Each city in Ukraine boasts its own peculiarity, a kind of business card, which distinguishes it from other settlements. Some are famous because of goods, and other cities are known because of people who were born here and managed to achieve worldwide fame. Nikolaev went down in history as the city of brides, and such a name arose for a number of different reasons. Nikolaev is quite young by the standards of cities. It is only 220 years old. And all this time people all over the world call it the “city of brides” and “the city of weddings.” Let’s find out why this happens.
Historical facts about Nikolaev
This story is connected with the first inhabitants of the city and with the Highest Prince Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin-Tavrichesky. Nikolaev was founded at the end of the eighteenth century (1879) as a city in which they would build ships. For the construction of the shipyard and the city, they began to gather men from all over Russia: artisans, military men, sailors. Artisans came from different Russian cities. Only from Galich and Kostroma, a thousand people, who knew the skills of a carpenter, were driven into the new city. In addition, personal serfs Prince Potemkin, who lived in the towns and villages of Ukraine and Belarus, as well as vagrants, runaway serfs and soldiers, and even captured Turks and former nomads, became the first inhabitants of the city. Anyone could live in the city. It so happened that from the very beginning its main inhabitants were men.
They married even very young persons (by our standards, adolescents) because of the chronic shortage of women. As an example, we can cite the family of Dmitry Kuznetsov, a ship’s apprentice, who married thirteen-year-old Efrosinya Ivanova (at least, the local historian Y. Kryuchkov claims so) at the age of 34. Most of the men were bachelors, and they arrived in the city not because they wanted to do it, but by the orders of Potemkin. It happened that “reluctantly residents” simply ran away from the unsettled life of the Nikolaev under construction. Prince Potemkin decided to give men the opportunity to get families in Nikolaev to keep semi-forced builders of the city and shipyards. And since the city did not have any unmarried women left, then Grigory Alexandrovich ordered massively to bring girls and women from nearby towns and villages. And they chose to deliver the most beautiful representatives of females (this is the main reason why the most beautiful girls live in Nikolaev, you cannot get away from the genes).
The first massive weddings in Nikolaev
The original process of matchmaking, or rather, the choice of a couple, took place on Admiralteyskaya Square (now it is Kommunarov Square). All the brides which were brought lined up and then the doors of the barracks opened, where the grooms were waiting. According to one of the versions, during the process of choosing a life partner men had to run after women. But if no one managed to catch up with the woman, then she had every right to choose her husband herself. After, as men and women broke up into couples, the officers lined up all the brides and grooms in one line and led the church to marry. It also happened that not all of the spouses could fit inside the church, and got married right on the porch. The priest crowned everyone at the same time.
These massive weddings were held on Sundays. By the way, a little later, these wedding events will be named “Potemkin weddings,” and his favorite dity Nikolaev was nicknamed “the city of brides”. It should be noted that the story conveyed to us information about another similar event for organizing weddings of male colonists (the first inhabitants of Nikolaev can also be considered colonists). Nine hundred girls called the King’s Bride went from France to the colony of Quebec at the behest of King Louis XIV and on the initiative of the colony curator Jean Talon. All girls from the royal treasury were given a dowry (brides were mostly girls from low-income families and orphans). After the weddings of the colonists and the royal brides, the population of Quebec increased from 3215 inhabitants (in 1666) to 6700 (in 1670).
Ukrainian city of brides
The city, like most other small places, had its own production, which focused mainly on the creation of fabrics. As a result, such moments contributed to the preponderance. Since the 19th century, many textile factories were erected, where, unmarried women worked. The city was even called Calico. In the Soviet period, especially before the war, production was intensified. This prompted a massive number of workers to move to this city. Due to a large number of weavers working in the town, in the best years of the economic upswing, many textile products were produced.
In the 40s, men went to the front
The war played an important role in shaping the gender population of Ivanovo. USSR losses in the Great War amounted to about 27 million people, and most of them were men. The imbalance of the sexes was broken. Therefore the number of women became bigger. This was particularly noticeable on Nikolaev. The consequences of such instability of the famous city are felt to this day. During the long years of Soviet rule, as well as after the collapse of the Union, many factories were closed, but the stereotype about the “city of brides” firmly sat down in the minds of the inhabitants of the country. This city attracts tourists not only to relax and improve their health at the Black Sea resorts but also to admire the fantastic nature of the south of Ukraine: clear lakes, forest groves and untouched steppe. Nikolaev in its trunk of natural treasures keeps a paradise of the Kinburn Spit, the uninhabited island of Berezan and the unique creation of nature Aktovsky Canyon.
What to do in Nikolaev
- Choose a bride
- Recharge adrenaline with water rafting in the “Bugsky Garda”
- Visit the country’s only uninhabited island called Berezan