Even Mykolaiv’s streets reflect the city’s founding purpose as a shipbuilding center: They are wide and straight, so that lumber could be transported easily.
Founded in 1789 and named after the 4th-century Saint Nicholas, Mykolaiv served for more than two centuries as a major shipbuilding center on the Black Sea.
But after its three prominent shipyards almost completely went out of business some 15 years ago, the city sank into stagnation. Stories about Mykolaiv’s poverty and crime made headlines in the national media.
Now the local authorities and business planners claim Mykolaiv is on the verge of a revival, thanks to the remnants of its shipbuilding legacy — large ports, an educated population, and highly developed infrastructure.