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(khĕrsôn`), city (1989 pop. 355,000), capital of Kherson region, S Ukraine, on the Dnieper River near its mouth on the Black Sea. It is a rail junction and a sea and river port, exporting grain, timber, and manganese ore and importing oil from the Caucasus. Kherson has one of Ukraine's largest cotton textile mills; the city's other industries include shipbuilding, oil refining, and food processing. Kherson was founded in 1778 by Potemkin as a naval station, fortress, and shipbuilding center. Its name derives from its location on the probable site of the Greek colony Chersonesus Heracleotica. The city became the administrative and defense center for Russia's newly acquired holdings along the Black Sea. By the late 19th cent. it was an important export center. The dredging of a deepwater canal along an arm of the Dnieper to the sea in 1901 further stimulated Kherson's growth as a port. The city's importance was enhanced still more with the building of the DniprohesDniprohes
[Ukr. abbr.,=Dnieper hydroelectric station], Rus. Dneproges, a hydroelectric station, central Ukraine, on the Dnieper River near Zaporizhzhya. The hydroelectric station supplies power for the industrial centers of Dnipro (Dnipropetrovsk), Kryvyy Rih, and
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 power station in 1932 and the development of navigation on the Dnieper. Kherson's landmarks include the fortress with earthen ramparts and stone gates and the 18th-century cathedral that contains Potemkin's tomb.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city and the administrative center of Kherson Oblast. Situated on the right bank of the Dnieper River near the place where the river flows into the Dnieper Liman of the Black Sea. A seaport and river port, Kherson is a railroad junction of lines to Nikolaev, Snigirevka, and Dzhankoi and has an airport. The city is divided into three districts. Population, 324,000 (1977; 97,000 in 1939, 158,000 in 1959, 261,000 in 1970).

Founded in 1778 and named for Chersonesus, Kherson was initially a fortress with a shipyard for the construction of the Black Sea Fleet. It became a district capital in the Ekaterinoslav Nam-estnichestvo (vicegerency) in 1783 and a provincial capital in 1803. In the second half of the 19th century the machine-building industry began to develop, and in 1907 the city was linked by rail with Nikolaev. Soviet power was established on Jan. 17–18 (30–31), 1918. During the Civil War, Kherson was captured by interventionists and White Guards; Soviet power was reestablished on Feb. 4. 1920.

Kherson became the administrative center of a raion in 1930; it was made the administrative center of a raion in Odessa Oblast in 1932 and of a raion in Nikolaev Oblast in 1937. Under Soviet power Kherson developed into a major industrial center of the Black Sea region, with shipbuilding and machine building. From Aug. 19, 1941, to Mar. 13, 1944, the city was occupied by fascist German troops, which inflicted considerable damage. In March 1944, Kherson became the administrative center of Kherson Oblast. After the war the city was reconstructed, and industry was modernized and rebuilt.

Among Kherson’s principal industries are shipbuilding and machine building, which are represented by shipyards, the G. I. Petrovskii Combine-Harvester Plant, a plant producing Cardan shafts, and a plant producing electrical machinery. Enterprises of light industry include a cotton-fabric combine and the Bol’she-vichka and Dinamo factories. The food-processing industry includes canned-goods, bread, cereal-products, meat-packing, and fish-processing combines, as well as a brewery, a winery, and a confectionery factory. Petroleum is refined at the Sergo Ordzhonikidze Refinery. The city also produces building materials and furniture, and it has a large factory that manufactures glass articles.

Kherson retains the regular plan of the early 19th century and has numerous architectural monuments in the classical style, such as the Spasskii Cathedral (1806), the Sviatodukhovskii Cathedral (1836), and the Black Sea Hospital (1803–10, architect A. D. Zakharov). In the Soviet period, multistory residential and public buildings have been constructed, including the building of the oblast committee of the Communist Party of the Ukraine (1959) and Iubileinyi Hall (1970), a theater for motion pictures and concerts. Also worthy of note are the post office (1975), the building that houses the city committee of the Communist Party of the Ukraine and the city executive committee (1977), a monument to V. I. Lenin (bronze and granite, 1975), and a monument to T. G. Shevchenko (sheet copper and granite, 1971).

Kherson’s educational institutions include a pedagogical institute, an agricultural institute, and branches of the Nikolaev Shipbuilding Institute and the Odessa Technological Institute of the Food-processing Industry. The city’s 12 specialized secondary educational institutions include two medical schools, two navigation schools, and technicums of marine engineering, machine building, and hydrometeorology. The city has a museum of local lore, a philharmonic society, and two theaters: a Ukrainian theater of music and drama and a puppet theater.

Kherson has a television station. Located in the city are the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Irrigation Farming and a division of the Scientific Research Institute of Fishing. Kherson has a tourist center.


Kostiuk, L. I., and I. D. Ratner. Kherson: Marshrutnyi putevoditel’. Kherson, 1958.
[Babashov, Iu. I.] Kherson [Kiev, 1964.]
Kherson za 50 rokiv Radian’skoi vlady [1917–1967]. Odessa, 1966.
Sergeeva, G., and E. A. Arkhipov. Kherson. Kiev, 1968.
Kherson: Putevoditel’, 2nd ed. Simferopol’, 1977.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a port in S Ukraine on the Dnieper River near the Black Sea: shipyards. Pop.: 320 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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