Nielsen Water Tower in Mariupol. Photo: Stefan Weichert

Architect Viktor Nielsen, who has German and Danish origins, is the man behind several well-known buildings in Mariupol, including the old water tower. 

The old water tower stands in the middle of the city of Mariupol near the Black Sea. Once, it played an essential role in supplying clean drinking water to the city, while it has now become a symbol of the city and its recent efforts to attract tourists. 

A few years ago, the old water tower was home to a PrivatBank, but it all changed in 2018 when the city passed a new plan to attract tourists. The bank left, and the city opened a tourist office instead. It became the symbol of a langer trend in Mariupol in south-eastern Ukraine, where many public squares and other public places are getting renovated. 

Nielsen Water Tower in Mariupol. Photo: Stefan Weichert

It is free to visit the water tower, and you can get a nice view from the top. It is 33 meters high, and there are 157 steps to the top. Each floor is filled with everything from co-working space, relaxing areas and places to be creative.

Inside Nielsen Water Tower in Mariupol. Photo: Stefan Weichert

Build by a Danish architect

The city of Mariupol was facing problems with clean drinking water in the late 1800s. There was no central water system, and architect Viktor Nielsen, who has Danish and German origin, was asked to design and equip the water tower. 

According to the tourist center, the tower was built in 1910 in the style of eclecticism, combining the Gothic and Romanesque styles. 

View from Nielsen Water Tower in Mariupol. Photo: Stefan Weichert

Nielsen was a famous man in Mariupol, where he designed several buildings. Among them are The Radio Hub building, The Church of Kostiantyn and Yelena, The School of the plant «Nikopol,» the House of Nilsen, and the old building of the Pryazovskyi State Technical University (PSTU), and Warehouse #7, according to

Mariupol – an old industrial city

You can visit several of those buildings today, and Nielsen plays a vital role in the city’s new tourist route. Mariupol is also home to several beautiful churches, and it is right next to the Black Sea, where it is possible to go swimming.

Viktor Nielsen, who lived from 1871 to1949

However, it is worth noticing that Mariupol isn’t your typical tourist place. It is only a few kilometers from the frontline in Eastern Ukraine, and it is a poor city, which relies on old industry, which is visible in the outskirts of the town. 

Mariupol is the tenth-largest city in Ukraine with around 430,000 people and has some nice hotels and restaurants where you can stay. has published a guide of where to go if you ever plan on visiting Mariupol. 

You can get a view of Mariupol below: