Origin of Poltava
Archaeological evidence dates Poltava from the 8th to the 9th century, although the first documentary reference is from 1174, when the settlement was known as Ltava.
At that time it was ruled by the Lithuanian Princedom. Destroyed by the Tatars in the early 13th century, it was a center of a Cossack regiment by the 17th century.
According to Lyublin union of 1569, Poltava was ruled by Poland. In the chronicle of 1641, it was called a town. In the 17th century, the Magdeburg Law was adopted in Poltava.
The Battle of Poltava
In 1709, Peter I the Great inflicted a crushing defeat on Charles XII of Sweden outside Poltava in the Battle of Poltava after Charles had laid siege to the town for three months.
After the Northern War was over, it was famous all over the Russian Empire as the town of Russian glory. Poltava was rapidly growing and soon the town became one of main trade and handicraft centers in the region.
More Historical Facts…
The Russian Empire times
In 1803-1805, the center was designed and constructed, it was a unique ensemble consisting of a round square which was a start of 8 radial streets.
In 1811, the monument “Glory” was erected in the middle of the square to commemorate the anniversary of Russian army’s victory over Sweden. Poltava was rich in its historical heritage and soon it became the center of cultural and spiritual life of Ukraine.
In 1891, museum of local study was constructed, with its unique architecture in the Ukrainian baroque style. In 1909, for the 200th anniversary of Poltava battle the monument to glorious defenders of Poltava was opened.
The Soviet period
During the World War II, a lot of cultural and historical monuments were destroyed, there was almost no center in the city.
In the 1950s, after the war, Poltava was reconstructed, TV came into being, gas was supplied to the city. In 1958, a theater named after Nikolai Gogol was built.
In 1962, first trolleybuses began running in Poltava. In 1964, the museum of local study was rebuilt after being destroyed during the war.
When Ukraine became independent, Poltava was an important cultural and historical center of the region.
Nowadays, it is the focus of a fertile agricultural region and has a range of industries processing farm produce.
Textile and clothing industries include the largest cotton mill in Ukraine.
There are teacher-training, medical, agricultural and agricultural-engineering institutes and several research establishments in the city.
Holy Cross Monastery. The monastery was founded in 1650 on the bank of Vorskla River by means of the lower middle class. The cathedral (1699-1709) is the only Ukrainian seven-headed baroque church survived to this day.
Four-storey Late Baroque bell tower (1786) has a height of 43 meters. The complex also includes one-dome Trinity Church (1750) and Semenovskaya Church (1887).
During the war with Swedes, it was the headquarters of Carl XII. In the first half of the 20th century, the monastery was closed, the buildings were used by NKVD as a juvenile prison, then as a boarding school. The complex was returned to the Church in 1991. Sverdlov Street, 2-a.
Cathedral of the Assumption. It is the first stone building in Poltava. The cathedral was built on the site of a wooden church, which stood at Veche square of Poltava fortress on Ivanova Gora (Mount).
The bell tower (44 meters) had the bell “Kizi-kermen” cast from Turkish cannons at the end of the 18th century. Today, this bell is in the collection of local history museum.
In 1934, the cathedral was destroyed by the Bolsheviks, but the bell tower survived. In 1999-2007, the cathedral was rebuilt and returned to the Orthodox Church. Sobornaya Square, 3.
Church of the Savior. It is one of the oldest churches in the city, an example of traditional Ukrainian architecture. The foundation date is unknown. The official date is 1705, when the church was built by means of Colonel Ivan Iskra as a separate wooden church on the site of a burnt-out Church of the Transfiguration.
According to legend, after his victory over the Swedes at Poltava battle field, Peter I, resting in the house located next to the church, prayed here thanking for the salvation of the city.
In 1845, a stone pavilion was constructed over the church, and two years later a small stone bell tower was built. In 1849, a monument was erected next to the resting place of Peter I. Oktyabrskaya Street, 10.
Panteleimonovskaya Church. The Church of St. Martyr and Healer Panteleimon is located in Kotlyarevsky Park. In the past, the territory of the park was the city cemetery. The cemetery had All Saints Church. At the end of the 19th century, priest Gapon served there. He was an organizer of the mass rally of workers in the “Bloody Sunday” day.
In Soviet times, All Saints Church was destroyed. In 1999, the construction of the church of St. Panteleimon began nearby. The church was opened in 2000. Frunze Street, 64.
Church of Vera, Nadezhda and Lubov. The church in honor of martyrs Vera, Nadezhda and Lubov, and their mother Sophia was constructed on the initiative of the city authorities and women’s religious community of Poltava in 2002. Pervomaisky Avenue, 23.
Church of Sampson Strannopriimets. The Church of St. Sampson Strannopriimets located at Swedish Grave was founded in 1852 to commemorate the victory of the Russian army over Swedes in 1709. In 1893-1895, the church was reconstructed. Shvedskaya Mogila Street, 32.
Among the other attractions is the system of Poltava catacombs - a net of underground ways connecting various parts of the old town.
Makarievsky Cathedral. Small Makarievskaya church was built on the outskirts of the city in the beginning of the 20th century. Several restorations did not change its original form. The interior has the paintings of the early 20th century. Lyalya Ubiyvovk Street, 2a.
Poltava city architecture
Local History Museum. The museum is located in a house built by architect Vladimir Krichevsky in Art Nouveau style with elements of Ukrainian folk style (this fact angered the Emperor Nicholas II).
The museum has more than 300 thousand exhibits. Among the rarities are the works of ancient and oriental art, ancient Egypt collection, Cossacks relics. Konstitutsiya Street, 2. Opening hours: 9:00-16:00, day off - Wednesday.
The Field of the Battle of Poltava. It is one of the first museums in Poltava established in 1909 to mark the 200th anniversary of the victory of the Russian army over Swedes. The museum is located at the Poltava battle field near the grave of the Russian soldiers.
The collection consists of more than eight thousand exhibits: works of art, weapons, decorations, flags, uniforms and equipment of Russian and Swedish armies, personal belongings of Peter I and his companions. There is a sounded diorama of Poltava battle.
Monument to Peter I, Sampson Strannopriimets Church, Grave of Russian soldiers, Cross on the Grave of Swedish soldiers and Monument to Swedes from Russians are located nearby.
One of the redoubts is restored (located on the opposite side of the road); the others are marked by memorable signs. Shvedskaya Mogila Street, 32. Opening hours: 9:00-16:30.
Museum of Kotlyarevsky. The manor of eminent writer I. Kotlyarevsky was restored in 1969 in accordance with a drawing made by T. Shevchenko in 1845. Kotlyarevsky lived in Poltava most of his life. In this house he created most of his works, in particular, the famous “Aeneid”.
The atmosphere of the 19th century is recreated inside the house. It stores personal belongings of the writer, awards, handwritten pages of his works and first editions of his books. Sobornaya Square, 3. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00, day off - Monday.
Long-Range Aviation Museum. The museum of Strategic Air Force is located on the territory of Poltava military airfield. The exhibition has the world’s largest strategic bomber Tu-160.
The only remaining on the territory of Ukraine, it is the main attraction of the museum now. Other exhibits: Su-15, Tu-95MS, Tu-22KD, Tu-134UBL, Tu-22M2, Tu-22M3, Tu-16, AN-26. Tours should be coordinated in advance. P. Yurchenko Street. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00, days off - Monday, Tuesday. Contact phone: +380 532 54 26 86.
Museum of Panas Mirny. Poltava Literary and Memorial Museum is located on the outskirts of the city. In 1903, the writer Panas Mirny bought a small one-storey house there in which he lived past 17 years of his life. He was visited by Lesya Ukrainka, Olena Pchilka, M. Kotsyubinsky, V. Stefanik, M. Zankovetskaya and N. Lysenko.
In 1940, the museum was opened in the house. Seven rooms of the museum show the collection of over 150 hand-writings of Panas Mirny and his brother I. Bilyk, about 1000 personal belongings of the family of the writer, books, documents and photos.
In 1951, the monument to Panas Mirny was erected in the courtyard of the house. Panas Mirny Street, 56. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00, day off - Friday.
Museum of Art. The museum is housed in the new building of the Art Gallery. First art gallery was opened in 1919 by Ukrainian scientist-archaeologist M. Rudynsky on the basis of the collection given to him by artist N. Yaroshenko.
Among the 100 paintings were the works of I. Shishkin, V. Polenov, V. Makovsky, I. Repin, V. Maximov and others. The collection of Western European paintings includes unique works of D. Tiepolo, P. Rubens, M. Hondekuter, A. Ostade, V. Lebren and others. Frunze Street, 5. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00, day off - Monday.
Monument to Dumplings (Galushki). The monument to Poltava dumplings placed next to a viewpoint on Ivanova Gora (Mount) is considered one of the symbols of present Poltava. The monument opened in 2006 was dedicated to the birthday of writer Nikolai Gogol.
Initially, the monument was installed near the Cathedral of the Assumption, but upon the request of the believers it was moved closer to the restaurant “Ivanova Gora”. Near the monument each year in early June the festival of Poltava dumplings is being held. Sobornaya Square.
Monument to Ukrainian Cossacks. The monument to Cossack glory was opened in 1994. It is devoted to Ukrainian Cossacks, who died during the Battle of Poltava. Panyansky Boulevard.
Monument to Swedes from Russians. The monument to Swedish soldiers killed during the Battle of Poltava was opened in 1909 on the initiative of the Russian public in recognition of the valor and courage of soldiers of the army of Carl XII.
The height of the monument is about 9 meters. The monument is located right by the highway at the entrance to Poltava from Okhtyrka. Zinkovskaya Street, Swedish Grave.
Dumplings (Galushki) monument
Taras Shevchenko monument
Other places of interest
The Round Square. The central area of the city is a ring with Korpusny garden and a monument of Fame to mark the 100th anniversary of the victory over the Swedes at Poltava. According to the legend, at this point, Peter I met with the city’s defenders. The area is a popular place for walking. Zhovtneva Street.
Ivanova Gora (Mount). The place is the historic core of the city offering the best views of the city area. More than eleven centuries ago, there was a fortified outpost of ancient town Ltava standing on a high hill above the Vorskla River.
Later, an earthen fort of Poltava town was constructed there. In the 18th century, it stopped the advance of the Swedes for three months until the army of Peter I finally came to the area. Sobornaya Square.
The building of the former Peasants Bank. The most elegant building in the city was built in the early 20th century for the Peasants Land Bank which was granting long-term loans to peasants for purchase the land from the nobles.
Architect A. Kobelev drafted a building which is now considered one of the best examples of Ukrainian modernism. Multicolored mosaic gives to the house especially scenic view. The building was damaged in the Second World War, restored in 1948. Oktyabrskaya Street, 39.
Hotel “Palazzo”. The hotel is conveniently located at the intersection of two main streets - Gogol and Pushkin Streets, close to main historical and architectural attractions of the city.
Main services: sauna, gym, massage, restaurant (European cuisine), bar, night club, billiards, Wi-Fi, conference hall, business center, laundry, excursions, parking. Gogol Street, 33. Contact phones: +380 532 61 12 05, +380 532 61 12 10.
Hotel “Gallery”. The hotel is located in the historical, cultural and business center. It was opened in September 1999. Main services: restaurant, bar, billiards, sauna, conference hall, gym, laundry, Wi-Fi, underground parking. Frunze Street, 7. Contact phones: +380 532 56 16 66, +380 532 56 16 97.
Hotel “Kiev”. Former main hotel of the city reconstructed in 1995. Main services: restaurant, conference hall, pool, billiards, parking. Sennaya Street, 2/49. Contact phone: +380 5322 2 42 86.
Hotel “Ukraine”. The hotel reconstructed in 1997 is located in the very center of the city. Main services: cafe-bar, conference hall, Internet, laundry, parking. Oktyabrskaya Street, 41-a. Contact phone: +380 5322 24 343.
Hotel “Alleya Grand”. New modern hotel located near the center, close to main historical, entertainment and sporting facilities. Korpusny garden, a place of recreation of Poltava visitors and residents, is located nearby.
Main services: restaurant, bar, Wi-Fi, conference hall, business center, laundry, airline booking, taxi, parking. Oktyabrskaya Street, 57. Contact phone: +380 532 57 97 37.
Mini-hotel “Mimino”. The hotel located close to the center of the city was opened in 2009. Main services: restaurant (traditional Georgian cuisine), Wi-Fi, parking. Biryuzov Street, 15. Contact phone: +380 532 50 98 97.
Hotel “Vivat Province”. The recreational complex is located on the outskirts of the city, in the center of the Poltava battle field.
Main services: restaurant (European and Ukrainian cuisine), brewery, banya (bathhouse), conference hall, Wi-Fi, safe, tennis court, fishing, horseback riding, excursions, parking. Pobyvanka village, Zenkovskaya Street, 3-a. Contact phones: +380 532 65 55 56, +380 532 55 93 53.
Motel “Muhomor”. Hotel and restaurant complex located on the outskirts of Poltava in the Kharkov direction. Main services: cafe-bar, banya (bathhouse), billiards, hookah room, karaoke, Wi-Fi, parking. Kharkov Highway, 1. Contact phone: +380 532 69 33 95.