Kherson, the city at the mouth of the Dnieper River, has been in existence for 230 years, although the age of other local settlements is far more venerable. History refers to Zaporozhian Cossacks, adherents of I. Mazepa who settled there in the first half of the 18 th century. In 1778 Russian empress Catherine II decided to build a city-port, which General-Field-Marshal G. Poti-omkin named in honor of Tauric Chersonesos The fortifications were built under the supervision of I.Ganibal, the ancestor of the great Russian poet A. Pushkin. The czarist decision proved mistaken for shallow water made it impossible to realize the project. A dockyard was built but it was inferior to Mykolaiv, which before long began to develop far more rapidly. Kherson remained a river port.
Moving from the river-boat station by Communards Street you will get to the Museum of Local Lore (the former province court, 9 Lenin St.) whose collection contains about 150,000 exhibits. The museum has two departments – literary museum (B. Lavreniov’s memorial apartment, 1 Gorki St.) and museum of nature (5 Gorkkv St.). O. Shovkkunenko Art Museum (34 Lenin St.) contains a representative collection of paintings by the famous Ukrainian artist Oleksiy Shevkunenko. The spacious hall of the museum is at the same time a concert hall with wonderful acoustics, and the building properly formerly belonged to the province council. Among old structures worthy of notice are the governor’s house (now it is palace of children and youth, 6/2 Perekopska St.). the old arsenal (10 Perekopska St.), the remains of Kherson fortress -Ochakiv and Moscow gates (13 Perekopska St.).
Nearby there is the oldest sacral structure – the Church of St. Catherine (1 786) where Catherine ll’s favorite Grigoriy Potiomkin was buried in October 1791. From outside the church is adorned with the sculptures of Apostles Peter and Paul, and martyresses Catherine and Barbara. Under the pediment of the western entrance there is an inscription saying that Catherine II dedicated this temple to the Savior of human kind.