Mykolaiv, or Nikolaev, is a city near the Black Sea in southern Ukraine. Displays at the Mykolaiv Regional Museum of Local History include prehistoric artifacts, ceramics and photographs. The Mykolaiv Observatory, founded in 1821, includes a museum with antique astronomical instruments. The Mykolaiv Zoo has tigers and polar bears. The Museum of Shipbuilding and Fleet traces the history of the city's main industry.
Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe known for its Orthodox churches, Black Sea coastline and forested mountains. Its capital, Kiev, features the gold-domed St. Sophia's Cathedral, with 11th-century mosaics and frescoes. Overlooking the Dnieper River is the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery complex, a Christian pilgrimage site housing Scythian tomb relics and catacombs containing mummified Orthodox monks.