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Many interesting tourist routes may be chosen for travelling in the Kherson Region. But we have chosen the most interesting one: Kherson — Novaya Kakhovka — Kakhovka — Askania-Nova. Following this route you will get acquainted with the relics of the past and the new building sites, the ancient legends and heroic deeds of Soviet people. Here, beside the Kakhovka Hydropower Station, you will see Scythian mounds. In Askania-Nova you will find yourself in a wonderful world of nature that has imbellished the arid southern steppe.

All the way along he route you will have ample opportunities not only to get acquainted with the places around you, but to have a good rest on the Dnieper, to have a swim in the Kakhovka storage sea, and, in general, have a good time.

Text by: E. Belousova and A. Viriich Translated by: J. Kalinsky


In silvery patches of sunlight awakes the majestic Dnieper, and over the wide expanse of water sounds the music of the chime:

Oh, you Dnieper, broad and mighty Dnieper, O'er your waters deep fly the cranes...

The Dnieper, broad and mighty as ever, with cranes flying over it as of old, and gulls circling round the sterns of the vessels... But life on its banks has become different, and even the old Dnieper itself has become younger and mightier than in the days of yore.

Gliding swiftly on the surface of the great river are now not the boats of the Dnieper Cossacks, but high-speed hydrofoil vessels. A number of tall dams have been built, and the life-giving liquid has been made to flow hundreds of miles to reach the dry steppes of Tauria and the Crimea.

Our vessel sails up the transparent, turquoise water of the river, along its bright green, sunny banks and isles.

We are sailing slowly past Kherson. Our attention is arrested by the numerous vessels at the piers, the gantry cranes, and the endless sandy beaches against the background of gardens and parks.

We are in Kherson.

While the ship is sailing along the bank we will give you some information about the town.

Kherson is a regional centre of the Soviet Ukraine. It is situated 28 km from the Dnieper estuary and 96 km from the Black Sea. The population of the town is 250 thousand inhabitants.

A traveller in the Kherson Region would probably like to know about the climatic conditions here. Well, the average annual temperature here is rather high: plus 9 or 10°C, and the rainfall is quite small — only 320—400 mm. It only remains to add that the frostless period in the region lasts 228 days, and the sunny days in the year amount to 260—280. As you see, the Kherson Region is one of the warmest provinces of the European part of the Soviet Union, and when travelling here you will surely enjoy the warmth of the southern sun. The healthy climate of this land was highly praised by V. G. Belinsky as far back as 1846 when he visited Kherson. He said, "The climate and nature here are delicious; whoever wants to live long should go to Kherson".

Now, on the portside, you see before you the Quarantine Island. Impressive are the enormous buildings of the shipbuilding yards producing sea-going cargo ships and tankers with displacements of 22—28 thousand tons, lake-going motor ships and river passenger boats, reinforced concrete docks and seine-net fishing vessels. The number of workmen employed at the yards accommodated on the island is four times as great as that of the whole pre-revolutionary Kherson Province. Here also is the repair yard named after Kuibyshev where the ships of the whaling flotilla "Soviet Ukraine" are repaired, the "Sudobetonverf" yard where ship lifting arrangements and docks are constructed, the latter being in great demand not only at home but also abroad.

Manufactured recently at the yard has been a "Zigzag" breakwater, which is several times cheaper than the conventional structures for protecting ports from waves.

The Kherson shipbuilding yards have launched such vessels as "Leninsky Komsomol", "October Revolution", and the turboelectric ship "Paris Commune" with a displacement of 25 thousand tons, on which for the first time in the practice of world shipbuilding a gas-turbine power plant has been employed.

Kherson is a town of shipbuilders and of two ports. This can easily be seen from board ship: side by side are the river and sea stations and the respective vessels — the river boats going up and down the Dnieper and the ships sailing from Kherson over the seas and oceans of the world.

The river port is of great importance. From its piers numerous cargo and passenger vessels go up the Dnieper and Bug to Kakhovka, Zaporozhye, Kiev, and other ports.

The busiest period for the river port is summer, when hundred-ton barges with rich gifts from the Tauria steppes arrive: the famous Kherson water melons, rosy-cheeked apples, baskets of amber-coloured grapes and fiery-red tomatoes. And what an abundance of fish and lobsters! There even used to be a singular custom of holding so-called "lobster weddings" — festivities to celebrate the lobster catching period.

A hundred metres away from the river port are the reinforced concrete walls of the sea port. Many ships are berthed here under the flags of England, Norway, Yugoslavia, Italy, and other countries. They come for wheat, iron ore, and other cargoes. The sea port is equipped with powerful gantry cranes, cargo carriers and conveyors of different capacities. The world's largest grain elevator was built in the port in 1931, in the very place where the towers of the so-called "Alexander Shantz" reinforcement were erected in 1737 to protect the Russian lands from the Turks. It is here that the history of Kherson actually begins.

In 1778 the first foundation stones of the first buildings of the town — the Admiralty and the Fortress — were laid here. The town received its name in memory of the ancient Greek colony of Chersonesus once situated near the present-day Sevastopol.

Kherson came into being because it was necessary for Russia at that time to create a fleet in the south of the country that could withstand the powerful Turkish fleet.

It was largely due to Captain Ushakov that the Russian fleet on the Black Sea was built. Despite the very hard conditions in the newly-born town the first vessel — the 66-gun frigate "Slava Yekateriny" — was launched in 1783, i. e. only five years after Kherson had been founded. Soon a number of vessels were built here, such as the "Skory", "Bystry", "Khersonets", and others.

For the construction of the fleet and for his selflessness in fighting the epidemic of plague which, as ill luck would have it, broke out in Kherson at that time, Ushakov was decorated with an order and given the rank of captain 1st class. We will always honour the memory of this outstanding Russian Naval Commander. One of the most beautiful avenues of the town was named after Ushakov. The wide avenue begins at the port and crosses the whole town. A monument to F. F. Ushakov (by Kravchenko and Chubin) was erected here in 1957.

In Ushakov Avenue there is another monument—an obelisk in memory of the English practitioner, Dr. John Howard.

Great were his services to the town. On learning that an epidemic of typhoid had burst out in Kherson, he came here to fight it in 1789, and a year later he caught typhoid himself and died.

Ushakov Avenue is crossed by one of the town's most beautiful streets—Suvorov Street, lined with maples on both sides. Among the green verdure of Suvorov Street stands out the luxuriant crown of a century-old elm. They say that it was planted by the wet-nurse of Suvorov's son on the day when the boy was born. Just across the road, in a modest house (under No. 1), the famous general himself lived in 1792—1794. Closely linked with his name is the history of the Kherson Fortress. After the Crimea was joined to Russia, Turkey with the aid of England tried to win back the lost grounds. In 1787 the Turkish fleet initiated war operations in the Dnieper estuary. After a bloody battle in the vicinity of Kherson the Russian troops led by Suvorov routed the Turkish landing force at Kinburn, where the heavily wounded General continued to command the battle. On the 6th December, 1788, after a long siege, the strongest Turkish fortress of Ochakov was taken by storm.

The military leaders fallen in the battle of Ochakov are buried in the churchyard of the Yekaterininsky Cathedral in Kherson. These were the brothers Zakomelsky, major-general Sinelnikov, Goritch-Bolshoi, lieutenant-colonel Martynov. Here is also the grave of the first builder of the town — engineer colonel Korsakov.

In the centre of Kherson is a large park in which a venerable oak attracts your attention. Many are the legends connected with this oak, but it is not legends that the Kherso-nites of the older generation remember: they are of the same age as the intrepid revolutionaries who were shot under this tree. The mighty oak still stands unbroken by winds and storms. So does the cause of the revolutionaries who shed their blood under the oak, and the memory of them will remain with the people for ever.

Kherson is a town of glorious revolutionary traditions. The proletariat of Kherson never stood aloof of the all-Russian revolutionary struggle.

At the end of the 19th century the first Marxist circles were organised here. They were headed by A. D. Tsuryupa, I. K. Gudz, V. K. Vladimirov.