. Administratively, it is incorporated as a city of oblast significance and serves as an administrative center of Berdyansk Raion, though it does not belong to the region. Berdyansk is located on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov. Population: 116,034 (2013 est.)[1].

Berdiansk is known in Ukraine due to its sea port and industries. It is also home to a health resort with mud baths and climatic treatments.



Berdyansk city was created by Count Vorontsov who after being appointed governor general sent an expedition to the Azov Sea. It's task was to find a place to build a new seaport. In the autumn of 1824 Captain Kritsky, the expedition supervisor, reported on several prospective sites; the best being a place closed off from the sea by the Berdiansk Spit. In an official report to Vorontsov, Kritsky wrote: "the quality of Berdiansk Spit surpasses that of Obitochnaya Spit; you can build a landing stage and port on it unless you concede to Sevastopol..." On November 3, 1827 a certificate of land dissociation [clarification needed] for a mooring and a city was issued. From that day Berdiansk began to grow. In the same year a landing stage was built on a gulf bank. A small settlement was established which over time turned into the city of Berdiansk.

Its original name was Kutur-Ogly. The neighboring settlement from these foundations was known by the name Berdy. The city name changed to Novo-Nogaisk in 1830 (meant "New Nogaisk") (see Nogai). The present name was given to the city in 1841 by special decree of Nicholas I. The name "Berdyansk" is derived from the Berda river name that flows into the sea not far from the city. Between 1939 and 1958 the city was known as Osipenko, so named after Hero of the Soviet Union Polina Osipenko.[2] This name has now been given to the nearby village Osipenko where Polina Osipenko was born.

The mooring opening ceremony took place on July, 1st, 1830. The new port authority quickly grew and Berdiansk was granted city status in 1835. In 1838 its population comprised 3,200 inhabitants and in 1842 Berdiansk became the district center. Then, on January 31, 1845, the first Berdiansk coat of arms for the Berdiansk district was created. In the top strip, on a green field is a silver Nogay's nomadic tent together with a black plow; this denotes the semi-nomadic life lived in the Nogays and farming work done by local residents. In the bottom part, on a blue field sits a black anchor to symbolize the district's affinity with the sea. By this time the customs outpost was already opened. Some foreign marine grain purchasing representatives (negotiators) moved their offices to Berdiansk from Mariupol and Odessa.

In 1838 the Nizhneberdiansky beacon was built. It is a 23-metre octahedral whitestone tower with an orange stripe in the middle. The beacon fires protected sailing ships and was first seen in 1840. Almost half a century later, in 1883, the oil lamps were replaced by electric lights. The old beacon was refurbished and upgraded with newer equipment. It remains on watch, lighting the way for ships along the nearby coast.


The city developed and grew. In the center, private residences for the nobility, merchants, priests and office accommodation were built. Suburbs arose in outskirts of Berdiansk: Sailor's, German, Soldier's (better known as Liski), the Dog gully, Gavrilovka, Near and Far Makorty. In April 1862 Tsar Alexander II with assistance from the mayor N. Kobozev confirmed the city district plan for Berdiansk. In the plan the streets were straight and lead to the sea. This layout has remained to the present day in the central part of the city. It was forbidden to build houses above the second floor. Fine buildings decorate Berdiansk: Winter theatre, town council building, hotel "Bristol", boys' classical gymnasium, Voznesensky cathedral and the Lutheran church. The seaport quickly developed. In 1869 all breakwater buildings came to the end. It's stone construction is 640 metres long with two port fires at each end. There are passage maps in the harbor, located 859 metres from coast to serve port users. In the evening after the sun has gone down, the breakwater looks admirable from the Seaside square or from the quay in Gorky street. Rumors about another new coastal city seaport spread far beyond the district. One behind another in Berdyansk, trading consulates of Greece, England, Italy, Spain, Austro-Hungary, France, Denmark and other states were built. The increasing importance of the port was mentioned in 1867 in a memorable book on the Taurian province: "Already there is no doubt, that for all the Azov coast the Berdiansk port will be the Odessa of the Black Sea coast". In 1876 as part of the defense of Sevastopol, rear admiral P. P. Schmidt was appointed town governor and port chief. Being a progressive man, he did much to promote the development of both port and city. Everyone who wielded power has left their mark on the history of this city: N. S. Kobozev, I. F. Matias, I. F. Gemmerle, V. I. Sahanev, K. P. Konstantinov, K. S. Argiropulo, I. D. Demetriadis, V. E. Gaevsky, V. I. Apopov and other people of that era promoted city growth and its prosperity. Soon there were small industrial enterprises and banks opening in the city. D. Grievza's factory manufacturing harvesters became well known across Europe. A farming machines factory was opened by Schröder and Matias. There was the cordage [clarification needed] factory of Venz and Yanzen, Selstrem's candle-wax works Sels, Litsmen sausage factory, Fetter's brewery, Klavdin macaroni factory, Ediger's printing house. The Italians constructed the city power station. Berdyansk turned into an industrial port and merchant trading city. By this time, two daily newspapers, three libraries and four bookshops were established. The city had running water and electric light illumination. In 1899 Berdiansk was linked up to the railway. At the beginning of the 20th century the city population numbered 26,500. There were about ten orthodox temples, two Jewish and one Karaite synagogue, boys and girls grammar schools, nautical classes, a city college and some credit institutions. In addition to an extensive export trade in mainly grain and flour, Berdiansk conducted large amounts of inland trade. It became a substantial distributive market for goods received over a wide area. By the beginnings of the 20th century, Berdiansk had become a merchant trading port with well developed industry, strongly influenced by its infrastructure. In Berdiansk there were newspapers, bookshops and libraries, running water, the city had been electrified and its railway was complete.



Berdiansk is located in a steppe zone that defines its varieties of flora and fauna. Steppe plants in the landscape may be beneficial to health. The main natural feature is the end of the Berdiansk spit. The spit flora is quite diverse. Here one can find more than 300 different kinds of plants. Some of them are documented in the Red Book (e.g. Carex colchica, Åryngium maritimum, Glycyrrhiza glabra). The vegetation is mostly made up of plants with powerful root systems.

In spite of the fact that the Berdiansk spit is a populous territory, it exhibits a wide variety of fauna. Here it is possible to see mammals, birds, insects and reptiles. There are hares, hedgehogs, martens, foxes, weasels and steppe cats. There also are a large quantity of birds: geese, sandpipers, swans, herons, ducks, magpies, seagulls, cormorants, warblers, lapwings, red-breasted geese and mute swans. Their numbers swell during the migration season. The islands of Big Dzendzik and Small Dzendzik, small islands in Astapih's archipelago, contain most of the birds. There is a wide variety of fish too. In the sea there are more than 70 fish species amongst them great sturgeon, Russian sturgeon, starred sturgeon, Azov turbot, haarder, mullets, kilka, anchovy, sea roach, shemaya and various species of gobies. There are predators too, pike perch and sterlet. The phytoplankton and bethos are quite developed. The phytoplankton consists of diatomaceous, peridinium and cyanobacteria algae. At the bottom of the sea are large quantity of molluscs; the main representatives being cockles, sendesmiya, mussels and myas. They form an important food source for the fish. In coastal waters there are also dolphins.


The climate on the Azov coast is unique: the summers are hot and dry, the winters are mild and warm. The Berdiansk resort is located on the east coast of the Berdiansk Gulf on the Azov Sea. It offers unique natural health spa treatments. Sea water temperatures off Berdiansk are higher than the Black Sea coast of the Crimea and the Caucasus. Already in May, the water warms up to 22 °C (72 °F), and in June it can reach 30 °C (86 °F).


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1860 10,100 —    
1897 26,500 +162.4%
1926 26,400 −0.4%
1939 52,000 +97.0%
1959 65,000 +25.0%
1970 100,000 +53.8%
2001 121,000 +21.0%

Note: Historical population record is taken out of Encyclopedia of Ukraine (English).


Berdiansk is proud to be a host city to more than ten festivals a year. The list includes the Azov Summer Ukrainian Journalism Festival, the Brigantine Film Festival, Berdiansk Jazz Festival, the Hilarious by the Dark Blue Sea Comedy Festival, the Top-Top Children's Talent Festival, the Starfall Children's Pop Music Festival, Berdiansk Folk and Religious Music Festival, the Heat of the Sun Festival, the Azov Sails Televised Children's Talent Festival, the unforgettable Rock'n'roll Slavic Soul Festival and the Beer Festival.


In the city of Berdiansk there are several art museums, Schmidt's Museum, Museum of World War II and Berdiansk History Museum.

The city boasts a variety of entertainment for children of all ages, including a new zoo, the largest aqua park in the former USSR and two amusement parks.


Berdiansk embankment with railway tracks visible
Main pedestrian street of Berdiansk
Flowerbeds in downtown Berdiansk
Hotel "Berdiansk"
Roman Catholic Church of St. Mary in Berdiansk

Berdiansk differs in its unusual monuments. Along with monuments to A.Pushkin and P.Schmidt there are monuments to the goby-supporter, the sanitary technician, the boy-fisherman, an envious toad and children of lieutenant Schmidt. The armchair of desires is also popular. It is said if one sits down on it and thinks of a desire then it will come true. These unusual monuments are being restored on Azov avenue. A symbol of the city that can be seen in many photos of Berdiansk is the sea coast. The resort Berdiansk continues to expand its rest services. Reconstruction of the central and seaside streets is in progress with new hotels and recreation centres added with up to date techniques for comfortable rest. Tourist conditions continue to improve.


Fish eater monument in Berdiansk
Villagers monument on the city market
  • Monument to Bender and Balaganov
  • Sanitary technician
  • Sundial
  • frog. green monster
  • Monument of a horseshoe
  • a mosquito


Great Dzendzyk cape
at the tip of Berdiansk spit by Sea of Azov

Development of the Berdiansk resort was determined by its unique natural climatic conditions: a seaside steppe climate, the warm Azov Sea with fine-sandy beaches, therapeutic muds, sodium chloride minerals and iodide-bromine underground waters, and of course sea water containing 92 chemical elements. The city won tourist recognition as one of the best resorts for sea rest. In the city are two of the best clinical sanatoriums in Ukraine: sanatorium "Lazurniy" and sanatorium "Berdiansk". They form part of the largest in country trade-union organisation Closed Company "Ukrprofzdravnitsa", in particular its regional branch, Closed Company "Priazovkurort". Around the sanatoriums is a complex of resort services available for rent during the summer period. The resort creation began in 1902 with construction of the first wooden mud-baths. On January, 11th, 2005 under Ukraine statute, Berdiansk city resort was awarded high status value. One of the main advantages of the Azov Sea is its moderate continental climate in combination with sea air mixed with aromas of steppe grass It is possible to identify distinctive features in the structure of sea water. They can have a good influence on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, on thermoregulation and metabolism or help raise vitality. There are numerous reports on beneficial properties of medical mud, for example, in memoirs of famous writers Ostap Vishnya and Nikolay Ostrovsky, who were once patients at the Berdiansk sanatorium.

Even earlier, more than two thousand years ago, historian Herodotus described the unique nature of Scythian life on the Azov coast. Complexity of natural medical factors is required: a good climate, the sea, medical mud and mineral water, and also a variety of flora and fauna (more than 4200 kinds of plants and animals) to promote rest and relaxation. One of the medical factors is mineral underground waters (sodium chloride and iodide-bromine). Their mineralization here is from 12 to 60 g/l. They are considered an excellent method of stimulating different organs and bodily systems, having a desensitizing, anti-inflammatory soothing action.

The variety of health treatments and purported cures obtainable in Beriansk is formidable.

Berdiansk aquapark

Today it is possible to assert that Berdiansk, Berdiansk region and Berdiansk spit are one of the most ecologically pure regions in Ukraine. The status of the city has changed as Berdiansk switched from an "Industrial centre" to a "tourist centre". Today Berdiansk is the main resort city on the Azov coast. Its population numbers about 130 thousand persons, and during the resort season this figure rises to about 600 thousand people.

The infrastructure of rest and entertainments in Berdiansk is the most developed on the Azov seashore and successfully competes with resorts of Black Sea Coast and the Crimea. In Berdiansk and its vicinities are large numbers of sanatoriums, resorts and rest houses where it is possible to take medical and restorative courses for health improvement.

On the Berdiansk spit there are located about 70 health improving establishments: 7 sanatoriums, 17 children's and sports establishments, 45 recreation centres and boarding houses that receive up to 15 thousand persons. In Berdiansk on rather small territory guests receive a wide range of tourist services: the biggest Aquapark in Europe and the Kiev dolphinarium, the biggest in the CIS countries, a zoo and Seaside square, a lot of pleasure and cultural establishments. Gradually Berdiansk is evolving into a modern European city. In 2001 it received first place in an All-Ukrainian competition for best city beautification.

By pedestrian area of Azov Avenue, the Seaside square and Berdiansk quays it is possible to travel on trishaws, a small steam locomotive and on real horses. On all beaches, including the Berdiansk spit, guests can take advantage of large quantity of entertainments: driving on rubber bananas and tablets, water bicycles and motorcycles, sail on boats and yachts, play on slides and trampolines. In the evening it is possible to have a rest in bars, restaurants, many of them have summer platforms which are located directly on the sea coast.


AZMOL company building

Chemical and the petroleum-refining industry is represented by two big enterprises: Public corporation"AZMOL", the Berdiansk state fiberglass factory, and two small enterprises: Limited Liability Company "Fibreglass" and Closed Corporation "Bertie".

Public corporation"AZMOL"is engaged in the manufacture and realisation of lubricants, manufacturing packing containers for their packaging. Expansion in assortment of lubricants, development and the introduction of new highly effective and competitive products using energy-efficient technologies is planned. Work on container and packing perfection and expansion of their assortments proceeds. Search for new business partners is in progress. Perspective directions for outlet expansion for the enterprise are African and Asian countries. Building an experimental wind-driven power station has been suggested.[by whom?] Transfer to municipal ownership of the city biological sewage treatment plant is planned.

Port of Berdiansk

One of the main city budget enterprises is the Berdiansk sea trading port. It is unique sea transport hub in Zaporozhye region and one of dynamically developing ports on the Azov Sea in processing export-import, transit and coasting cargoes. It carries out metal processing, scrap metal, grain, coal, ore, clay, sunflower-seed oil, industrial oils, mineral oil, pig-iron, containers. The port is located in a northeast part of the Berdiansk gulf. From the sea the port is protected by a breakwater. In its territory are: a complex for processing of mineral fertilizers, a complex for processing of mineral oil, the container terminal, moorings, railway depot. Tracks and automobile entrances approach to all moorings of port. All moorings are equipped by electric cranes. Depth in port water area makes 8,4 m. Clients and business partners of port are not only in Ukraine, but also in the CIS countries, Europe, Asia, Africa and Americas. Navigation in port lasts all year long.

Berdiansk is an important fisheries centre in the country and makes a powerful impact on fisheries development sector of the country's economy. Existing fisheries and fish-processing enterprises are integral part of food industry. In the city is a leading scientific organisation which does fish research in reservoirs of the Azov basin. Now "Azov centre YugNIRO" is the traditional executor of the state orders by definition of stocks and annual volumes of withdrawal from the Sea of Azov such valuable food fishes as sturgeon, pike perch, haarder, Azov turbot, Azov gobies, flounder, ordinary fish.


During the Soviet period Berdiansk was a powerful industrial centre. There were farming machines factory, road machines factory, hydraulic machines factory, oil refinery, fiberglass factory, cable factory, ferroconcrete combine, factory of materials handling equipment, provisions factory, a bread-baking complex, milk plant, a meat-packing plant, a considerable quantity of construction and mounting organizations, commodity railway station and sea trading port. However, in the early independence years the majority of the large industrial enterprises ceased or were reorganised into smaller private concerns.


In Berdiansk there are preschool, secondary and higher educational institutions. As well as the state comprehensive schools there are private lyceums and gymnasiums. Despite the small sized city and small local population, there are Berdiansk State Pedagogical University and the University of Management and Business. In the city branches of other high schools and professional colleges are located. In the Schmidt park there is the Berdiansk musical school, and nearby, almost on the coast an art school. A subject of pride in Berdiansk is the Centre of Children's and Youthful creativity numbering a large quantity of study groups and ensembles.


The city of Berdiansk is an important transport hub, served by a railway station and highways. Berdiansk also has a sea port that handles a large amount of freight and an airport.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Berdiansk is twinned with:

Notable residents[edit]

  • Opanas Slastion, Ukrainian painter
  • Isaak Brodsky (1883–1939), a painter, a teacher and organizer of Art education in 30th years of 20th century. He was an Honoured Artist of the Russian SFSR and a member of the Union of Russian Artists
  • Lidiya Chernysheva (1912–1875), a ballet dancer, People's Artist of the USSR
  • Joel Engel (1868—1927), composer, teacher and organizer, one of the founders of the Jewish art music movement.
  • Waldemar Haffkine (1860–1930), a well-known doctor. He created the first effective anti-cholera vaccine. He also made a large contribution to the struggle against bubonic plague which involved Bombay (India) in 1898[5]
  • Peter Jansen, (1852–1923) born in Berdiansk, rancher and founder of Jansen, Nebraska, State Representative and Senator
  • Piotr Szymański, (1900–1965) lived in Berdiansk from 1915-1921, Polish Ambassador in Romania, Professor at Warsaw Polytechnic
  • Olga Kurylenko, a model and actor, and James Bond girl in Quantum of Solace, was born and raised in Berdiansk.
  • Tatyana Nazarova (1960), People's Artist of Ukraine and Russia, prima- actress of Lesya Ukrainka National Academic Theater of Russian Drama (Kiev)
  • Polina Osipenko, a Hero of the Soviet Union, was born in a nearby village of Osypenko. Polina Osipenko was a military pilot, who set several flight world records including the longest non-stop flight ever completed by a woman in 1938.[2]
  • Vitaly Papazov (1980), a champion (in 2002) and the world record-holder in powerlifting
  • Tatyana Prorochenko (1952), an athlete who competed mainly in the 400 metres, an olympic champion (in 1976 and 1980)
  • Roman Sevasteev, the World (in 1993) Champion on heavy athletics
  • Mikhail Voskresensky (1935), a pianist, People's Artist of Russia, professor at the Moscow State Conservatory


  1. ^ "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Осипенко, Полина Денисовна, Wikipedia
  3. ^ "Bielsko-Biała – Partner Cities". © 2008 Urzędu Miejskiego w Bielsku-Białej. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  4. ^ "Yambol – Partner Cities". ©. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  5. ^ Hanhart, Joel (2016). Waldemar Mordekhai Haffkine (1860-1930). Honore Champion. 

External links[edit]