Poltava (Ukrainian: Полтава, Russian: Полтава) is a city in central Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Poltava Oblast, as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Poltavskyi Raion within the oblast. The city itself is also designated as its own separate raion within the oblast. The current estimated population is 313,400 (as of 2004).
The city is located on the banks of the Vorskla River, the Dnipro's left tributary. The huge masses of deciduous and piney forestland surround the city, forming almost complete circle. There are plenty of mushrooms, strawberries, raspberries in nearby forest parks and woods, where one can meet elks, roe deer, hares, boars. Quite often nightingales reside in city parks and squares. The rivers Psel and Vorskla are famous for their gigantic catfishes to all fishermen.
It is still unknown when the city was founded. Though the town was not attested before 1174, municipal authorities chose to celebrate the town's 1100th anniversary in 1999, for reasons unknown. The settlement is indeed an old one, as archeologists unearthed a Paleolithic dwelling as well as Scythian remains within the city limits.
The present name of the city is traditionally connected to the settlement Ltava which is mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle in 1174. The region belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from the 14th century. The Polish administration took over in 1569. In 1648 Poltava was captured by the Ruthenian-Polish magnate Jeremi Wiśniowiecki (1612-51). Poltava was the base of a distinguished regiment of the Ukrainian Cossacks and served as a Cossack stronghold during the Khmelnytsky Uprising. After the pro-Polish hetman Ivan Vyhovsky came to power and a civil war broke out, Poltava in the year 1658 under polkovnyk Martyn Pushkar was the leading town of the rebels, but was ultimately burned down and pillaged by the troops of Vyhovsky while many of its women and children were enslaved by the Crimean Tatars. In 1667 the town passed to the Russian Empire.
In the Battle of Poltava on June 27-28, 1709 (Old Style), or 8 July (New Style), tsar Peter the First, commanding 53,000 troops, defeated a Swedish army of 19,000 troops led by Field Marshal Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld (who had received the command of the army after the wounding of the Swedish king Charles XII on June 17). The battle marked the end of Sweden as a great power and the rise of Russia as one.
In 1775, Poltava's Monastery of the Exaltation of the Cross (Russian: Крестовоздвиженский монастырь, Krestovozdvizhensky Monastyr) became the seat of bishops of the newly created Eparchy (Diocese) of Slaviansk and Kherson. This large new diocese included the lands of the Novorossiya Governorate and Azov Governorate north of the Black Sea. Since much of that area had been only recently conquered by Russia from the Ottoman Empire, and a large number of Orthodox Greek settlers had been invited to settle in the region, the Imperial Government picked a renowned Greek scholar, Eugenios Voulgaris to preside over the new diocese. After his retirement in 1779, he was replaced by another Greek theologian, Nikephoros Theotokis.
In World War II, after the Red Army had cleared the Wehrmacht out of the Eastern Ukraine by the end of 1943 during the Dnieper–Carpathian Offensive, by the summer of 1944 the allied USAAF conducted a number of shuttle bombing raids against the Third Reich under the name of Operation Frantic, and used purpose-built bases in the Poltava area, as well as near Myrgorod, as eastern locations for landing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers involved in those operations.
Poltava's history runs into extreme antiquity. Primitive man's sites were positioned here 15 thousand years ago. In VI-V centuries B.C. Scythian nomadic tribes and husbandmen lived here. In year 150 A.D. a tribe led by Bushlay arrived from Atil, Volga region. By order of Boris Agardh, the king of the Atil dynasty (150-189 A.D), Bushlay had conquered this land for Atil, where he established a first settlement on the banks of the river which later was named Bariskul (Vorskla) in honor of Bar's (panther) year, the present-day territory of Poltava. This settlement was named after him - Bushlay. But soon afterwards his opponents, presumably from local tribes killed him and devastated the newly built settlement. Those spared survivors from Bushlay's tribe buried their founder in the vicinity of the settlement's ruins. The younger brother of Attila the Hun who was at the head of Bleda's Hun state and who had another name Bulut Shud, established a stronghold in 434 A.D on the place of contemporary Poltava city, right at the site where Bushlay's settlement had been before and where the latter had met his death. But as it is known Bleda had not survived long. In 445 A.D he was assassinated by his brother, who assumed absolute control over feudal multi-tribal Hun union state in its early period. The stronghold build by Bleda and whose name was Baltavar, was completely destroyed. From the first quarter of a VII century the ancient Bulgarian chronicles made mention of Baltavar as the headquarters of the elder brother of Bulgarian grand duke Alburi, Kurbat (Kubrat, in accordance with Byzantine's sources), who later on became the khan then kahan (king, emperor) of the Great Bulgaria.
In VII-XIII centuries A.D. Slavic tribes (East Slavs) lived here.
In 1173 the inhabited locality “Ltava” was mentioned in historical records. Glorified in a great literary work, “The Lay of the Warfare waged by Igor Sviatoslavich”, Igor Sviatoslavich, (the son of Sviatoslav Olgovich, the prince of Chernigov) from 1198 the prince of Novhorod-Siversky and Chernihiv assembled the troops and set off for Vorskla. Rusich men (Russian people) captured a nomad spy, interrogated him and found out that Polovets khans Kobyak and Konchak had gone to Pereiaslav with their hordes. Igor having heard the news crossed Vorskla near Ltava and gave chase to Polovets men, ran them down near Pereiaslav, where a great battle took place. An Old Russian chronicler said, a lot of enemies had been slaughtered, taken as prisoners, the rest escaped.
At the time of Mongol invasion (in the beginning of 13th century) Ltava was swept away and fell out of historical records for quite some time. At the start of 15th century it reappeared with the modern name – Poltava. At that time it belonged to Vitovt, the duke of the Grand Lithuania, who in 1430 handed Poltava over to the grand duke Alexander Glinsky. In 1482 Poltava was assaulted by the khan of the Crimean Khanate Mengli Giray. Since 1503 Poltava belonged to the grand duke M.Glinsky. In 1508 Poltava was taken away by Sigismund I because of treason. However it was returned back to Glinsky's family later.
In 1537 Baybuza, Glinsky's family son-in-law becomes the city owner. In 1630 Poltava was given to nobleman Bartolomey Obalkovsky. In 1641 it was passed on to S. Koniecpolski, and in1646 was captured by Ukrainian magnate Jeremi Vishnevsky, catholic by faith. According to a written record for 1641 Poltava received city status. Approximately at that time, a self-government form of administration was introduced, so called Magdeburg rights, though feudal lords interfered in internal affairs of the city nevertheless. Craftsman worked in the city – potters, furriers, boot-makers.
During a Liberation War under the Command of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Poltava served as a supplier of gunpowder, weapons and foodstuffs. Since 1648 Poltava was the center of Poltava regiment. The whole Ukraine's territory was divided into territorial military installations - regiments.
In 1657-1658 a mutiny burst out in Poltava against the Ukrainian hetman Ivan Vyhovsky. The Pro-Moscow colonel of the Poltava Martyn Pushkar was at the head of it. Hetman Vyhovsky stifled that rebellion, and Poltava was plundered by hetman's allies – Tatars.
In 1660-1680 a civil war raged throughout Ukraine. Poltava was assaulted by Tatars several times. New fortifications were built around Poltava as a result. The city was ram parted and surrounded with a ditch. An oak paling with five towers, ten bastions and 28 field guns encircled its area.
In 1700-1721 there was a so called Northern War going on between Russia and Sweden. In 1709, one of the decisive battles of that war took place near Poltava. The army of the Swedish king Charles XII was advancing towards Moscow over Ukraine's territory. Poltava fortress defended by three Russian regiments was in its way. The fortress's garrison contained the Swedish attacks for some time, then the Russian army's primary forces led by Tsar Peter I offered their help. In June 27th 1709, the decisive battle took place.
There were 42 000 servicemen in the Russian army, the Swedish side numbered approximately 30 000 militants. Other sources say, there were 55 000 combatants (with the exception of auxiliary units) and 72 field guns in the Russian army, and 25 000 men and 4 field guns in the Swedish army. The battle began on the Swedish army's initiative, but the Russian army taking advantage of manpower and artillery repulsed the attack and inflicted a defeat on the Swedes.
At the beginning of 18th century, there were several workshops comprising 300 craftsmen in Poltava. At that time the Russian administration of Poltava abolished Magdeburg rights for the city. The city was renowned for its fairs at that time (there were four of them).
From 1775 Poltava was a part of Novorossiysk province. In 1784 Poltava became a part of Katerinoslavsk region. At that year, there lived 1226 merchants, petty bourgeoisie and workmen in Poltava. Poltava's ilyinsky fair was famous all over Ukraine. About 40 000 people visited it all the year round. The merchants from Odessa alone bought merchandise for a sum of more then one million rubles.
In 1796-1802 Poltava was a part of Chernigov Governorate, and from 1802 it became a Poltava Governorate's center. At the beginning of 19th century, the city was under vigorous reconstruction. Thus, in 1803-1805 the city center was built. A round square was in the middle of it, with eight streets radiating outwards. In 1804-1811 the seven office blocks were constructed, a main bridge over Vorskla was erected, one street got paved.
At the same time, educational institutions began to open. In 1799 the Volostnoe uchilishche of Poltava (elementary school, where future clerks for work in public and country management were taught) was inaugurated. In 1808 a gymnasium was opened.
In 1818 the Institute Blagorodnyh Devits (Seminary for Young ladies) and religious school were opened.
In 1820 a School of Gardening appeared, and in 1840 a military school opened its doors.
The city's cultural life was always rich. The renowned writer Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol studied in a trade school in 1818-1819. Famous playwright Michael Petrovich Starycky, historian and public figure Mykhailo Petrovych Drahomanov, mathematician Mikhail Vasilievich Ostrogradsky all studied in Poltava gymnasium. World-famous Ukrainian poet Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko paid a visit to the city in 1844. Ivan Petrovych Kotlyarevsky, Ukrainian poet and writer was born here. Ivan Semenovych Nechuy-Levytsky the Ukrainian writer worked here in 1865-1866, and in 1871 Panas Myrny created his works here. The famous scientist and geographer, Vasily Vasili'evich Dokuchaev, with his disciple Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky worked in Poltava. In 1891 on V.V Dokuchaev's initiative the Poltava Museum of Local History and Lore was opened. The famous doctor Nikolai Vasilyevich Sklifosovsky worked in Poltava as well.
The weekly newspaper “Poltavskie gubernskie vedomosti” – “Poltava Local News” was firstly published on the 2nd April 1838. As to the city's population we take into account the following numbers: in 1802 - 7 975 people lived in the city, in 1838 – 15 521 people, in 1842 – 16 787 people, and in 1851 there lived 20 819 people.
In 1890 O.F. Malcev established a mental hospital with free access here.
On August 30th 1903 the monument to Ivan Petrovych Kotlyarevsky was inaugurated in Poltava. Many prominent Ukrainian writers and poets came to the inauguration.
In 1900-1921 Vladimir Galaktionovich Korolenko, a well-known writer, lived and worked in Poltava.
At the beginning of 20th century there were 53 plant facilities; tobacco, macaroni, sausage factories were functioning. The city's population grew to 60 131 men in 1916. In the city one could see a Pedagogical Institute, College of Commerce, Realnoe Uchilishche (secondary school), School for land surveyors, School for blind girls, three Theological seminaries, six Zemskay shkola (elementary schools in countryside opened by Zemstvo which was a form of local government), twenty seven Tserkovno-prihodska shkola (elementary schools managed by clergy) at that time. There were 5 operational clubs and 9 libraries as well.
In 1917, after October events, the pro-Russian and pro-Bolshevik members of the Soviet rabochih I soldatskih deputatov (The Council of Workers and Soldiers' Deputies) of Poltava were getting the upper hand in the city. On December 17, 1917 the troops of Central Rada (socialist-dominated Council) broke up Poltava Council. Afterwards, however, the Krasnaya Gvardiya (Red Guards - armed groups of workers) captured the city. Then Poltava fell into the German occupation zone. On November 27, 1918 the armed Communists entered the city, but two days later were dislodged by Ukrainian state troops.
After the civil war won by Russian Communists, Poltava became a part of the Ukrainskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic).
In 1923 there were 224 active small enterprises in the city. Saw-mill, printing plant, confectionary plant and so on were on stream. In 1924 the city had 23 schools with 1231 pupils.
In 1929 a meat-packing factory exporting its output to Great Britain and Holland was put into operation.
In 1926 the monument in honor of Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko was unveiled. In 1928 the Literary-Memorial museum devoted to writer Vladimir Galaktionovich Korolenko was opened. In 1934 the monument to Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was opened.
In 1931 the Poltava plant “Metal” had produced a first typewriter in the USSR.
In 1932-1933 the Communist government of the USSR had organized the Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine, Poltava included. The purpose of that was extermination of independent peasantry, the rest were forced into kolkhoz (collective farms). People were deprived of their last foodstuffs and livestock, nevertheless distilleries kept on working on grain and sugar all round.
In 1937-1938 Stalin's repressions reached their maximum. Many innocents were arrested, shot dead, exiled to Siberia or to the North.
In 1941 the Great Patriotic War broke out. On September 18, 1941 the fascists captured the city. The Soviet army liberated the city on September 23.The city's population grew in that way: 1924 – 75 639 people, 1926 – 92 515 people, 1939 – 130 305 people, 1959 – 143 097 people, 1965 – 170 100 people, 1966 – 177 515 people.
In 1967 the city counted 19 hospitals, 33 schools with 24 000 pupils, 3 institutes, (Poltava State V. G. Korolenko Pedagogical Institute, Poltava State Agrarian Institute, Poltava Civil Engineering Institute) with 10 446 students, plus 107 libraries.
After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Poltava became a part of Ukraine. The city was growing with an astonishing rate, an airport with railway station were built. Population grew to 300 000 people.
The centre of the old city is a semicircular neoclassical square with the Tuscan column of cast iron (1805-11), commemorating the centenary of the Battle of Poltava and featuring 18 Swedish cannons captured in that battle. As Peter the Great celebrated his victory in the Savior church, this 17th-century wooden shrine was carefully preserved to this day. The five-domed city cathedral, dedicated to the Exaltation of the Cross, is a superb monument of Cossack Baroque, built between 1699 and 1709. As a whole, the cathedral presents a unity which even the neoclassical bell tower has failed to mar. Another frothy Baroque church, dedicated to the Domitian of the Theotokos, was destroyed in 1934 and rebuilt in the 1990s.
Transport and infrastructure
Transportation in Poltava is well-developed. The city has two major railway stations, and railway links with the cities of Kiev, Kharkov, Kremenchuk and Krasnograd. The lines towards Kiev and Kharkov are electrified and are used by an express train, a regular service with comfortable carriages. Electrification of the Poltava-Kharkov line was completed in August 2008.
Kievsky Train Station- Kievsky station of Poltava serves trains which follow in the direction of Kiev. It is the secondary station of Poltava; the main station of the city is the Southern station
Southern Train Station- Today the Southern railway station of Poltava is the only station of the region which serves international routes.
Avtovokzal is the city's intercity bus station. Buses for local municipal routes depart from "AC-2" (auto station #2 - along Shevchenko Street) and "AC-3" (Zinkivska Street).
City transportation is represented by the following:
Trolleybuses with fifteen routes and a network of 72.6 km;
Buses, including a ring road routes (#19, 20, 21);
Marshrutkas on all bus routes.
Ticket prices for those kinds of city transport are respectively 0.75 UAH, 1.00 UAH and 1.25 UAH (as of June 2009).
Poltava has a domestic airport, situated in 5 km west outside the city limits near the village of Ivashki. The international highway M 03 (E40), which links Poltava with Kiev and Kharkiv, passes through the southern outskirts of Poltava city. There is also a regional highway P-17 crossing Poltava and linking it with Kremenchuk and Sumy.
Botanical garden of Poltava National Pedagogical V. G. Korolenko University
The garden foundation history touches the beginning of XX century. The pedagogical university biological station was created and occupied the territory of 13 acres. In 1990 there was built new greenery house — there are 600 types of plants growing at the territory of 240 square yards. Due to workers of the garden and to professors of the university botanical department the station got name of the botanical garden in 1989.
The garden is situated in picturesque eastern relief part of Poltava. There are several parts of the garden; they are: the arboretum, the department of flowers and decorative plants, the Ukrainian floriculture alfresco museum, the green class, Alpine hill, the department of agricultural and medicinal plants, fruit garden.
Literary Memorial Museum of I. P. Kotlyarevsky
The museum was founded in 1952 — on 28th September the old house doors were opened. Earlier, this house belonged to famous poet and dramatist B. B. Kapnyst and today it is entered in the State list of Ukraine Landscapes.There are many various visual aids — each item is placed in right chronology. All these things tell about life and art of famous Poltava citizen who was creator of new age Ukrainian literature.
Ivan Kotlyarevsky is the author of Ukrainian “Aeneid” and such plays as “Natalka Poltavka” and “Moskal-charodey”. There are also writer's personals, manuscript archive which was given by Saltykov-Shchedrin Public library (Saint Petersburg), paintings, and large library of writer's lifetime issued books. There can be found such unique exhibit as the first writer's lifetime issue of “Aeneid” (1798). Also, the museum exhibition brightly describes life of Ivan Kotlyarevsky, his work as a caretaker of the House of poor noble’s children education, a trustee of Poltava charitable houses, a director of the first Poltava stationary theatre.
Literary Memorial Museum of Panas Myrny
The museum of famous classic of Ukrainian literature is situated in the house, where Panas Rudchenko — real name of P. Myrny — lived and worked during seventeen years (1903-1920) Creation of the museum collection started before the war. Alexandra Mikhailovna Rudchenko — the writer's widow — was one of the first who gave some exhibits to the museum. The museum started its work in July of 1940. In 1961 the museum already occupied whole house.
The modern memorial complex was created in 1974 by artists of Poltava. It consists of the memorial house of Panas and his garden of 3, 5 acres — trees and bushes in this garden were originally planted by the writer. At the park part of the writer's place there is a birdbath surrounded by age-old pussy-willows and oaks.
According to a number of memorial exhibits of the writer his museum is the richest one among other literary museums of Ukraine. There is also such unique exhibit as the manuscript of Ivan Rudchenko — the elder brother of Panas Myrny.
Near the writer place there is Zeleny Gay cavin — Panas liked to walk and have a rest there. His grave is situated there now.
The place of the writer and his grave of 1920 are entered in the State list of Ukraine Landscapes.
Literary Memorial Museum of V. G. Korolenko
The museum of outstanding writer and democrat Korolenko started its work in 1928 as «Life and work of Vladimir Korolenko» exhibition in honor of writer’s 75 birthday. In 1940 on base of this exhibition the museum was found. Sofya Vladimirovna, writer’s daughter, became a governor of the museum.
Today the museum complex consists of: writer’s memorial place (end of XIX — beginning of XX century’s history monument), outbuilding with showroom, and graves of Korolenko and his wife at the territory of the city Victory-park. There are 10’000 exhibits in the museum collection. These are: personals of the writer and his family, large library, canvases, and manuscripts of Siberian stories.
Museum of local lore
One of the oldest museums of Ukraine was founded in 1891 by professor Vasily Dokuchaev as a museum of Poltavskaya province Nature and History. The museum collection base consists of Elena Skrzhitskaya library and museum exhibits, and collection of Pavel Bobrovsky oriental antiquities.Today there are several show halls in the museum. They are: Nature hall, Archeology hall, Ethnography hall, halls of History (XIV — beginning of XX cent.; XX — beginning of XXI cent.). Also, there is a hall called «Treasury» — here can be found the most unique objects — near 300’000 exhibits.
The museum occupies a house of former province zemstvo (a form of local government). This house was built by architect V. Krychevsky in 1903-1908. The house shows Ukrainian Modern style and has traditional ornaments in frontage decoration. Along the frontage there are Poltavskaya province town’s coats of arms. Highly artistic paintings are made by famous Ukrainian artists Serhii Vasylkivsky and Nikolai Samokish.The building of Poltava museum of the local lore is entered in the State list of Ukraine Landscapes.
N. Yaroshenko Art Museum
Art museum of Poltava was founded in 1919; its birthday is on 27th April. The museum birth was marked by picture gallery opening in landlord V. Balubash palace (by architect P. Alyoshin, 1912).The base of the museum collection has works of famous Peredvizhnik-artist (also the Wanderer or the Itinerant) N. Yaroshenko, who was born in Poltava.
In 1999 the museum moved to a new hall (by architect J. Oleinik). There are more than 9’000 art exhibits there. Among them can be found works of West-European bright artists (Clara Peters, Marcello Bacciarelli, and Francesco Lazzaro Guardi), Russian and Ukrainian artists (Nikolai Pymonenko, Opanas Slastion, Grigory Myasoyedov, Ivan Shishkin, and Ilya Repin). The museum is proud of the largest collection of N. Yaroshenko and I. Myasoedov canvases. Total Square of the museum is 2450 square yards. There is Sasha Putrya hall of child art on the ground floor. Above it there is a modern pressroom, greenery and a large showroom of 658 square yards.
The museum of aircraft and cosmonautics
Creation of the museum started in 1987-1988 on initiative of academician V. Glushko who had two gold star medals of Hero of Socialist Labor. Troublesome searches of exhibits lasted till 2001. In 2001 the museum opened its doors for visitors. The unique collections consist of more than 3’000 exhibits and an archive.
There are 6 halls in the museum; there can be found personals of cosmonauts, models and still working parts of spaceships, visual aids of life and work of rocket building and cosmonautics pioneers. Among them first place is given to Alexander Shargey (Jury Kondratiyk) who was born in Poltava. The building of the museum of aircraft and cosmonautics (former building of first Poltava fire crew) is entered in the State list of Ukraine Landscapes.
The Museum of Poltava Battle history
One of the first stationary museums of Poltava is the Museum of the Poltava Battle (27th June, 1709). The museum was founded in June of 1909 on initiative of famous region history specialist I. Pavlovsky in honor of bicentenary of the Battle. During the Civil war time, after several cases of robbery, the museum was temporarily closed. Its work was renovated on 23d September, 1950 — the museum moved to former building of the hospital of last Russian-Turkish war veterans (70's of XIX century).
In 1981 the museum and its complex of monuments connected with the Battle were proclaimed as the State Historical and Cultural reserve “The Field of the Great Poltava Battle”. Common Square of the reserve is 1'906, 5 acres. Modern halls of the museum show unique exhibits of XVII century and the Great Northern War period (1700-1721). They are: portraits of Ukrainian Hetmans, engravings, medals, personals of Peter I, collections of cold steel arms and firearm of European and Oriental types.
In the largest hall of the museum there is a highly artistic diorama showing last minutes of the Great Battle. Also, at the territory of the museum complex can be found: Russian warriors Bed of Honor (1709 — beginning of XX cent.), the monument to Peter I (A. Adamson, 1915), Sampsonyyvska church (1856-1907) and many other objects.
Among other Ukrainian museum complexes of such type, the State Historical and Cultural reserve “The Field of the Great Poltava Battle” is the only member of International Association of Arms & Military History Museums (IAMAM). In accordance with the Ukrainian Cabinet act #1761 of 27.12.2001 the State Historical and Cultural reserve “The Field of the Great Poltava Battle” was proclaimed as the object of national culture heritage and entered in the State list of Ukraine Landscapes.
The museum of Poltava region Department of Internal Affairs
The museum of Poltava region department of Internal Affairs started its work in 1967 after opening a museum room at the region department of internal affairs. The museum moved to a new hall on 23rd September, 1989. It was a palace of 1890 which is a beautiful landscape of Poltava. In 1992 the museum became the one of National value.
Exposition of the museum is placed in four halls (total area is 237 square yards). Museum funds consist of more than 3’000 exhibits; among them: archive documents, photos, original objects of firearms and cold steel arms, department of internal affairs veteran’s personals. There are highly artistic dioramas and models. Professional holiday of Militsya in Ukraine is on 20th December. According to the President act, 22nd August is a Memory Day of Internal Affairs worker who died on-duty.
Not far from the museum — at crossing of Pushkina and Krasnoarmeiskaya streets — there is the memorial complex «To died defenders of Poltava region law and order».
The Museum-Place of I. P. Kotlyarevsky
In 1969 the memorial complex of Kotlyarevsky place was renovated. In accordance with UNESCO decision that year was proclaimed the year of Kotlyarevsky — in honor of bicentenary of the writer's birthday. The renovation was possible due to the water color sketch of T.G.Shevchenko.The place of Kotlyarevsky is a typical Ukrainian house of XVIII — XIX centuries. The building consists of 5 small rooms. Along the master's cabinet there is a balk with Cyrillic inscription: “This house is created in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. 1st August of 1705”.
The house interior was reconstructed in all details due to the writer's contemporary’s memoirs. In that house many memorial things can be found: author’s awards, manuscripts, objects of everyday noble life of XIX century. The writer's grave of 1838 is at the territory of the former city cemetery, which is near Kobelyatsky chumaksky way (today it is str. Frunze). The writer's grave and his place at Soborny square are entered in the State list of Ukraine Landscapes.
State Historical and Cultural reserve «The Field of the Great Poltava Battle»
The great Battle of Poltava took place on June 27, 1709. This battle had farseeing consequences for whole Europe. Since that day, as Swedish historian Peter Englund marked, «...the Swedish period of ruling was over; Russia won its old enemy, the powerful neighbor who had been closed the way to the Baltic Sea. At the same time this Battle became the colossal catastrophe not only for Sweden, but also for Europe — it broke the old power balance. Russia became stronger and transformed to the powerful state. » In 1709 Ukraine lost its independence, juridical and international legal rights — all this ruined Ukraine as a state.
In 1909 there was found a museum on the field of the great battle; this happened due to initiative of Ivan Frantsevych Pavlovsky — Poltava Cadet Military School teacher of history. In 1981 the museum of History of Poltava Battle and its complex of monuments were declared the State Historical and Cultural reserve «The Field of the Great Poltava Battle». The restricted territory of historical field consists of 1 906, 42 acres. But there were many other significant events before and after the great battle on this huge area (territories of Khrestovozdvizhensky monastery and such villages as Yakivtsi, Petrivka, Semenivka, Zhuky, Osmachky, Takhtaulovo, Ivonchentsi, Rybtsi and Pushkarivka). There are four old settlements and more than 30 burial mounds (1st millennium B.C. and 1st millennium A.D.) on the reserve territory.
N. Sklifosovs’kyy — the scientist surgeon, one of the founders of peritoneal surgery in Russia — lived and worked there, in Yakivtsi village (the northeast part of the Battle Field). He visited his country house every summer since 1871; in 1900 he moved to Yakivtsi village. The country house of the famous doctor was called «Poltava Switzerland». In 1884 at the territory of Poltava Battle Field, the Experimental Field was created — in 1910 it already was Poltava Agricultural Experimental Station. The famous Ukrainian and Russian scientists — A. Y. Zaykevych, O. O. Izmailsky, N. I. Vavilov, V. I. Vernadsky, V. V. Dokuchaev — took part in its scientific activity.
In 1962 the arboretum-park was planted there — now it is the commemorative place of garden-park arts of the state importance (total area is 346 acres).
Today the State Historical and Cultural reserve «The Field of the Great Poltava Battle» is important cultural, scientific and methodical centre of Ukraine history (XVII-XVIII cent.) in European policy context. In 1994 the museum showed new exhibition called «the Cossack state». Mass media of Ukraine, Russia, Sweden and other countries, scientists and officials are interested in activity of the reserve. Today «The Field of the Great Poltava Battle» is the only Ukrainian museum which is one of UNESCO historical museums; it is listed to the world tourist itinerary.
There are monuments, connected with the Great Battle of Poltava. They are:
10 granite obelisks pointing old redoubts places (1939);
Memorial sign «To Swedes from Russians» (1909);
Memorial sign «To Swedes from their compatriots» (1909);
Memorial sign at place of crossing the Vorskla by Russian army (1959);
Russian warriors Bed of Honor (1894);
Memorial sign at place of the Command Post of Peter I (1973);
Sampsonyyvska church (1852-1856, reconstructed in 1895);
Monument to Peter I near the Museum (1915);
Monument to defenders of Poltava fortress and to the commandant O. S. Kelyn (1909);
Monument of Glory (1811);
Monument at the rest-place of Peter I (1849);
Church of the Savior (1705-1706, reconstructed in 1845);
Khrestovozdvizhensky monastery, where Charles XII headquarters was (1650);
Monument to died Ukrainian Cossacks (1994).
The materials of the Museum collection touch not only the Battle itself, but also the Great Northern war, which lasted for 21 years and involved Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Ukraine and Turkish. There are 9 museum halls, filled with magnificent historical relics, such as cold steel arms, shooting iron, medals, coins, canvases, portraits, icons, engravings, battle flags and banners, clothing, old books, maps, charters and other historical documents of the second half of XVIII century.
Streets of Poltava - The Commune of Paris Street - (formerly known as Dvoryanska, and after 1919 as Zalyvchogo Street) is located between Soborny Square and Monastyrska Street. It received its current name in 1923. This street is one of the oldest Poltava streets and can be found on maps of Poltava as early as 1783. The Spaska (Savior) Church is located in the square between Commune of Paris and Zhovtneva Street. The Monument to Peter I’s Repose can be found at the junction of Spaska and Commune of Paris Street. In the past, the street was lined mostly with one-story houses. Many of the old buildings on Commune of Paris Street have survived to this day, including the Selastelnikova House, the Davidovych-Nashinsky House, where Lenin’s wife Nadezhda Krupskaya stayed in 1896; the Bakhmutsky House built in the Moorish style, the former military hospital, the former Moskovski bath house, and the Bazilevich Music School, where pupils studied playing piano and choral singing. Today many of the original houses have been replaced with modern multi-story apartment buildings.
Zhovtneva Street - Zhovtneva Street runs from Soborny (Cathedral) Square to General Zygin Square. This street is one of the oldest streets of the city, and one of its first paved streets (from Dormition Cathedral (Uspensky Sobor) to the Kyiv gate of the Poltava fortress). The street name has changed several times during the last two centuries. After the street was extended to the outskirts of Poltava, it was renamed Probivnaya Street. On some older maps it can also be found as Mostova Street. Other names for the street during the 19th and 20th centuries included Olexandrivska and Stalina. Since 1961 the street has been known as Zhovtneva Street; and today it is the main administrative, business and cultural center of Poltava.
Voskresenka Church was originally a wooden church, constructed in the late 1600s. In the 1770s the wooden church was replaced with a new brick church, donated by Cossack Colonel Rydenko. In the 19th century, a bell tower was added not far from the church. The church and the bell tower were completely destroyed in 1936. In 1971 a new building was constructed on the site of the church for the Poltava School of Music.
The Russian Foreign Trade Bank building was constructed in the Modernist style in 1897 at the junction of Olexandrivska Street and Petrovska Square. The building was designed by architect Stasukov and civil engineer Nosov. Throughout existence the building has housed financial establishments. Since its renovation in 1990, the building served as the regional office of the
National Bank of Ukraine.
The State Bank building was constructed in the French Renaissance style in 1897 based on a design by architect Shirshov. After 1917 it became the home of several local trade union organizations. In 1937, an additional wing was constructed along Zhovtneva Street. From 1937 until the mid-1940s, the building belonged to the Poltava Regional Committee of the Communist Party. Since the end of WWII, the building has been the home of the Teatralny Hotel.
Poltava’s beautiful Neoclassic Gogol Theater is located at Teatralna Square. The 800-seat theater was built in 1958 based on a design by architects Krylova and Malyshenko. Its repertoire consists mainly of plays and operas, featuring works of many Ukrainian playwrights and other artists, including Kislyakova, Kozhevnikova, Konopatsky, Lazarev, Miroshnichenko, Onipko, Prokopovich, Smiyan, Sumskoy, and Kashpersky. The theater itself, modeled after the Kharkiv Music Theater, was started in 1936. Prior to the construction of the new building, all performances took place in the «Kolos» movie theater.
In the early 20th century, the intersection of Olexandrivska and Kotlyarevskogo Street was the site of the «Coliseum» movie theater, a center of cinematographic life in Poltava for many decades. Soon after the 1917 Revolution it was renamed the «Young Communist International Movie Theater». From 1920 until approximately 1930, the theater was famous for its so-called «dynamic advertisement», a type of advertisement which used different lighting systems and large size frames from movies. The movie theater was destroyed in 1943 during the liberation of Poltava. Today, an apartment building occupies the site.
Frunze, Monastyrska, Balakina and Skovorody Streets - In the early 1800s Tsar Alexander I decided to increase Russian cloth production. To ensure the quick growth of this industry, he invited large numbers of German weavers to settle in Russia. Pursuant to the decree issued by the Tsar in 1808, fifty-four colonist families were brought to Poltava where they formed a small German community in the area of today’s Balakina and Skovorody Streets. The Poltava City Council also provided the colonists with a small lot at the junction of Kobelyatska (now Frunze) and Monastyrska Streets for the construction of a Lutheran church. The plans for the church were prepared by the architect Grigorash. This church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, was consecrated on November 1st, 1881. It was destroyed in 1933.
Ostrogradsky Street - The first training institute for teachers was opened in Poltava in 1914. It is located in a building constructed in 1903 to house the Gymnasium for Boys, No 2. Renamed Poltava Pedagogical University in 1999, it is famous for its scientific, teaching, and educational traditions.
At the end of the 19th century, the Kremenchuk postal road that start-from Krugla Square was lined with many apartment buildings under construction. At the beginning of the 20th century, the part of the road with, the city limits was renamed Kurakinska Street in honor of Poltava Governor-General Count Alexei Kurakin. In 1913, Poltava celebrated the 300-year anniversary of the Romanov dynasty by planting chestnut trees along both sides of the center strip which divides the street. In the early 1920s the street was renamed Zhovtneva Street. At the time the street was lined mostly with industrial plants and warehouses. All of these buildings were destroyed during World War II. During the post-war years, Zhovtneva Street was rebuilt, and is now the location of many new apartment and administrative buildings, movie theatres, and shops.
Sinna Street - The area where Zhovtneva Street crosses Sinna Square used to be just an open area outside of the city that was used by merchants and peasants to sell grain, firewood, hay, vegetables, pottery, and metal wares. The area. Remained undeveloped until 1852 when part of it was turned into the Poltava race track (now the location of the Vorskla Stadium), which was operated there until 1917.
In 1910 the race track became famous for being the site of the first flight of Sergei Utochkin in a Farman aircraft. In 1894, the Troitska (Trinity) Church was built in one part of the square, and at the beginning of the 20th century, another part of the site was turned into the Romanovsky Park. A two-story industrial school was constructed on additional land donated by Grygory Galagan, a wealthy local landowner. This school trained technicians and craftsmen for agricultural enterprises.
In 1947 the school building was handed over to the Poltava Meat Industry Technical School. Before World War II, while the 25th Chapaevska Division was headquartered at the square, the area was used for the testing of tanks. In the 1950s the square was selected for the annual regional agricultural exhibition. In 1950, a monument to Josef Stalin was placed on the square, but was dismantled in 1962. This part of the area is now occupied by the Poltava Regional Administration building.
Nezalezhnosti (Independence) Square - is located between Zhovtneva and Teatralna Streets, has undergone many name changes. In the beginning of the 19th century the site was known as Yarmarkova (Fair) Square. At the time, the square was very large, extending all the way to Pushkina Street. For many decades the square was known under the name Felix Dzerzhinsky Square. In 1991 the square’s name was once again changed to Nezalezhnosti Square.
Lenin Street - Lenin Street starts in downtown Poltava and runs from Frunze Street to Myr Avenue in the Levada District. The street was built in the 18th century to connect the Mazurivska Gate of the Poltava Fortress with Podol, an outlying district of the city. At the time the street was divided into three parts named Malo-Petrovska, Nov. Mykolaivska and Rizdvyana. Yarmarkova (Fair) Square is located at the eastern end of the street. In 1903 monument to the Ukrainian poet Ivan Kotlyarevsky was erected at the junction of Lenin Street and Protopopivska Street (now Kotlyarevskogo Street). Another monument, to the famous writer Mykola Gogol, was unveiled in 1934 at the junction of Lenin Street and Gogol Street. During WWII a buildings along Lenin Street were totally destroyed. After the war, the area was fully reconstructed through the joint efforts of local citizens. The Lenin Monument was dedicated in 1960 at Lenin Square (Nov Constitution Square). The ne-Poltava Regional Library is locate across from Lenin Square. Today Lenin Street is one of the major thoroughfares of Poltava with many store-banks, cafes, etc.
Podil - Podil has been one of Poltava's outlying districts since the 17th century. It is located in the Vorskla river valley southeast of Poltava downtown area. Records show that in 1895 Podil consisted of 45 peasant homesteads and craftsmen houses with 183 inhabitants, as well as Rozhdestvenskaya Church. Starting in 1852, the Podil district bream famous for hosting the Illinskaya Fair at Kinnoyarmarkova Square.
This fair, which in previous years had been held in Romny, was initially a typical a cultural fair for selling horses, cattle, sheep, skins, oil, beeswax, honey, agricultural tools, etc. Later on the focus of the fair shifted to trade in cotton fabrics, woolen cloths, silk and linen. The fair was the largest trading for wool in Russian Empire goods were delivered to the fair from abroad. The fair, which attracted 40,000 visitors in its heyday, took place from July 10th until July 20th. At the end of the 19th century the Illinskaya Fair started to decline and by 1920 it had disappeared completely. Now the site where fair was held is covered with apartment buildings.
Round Square (Alexander Square) - Poltavites usually call Round Square, the part of October Street which practically surrounds the Korpusny Park. Many books on domestic architecture make mention of this square. It is an excellent pattern of Russian classicism in building up a central part of the city.
It was supposed for many buildings around the Round Square to be built in line with standard models for State institutions of principal town of province, which were developed in St. Petersburg under the direction of famous Russian architect A. Zakharov. Beside Glory Monument, the following buildings had to be located around the square: the Province Assembly House, the Meeting House of Nobility, the House of General-Governor, the House of civil Governor, the House of Vice-governor, the Tavern, the Post Office – horse delivery, the Little-Russia Post Office and the Gymnasium. All these buildings surrounding the Glory Monument, by their architectural ensemble and appearance had to create an impression of a unique harmony in composition of the downtown.
But as a rule, the main problem was to get the above-mentioned subsidy to start a construction. Prince Kurakin, after getting acquainted with Poltava for the first time, complained in his letter to Alexander I about lack of appropriate places for holding the meetings, residential constructions for Governor and Vice-Governor. Later, when funds had been received, to secure the constant supply of the necessary materials, the construction of the brickworks started in the district where chemical factory is located now. There were only two small brickworks at that time in the city owned by Holy Cross Exaltation Monastery and by Voskresenskaya (Resurrection) church. Moreover General-Governor was granted permission to reserve hundred thousands of oak timbers in State forests of Kiev, Mogilev and Orlovsk provinces.
In 1808, F. Alexeev the professor of St. Petersburg Arts Academy depicted the square ensemble in such a way it should look like in the future. But not all of the depicted buildings on his drawing were constructed. In 1840 Poltava Military School was opened at the place where it had previously been decided to build a gymnasium.
Most of the buildings were constructed during 1806-1811. The gifted Poltava architect M.A Amvrosimov picked the sites for the houses and directed the construction work on them. The Little-Russia Post Office and the Meeting House of Nobility were completed a little later.
At the end of 18th century in Russia, taking into account experience gained in the capital, the reconstruction of old provincial cities was carried out on a wide footing. Especially much of the attention was devoted to provincial cities. Poltava, which had become principal town of province in 1802, didn’t escape this attention. To efficiently deal with city-planning and improving infrastructure, the province government had created a construction administration with drafting department.
Michael Amvrosimov, province architect and former pupil of the Moscow School of Architecture was in charge of project’s implementation. Social housing, private houses and many streets have been built in accordance with a “regular” plan which foresaw the city rearrangement for the purpose of making more or less “The Little St. Petersburg” out of it. This ambitious plan wasn’t fulfilled to a full extent; in the central part of the city the streets are crossing each other orthogonally, shaping the city squares into rectangles and resembling St. Petersburg’s planning, while the Round Square visually bears resemblance to one of the corners of old St. Petersburg.
The radius-streets are radiating from the square (a diameter of which is 345 meters) outwards to residential quarters. The ideals of classicism were embodied in the architectural style of these buildings around the square.
When building up the Round Square, M. Amvrosimov made use of the “approved” projects already designed by notorious architects. By judging the buildings’ proportions, architectural design of their front elevations and general methods of construction, we may with confidence attribute this style to that of the brilliant Russian architects A. Zakharov, E. Sokolov, M. Kazakov, and L. Ruska. The Round Square is characterized by its solemnity, austerity and monumentality. Though all buildings feature the same architecture, each of them is unique, and the square as a whole represents a monument of Russian classicism of the beginning of 19th century.
Eight buildings constituted a square ensemble: the Province Assembly House, the House of Governor, the House of Vice-governor, Military School, the House of General-Governor, the Little-Russia Post Office, the Meeting House of Nobility and the Common Meeting-House. During the fascist occupation regime, the square ensemble was cruelly destroyed. After liberation of Poltava from fascists, all structures except for the former Common Meeting-House which was razed to the ground were restored to their previous appearance by soviet architects. Nowadays administrative bodies and public-service institutions are quartered here. In 1957 the Communication center was built at the place of destroyed Common Meeting-House (architects D. Boychenko, D.Verotsky and Z.Marchenko).
Korpusny Park - The central point of the city is the round Alexandrian (Corpusny) garden. It is the favorite resting-place of Poltavites. It was created by the plan developed in the days of the governor general Prince Alex Kurakin. For a long time Poltava Petrovskiy cadet corps had cared of the park. That is why it was named Corpusny. This name has preserved up to our days.Once there was an ordinary suburban waste ground. When the city began to expand the eight main ways was stretched to the monastery, to the churches, to other places like rays.The square was begun to build in 1802. In 1840 the park was laid out around the Monument of Glory. In 1909 the park was opened officially in honor of the 200th anniversary of the celebration of Poltava battle.
Since 1964 the Corpusny Park has been sight of the landscape architecture. The park has a round form and the eight radial avenues. There are about 70 species of trees and bushes, the flowerbeds are laid out. There area is 6 hectares. The brass band plays in the park at weekends
The Chestnut alley - The avenue was planted in 1913 by the Poltava high school students in honor of the 300th anniversary of Romanov dynasty. 300 chestnuts were planted at first, and then their amount was multiplied to 400. The area of the avenue is 4 hectares. The length is one kilometer.
Since 1970 the alley has been the botanical nature memorial which is situated in Zhovtneva Street (former Kurakinska). The monument to A. Zygin is erected at the beginning of the alley. Today the avenue has already undergone the period of reconstruction. Old trees were replaced by the new ones. The avenue reminds of the days, when the warriors of Peter I went from the field of battle to the meeting with the defenders of Poltava fortress. Warriors-winners went from the west to the east. The trees were planted in the same.
Other parks include - Petrovsky Park, Sunny Park, The Birch square, Victory Park
Poltava Oblast (Ukrainian: Полтавська область, translate. Poltavs’ka oblast’; also referred to as Poltavshchyna – Ukrainian: Полтавщина) is an oblast (province) of central Ukraine. The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Poltava. Other important cities within the oblast include: Komsomolsk, Kremenchuk, Lubny and Myrhorod.
Most of Ukraine's oblasts are named after their capital cities, officially referred to as "oblast centers" (Ukrainian: обласний центр, translate. oblasnyi tsentr). The name of each oblast is a relative adjective, formed by adding a feminine suffix to the name of respective center city: Poltava is the center of the Poltavs’ka oblast’ (Poltava Oblast). Most oblasts are also sometimes referred to in a feminine noun form, following the convention of traditional regional place names, ending with the suffix "-shchyna", as is the case with the Poltava Oblast, Poltavshchyna.