A new, young and promising city appeared 240 years ago on the earth. Its history spans more than 2,000 years.
The southern city Kherson is a real seaport, which is associated with summer by collective consciousness: the sea, the beach, sand and fresh fruits. 70 kilometers and you are on the Black Sea coast. Another 10 km and you can bask in the Azov sea. The languid center of Catherine II period, maintained free beaches, old river port, endless parks and cozy cafes
Modern Kherson is a charming city on the slopes of the silver Dnieper. Old quarters are buried in the greenery of the trees, new neighborhoods are being built. The River Dnieper, like a precious necklace, is framed by the southern gates of Ukraine.
Culture, as the history of Kherson, is unique and multifaceted. The city itself harbors many temptations for tourists. There are many cozy corners, ancient buildings, temples and parks. Streets, alleys and quiet courtyards of the city are the most eloquent guide of the architecture history for tourists.
The territory of the modern Kherson has been inhabited since ancient times. Found burials and material finds from different parts of the city are the evidence of human presence in the copper and bronze era (III – II millennium BC).
In the IV – III centuries BC on the modern Kherson territory the Scythians nomadized the turn of our era – Sarmatians. Later in the period of Kyiv Rus (IX – XII centuries), along the Dnieper, past the future city, there was the way “from the Vikings to the Greeks” which the Slavs used for trading purposes. There was a Slavonic settlement on the Big Potemkin Island.
In 1737, the Russian fortification of Oleksandr Shants appeared on the site of the current Kherson built during the Russian-Turkish war of 1735-1739. The city Kherson was founded by the decree of Catherine II of June 18, 1778.
The city was created to protect the southern borders of the country. In order to strengthen them it was decided to build a port at the Dnieper mouth with a shipyard, a commercial pier and a fortress.
Also, Kherson was given the role of the main trading city. In the mid-1990s there had already been about 2 000 houses and 10 000 inhabitants. The best buildings were in a Greek suburb. In one of them (the house of the provincial government, now located at Suvorova st.1) in the years 1792-1794. O. Suvorov had been living. He was a commander of the troops of Kherson corps in the Kinburn and Kherson regions. The main street of the city is named by the name of the famous commanding officer now.
Nowadays, the “old city” occupies most of the modern center of Kherson. Clear alleys and streets go down to the Dnipro. The bank of the Dnipro is enriched by two embankments. Now Park Slavy is located at the first place, but it used to be the cradle of the Black Sea Fleet. It was on these steep banks and in the beams that the first tens of huge sailboats were laid. There is the beautiful view of the river and the marshes that stretch to the horizon. Concerts and music festivals of the European format are held in the natural amphitheater on the slopes of green hills. It also hosts the dedication of cadets of the Naval Academy, whose history goes back to the XVIII century, to where Cossacks and Corsicans, Englishmen and Greeks went on sailing and rowing ships in the waters of the Dnieper, estuary and sea…
The second embankment is located where the marinas and the port were once. Now the port is on the side, and the embankment is enriched by slender rows of lanterns, yachts, boats and fishermen.
WEATHER/BEST TIME TO VISIT
When to Go
High Season (Jul–Aug)
● Expect stifling heat and humidity as well as heavy thunderstorms.
● City is empty as people head for the coast and their country cottages.
Shoulder (May–Jun & Sep–Oct)
● Travel now to dodge the extreme temperatures of summer or winter.
● Spring can be chilly, but it’s a pleasant time to be in blossoming Kherson.
● Visit Kherson in autumn and avoid heat and enjoy a rich harvest of fruits and vegetables.
Low Season (Nov–Apr)
● Expect temperatures well below zero, heavy snowfalls and hard frosts.
● Book accommodation and transport ahead for New Year and early January.
IMAGES OF KHERSON
TRAVEL TO KHERSON
One of the most convenient, reliable and affordable ways to travel between major cities in Ukraine and to see Ukraine’s lovely countryside is via Ukrainian Railways. To plan your rail itinerary and book your tickets online visit http://www.uz.gov.ua/en/
Also there is an airport with more than 270 international and domestic flights in Kherson.
The official currency of Ukraine is the hryvnia which is abbreviated as UAH. The current official exchange rate can be found at the National Bank of Ukraine website
HOTELS AND ACCOMMODATION
list of hotels…
- As most of Ukrainian cities Kherson is navigable by trolleybuses, and buses. Urban public-transport systems are usually overworked and overcrowded. There’s no room for being shy or squeamish – learn to assert yourself quickly.
- Travelling by taxi anywhere in the ex-USSR can be a decidedly unpleasant experience for foreigners, so if there’s a bus or tram going to your destination, take it. Uber is not available in Kherson.
- There are virtually no regular taxis that you can flag down in the street these days; everyone books by phone.
- To order by phone you need to speak some Ukrainian-Russian and know exact pickup and destination addresses. Asking to drop you ‘somewhere at the center” won’t work. You also need a Ukrainian SIM card on your phone, so they can call you back. You’ll typically receive a text message with arrival time and car registration once you have placed your order.
- If possible, have your hostel or hotel call a cab for you – they generally use trustworthy companies with set fares.
- Avoid taxis that tout for business outside airports and stations as these operators are very likely to rip you off.
- Never travel in a cab that already has passengers in it.
- Seatbelts are optional extras in taxis. Child seats are unheard of.
TOURS AND EXCURSIONS
The main attraction of Kherson is the historical town center with the buildings of the XIX century, as well as the Kherson fortress of the XVIII century, which preserved the remains of the ramparts and gates of the fortress, representing the town boundaries of that time. The Ochakiv Gate facing Greek Suburb is still extant. St Catherine’s Cathedral, the pearl of the town, rises just above the gate. This monument of the XVIII century respires history. Pay attention to the icons of St Catherine and St Gregory. Also there are a bell tower and a fortification pit which is 78 meters deep on the territory of the cathedral.
Another place for leisurely strolls is the main street of Kherson − Suvorova Street. The center of the historic part of the old town, the Greek Suburb, connects Ushakova Avenue with Teatralna Street. Now there are many cozy cafes and shops here. Street performers often act in this place. It is good to walk slowly along the street, watching the local people and their lifestyle, sitting on a bench or on the terrace of a summer cafe having a cup of flavorous coffee.
There is a large number of operating temples and religious buildings in Kherson − Orthodox and Catholic churches, synagogues. Among them the Assumption Cathedral, the Greek-Sophia church of 1780, Hryhorivskyi monastery, the temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of 1787 and others are worth visiting.
The monument of John Howard in the shape of a huge sundial is one of the five most unusual city clocks in Ukraine. It is possible to judge how Kherson grew due to its location. After all, a century ago the monument was situated exactly on the town line, opposite the town gates, beyond which the street turned into a post road to Nikolaev. Until 1948, this main Kherson street had the name of John Howard, and since then has become the avenue of Admiral Ushakov.
Ploshcha Svobody is the heart of Kherson. The town government is located there. Public gatherings, parades, concerts are held in this place. On New Year’s holidays the main Christmas tree of the town flaunts there and Christmas festivities take place. One of the walking routes in Kherson − crossing the square and going along Ushakova Avenue, you can get to the Dnipro quay and have a good time in one of the riverside cafes.
The quay between the sea and river ports reveals Kherson as a city of sailors and shipbuilders − the port cranes, sea and river vessels, motorboats, barges and tugs. There is a wonderful view of the Dnieper, the Kosheva River and the Oleshkivska Konka River, where battle ships and galleys were playing at one time. Now you can see only peaceful sails here. Besides, the spire of the ancient building of the first Kherson yacht club is rising on the eastern cape of Quarantine Island opposite the quay.
You can walk along the river, or just sit, listen to the cry of seagulls, admire the snow-white boats and sailing vessels waiting for passengers, watch how rapidly the foam of clouds changes its shape. And only the jibs of the port cranes, reflected in the blue waters of the river and the noise of ship-to-shore off loading will disturb your reverie, brining you back to the town full of life and energy.
“Frigate” – the monument to the first shipbuilders
The memorial sign “Frigate” is located on the riverfront of the city and also knowing as the most recognizable symbol of Kherson. The monument has the form of a three-masted sailboat which is placed on the 15-th meters high pedestal. It was made in 1972 in honor of the first ships of the Black Sea Fleet: the 66-gun battleship “Catherine’s glory” and the 50-gun frigate “St. George”. Both of them were lowered from the slipways of the Kherson Admiralty Shipyard in 1783. The monument is made of copper sheets, concrete and granite by I. Belokur, V. Potrebenko , V. Shkuropad , Ya. Tarasov.
Potemkinsky square is the favorite place of couples in love and for wedding pictures in Kherson. There you can find “the lovers’ bench” with its classic love locks, the royal carriage and the symbolic monument “the lover’s heart”. Recently, it was opened the bench, which is made in such a way that one can sit on it only by closely hugging his/her life partner, in order to stop any quarrels between people in love. There is the statue of the Kherson founder Gregoriy Potemkin in the center of the square. The city’s theater is located just about the corner.
One of the most beautiful places in Kherson is Park Slavy. The annual citywide events are held there. Nowadays the amphitheater of the Glory Park leads along the large staircase to the riverfront of the Dnipro River near the industrial park of the Kherson sea port. At the end of the 18th century, walking galleys of Catherine the Great replenished there after her famous journey. Long since the Kherson wharf had been being called the prisoner wharf because it was built by the prisoners. Currently it is one of the most beautiful area in the city, where you can find the most breathtaking views.
There are plenty of architectural sights in Kherson. Among them is the monumental building of the city Arsenal. The army’s muskets, cannons, ammunition and edged weapons had kept there from 1784. Moreover, you have an opportunity to see the first stone houses in the city built at the end of the 18th century as the House of Suvorov, the Bishops’ House and the Goldenberg House. Also you can enjoy the city’s theaters, museums and beautiful parks.
THINGS TO DO
- Going on a trip to Kherson be ready for an amazing meeting with the one of the brightest symbols of Ukraine – the Dnipro River. Kherson is located on the right bank of its outfall. Travelers can enjoy the picturesque panoramas, the entrancing magnetism of the mysterious marshy and ready banks and be surprised at the scope and grandeur of the river’s deep, during they are sailing the Dnipro River. There are flooded areas where you can get only by johnboat there. The depth in such places is from ten centimeters to several meters. Voyage along the Dnipro River will acquaint you with the most inaccessible and unexplored areas, provide an opportunity to see the purest water and enchanting landscapes that will amaze you with their diversity. Such a way of travelling will leave vivid memories in your memory. Besides the tourist agency’s program you may take advantage of the renting the yachts, boats and small motor boats that you can find at the pier of the city central riverfront.
In addition, you may have a great time visiting the suburb area. If you practice equestrian sport or just love horses, you should go to the Grand Prix Equestrian Club, which is located thirty kilometers far from the city. There you can ride horses in the woods or in the arena. Moreover, it is possible to relax in the sauna and the swimming pool, and also take a walk around the mini-zoo or sail the lake by boats.
If you do equestrian sport or just love horses, you should go to Grand Prix Equestrian Club, thirty kilometers from the city. Here you can ride horses in the forest or at the arena, take a steam bath in the sauna with a swimming pool, walk around the mini zoo or go by boats along the lake.
It is hard to believe, but there is its own desert in Kherson region – the national park Oleshkivski Pisky. This place was formed at the place of the Dnipro сhannel. The river poured sand, which was covered with a layer of fertile soil over the time, and the former channel became the continuation of the boundless steppe. But people brought sheep here, who ate all the grass, leaving only sand again.
In the warm season, many tourists prefer to go to the Black Sea for the whole day, Kherson is connected with coastal resorts by the regular bus service.