It was founded in 1778 by the military leader and statesman Grigory Potemkin as a fortress to protect the newly acquired Black Sea frontage of Russia. The town became the first Russian naval base and shipyard on the Black Sea. Before Kherson, there was a small Russian settlement there which existed since 1737.
The settlement was named after ancient city of Khersones. From 1787 till 1791, A.V. Suvorov headed the construction of its fortifications.
Since 1803, it was an administrative center of Kherson guberniya. In the early 19th century, the town became an important commercial port.
After the Second World War, the city turned into a large industrial, agricultural and cultural center of southern Ukraine.
In 1951, after Kherson ship-building plant was constructed, the city became the main shipyard in the USSR.
This plant is still one of the largest ship-building plants in Ukraine and Europe. It produces tankers, container carriers, ice-breakers.
Present day city remains a major shipbuilding center. Also, it has a combine-building plant, engineering, oil-refining, and cotton-textile industries. One of 6 Ukrainian oil-processing plants is located here.
Kherson places of interest
Catherine’s Cathedral. It is an outstanding monument of the 18th century built in the style of the early classicism with Balkan medieval architecture themes. The cathedral with monumental bell tower was constructed in 1782-1787.
It was named in honor of St. Catherine and the Empress Catherine II, who visited the cathedral in 1786. The chair that was made specifically for the Empress is preserved. In 1791, Prince G. Potemkin of Tauride was buried in a crypt under the cathedral.
On the territory of Catherine’s Cathedral, there is “the Pantheon of Kherson fortress” - a burial place of officers who died in the Russian-Turkish war. Perekopskaya Street, 13.
Greek Sofia Church. Greek Sofia church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is the oldest church in Kherson. This stone church was built by the Greeks who settled here in the 18th century. The interior of the church has preserved wall paintings, beautiful carved iconostasis, wooden sculptures. Krasnoflotskaya Street, 11.
All Saints Church. The center of Kherson necropolis is All Saints Church, built in the classical style in 1804-1808 and expanded in the 70s of the 19th century. It is the only Orthodox church in the city that was never closed for worship in the Soviet era.
The interior has preserved beautiful wooden carved iconostasis. In addition, the church has several interesting icons of the 17th-18th centuries. Pugachev Street, 11-a.
Kherson fortress is a complex of buildings and remains of fortifications of Alexander Schanz fortress, which was the beginning of the town. The fortress was founded in 1778. On the territory of Komsomolsk park (on Perekopskaya Street), you can see preserved arched Moscow (North) and Ochakiv gates built at the end of the 18th century, a powder magazine, fragments of walls.
On the opposite side of the street, there is Perekopsky Arsenal with a monumental colonnade, built in 1784. It is one of the earliest buildings of the fortress. Perekopskaya Street, 13.
Local History Museum. The museum is based on the collection of antiquities made by the archaeologist V. Goshkevich and the botanist I. Pachosky in 1890. The exhibition includes historical and natural history departments, as well as A. Suvorov hall.
Today, the museum has about 144 thousand exhibits. Also, it should be mentioned that museum staff offer tours of Kherson. Lenin Street, 9. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00, days off - Monday, Tuesday.
The Museum of Art. Kherson Museum of Art named after A. Shovkunenko is housed in a building of a former City Duma. The collection includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, decorative arts received from St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, St. Petersburg porcelain factory.
The basis of the collection consists of more than 150 works of the Ukrainian painter A. Shovkunenko. The exhibition also displays paintings of V. Perov, I. Repin, I. Shishkin, V. Mayakovsky, I. Aivazovsky, G. Pimonenko, 9 icons of M.Shibanov. Lenin Street, 34. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00, days off - Monday, Tuesday.
Other places of interest
Goldenberg’s House. The house of the entrepreneur J. Goldenberg is an eclectic building, lined with bricks, richly decorated in the Romanesque and Moorish style. Komsomolskaya Street, 21.
N. Kulish Theater. Kherson Regional Academic Music and Drama Theater named after N. Kulish was founded on the initiative of the nobility of the province in 1830. The theater was built in 1884. The architect B. Dabrowski took one of the best theaters of the Russian Empire - Odessa Opera House - as the basis of his project.
In 1944, this monument was badly damaged (the Second World War). Only in 1962, the present building of the theater was constructed, but it was not restored to its original form. Gorky Street, 7.
The age-old oak. The age-old oak tree in Lenin Park is one of the symbols of Kherson. The park was built on the orders of Prince Potemkin of Tauride in 1785, but, in the 19th century, the trees were cut down. In 1869, the park was recreated by the initiative of the vice-governor Denis Kornovich.
In his honor, the park was called Denisov’s park before the revolution. A huge oak tree is standing in its center. Lenin Park.
The Frigate - the monument to shipbuilders. This memorial sign standing on the waterfront of Kherson is the most recognizable symbol of the city.
In 1972, the monument in the form of a sailing ship on a high pedestal was installed in honor of the first ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet: 66-gun battleship “the Glory of Catherine” and 50-gun frigate “Victorius George.”
These ships were built in the Admiralty Shipyard in 1783. October Square.
According to some reviews, the following Kherson hotels offer the best level of service.
Hotel “Greenstone”. This hotel is located in the center of Kherson, close to the banks of the Dnieper River. 10 unique rooms (different color schemes, ecological materials). Each room has a work area with internet and phone, LCD TV, air conditioning, safe.
The first floor has a cafe bar, the second - a restaurant. The price includes breakfast, Wi-Fi, parking. Perekopskaya Street, 83. Phones: +380 552 34 26 46, +380 50 929 27 85, +380 66 420 16 04.
Hotel “Diligence”. It is a business hotel located in the center of the city, in an old house with modern interiors. 18 rooms of three categories with all the amenities. All rooms have individual color schemes, Wi-Fi.
On the ground floor, there is a restaurant serving European cuisine. The price includes breakfast. Additional services: dry cleaning, tours, transfer, car rental, guide services, translation services. Gogolya Street, 39. Phones: +38 0552 49 92 36, +38 0552 42 24 19, +38 067 706 14 13.
Hotel “Bordo”. A new small and cozy hotel located in the central part of Kherson. 17 comfortable modern rooms of different categories with all amenities.
There is a restaurant “Bordeaux” with a classic interior and exquisite cuisine. The price includes: Wi-Fi. Perekopskaya Street, 20. Phone: +38 0552 26 23 76.
Hotel “Dnepr”. The hotel is located in the center, close to Pridneprovsky Park, main attractions and shopping streets.
11 rooms offering views of the city center. All rooms are equipped with individual air conditioning, safe, mini-bar, LCD TV, phone, hairdryer, electronic lock, Wi-Fi. Restaurant (European cuisine). Tekstil’schikov Prospekt, 3. Phones: +38 0552 31 15 08, +38 0552 31 15 10, +38 067 552 17 17, +38 050 494 30 70.
Hotel “Muscat”. The hotel is located in the business district of Kherson, near the main pedestrian street (Suvorov Street).
14 comfortable rooms with unique design in a variety of styles, from European to Japanese, Wi-Fi. Restaurant (European cuisine). Sovetskaya Street, 10. Phones: +38 0552 42 47 31, +38 0552 42 47 32, +38 0552 42 47 33.
Hotel “Versal”. The hotel is located near the railway station of Kherson. 7 single and double superior rooms. Each room has air conditioning, phone, satellite TV, mini- bar, internet access.
There is a restaurant, seating area and barbecue. Krimskaya Street, 93. Phones: +38 067 552 17 00, +38 0552 51 74 20, +38 0552 51 89 41.