The origin of the town
In the 2nd-6th centuries A.D., Slavic tribes lived in the area of present Sumy, the remnants of their settlements and burial mounds are found in the south-western part of the city, on Pavlov street.
In the 8th-10th centuries, there was a settlement of northern people in the area of Topol settlement (Topolyanskaya street today).
There is no single opinion on the foundation date of Sumy. 1653 and 1655 are considered as possible dates. 1655 is considered to be the most exact.
It is thought that the town was inhabited by several waves of migrants arriving from the opposite bank of the Danube, but the town was founded by the colonel Gerasim Kondratyev, who arrived to the Russian state together with a group of the Cossack migrants in 1655.
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Moscow allowed them to settle there and, during 1656-1658, they constructed a fortress headed by the Russian voivode K.Yu. Arsenyev.
In 1651, the Ukrainian Cossacks headed by Bohdan Khmelnitsky were defeated near Berestechka. It was the start of the Polish yoke over the Ukrainians.
In 1658, Sumy became the center of Slobodsky Cossack regiment which defended the southern boundaries of the Russian Empire from the Crimean Tatars’ attacks. In 1660, there were 2,740 people in the town.
It was attacked by the Crimean Tatars in 1659, 1663, 1668 but they couldn’t occupy the town. The fortress served as a base where the Russian army gathered during expeditions to Crimea in 1687 and 1689.
The Russian Empire times
During the Northern War of 1700-1721, the town played an important strategic role. On December 26, 1708, Peter I moved his headquarters from Lebedin to Sumy.
Peter I spent the whole winter there and led the strengthening of the fortress (in case of the defeat in the battle with the Swedish army of Karl XII). He issued a manifest to Ukrainian people denouncing hetman Mazepa’s actions.
Sumy population was 7,700 people in 1732, 9,380 - in 1773, and 10,256 - in 1850. In 1780, Sumy received the status of a town.
In the 18th-19th centuries, it was a major commercial center of the region.
Interesting facts about Sumy
Sumy received its name after the rivers Suma and Sumka which encircle it on both sides. There is a legend that hunters’ bags (“suma” in Russian language) were found in this area.
This legend is reflected in the coat-of-arms adopted in 1781. There are three black bags with golden buttons on the four-angle shield.
Famous Russian writers A.P. Chekhov and A.I. Kuprin lived in Sumy. The city was visited by the composer P.I. Chaikovsky, the writer V.G. Korolenko, the poet A.N. Pletsheyev.
Sumy places of interest
The Holy Resurrection Cathedral. This cathedral is the oldest stone building in Sumy. It was built at the expense of Colonel A. Kondratyev, the son of the founder of Sumy.
The building of the cathedral was a part of city walls; there was an underground passage to the river.
In Soviet times, the building housed the department of arts and crafts of the local art museum. Voskresenskaya Street, 19.
The Transfiguration Cathedral. This majestic church, standing on a pedestrian street in the heart of the city, combines elements of Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism. Sobornaya Street, 31.
The Trinity Cathedral. It is one of the most beautiful churches in Sumy. It looks like St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia. The cathedral was built in the classical style with some Baroque elements. Troitskaya Street, 24-a.
The Museum of Chekhov. The house-museum of Chekhov is open in the mansion of noble Lintvarevyh family (the 18th-19th centuries). In 1888-1889, the writer lived in the western wing of the mansion. The museum was opened to the centenary of the birth of the writer in 1960.
You can see the restored interior of the living room and dining room, guest rooms and “Antosha room” - Chekhov’s bedroom and study. Chekhov Street, 79. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00 (Thursday - 16:00), day off - Friday.
The Museum of Art. This museum named after N. Onatsky is housed in a building constructed in the early 20th century.
It was founded on the basis of nationalized private collections of art in 1920. Krasnaya Square, 1. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00 (Thursday - 16:00), day off - Friday.
The Local History Museum. The exhibition presents objects from archaeological sites of early Slavic monuments, rare exhibits on the history and nature of the region. Kirov Street, 2. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00, day off - Monday.
The World War II memorial
Other places of interest
Altanka. This small carved wooden gazebo, built without a single nail, is considered to be the symbol of Sumy. This is the only wooden building in the city, which was not damaged during the Second World War. Pokrovskaya Square.
Children’s Park “Fairy Tale”. The park is located in the center. On its territory, in addition to children’s rides, you can find fabulous buildings and figures of fairy tales characters. Shevchenko Avenue.
Kozhedub’s Park. The park of culture and rest named after I. Kozhedub is located right in the heart of Sumy. The total area of the park is about 58 hectares.
The park offers a lot of rides, regularly hosts various exhibitions, festivals and other cultural events.
Close to the main entrance to the park, you can find a modern stadium “Yubileyniy”. In the southeastern part of the park, there is a beach. Gagarin Street, 15.
Among the other attractions of Sumy are:
- T.G.Shevchenko statue (in the park on Sobornaya Street);
- The memorial complex “Eternal Glory” (Kirov Street);
- The regional philharmonic society (Petropavlovskaya Street);
- The buildings of the former Sumy cadet corps (Kirov Street, 165).
Hotel “Zdybanka”. This hotel-restaurant complex stands on the bank of the river Psyol near the beach. Comfortable rooms of European standard, Wi-Fi.
There is a restaurant (European and Ukrainian cuisine). You can find a cafe pizzeria on the ground floor.
The additional services include a sauna, swimming pool, parking, air and train tickets booking, dry cleaning, taxi call, conference room. Zalivnaya Street, 7/1. Phones: +38 0542 604 135, +38 050 407 08 44 (cell).
Hotel “Shafran”. The hotel is located near the center of Sumy, in a picturesque area on the bank of the lake named after Chekhov.
39 comfortable rooms with all the amenities: beds with orthopedic mattresses, climate control, mini-bar, satellite TV, Wi-Fi. There are two rooms for people with disabilities.
The additional services include a conference room, meeting room, business center, sauna, beauty salon, billiards, laundry, multi-currency ATM, guided tours. Restaurant “Shafran” (Oriental cuisine). Zamostyanskaya Street, 1/4. Phone: +38 0542 671 350.
Hotel “Voskresensky”. The hotel is located in the business center of the city, next to the Resurrection (Voskresensky) Cathedral.
28 rooms. There is a classic restaurant with 40 seats (European and Ukrainian cuisine). The hotel has a sauna with a swimming pool, garage, parking at the entrance. Nezavisimosti Square, 15. Phones: +38 0542 67 11 71, +38 0542 604 502, +38 0542 604 503.
Hotel “Khimik”. It is located in the center, on a quiet street, 5 minutes from the train station. The hotel offers views of the river Psyol, historical and modern neighborhoods of Sumy.
50 comfortable rooms. There is a restaurant serving European and Ukrainian cuisine.
The additional services include a small conference room, sauna, swimming pool, Turkish bath, hairdressing salon. Pselskaya Street, 14. Phone: +38 0542 224 500.
Hotel “Pan”. The three-story building of the hotel is standing on a quiet old street in the central part of Sumy.
16 comfortable rooms with modern furnishings, Wi-Fi, TV, air conditioning. Restaurant (European cuisine). The additional services: parking, laundry, sauna, meeting room. Kuznechniy Street, 1. Phones: +38 0542 610 367, +38 0542 610 370.
Hotel “Jubilejnaya”. The hotel is located near the railway station, 10 minutes walk from the center of the city - Nezavisimosti Square.
The hotel complex consists of two separate buildings connected by a walkway. It has a picturesque surrounding area with landscaping.
78 spacious rooms, Wi-Fi. Deluxe rooms are air conditioned. Restaurant (European cuisine). The additional services: parking, beauty salon, sauna, swimming pool, gym, conference room, meeting room. Privokzalnaya Street, 9A. Phones: +38 0542 255 133 +38 0542 255 347.
Hotel “Reikartz Sumy”. The hotel is located in the very center of the city, on the corner of Pokrovskaya Square, at the beginning of the pedestrian area.
57 rooms of different categories with cable TV, fridge, Wi-Fi. Voskresenska Street, 1. Phones: +38 0542 222 520, +38 0542 685 501.