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Catherine’s Mile: review, images, and history

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Catherine’s mile is located in Osokorivka village. It’s one of the eight landmarks that survived till the present day. The others are scattered in different corners of the Dnipropetrovsk Region and Crimea. The miles served as waymarks during the famous Crimean Journey of Catherine the Great. What’s so special about the milestones, and why do they attract tourists? Read our article till the end to learn!

The history

The original idea to built milestones conceived by Vasily Vasilyevich Nechuy-Kakhovskyi, the Ruler of the former Taurida Region.

These stones guided the route of the Crimean Journey of Catherine the Great in 1787. Grigory Potemkin appreciated the idea, so he ordered to establish the milestones every 10 versts (an obsolete Russian unit of length, 1 verst equal 0.7 miles).

Старый верстовой столб

Also, the “verst stones” were installed on the road in addition to milestones. But the information about them wasn’t kept till the present day. The construction of the road signs was carried out from 1784 to 1787. The local citizens prepared for the Empress to arrive carefully, so they were building roads and bridges.

The milestones were installed on the “Beryslav - Perekop - Ak-Mechet” and “Sevastopol - Bakhchysarai - Ak-Mechet - Karasubazar - Feodosia” routes. Interestingly, the milestones in Dnipro and Beryslav differ in shape from the Crimean signs. Milestones in Crimea look like round columns that stand on a pedestal. The column merged into a hexagon that ends with a cone. In comparison, milestones in Dnipro and Beryslav were in the shape of an extended four-cornered pyramid. The milestone’s upside was decorated by a cornice and reliefs were sculpted on its front.

Мильный камень

Nowadays, only eight Catherine’s miles remain. Five of them are in Crimea, another two are in Dnipro, and one is in the Kherson Region. In Soviet times, the milestones were destroyed, as they represented autocracy in the view of the authorities. The landmarks in Vidvazhne and Tsvitochne villages are in poor conditions.

Why Catherine’s mile attracts tourists

Only one Catherine’s mile in the Kherson Region has survived till the present day. Its height is nearly 3.5 meters. The milestone’s pier has the shape of a topped four-cornered pyramid. The place where the pedestal connects with the pyramid is decorated with a cornice. You can see the relief on the milestone’s font. But it’s unknown what it depicts.

Дорожная миля

A monument with the same shape is located in the downtown of Dnipro. A milestone near Voloske village is partially damaged. Some monuments of Crimea were renovated or swapped out for memorial headstones.

Catherine’s miles are cultural heritage monuments of national significance.

Where Catherine’s mile is located and how to get to it

The milestone is located near Osokorivka village. It’s about 16 miles away from Novovorontsovka village. You can reach the mile by car. Just drive out of Kherson and follow the M-14 route through Beryslav and Novokairy.

You can also get to the milestone by public transport. It departs from the bus station in Kherson (Polkovnyka Kedrovskoho Street, 1). Just take buses that go to Novovorontsovka and Vysokopillya.

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