Relief of the historical part of the city was influenced by Zamkova (Castle) mountain, where Cherkasy Fortress was situated. The major part of Cherkasy is located in lowlands.
From the North-West Cherkasy is surrounded by forest – Cherkaskiy Bir (Cherkasy Forest), which is the biggest (28,500 hectares) natural pine forest in Ukraine.
There are few facts about the beginning of city’s life, but it is a fact that Cherkasy existed in the 14th century. The year of establishment is considered to be 1286. The city was one of the centers of Cossack movement.
Since the beginning of XIX century the city was planned by Russian architect, civil engineer and town planner of Scottish descent, William Heste. After second division of Poland in 1793, Cherkasy became a part of Russian Empire.
After October revolution in 1917 Cherkasy got under the rule of bolshevikis.
The Second World War damaged the city greatly. On June 22, 1941, German bombers attacked Cherkasy. For two months soldiers were defending the city, but on August 22, invaders took the city. On December 14, 1943, Cherkasy was set free from German invaders. After the end of the war, the city began to recover after being almost destroyed.
In 1954 the city became the administrative center of Cherkasy Oblast (province), the youngest among other oblasts in Ukraine. In 1960s Cherkasy became the chemical giant of Ukrainian SSR, after “Azot” (the biggest nitrogen fertilizer producing plant), “Himvolokno” (artificial fiber manufacturing plant), “Himreaktyv” (chemical reagents for military purposes) and many others were built in the city. In 1961 a Kremenchuk hydro power plant was built, forming Kremenchuk Water Reservoir, on which Cherkasy is standing now.
The city is famous for its sculpture festivals – “Kryzhtal” (held in winter, sculptures are made of ice), “Drevlyandia” (held in summer, sculptures are made of wood, then placed in parks around the city), and “Zhyvyi Kamin” (held in fall, sculptures are made of stone). Along with the last, “Cherkasy’s Singing Nights” are held in the open-air theater in park. Since 2003, Cherkasy hosts international bike festival “Tarasova Gora”, which gathers bikers from Ukraine, Russia, and other European countries. This is the biggest festival of this kind held in Ukraine.