Park area

Owing to its advantageous location in the heart of the city and the optimum conditions for family leisure, the park area of 25 ha has become a favourite pastime spot of the locals of Donetsk city. On the stadium’s sunny side the visitors can have pictures taken in front of the giant fountain ball, enjoy the panoramic view over the dynamically lit cascades and fountains, stroll along the football walk of fame or cloister away in the rock garden.

The arena’s exclusive design – the oval shape with its ‘soaring’ roof harmoniously matching the elegant landscaping and dramatic lighting at night – accentuates the Donbass Arena’s image of a sparkling diamond, making it one of the most magnificent sports venues in Europe. According to the ‘Diamond of Donetsk’ concept underlying the park creation, the park area was intended as a unique setting for the Diamond-shaped stadium. The park designers, German company FAGUS, made the selection of species and planted them in such a way that the park’s autumnal tints and hues produce the colours very similar to those of the club.

The park features more than 77,000 plants, with half of them being roses. All the trees, 20 to 30 years of age, were brought from Germany’s oldest plant nurseries of Lappen and Lorberg. The first two oaks were planted in the park by FC Shakhtar players jointly with the club president Rinat Akhmetov.

Rock Garden

The rock garden – a landscaping element completely new to Donetsk – is one of the park’s most fascinating attractions. Imposing boulder installations, long steppe grass, magnificent dry streams, rocky walkways, benches, impressive lighting facilities all look so inviting.

Such gardens are frequently called ‘dry’ or ‘philosophic’. Generally, they were made in Japan for contemplation, the garden tending to be perceived as a closed space due to the special artificial layout. Thus, it represents a peculiar microcosm where the nature elements perfectly fit together. The Donbass Arena rock garden is based on European style and adapted to our local mentality. Its every element is featured so that all visitors can get the surrounded-by-nature feel.

The rock garden covers the area of 2,300 sq.m. Tens of boulders of 0.5 to 1.5m in diameter are positioned in the garden’s lows and on its rises, with the aggregate weight exceeding 1,200 tons. 165 metres of graceful walkways and 75 granite steps are linked together for the visitors’ convenience.

The arrangements replicating the dry stream bed are located in the north and south ends of the garden. 27 tons of cut stone and 9 tons of pebbles were used during construction, notably enough, the streams are built without any cement grouting applied. All the rock elements of the garden can boast their natural origin. It took the garden-makers more than three months to select and assort them in the open cast mines in Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Granite symbol of Donetsk-based football

The biggest ever water-driven rotating granite football is the major attraction of the new leisure area. The twenty eight ton giant was made of special granite (Tittlinger) by German craftsmen. The incredible dimensions notwithstanding, the ball resembles a classical football very much. The ball is over 2.7 metres in diameter. Grey elements on the surface are made of polished granite, while black ones have a sandblast finish and are covered with acrylic coating. The ball stand is also impressive with a 360cm diameter and weighing 12.5 tons.

Perhaps, the greatest miracle is that the ball spins under the pressure of the two water streams due to its perfectly round shape (with the allowable variation of less than 0.1mm). The system is controlled by a special automated programmer.

Apart from its majestic proportions, the artwork boasts unique images carved on the surface. The granite football features a symbolic slag heap and a footballer scoring a goal. The images represent the strength of the Pitmen’s spirit and their fans’ intergenerational ties.

Cascades & fountains, other water facilities

According to construction experts the park was designed as a leisure area for people from all parts of the city, hence they tried to make it the most diverse and aesthetic. Thus, cascades, an artificial lake, light-dynamic fountains and giant steps were introduced into the park.

The fountain comprises six levels. The upper bowl features a streaming ball emphasized by the sprayers forming a sphere. At night, the water show is accentuated by lighting. Cutting-edge facilities make it possible to program the fountain to follow several dynamic light scenarios. 228 m3 of water circulates within the fountain.

A gorgeous four-level cascade is in operation in the park’s south end. The pond water is fed into the top basin by two pumps to overfill it and fall down the lower level of the waterfall. The falling water runs further into a magnificent pond before naturally flowing into the well to be finally pumped back to the cascade basins.

The water pumps ensuring smooth operation of the cascade have been programmed to run a certain flow pattern and go on and off alternately (each of them is operated 24h day-in and day-out). Presently all waterworks and basins, along with the rotating giant football are operational, complementing one of the best European stadium parks.

The water volume in the artificial pond by the stadium’s south entrance is 15,000 m3. The pond has become a habitat for wild ducks. The natural environment has helped the birds feel comfortable near the Donbass Arena to the extent that they have laid eggs and their baby chicks have hatched out for the second consecutive spring there. Despite their tender age, the ducklings explore the vastness of the pond following the parents all over the place.

The large family of ducks quickly became a park attraction, gathering crowds of visitors with children by the pond. You would probably agree that it happens not so often when one can watch and feed fluffy little ducklings in the very heart of the city.