It never ceases to amaze me what interesting places and history one can learn by visiting seemingly unassuming provincial towns.
Solenoye, which is in Dnepropetrovsk region, cannot even be called a city. This is an urban village 40 km from the Dnipro. It is home to about 7300 people and there is a lot to see and wonder.
Solone in the Dnipropetrovs’k region
The village of Solone was founded at the end of the seventeenth century. Obviously, it got its name from the river Solenenka, although originally it was called Novoselovka. At some point the village would be called Solenenkoe and at the beginning of the XX century it was already listed on maps as Solone.
Even now, there is a river running through the village, and there is even something like a pond that divides the village into two parts.
It would seem. The most ordinary village, but there will be a lot of interesting events and special people living here. It is about them that I will talk in my article.
What’s interesting in Solone?
What sights can boast Solene? In 1803, the Peter and Paul Church was erected here. It seems that this church has not survived to this day.
The Bergman Brothers mansion and the history of its owners
At the end of the nineteenth century there were many Mennonite settlers in the area. One of them was the Bergman Brothers, who settled in Solone and organized their businesses here.
Hardworking Germans not only built their house on this territory, which survives to this day and is one of the few German buildings preserved in the Dnipropetrovsk region.
They will develop this land. They would build enterprises for the production of construction materials and food and engage in agriculture. As a result, under them the area was in full bloom and the locals loved them very much. No wonder, because in addition to business, the Bergmans built schools and helped with healthcare.
There is a story that once the Germans were approached by the inhabitants of Salty and asked them to build a church. The Bergmans agreed to an Orthodox church, even though they themselves were Protestants. But they put up their conditions – they would build a church, only for the next few years there would be a dry law.
The further history of the Bergmans is sad. They were not spared by the Soviet revolution. They and their relatives were arrested by the Bolsheviks, then shot near Nikopol in the village of Ulyanovka. Now there is a memorial sign about this tragedy. The Bergmans’ property was stolen. Those who were lucky enough to survive live abroad, visiting the graves of their ancestors.
The Bergman mansion is now home to several organizations. A tourist club, a local history museum, and a pension fund (or some state organization).
The Bergman House has been well preserved. It is a German style house, two stories high. It has a beautiful roof with spires and unusual windows. It has been restored (at least externally), and the entrance has the original tiles on which decent people walked more than a hundred years ago.
Such a mansion in the Dnepropetrovsk region is nowhere to be found.
The Bergman House was not always in such good condition. Until 2020, no one dealt with the mansion, and only this year they found money for its reconstruction, as it is a monument of national importance. Half of the sum was given by the local community and half by the regional budget.
In the end, the building was cleaned up both externally and internally. It’s a good place for photo shoots, especially in the fall, when there are a lot of yellow leaves.
The location is located at 20 Gagarina Street in Solone village.
What else to see in Solone
But it is not only the Bergmans’ mansion that can boast Solone. This village has a rich history, a lot of people lived here, and therefore in Soviet times actively developed infrastructure.
For example, in the 1930s, the communist government decreed that district centers should have their own theaters. Therefore, a theater was built in Solenyi, which functioned successfully until World War II, and then even during it.
Theater in Solone was destroyed by the Germans during the retreat. However, during peacetime it was not restored.
During my journey I never found the ruins of the theater.
There is even a movie theater in Solone, but it is no longer functioning. House of Culture (as of 2022, it was under reconstruction). The House of Culture is notable for a large panel. This panel was torn down and then restored, and now it is also under reconstruction, as well as the institution itself.
Surprisingly, Solone used to publish a newspaper (or two) of its own. It is not clear whether the publishing house is still in existence or not.
There is also a bust of Taras Shevchenko in Solone. It can be seen that it is looked after – it is always clean and orderly, there is a monument to soldiers who died on the fronts of World War II, a large recreation park (alas, now abandoned) and a small park (in satisfactory condition).
In the village there are several churches of different denominations and their directions, police, prosecutor’s office, court, center of administrative services, many stores, modern renovated school. There are a lot of green areas and life is unhurried.
How to get to Solone
Solone has good connections with Dnipro and Zaporizhzhya. People go to work from here to these cities.
Buses go every 15 minutes in these directions. Also from and through solenoye you can get to the surrounding villages – Apollonovka, Voyskove, Nikolskoe on the Dnieper.
You can get there by car. To do this, you need to take the Zaporozhskoe highway, and following the sign, turn right before reaching the border of the region.