Nikolaev (Mykolaiv, Mikolaiv in Ukrainian) also widely known as Nikolayev (from Russian Николаев), In Ukrainian, and the city is named Микола́їв, for which the transliteration is Mykolaiv or, more rarely, Mykolayiv. The Russian name is Никола́ев, which transliterates as Nikolaev or Nikolayev. is located in Southern Ukraine, about 600 km south-east from Kiev, 150 km from Odessa and 80 km from the Black Sea on the estuary of the Southern Bug and Ingul rivers. Its population is about 518,400.This territory has been home to different peoples for a long time since the Stone Age. The Slavs have inhabited this territory since the 3rd century AD. It was one of the Southern provinces of Kievan Rus. But the Slavs were forced out from this land by the Tatar-Mongol Horde in the 13th century AD. Ottoman Turkey conquered it at the end of the 15th century.
The 18th century was marked by a number of the Russian-Turkish wars. Russia began to build its fleet. In 1788 dockyard Ingulskaya appeared in the estuary of the Ingul River. And a new town grew around it very quickly.
Name of city
There are several variations of the city's name. In Ukrainian, the city is named Микола́їв, for which the transliteration is Mykolaiv, or, more rarely, Mykolayiv. The Russian name is Никола́ев, which transliterates as Nikolaev or Nikolayev. In 1920 Nikolaev government decided to rename the city in Vernoleninsk, but the new name has not been approved by the Government of USSR. Nevertheless, in the German encyclopedic dictionaries in 1927 and 1932 on the map of European USSR, the city was named Vernoleninsk.
The town was founded in 1789 by the Russian Governor General of Novorossiya, Prince Grigori Potemkin, initially as a shipyard called simply a New Shipyard on the Ingul River. Kniaz Potemkin signed an order to construct a shipyard on August 27, 1789, which is considered to be the city's birth date. The shipyard was to undertake the repair of naval ships in the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792). Later Potemkin ordered the shipyard to be named Nikolaev to commemorate the date when Ochakov fell to the Russian troops under his command on December 6, 1788, close to the day of Saint Nicholas (Nikolay) December 19, in the Russian Orthodox Church calendar.
The history of the city has always been closely connected to ship building. Captain Georgy Brusilov of the ill-fated Arctic ship St Anna was born in Mykolaiv in 1884. The late Lubavicher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson was born in Mykolaiv in 1902.
The governor-general of this territory, Prince Grigory Potyomkin ordered to give to the town the name Nikolaev to honor the victory of the Russian army over the Turks on the day of St. Nikolay, the seamen's patron. The decree was signed on the 27th of August 1789. And this date is considered to be the city's birthday.
The name "St. Nikolay" was given to the first frigate with 46 cannons launched from the new dockyard. This was the beginning of shipbuilding industry, the industry in which Nikolaev has been majoring since then. At the end of the 19th century Nikolaev was one of the biggest trading centers in Russia. During World War II heroic defenders of Nikolaev saved the seaport from barbaric destruction. The city is situated between two rivers - the South Bug and the Ingul. The city was named by Prince Potemkin in honor of St. Nikolaj 209 years ago. From ancient times Nikolaev has been the center of shipbuilding. On its wharfs the largest ships of the former USSR were built. In the time of imperial Russia Nikolaev was the headquarters of the Commander-in-chief of the Black Sea fleet.
Today Nikolaev is the center of shipbuilding industry of Ukraine. Headquarters of Ukrainian shipbuilding corporations are situated here. The names of great naval commanders, writers, poets and artists are connected to Nikolaev. The city is built on territory of ancient antiquity with an unmapped network of catacombs, of an antiquity much older than the famous Odessa Catacombs, near the ancient Greek city-state Ol'viya. Nikolaev has remarkable parks and reserves. The largest zoo has a variety of fauna and is third in size in the territory of the former USSR.
The highest part of the South Bug River is named "Ukrainian Switzerland" because of a beautiful landscape with fast rivers, thresholds and covered rocks as in Kazak’s legends. The well known artist V.V. Vereshagin lived and worked in Nikolaev. Presently a lot of the artist's famous paintings are kept here in Nikolaev in a museum that bears his name. In an observatory constructed in 1821 is a unique collection of devices for the observation of celestial bodies. Having come to visit us, you will acquaint yourself with a land rich in history and culture which still keeps some secrets.
Within Ukraine Nikolaev is famous as the city of Russian brides. When you are sitting in Nikolayev’s cafes in summer on our main street Sovetskaya you will not be able to take your eyes off the street where stunningly beautiful single Nikolayev ladies are walking alone or with others.
The Nikolaev Region Study Museum - was founded on December 15, 1913 by the decision of the Nikolaev Municipal Duma (town council) and the group of amateur activists in region-studying lead by S. Gayduchenko. The Museum today is a significant museum association, which includes, besides the main museum, the Museum of Shipbuilding and Fleet, the Museum “Partisan Movement in Nikolaev Region during the years of Great Patriotic War”, the Military-Historic Museum named after A. Suvorov in Ochakov, the Region-Study Museum in Pervomaysk, the Museum “Partisan Iskra (Spark)” in Krimka village.
The Museum and its branches have more than 150 thousand visitors and hold about 3500 guided tours annually. Every year more than 40 new exhibitions are created, more than 100 various social educational activities are held. The Museum’s collection contains more than 160 thousand units, among which there are unique collections of antique books, items of archeology, numismatics, natural history and ethnography.
Museum of Shipbuilding and Fleet - The Museum of Shipbuilding and Fleet in Nikolaev was created and opened as a department of the Nikolaev Region-Study Museum in 1978.The Museum is located in an ancient building, which is a monument of history and archeology of state significance. The decision on creating the Museum of Shipbuilding and Fleet was adopted by Nikolaev Regional Council on October 10, 1973. Experts from the Region-Study Museum and painters of Art Fund of Ukraine, Nikolaev Regional Division, took part in creation of the Museum. Today the Museum is a city’s “visit card” and it is the only museum of shipbuilding in the country.
The exposition of 12 halls shows the stages of shipbuilding development in the Northern Black-Sea Region starting from ancient times, the process of Black Sea Fleet creation, shipyards’ development, represents the pages of shipbuilders’ history. The Museum annually receives more than 50 thousand visitors, and holds about 1000 guided tours. The Museum’s funds contain nearly 8000 museum items.
The significant part of the exposition is devoted to founding of Nikolaev as a shipyard in the context of the Black Sea Fleet creation. Diorama “Vessels’ Building at Nikolaev Shipyard in the 1st quarter of XIX century” is one of the Museum’s most interesting exhibits; it has been created by the artist V. Semernyov - the Schevchenko State Prize winner.
The significant part of the exposition is devoted to the city’s shipbuilding yards’ development at the end of ХIX – beginning of XX century. These materials illustrate the foundation of “Naval” Shipyard in Nikolaev. The permanent exhibition “Marine Shield of Motherland” gives the idea of modern military shipbuilding in Nikolaev.In the Museum one can sea a model of the legendary yacht “Ikar”, which was the first Soviet yacht to travel round the world (September 1987 – July 1988).The Museum carries out intensive exhibition work (up to 10 exhibitions per year).The memorial busts of famous admirals - naval commanders are placed in front of the Museum. Admiralty anchors and ship borne cannons from different times are displayed on the open area.
The Museum of Shipbuilding and Fleet is included in the route of excursion tour for the members of the Military – Historical Club of Sweden. The Museum received near 2 million visitors during the time of its existence. The Museum turned 25 in year 2003.
Museum of “Partisan Movement in Nikolaev Region - The Museum of “Partisan Movement in Nikolaev Region during the years of Great Patriotic War, 1941-1944” was opened on April 29, 1975 in Lyagina Street in the center of Nikolaev city.
The Museum is history oriented; it is a local monument of history and architecture and is subordinate to the Nikolaev Region – Study Museum. It is located in an old mansion (end of XIX century), which belongs to the famous in Nikolaev family of German settlers – von Shardts.
V. Lyagin, scout and Hero of Soviet Union, resided in this house during the period of 1941-1943.
The Museum studies the history of World War II, investigates the events of Nikolaev region military history and illegal political repressions in the region in 1930’s – 1950’s.The Museum’s research assistants participate in scientific conferences held in Nikolaev, Kherson, Odessa, Kiev, have numerous publications on problematic questions of history of war and political repressions in Ukraine in the middle of XX century, cooperate with the society “Descendants of Germans from Ukraine” (USA), with military historian and member of editorial board of the magazines «SCHWEIZER SOLDAT» (Switzerland) and «Zeitschrift fur Heereskunde» (Germany), which is the body of military history and military art, uniform, kit and weapons for scientific communities, military museums and collectors. The Museum possesses collections of Soviet and German shooting weapons, Great Patriotic War placards videos of Soviet and German news films. A number of Museum’s exhibition projects are dedicated to the country’s political history in 1930’s – 1950’s with broad display of original documents from the repressed fellow countrymen trial records that were kept in secret archive funds for many years. Along with covering historic events, the Museums form exhibition peacekeeping humanitarian programs on preservation of world culture and cultural heritage.
The Museum holds guided and thematic tours for different categories of visitors, “Open Door” and “Family Visit” days, weeks of documentary films with demonstration of war documentaries, theatrical exhibitions based on museum collections and theatrical presentations of new exhibitions, lessons of historical memory etc
Modern Mykolayiv City
The history of the city dates back to the year 1789 when the construction of a shipyard started in the mouth of Ingul river under the guideline of the Novorossiysk Governor General duke G. Potyomkin. In a year a town, named Nikolaev, was founded here.
Today Nikolaev is an administrative center of the Nikolaev region. With the population of over 500 thousand people, it is the 9th biggest city in Ukraine.
The city lands occupy the total of 25, 3 thousand hectares. The total length of streets, embankments and passageways is 960 km. Modern Nikolaev is a center of shipbuilding. Here the unique cruiser ships and aircraft carriers, whale bases, refrigerator ships, trawlers and bulkers were produced. Turbines and road machines construction, electric-technical and electronic production, non-ferrous metallurgy, perfumery, light and food industries have simultaneously developed in the city.
Nikolaev has an advanced network of various transport communications. The city lives an active international life. Thanks to the everyday work, talent, intellect and patience of many generations, Nikolaev grows and improves year after year, and gives people the hope for a better future.
Machine building and metalworking occupy the leading place with the sectors such as shipbuilding and power engineering. Nikolaev industrial enterprises provide up to 60% of the Ukraine’s shipbuilding production, over 90% of the state gas turbine production, and 80% of the alumina which is the semi-product for aluminum production.
Shipbuilding - the leading industrial sector – is represented in Nikolaev by three large shipyards: State Joint Stock Holding Company “Chernomorsky Shipbuilding Yard”, State Enterprise “Shipyard named after 61 Communards”, and “Damen Shipyards “Okean” Joint Stock Company. These enterprises mainly produce tankers, bulk and container carriers, refrigerator ships, trawlers, floating hotels and military ships of different types. However, the industry of Nikolaev is not only capable of building the highly science-intensive ships, but also modern gas-turbine installations, radio-electronic equipment of the highest precision.
A number of shipbuilding - related enterprises such as «Era», «Crystal» and «Equator» Joint Stock Companies specialize in shipboard equipment and assembly of onboard power systems. Besides that, a number of electric-technical and electronic industry enterprises with highly qualified personnel are located in the city.
State Enterprise “Scientific Research Complex for Gas Turbine Construction «Zarya-Mashproekt» produces universal purpose gas turbine engines for propelling ships, transporting natural gas, and generating electricity. Its products meet the world standards and are an item of export.
Light industry is represented by the textile enterprises that produce cloth for man, women and children (“Evis”, “Yuzhanka”), knitted garments and haberdashery (“Angela” JSC), leather raw material, shoes and various leather goods (“Nikkozh” JSC, “Niko” JSC). “Alye Parusa” JSC holds an important place in producing various perfumes - cosmetics products.
Well-developed food industry keeps its good positions. Meat industry is based on processing agricultural raw products, and is represented by Nikolaev meat plant, poultry plant, and numerous sausage-producing shops. The leading milk processing enterprise producing all range of diary products is “Laktalis - Ukraine” Close JSC. There are also “Nikolaev confectionery factory” JSC, “Sandora” Ltd (produces various cans and juices), “Nectar” JSC (beverages, confectionery goods, mayonnaise), numerous bakeries and bread plants, “Nikolaev liquors plant” State Enterprise and famous “Yantar” Brewery JSC whose products got all-Ukrainian recognition, working in the city.
The transport infrastructure is well developed here; it includes sea and river ports, railway junction, two airports and highways. The current city authorities and the Mayor of Nikolaev Vladimir Chayka do all possible to maximally use the city’s industrial, scientific and intellectual potential for increasing the well being of Nikolaev residents. Today serious and systematic work is done for supporting the functioning of the Special economic zone “Nikolaev”. SEZ “Nikolaev” was created with the purpose of engaging investments into priority branches of production to preserve existing and create new places of employment, introduce modern production technology, promote foreign economic relations and entrepreneurial activity development, increase efficiency of the ship-building enterprises facilities and their export potential, increase high-quality goods and services deliveries, create modern industrial, transport and market infrastructures.
The special legal regime for economic activity is established on the territory of SEZ “Nikolaev”. It is determined by the Law of Ukraine “On Special economic zone “Nikolaev” in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On general principles of special (free) economic zones creation and functioning”.
Promotion and further development of science, education, culture, publishing activity and health care has great significance for the life and sustainable development of the city and its community.
Nikolaev is the acknowledged center of higher education and science. About 2500 highly qualified specialists graduate from ten institutes and universities annually, and about half of them have qualifications that are unique for the country. Among the city’s universities we should mention: Ukrainian State Marine Technical University named after Admiral Makarov (trains specialists in all shipbuilding professions, the degrees are recognized in USA, Germany etc.), Nikolaev State Pedagogical University, Nikolaev State Agrarian Academy, Nikolaev State Humanitarian University named after Petro Mohyla, Southern Slavic Institute, Nikolaev branch of Kiev National University for Culture and Arts, Nikolaev educational center of Odessa National Law Academy, Nikolaev educational-scientific center of Odessa National University named after I. Mechnikov, Nikolaev branch of International University for Human Development “Ukraine”, Nikolaev branch of European University for Finance, Informational Systems, Management and Business, Nikolaev branch of the Moscow International Natalia Nesterova University. Seven colleges and technical schools, and four higher training schools are functioning in the Nikolaev, among them the Polytechnic, Construction, Music, and Medical Training Schools. Educational system and the network of educational institutions in Nikolaev are being developed on the basis of the complex program “Education” adopted by the City Council in 1999.
There are 82 pre-school facilities functioning in Nikolaev. 73 thousand of young students study in 80 secondary educational establishments. Within recent years the secondary education system has been reformed with the intention to provide appropriate studying conditions for the gifted children. With this purpose a pedagogical and two humanitarian gymnasiums, informational-mathematics, physics-mathematical and two economic lyceums were created. With the consideration of students’ and their parents’ interests, 9977 students in 2002 study under more advanced programs in the specialized classes with extensive learning of physics, mathematics, economics, law, foreign languages or computer science.
The existing system of secondary education allows students to be taught in their native language. Thus in the city there are 22 schools with teaching in Russian, 33 – in Russian and Ukrainian, 13 – in Russian. Other national languages are taught as selective courses in several schools.
More than one third of the Nikolaev city population is young people. That is why the City Council has adopted the complex program “Youth” which is currently being implemented.
The council on the issues of youth policy – “Youth Municipality” – has been created. It consists of the representatives from 29 youth organizations. The “Youth Mayor” has been elected in the course of All-Ukrainian Action “Student Republic. Involving young people in the public service has become a priority direction of the municipality human resources policy (currently the municipality and district administrations employ 77 men aged under 29, 19 of them are studying in the Public Administration graduate programs).
Nikolaev has accumulated rich spiritual and cultural potential. There are 58 cultural facilities functioning in the city. Among them: 10 schools for esthetic education, two Palaces of Culture, 10 Houses of Culture that host various professional and amateur singing, dancing and other ensembles, clubs, parks, wonderful play-town “Fairy tail” for children’s leisure, Municipal performance studio, Municipal cultural center, Municipal Chamber Orchestra, the Zoo, theatres, cinemas, the network of 35 libraries and others. The financing of cultural sphere from the city budget has increased over the recent years.
The oldest in Nikolaev Russian Drama Theatre, the Theatre for Ukrainian Drama and Musical Comedy as well as the Regional Philharmonics is very popular among the spectators.
The most famous and favorite place of interest is the NIKOLAEV ZOO – one of the oldest and most developed in Ukraine. At the beginning of September 2001 the celebrations devoted to the Nikolaev Zoo 100th anniversary took place, which was a great event for the residents and guests of our city. The issuing of the anniversary 2 Hryvna coin “Nikolaev Zoo Centenary” and opening of the monument to the Zoo founder N. Leontovich brought joy and honor to the city residents. It is very honorable and prestigious that in 1993 Nikolaev Zoo became the first one in Ukraine to be accepted the European Association of Zoo and Aquaria (EAZA), it takes part in many international programs on endangered species conservation in captivity. A Zoo collection contains more than 350 species of animals, more than 2500 specimen, many of which are included in the International Red Book. In November 2002 Nikolaev Zoo was awarded with the Crystal Cornucopia according to the results of the IX International Academic Rating of Popularity and Quality Golden Fortune.
Nikolaev is famous for its sports traditions. The development of sports and physical training in Nikolaev are highly determined by constant organizational work and active support on the side of the city authorities.
The municipal program “Physical training is the health of the nation” is being carried out; the program of the children and youth sport development is being drafted. There are 25 sports schools in 36 kinds of sports where 9200 children and youth people are trained. Professional sportsmen are trained in the Higher School for Physical Training and Sports and School for Higher Sports Skills.
Five stadiums, 118 gyms, four swimming pools, and 21 tennis courts are available for people in our city. The created sports infrastructure as well as highly qualified coaches enables to train the sportsmen who greatly succeed in the international competitions. During the period of 1998-2002 the following athletes became champions and prizewinners in the World and European Championships: Inga Babakova (track-and-field athletics), Oksana Tsygulyova and Elena Movchan (trampoline), Vladimir Petruhin (kayak sport), Vladimir Hristik and Dmitriy Chumak (fencing), Anastasia Savinova and Igor Pavlenko (kick-boxing), Oleg Mashkin and Artem Tsarikov (boxing), Ivan Ischenko (wrestling).Nikolaev is the center for sailing sports. The legendary “Ikar” yacht continues its distant marine voyages. The International Black Sea Rally “KAYRA” became a real holiday for the people.
The success of Nikolaev sportsmen brings glory to our city and promotes its attractiveness.