SOME HISTORY OF MYKOLAYIV AND ITS REGION.
THE MEMORY OF THE CENTURIES
At the end of the 18th century the lands of the northern Prichernomorye came to belong to Russia as a result of the Russian-Turkish war. Here, where the Inhul and the Southern Buh meet the first slipways for the building of the Black Sea Navy ships were constructed.
In 1789 according to the order of Prince H. O. Potiomkin Mykolayiv was founded. It is regarded as a shipyard.
Since the old times the Northern Prichernomor’ye attracted people with its fruitful soils, comfortable location, rich water resources. As a result of archaeological researches numerous settlements and graves have been discovered which belong to the different historical epochs. Absolutely unique ia a settlement Dykyi Sad, recently discovered in the very center of Mykolayiv, which is over three thousand years old.
Scientists assume, that this ancient city is a contemporary of legendary Troy and perhaps it was the very “city of kimmerian”, which Homer mentioned in “Iliad”. The finds of archaeologists prove that it was a real city, a shopping center of those times – with protective buildings, developed crafts and trade, also people here made harness and repaired the ships.
500 years later, from the 7th century B.C., ancient greeks came here who founded the city-state of Ol’viya (not far away from the modern Mykolayiv). Ol’viya existed for a thousand years, it was an important center of ancient culture, trade, economy in the Northern Prichernomor’ye. For more than two centuries archaeologists keep coming here. In time the population of Ol’viya mixed with the nearby tribes, but still it bore the mark of that high greek civilization without which, possibly, modern Europe would not exist.
Centuries passed and here there were the outposts of the mighty Eastern Slavic state Kiev Rus. Here there was an island of Berezan’, situated on the way “from variag to greek”. Here the ancient sailors used to stop the prepare their ship for the long trips. The Dnipro-Buz’kyi estuary was called The Great – here the rivers and the sea unite. The warriors of Askol’d and Dir came here as well as the warriors of Prince Oleh.
For a long time this territory was known as Dyke Pole, devastated by the invaders. Still, here there were palanky – the guard towers of the kossacks. On the Southern Buh Zaporiz’kyi Hard was situated – a fortress of the kossacks in the South of Ukraine. Now it is a national park.
The liberation from the turkish power took place in the last quarter of the 18th century. Since then the history of Mykolayiv is connected to the history of Russia making its way to the Black Sea. In 1788 Prince Potiomkin ordered to found a shipyard on the Inhul for building the ships. In a year a town appeared which was called Mykolayiv to honour the conquering of the last Turkish fortress of Otchakiv on December, 6, 1788, in the day of Saint Mykolay, the patron of the seaman. In 1790 the first ship, built in Mykolyiv was heaved off. It was a 44-gum frigate of “St. Mykolay”, the image of which up to this day decorates the coat of arms of city. For more than one hundred years the headquaters of the Black Sea Navy was situated in Mykolayiv, F. Ushakov, O. Greyg, M. Lazarev, P. Nakhimov, V. Kornilov, G. Butakov, and F. Bellinsgauzen worked here.
Admiral S. Makarov was born in Mykolayiv. The National University of shipbuilding was named after him… The marine soul of city, which seven decades ago became the administrative center of the Mykolayiv region, lives in the names of streets, in hundreds of the ships built on the Mykolayiv shipbuilding plants.
Mykolayiv worked, experienced wars, revolutions, economic crises, together with an entire country. Presently Mykolayiv becomes one of the most prosperous regions of Ukraine, it uses mighty potential, gained due to an inspired labour of previous generations.
Grain and ships are the concepts most characteristic for Mykolayiv. At the and of the 19th century Mykolayiv was acknowledged as one of the “grain capitals”. Presently Mykolayiv this reputation, providing 2,5 million tons of the grain.
Mykolayiv industrial enterprises are developing. The most successful in a country is “Wadan Yards Ocean”, the Black Sea shipbuilding plant – the biggestin Europe – expects its investors as well as the oldest of all shipyards – a plant named after 61 communars. Glory and potential of these enterprises, where mighty ships were created (from legendary “Prince Potemkin Tavricheskiy” to the soviet aerocarriers), will not allow them to decay.
Successful is Mykolayiv alumina plant which is a powerful producer of raw materials for aluminium industry. Well-known are the products of “Zorya-Mashproekt”. Mykolayiv (Nikolajev rus.) ports develop dinamically. For many years Mykolayiv was one of the closed cities since here the potential of soviet military industrial complex was concentrated.
Presently all possible ways of development of this territory are a matter of the future. Above all things is shipbuilding which can become the huge economic factor of development of all Ukraine at the terms of investmennts and state assistance. Not to mention the giants of engineering, food and light industries.
As in tsar’s and soviet times, Mykolayiv (Nikolaev) remains powerful in education, culture and art. Today Mykolayiv, can be named the city of students and youth. High intellectual potential, gained in the “closed” times, presently dvelops in the new terms of the independent Ukrainian state.
Mykolayiv which is situated on the banks o the rivers remains a beautiful, green and comfortable city. Planned according to the classical principles, it has wide straight streets, comfortable boulevards, beautiful nooks on the banks of the rivers. The landmarks of the city are unique bridges across the Southern Bug and the Ingul.
The original beauty of Mykolayiv was reflected by the well-known poet, laureate of the Shevchenko award Leonid Visheslavskiy, in the lyric confession: “In a years I started to love you so much, oh, my city of white acacias and black night”. This unique beauty Mykolayiv artists try to save on their canvasses. Works of one of them – veteran of war Oleksandr Pokosenko – you can see on these pages: he depicts Mykolayiv at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Not all was from those times, it is quite a bit lost. But still the creative spirit lives here and the intellectual search goes on.