Situated along the banks of the Dnipro River on southern Ukraine is the ship-building city of Kherson. Founded in 1778 by Grigory Potemkin and built on the site of an old fortress, the city’s name was derived from “Chersonesos” which was an ancient Greek and Byzantine colony in southwestern Crimea some 2000 years ago. Today, it is a major commercial port as well as an industrial and agricultural hub in the Kherson Oblast. It has a population of about 329,000 and is composed of three districts: Dnipro Raion, Komsomol Raion and Suvorov Raion. The city is also home to four universities (two state universities, a technical university and an international university for Business and Law) which also accounts for its large student population. Many famous Ukrainians were born in Kherson: Olympic gold medalist and gymnast Tatiana Lysenko, former Prime Minister of Bulgaria Sergei Stanishev, artist Yefim Gollishev and science fiction writer Mikhail Yemtsev to name a few.
In Ukraine Kherson may not be a popular tourist destination as Kyiv but it still holds a number of interesting attractions worth making a day trip for. There are a number of monuments that harken back to its Soviet colonial past such as statues of Lenin and other famous figures. While many architectural buildings did not survive the ravages of wars and of time, there are still some that can be seen like the gates of the former Ochakow and Moscow stronghold built during the 18th century. There is also a number of religious buildings around such as the Church of Saint Alexandra, Church of Saint Catherine (where Potemkin was buried), the Gregorian Monastery, the Synagouge Habad and many others. Other interesting sights include the Kherson Museum with its impressive collection of historical artifacts that trace the origins and development of Kherson as a city; the Adziogol Reticulate Steel Lighthouse with its distinctive hyperboloid structure; and the former house of Nadezhda Durova, writer and considered a hero of the Patriotic War.