Mykolaiv is a city in southern Ukraine, the administrative center of theMykolaiv Oblast. Mykolaiv is arguably the main ship building center of the Black Sea. Aside from its three shipyards within the city, there are located a number of research centers specializing in shipbuilding such as the State Research and Design Shipbuilding Center,Zoria-Mashproekt and others. Population: 494,763 (2015 est.)
The city is an important transportation junction of Ukraine (sea port, commercial port, river port, highway and railway junction, airport).
Mykolaiv’s orderly layout reflects the fact that its development has been well planned from the founding of the city. Its main streets, including the three main East-West Avenues, (including Lenin Prospect shown in the photo on the right) are very wide and tree lined. A significant part of Mykolaiv’s land area consists of beautiful parks. Park Peremohy (Victory) is a large park on the peninsula just north of the city center of Mykolaiv, on the North side of the Inhul river.
The city uses two names of which there are several transliterations of each name. The Ukrainian name of the city is Микола́їв, for which the transliteration is Mykolaiv, or officially, Mykolayiv. The Russian name is Никола́ев, which transliterates as Nikolaev or Nikolayev.
The city’s founding was made possible by the conquests of the Second Russo-Turkish War. Founded by Prince Grigory Potemkin, Nikolaev was the last of the many cities he established. On 27 August 1789, Potemkin ordered its founding near the wharf at the mouth of the Ingul river, on a high, cool and breezy spot where the Ingul river meets the Bug river. To build the city he brought in peasants, soldiers, and Turkish prisoners; 2,500 were working there during 1789. The shipyards were built first. He named the city after Saint Nicholas, the patron of seafarers, on whose day (6 December) he obtained victory at the siege of Ochakov. The name Nikolaev is known from the legal order (writ) Number 1065 by Prince Potemkin to Mikhail Faleev dated 27 August 1789.
In 1920, after the installation of Soviet governance, the Odessan provincial council (of laborers and peasants’ deputies) petitioned the then-Soviet Ukrainian government—the All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee (VUTSIK)—to rename the City of Nikolaev to Vernoleninsk. As the City of Nikolaev was the district center of the Odessan province, presumably, the petition would have been initiated by the Odessan city council, but documentary evidence of this so far has not been identified. On 15 April 1924, at the Plenum of the Central Administrative-Territorial Commission of VUTSIK, the petition of the Odessan executive committee was considered and rejected. Perhaps the members of the Soviet-Ukraine government thought that the name sounded too obsequious
Information regarding the alleged renaming of Nikolaev was disseminated by German maps of the 1920s-30s, as well as in German encyclopedic publications in 1927 and 1932, which show Vernoleninsk on the USSR part of the European maps. The city was designated as Nikolaev in publications of the same map in other languages.
To distinguish Mykolaiv from the much smaller western city of Mykolaiv in Lviv Oblast, the latter is sometimes called “Mykolaiv on Dniester” after the major river that it is situated on, while the former is located on the Southern Bug, another major river, and may be called “Mykolaiv on Bug” as well.