Lymanske (Ukrainian: Лиманське, Russian: Лиманское) is an urban-type settlement in Rozdilna Raion of Odessa Oblast in Ukraine. It is located along the east side of the Kuchurhan Reservoir on the border with Transnistria in Moldova. Population: 7,185 (2021 est.)
The villages of Selz (named after Seltz in Alsace) and Kandel were established at this location along the Kuchurhan River in 1808 by Roman CatholicGerman and Alsatian (French citizens) immigrants to the Kutschurgan Valley, then part of the Russian Empire. It received its present name after the remaining German residents were driven from the area by the advancing Soviet army in 1944.
Lymanske, as well as many of the surrounding settlements, originally began as a German agricultural colony. Germans began settling in southern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula in the late 18th century, but the bulk of immigration and settlement occurred during the Napoleonic period, from 1800 onward, with a concentration in the years 1803 to 1805. At the time, southern Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire. Designated New Russia, and often colloquially South Russia (or Südrussland by its German-speaking inhabitants), these lands had been annexed by the Russian Empire during the reign of Catherine the Great after successful wars against the Ottoman Empire (1768–1774) and the Crimean Khanate (1783). The first German settlers arrived in 1798 from Southwestern Germany and Alsace, France. Tsar Alexander I (grandson of Catherine the Great), invited German settlers to develop the land in the newly acquired territory north of the Black Sea.
The Catholic Germans who settled Lymanske during the reign Alexander I were assured numerous “special privileges.” These included: free land, exemption from military and civil service, tax-free loans, local self-government, and freedom of religion. As they developed the area, the German settlers were allowed to maintain their German language, folkways, and identity as German colonists.
The colony of Selz was established in 1798. Groups of settlers arrived in two parties in 1808 under the leadership of Jakob Steinhäuser and Michael Scherr. The land for the settlers was obtained by Duke de Richelieu from three Russian families. The original colonists consisted of 100 families, 205 males and 196 females. The colonists came from various German provinces. From the province of Lower Alsace there were 95 families with 196 males and 186 females. From Prussia, there were 2 families with 2 males and 2 females. From Austria, there was one family with one man and one woman. The homeland of the two remaining families is unknown.
The Kutschurgan District office was located in Selz until 1871 and covered the colonies of Selz, Kandel, Baden, Strassburg, Mannheim and Elsass. In 1908 Selz housed the Volost Office for only Selz and Kandel. The other colonies established separate Volost Offices for themselves. Selz also had the first parish church in the Kutschurgan District, the parish having been founded in 1811. Prior to that time, colonists were served from Josephsthal. In 1821 the first church was built, but by 1830 the building was in need of repair and was remodeled on numerous occasions over the years. In 1901 the spacious, beautiful Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was completed.