The Old Water Tower is an architectural monument of Mariupol in Ukraine. It is located in the central district at Architect Nilsen Street 36 (Ukrainian: вул. Архітектора Нільсена), at the intersection of Soborna Street and Enhel'sa St near Theatre Square. The tower was designed by architect Victor Nilsen and was completed in 1910.[1]

Old Tower
Стара вежа
Old water tower
General information
Address Ukraine, Architect Nielsen Street, 36, Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, 87500
Town or cityMariupol
Coordinates47°05′52″N 37°32′50″E / 47.09778°N 37.54722°E / 47.09778; 37.54722
Height33 metres
Design and construction
Architect(s)Victor Nilsen

Built of red brick, it features various architectural styles. The tower is 33 metres tall with a spiral stair case of 157 steps.[2] Located on the highest point in the area, it was not only the tallest structure at the time, but stood out as well.[3]

History edit

Water Tower 1910

In 1906, there was no water supply in Mariupol and water carriers delivered water in barrels for a fee from a source of drinking water on Malofontannaya Street to the homes of local residents.[3][4]

On May 24, 1906, the Mariupol Duma (city council) adopted the proposal to secure a loan to finance the project of constructing a water supply network in Mariupol. The cost of its implementation was estimated at 360 thousand Rubles, which exceeded the city budget by far. Permission for obtaining a loan was granted by Pyotr Arkadyevich Stolypin [ru], Chairman of the Council of Ministers and concurrently Minister of the Internal Affairs of the Russian Empire, and the Mayor was informed of it in February 1907.[3]

On April 25, 1908, the Mariupol Duma approved of the detailed plan to build the water supply network, including the tower.[4] The project was created by Victor Nilsen.[5][2][6]

Construction work on the water tower and the city water supply system began in December 1909, and the city's water supply system started operating on July 3, 1910.[7][8]

This was a branched water supply system, 21.5 kilometers long pipelines, with water intake columns where water was supplied with the help of the water tower. The water columns held booths for caretakers who collected payment for individually released volumes of water. A part of the line was directly brought into the homes of the privileged elite of Mariupol.[4]

The water tower was used for its intended purpose until 1932, when the construction of a new centralized city water supply system, using piston pumps, began near the mouth of the Kalmius River.[4][8] Subsequently, the tower was repurposed several times and firstly became an observation tower for firefighters.[5][6]

Although the hostilities of the Second World War did not cause significant damage to the tower, it stood abandoned for some years after the firefighters were moved to another building.[4]

In 1983, the tower was entered into the register of architectural monuments of local importance. Several years later, restoration work began, which included the application of a protective layer to its architectural details.[4]

In the late 80s, the building housed a museum of urban planning of Mariupol.[8]

From 1996 to 2012, the tower was occupied by a private bank, then transferred back to the city of Mariupol and came to house co-working spaces, a library, tourist center, observation deck and souvenir shop.[2][5][6][4]

Since 2016, a creative space "VEZHA” (“Tower") has been created in the renovated tower, where exhibitions, concerts, lectures and other events are held.[9]

The tower was damaged during the 2022 Siege of Mariupol.[10] Compared to other historical buildings in the city (who were badly damaged) it survived the siege in good condition.[11]

Architecture edit

The tower was designed following eclecticism, a trend in architecture of the second half of the 19th century, in that it combines elements of various styles, here: Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.[4] Romanesque style is said to be found in the semicircular completion of arches and decorating details.[3]

Each of the red-and-white brick faces of the octahedral four-tier tower ends with a roof slope at the foot of a circular glazed viewing platform under an eight-slope roof.[4]

The walls of the structure are divided into three parts (first, second-third and fourth floors) by white-brick cornice masonry around the perimeter. The second and third floors are visually perceived as a single floor due to the framing of each side with flat decorative columns (pilasters). Each side of the fourth floor of the tower is cut through by windows grouped in twos.[3][4]

The vertical division of the faces is made only at the level of the second or third floors with the help of a protruding volume with a lancet ending.[4]

The external decor of the tower includes a semicircular design of the openings of the double windows of the fourth tier, elements of transition of the cornice above the upper tier to the plane of the roof slopes hanging over the walls, and relief of the parapet of the observation deck at its top.[4]

Gallery edit

Other information edit

Water Tower in Rybinsk, Russia

The Mariupol water tower has a twin sister in Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Oblast in Russia, also a water tower designed by architect Victor Nielsen and completed in 1901.[12]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Mariupol City Council". Marsovet. Archived from the original on 10 June 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Architect of Danish origin built the symbol of Mariupol". UkraineNU. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Architect Nielsen and the water tower". Old Mariupol. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Mariupol water tower". ZabytkiUA. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  5. ^ a b c "Cultural and tourist center "Vezha", Mariupol". Igotoworld. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  6. ^ a b c "About the City". Mariupol Rada. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  7. ^ "The Architecture of Mariupol — and the legacy of Viktor Nielsen". ColvilleAndersen. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "Old water tower". Votpusk. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  9. ^ "Go to Mariupol". Svoi.City. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  10. ^ "LEGO can release the designer of the Tower - one of the symbols of Mariupol". Ukrinform (in Ukrainian). 26 May 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  11. ^ "The city that was destroyed by the occupiers: what kind of main tourist attractions of Mariupol have". (in Ukrainian). 21 June 2022. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Water tower". Votpusk. Retrieved 19 March 2022.

External links edit