A native’s guide to Kherson
By Жанна Кобылинская

A sunset view over the river

There is a city in Ukraine filled of special aura, green parks and romance…

This city is Kherson

If you want to visit a city filled with a special aura of love and romanticism, I recommend you to come to Kherson in the south of Ukraine.

The first stones of the city

The city was established by order of Catherine the Great and founded by one of the Empress’ favourite generals – Field Marshal Grigory Potemkin.

Being designed as the southern capital of the empire (which even had its own mint), the city witnessed a secret love affair between Catherine and Potemkin; and love is the feeling that makes impossible things to come true and inspires people to perform the greatest things.

Potemkin stands proud in the city

Grigory Potemkin referred to Kherson as the city of his dreams and asked to be buried in the city. His tomb is located on the territory of the city’s Catherine Cathedral.

Military power of the city

While travelling to Kherson don’t miss an opportunity to visit its old fortress and go along the city picturesque embankment where, apart from modern pleasure boats and yachts, you will see a stone statue of the first 66-gun ship of the Russian Empire «Glory of Catherine».

Kherson has always been a large shipping centre

Here you will learn that Kherson was the first base of the Black Sea Fleet. There are still river and sea navigated ports and ship building, repair and modern ship production remain major industries in the city.

A Multi-religious and multicultural city

If you visit Kherson, I highly recommend a walk around the city’s streets. It has always been a tolerant home for various nationalities and different religion belivers. Among the cosy streets of the old centre there has always been a peaceful coexistence between Greek, Polish, German, and Jewish communities and the city is dotted with synagogues, Greek temples, and the Polish Church and German Lutheran Church.

I am sure you will enjoy the special sound of Kherson, which is a combination of jazz overtones played over the street radio system, mixed with the bright melodies of the street musicians. The festive extravaganza of many street festivals includes fire-shows, a salsa-marathon, and a rock duel.  There are poetry competitions, costumed processions and many carnivals! The list goes on.

Enjoy Kherson’s green parks

I also recommend you visit the only planetarium in the South of Ukraine, the classic theatres, the city’s museums and their thousands of exhibits of local history. The art galleries include unique samples of avant-garde art  from the Kherson region.

There is a museum of modern art, and the department of rare books at the Kherson Regional Library has rare manuscripts and miniature books.

Where to eat and drink

While walking around the city one has a good choice of restaurants and cafes to have a snack or drink. You can drop in for a beer in ‘John Howard’ pub (http://vclub.johnhoward-pub.com.ua/contacts.html), and reflect on old times at ‘Nostalgia’ restaurant (http://nostalgie.net.ua/en/index.php?location=content&id=4).

The restaurants at the hotels ‘Muscat’ (http://www.muscat.kherson.ua/restaurant) and ‘Diligence’ (http://hotel-diligence.com.ua/restoran) offer service in English. Many foreigners coming to Kherson frequent these places due to high service level.

If you feel that you are ready to travel to Kherson and see all above-mentioned with your own eyes you can reach it by train or by bus. Overnight trains run from Kiev and Ukraine’s other main cities.

I’m sure that visit to this city will remain in your heart forever.

Жанна Кобылинская

Visit BlueToYellow’s gallery from Kherson here