An important trade centre in the 19th century, Kirovohrad was famous for being the birthplace of the first professional theatrical company in Eastern and Central Ukraine. Today, the oblast is a railway and motorway junction. It has a population of about 270,000.
Kirovohrad has radon deposits and mineral water reserves, which along with its forest areas, meadows and pleasant climate, is a popular site for recreational resorts.
Kirovohrad City was once the centre of agricultural and light industries in Ukraine. It retains its agricultural functions and added machine building and food-processing to its activities, but more importantly it serves as a railway and motorway junction.
Soviet-era industrial and Russian neoclassical architectures have remained in the city. Interesting sites are the Lenin monument, the railway station building, the city church, and the local history museum.