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Kherson region

Trinity Church. Kherson regionKherson region is located in the south of Ukraine, in the basin of the lower stream of Dnieper, in the south-west is washed by the Black Sea and in the south-east – by the Sea of Azov. On the territory of the region there is a state border of 458 km, including 350 km on the Black Sea and 108 km on the Sea of Azov. At the border there are four crossing points - airport, river port, sea ports of Kherson and Skadovsk.

The region's territory is 28.5 thousand square km or 4.7% of the territory of the country, the length from north to south - 180 km, from west to east 258 kilometers. The distance from Kherson to Kiev by train is 664 km, highways - 584 km.

Biosphere Reserves Askania Nova and “Chernomorskiy” (Black Sea) are the environmental research institutions of international significance, which are included into a worldwide network of biosphere reserves and work closely with UNESCO.

The Russian state was interested in importing of the improved sheep breeds from Germany and in the autumn 1827 there was approved the expedition to search in southern Russia, contemporary Ukraine, for the suitable area for sheep farming. There was chosen the steppe, with the area of approximately 550 square km.

The transfer of the lands was held on March 3, 1828 by decree of the tsar, and the name of the Askania Nova originated from the name of the parent earldom Ascania.

August 11, 1828 25 people with 2286 sheep, with 2 bulls, 8 cows and 8 horses left Saxony, but only 35 sheep remained after covering the distance to Askania Nova. But the total number of sheep was rising sharply here, and in 1830 a new company supplied more than 8 thousand sheep. During the first ten years the colony was freed from tax, but financially it was supported by the Duchy.

After the death of Duke Heinrich von Anhalt-Koeten Askania Nova passes to the Duke Dessau, who sold the unprofitable company to German-Russian landowner Baron Pfalz-Fein on October 6, 1856.

His heir, Baron Friedrich Pfalz-Fein was the owner of Askania Nova until 1920 and became the creator of the first private reserve in the Russian Empire.

Hotel Kherson landowner Pfalz-Fein has made an unprecedented act on those times - completely voluntarily gave a considerable portion of his land and money to build the first reserve in the Russian Empire - Askania Nova.

In 1874 at the age of 17 years, as a reward for successfully taking examinations in high school, he received an open-air cage from his father, where originally contained the birds and local animals. However, after fifteen years he has managed to create this unique acclimatization zoo. 

Hoofed mammals began to be imported in Askania Nova since 1887, during 80 years there was brought more than 800 animals of 70 species. In 1888 there were imported ostriches and Turkmen kulans.

In 1896, Pfalz-Fein bought a herd of antelope, to tame them, because cows of antelopes give a very fat-rich milk. Antelope-eland are very cautious in their homeland in Africa, avoiding contact with the human, in Askania Nova they were so tamed, that allowed to be milked.

In the end of XIX century he sent several expeditions to Mongolia to catch Przhevalskiy wild horses and the first 5 mares arrived here in 1899, and in 1901 - 52 more horses, of which only 28 survived. Currently in semifree conditions in the protected steppe there is pastured the world largest herd of these horses.

In 1910, on the basis of the zoo there was created a zoological station, which carried out a large selection work.

Today one can see here the herds of wild animals brought from different latitudes of the continents and the landscape-geographical zones - the huge buffalo, deer, slender, exotic llamas, striped colorful zebras, llamas, black bisons etc. 

In the completely waterless steppe in 1877 on the area of 28 hectares, Pfalz-Fein founded the unique botanical garden, where in 1885 - 1902 from many corners of the world were brought and planted over 220 species of deciduous and coniferous trees. In 1889 at the World Exhibition in Paris the dendrological park was awarded with the "Gold Medal" as the first irrigated park in the arid steppe.

Nowadays the park biosphere reserve is expanded in more than 100 hectares and is a monument of garden architecture of the XIX century.

By creating a zoo and dendrological Park, in 1898, F. Pfalz-Fein allocated the plot of virgin steppe, which belonged to the forest park and announced it reserved at all times, i.e. Reserve (open-air museum). This year is considered the founding year of the reserve.

April 23, 1914 Askania Nova was visited by the Russian Tsar Nicholay II, who was struck by the abundance and diversity of birds and animals. By this time the number of sheep here were millions of heads.

In 1919 Askania Nova was declared a national park, and then state Evening beach. Kherson regionsteppe reserve.

On the territory of reserve there took place the hostilities of two wars - the Civil and World War II, during which died many animals. Even after, many business executives wanted to use the reserve lands for pasture, but the reserve stood, preserved and continued the work started by F. Pfalz-Fein.

  1. A Great Biosphere reserve of Ukrainian steppe: Askania-Nova

    A Great Biosphere reserve of Ukrainian steppe: Askania-Nova

    A great Biosphere reserve Askania-Nova is situated in the South of Ukrainian steppe in the Kherson Region. Reserve steppe consists of 3 massifs: Northern, Southern and Great Chapel Massif and also perelogs where one has researched the processes of