City of a Million Roses

Donetsk is known as the ‘City of a Million Roses’  It’s a relatively young city in the east of Ukraine, following rapid industrial growth about 150 years ago. It was founded by John Hughes, a British businessman.  In 1970 UNESCO recognised Donetsk as one of the greenest industrial cities in the world because its parks, squares and streets are adorned with an extraordinary array of roses.

One of Donetsk’s tourist attractions is a magical fairytale ‘Forged Figures Park’ which includes a sweethearts pavillion, huge rose sculptures, figures from fairy tales, sculptures of Big Ben and the Eiffel tower, Superstition Alley and a wonderful monument to The Beatles – all themes within ‘The Earth Emperor’s Eye!


How enchanting that Mother Nature chose to unleash a spectacular thunderstorm in Donetsk and bring a temporary halt to a UEFA European Championship game. It was the first time a game was suspendend at a major football tournament since 1974. The first lightening strike occured during the playing of the French Nationl Anthem. The storm grew progressively worse and led to the players being taken from the pitch for their own safety – Mother Nature literally stopped the clock!

The link to the France national anthem is most curious due to the Emperor’s love of French as a revolutionary spur. Charles Lamb’s journal also emphasises Mother Nature’s love rose and its perilous condition as a prelude to a violent storm.

I-Spy the Earth Emperor's Eye