History of Kherson

Kherson municipal arms Kherson is located on high right coast of Dnepro for 25 km from the place of its confluence in Dneprovsky estuary of the Black sea. The city is a large railway junction. The sea and large river port are located in the city. Kherson is an important economic centre of southern part of Ukraine.
The territory of modern Kherson was populated for a long time. The burial, which were found out in different areas of the city and material finds testify the man's stay already during a copper and bronze epoch (III - II thousand BC).

In IV - III centuries BC Scythians wandered on that territory, and in due course Sarmatians changed them. In Kievan Russia (IX - XII centuries) along the river, the way "from the Varangian in Greeks" which Slavs used in the trading purposes passed there. On the Big Potemkinsky island there was a Slavic settlement.

Six centuries later, in 1737 on the place of present Kherson there was Russian strengthening Aleksander-Shants erected in Russian-Turkish war 1735-1739.

After the following Russian-Turkish war (1768-1774) and the conclusions of the Kuchuk-Kaynardzhiysky contract, which fixed an exit of Russia to the Black sea, the lands between Dnepro and Yuznuy Bug were attached to it. However the problem of safety of southern borders still remained very strained, additional measures on their strengthening were necessary.

The city Kherson was founded by Ekaterina's ІІ Decree of June, 18, 1778. In a mouth of Dnepro the city with ship-building shipyard, trading landing stage and a fortress which should have become the base of created fleet was erected. The name was given to the city in honour of an Ancient Greek colony Chersonese. Favourite of the empress Ekaterina ІІ G. Potyomkin pointed the place, where it was necessaty to found the city. He was appointed the governor general of the city and further considered Kherson as his child.

Known architects and engineers I.Starov, I.Sitnikov, K.Borzhua, M.Korsakov, Germa and others were involved in the construction of Kherson. For some years the city plan was developed, which is peculiar by lines of accurate and clear orderliness. The Fortress of about 100 hectares was the centre. It was a complex of military-fortifacation, public and cult constructions. The defensive system included high bulk shaft, bastions, ravelins, underground mine galleries, a ditch, a well, Moscow and Ochakovsky gates with drawbridges.

In Kherson the building of the Black Sea fleet began. In September, 1783 the first big 66-gun ship «Ekaterina's Glory» was floated from berths of the Admiralty shipyard. In the end of XVIII century through Kherson port trade with France, Italy, Spain and other countries of Europe was carried out. During travel of empress Catherine II along the south of Ruthenia, even foreigners admired Kherson.

Kherson became economic and political centre of Novorossiya. Engineer-colonel N.Korsakov and thenI.A.Gannibal, were engaged in building of fortress. Admiral F.F.Ushakov who arrived to Kherson at the head of the column fo 700 Baltic sailors continued their business. Soldiers, unbearable workers, and also state and free workers built the city.
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