The name of the city derives from the old Slavic word “vno” which means “gift”. There are other versions explaining the name: “vinitsa” – a brewery and Vinichka – a river.
These lands were inhabited in ancient times. Remains of the Scythian and ancient Russian settlements were found on this territory.
In the 9th century, the Ulich and Tivert tribes settled there, they were the part of the Kievan Rus state. Later, this area was passed to Galitsky-Volynsky principality. The Golden Horde ruled there over 100 years.
More Historical Facts…
After the victory of the Lithuanian prince Olgerd’s army over the Tatars in 1362, the area was ruled by Lithuanian principality. Prince Olgerd’s nephews Fyodor and Konstantin Koryatovich constructed their towns-fortresses in this land.
One of the fortresses, built on the bank of the river Bug, was called the “Old Vinnitsa”. The first record of the town refers to 1396. In 1431, the castle was burnt by the Tatars.
In 1558, a new castle was built. Locals had to repel the Tatars’ attacks which happened almost every year. In 1569, the town became the part of Poland.
In the early 17th century, fortifications and the church complex “Mury” were constructed. In 1649, it was included into Ukraine. In 1667, the town again became the part of Poland.
After Poland was divided for the second time (1793), all these territories were passed to the Russian Empire and formed Podolsk gubernia. In 1860, local population was about 10,000. In 1870, the railway Kiev-Balta-Odessa was constructed near the town. The railway promoted development of Vinnitsa, connection with Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, St. Petersburg improved greatly.
The town became three times larger during the last fourty years of the 19th century. It took the first place in commodity circulation in Podolsk gubernia.
Since 1914, it was the administrative center of the region. During the Civil War, power in the town changed several times. In 1932, the town became the center of Vinnitsa oblast (region).
On July 19, 1941, the German army occupied the city. On March 20, 1944, it was set free.
During the war, the population decreased to 27,000. By the end of 1948, almost the entire industry was restored. Later, other industries were developed: food, light, chemical, machine-building and metal-working.
Present day Vinnitsa, being the center of a major agricultural region, produces fertilizers and has food-processing industries in addition to electronics, agricultural equipment, light engineering, clothing and footwear industries.
Vinnitsa places of interest
Pirogov’s Museum-Estate. The National Museum-Estate of N. Pirogov is located in a picturesque park on the shore of the lake in the south-western outskirts of the city. Pirogov, the prominent Russian surgeon, bought this estate in 1859. He lived and worked in it until his death in 1881.
The museum and the memorial cabinet of the father of military field surgery are open in the manor house.
Also, you can see a pharmacy-museum with the interiors of reception and operating rooms. The church-mausoleum with the embalmed body of Pirogov is located nearby. Pirogov Street, 155. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00, day off - Monday.
The Local History Museum. The museum is housed in the former Jesuit monastery - the part of the historical-architectural complex “Mura.” The collection consists of 200 thousand exhibits.
You can see unique exhibits related to the Scythian and Sarmatian periods, large numismatic and ethnographic collections. The museum also has a skeleton of a mammoth found on the territory of the region. Sobornaya Street, 19. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00, day off - Monday.
Kotsubynsky’s Museum. The Literary-Memorial Museum of M. Kotsyubinsky is open in the house where the writer was born and lived up to 33 years. In 1926, on the initiative of the writer’s brother, the restoration was carried out and the museum was opened.
The exhibits reveal the writer’s career and his public activities. I. Bevza Street, 15. Opening hours: 10:00-17.00, day off - Wednesday.
The Church of the Virgin Mary. The church was built in an unusual style of the Tuscan Baroque. It was closed by Soviet authorities, first time in 1931, and then, after a revival during the Second World War, it was closed again in 1961. Today, it belongs to the Catholic community of Vinnitsa. Sobornaya Street, 12.
The Cathedral of the Transfiguration. This cathedral was built in the 18th century. In 1832, it was transferred to the Orthodox clergy and consecrated as an Orthodox church. Prior to 1991, the building was used as a hall of organ music. Today, it belongs to the Moscow Patriarchate. Sobornaya Street, 21.
St Nicholas Church. The wooden church of St. Nicholas with a bell tower, standing on the impressive stone foundation, is one of the best examples of Podolia wooden folk architecture school. In Soviet times, the building housed a museum. In 1970, the church was restored. Mayakovsky Street, 6.
Vinnitsa apartment buildings
The light and music fountain. It is one of the biggest light and music fountains in Europe. The fountain was opened in 2011, on the waterfront opposite the island of Kemp (Festival), next to the “Roshen” factory. Water and light music show takes place every evening. Roshen Embankment. Opening hours: 12:00-22:00.
The Water Tower. This original brick tower with a clock, standing in the pedestrian area, is the hallmark of Vinnitsa.
Since 1993, the tower houses the museum dedicated to soldiers killed during Afghanistan war in 1979-1989. Kozitsky Street, 20. Opening hours: 10:00-17:30, day off - Monday.
- The Arch in Gorky park is one of the symbols of the city;
- The estate-palace of the Grokholskys, the 18th century (Michurin Street, 32);
- The building of “Savoy” hotel, 1912 (Kozitsky Street, 36);
- The gymnasium for girls, 1910 (school #2);
- The professional school, 1890, the building of the university of trade and economics today (Sobornaya Street, 87);
- Jerusalemka - the old Jewish quarter located not far from the center of Vinnitsa;
- The ruins of “Werwolf” - Hitler’s headquarters (8 km from the city near Strizhavka village).
Unfortunately, Vinnitsa doesn’t have a lot of modern comfortable hotels. The following hotels have relatively good visitors’ reviews.
Hotel “Feride”. This five-star hotel is located next to the public garden and the Medical Center named after Pirogov. It can be found on the fifth floor of the shopping and entertainment complex “Feride Plaza” offering a restaurant, cafe, nightclub, children’s room, health and beauty center (medical cosmetology, SPA-center).
15 comfortable rooms with individual design, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, safe, mini-bar, fridge, air-conditioning. The restaurant has a summer terrace with panoramic views of Vinnitsa. The cafe “Feride” offers Japanese cuisine. Pirogov Street, 23. Phone: +38 0432 55 77 88.
Hotel “Park Hotel”. This hotel is located in the heart of the city, in the public garden named after Kozitsky, near the tower. It is a three-storey historic building with modern interiors.
15 spacious rooms of different categories with all the amenities: Wi-Fi, air conditioning, fridge, mini-bar, phone, satellite TV.
The restaurant and pizzeria “da Lucio” with a terrace offers Italian cuisine. The additional services include laundry, dry cleaning, tours, translation services. Grushevsky Street, 28. Phones: +38 0432 67 58 44, +38 0432 52 93 94.
Hotel “Status”. It is a new hotel located at the Kiev highway. Comfortable rooms with all the amenities, Wi-Fi. There is a restaurant (European cuisine).
The additional services include a sauna, conference room, laundry, taxi call, parking. Kievskaya Street, 39. Phones: +38 0432 53 94 39, +38 098 128 99 89 (cell).
Mini Hotel “Safari-Club”. This hotel can be found near the center of the city and Gorky park.
5 rooms with all the amenities: Wi-Fi, cable TV, air conditioning. The additional services include a sauna, swimming pool, solarium, fitness center, laundry. Blok Street, 28. Phones: +38 096 26 600 26 (cell), +38 0432 57 06 23.
Hotel “Vinnitsa”. It is located in the center of Vinnitsa, in a four-storey renovated building. Nearby, there is an embankment of the Southern Bug River, architectural monuments, museums, Independence Square.
Comfortable rooms of different categories with a fridge, mini-bar, satellite TV, phone, Wi-Fi, air conditioning. There are rooms for people with limited mobility, equipped with railings around the perimeter of the room.
The additional services include a sauna, swimming pool, gym, conference room, beauty salon, taxi call, parking. Soborna Street, 69. Phones: +38 0432 61 03 32, +38 063 694 10 10 (cell).
Mini-Hotel “Ideal”. The hotel is located in Zamostyansky area, near the railway station, 3 km from the center (next to the central market). It is a three-storey cottage with round the clock security.
16 comfortable rooms of different categories with individual design, Wi-Fi. The deluxe rooms have a fridge and an air conditioner. The hotel has a large Finnish sauna, steam room with an interior of wood and stone, 2 pools and a beauty salon.
There is a restaurant “Ideal” with a terrace (home Ukrainian cuisine). Nekrasova Street, 73. Phones: +38 0432 263 818, +38 097 531 93 19 (cell).
Hotel “Podillya”. This hotel can be found in the park in Vinnitsa center. The hotel complex consists of a six-storey main building and a two-storey building with a restaurant, banquet rooms, three meeting rooms for 250, 48 and 30 people and a business center with 15 seats.
95 rooms of different categories, Wi-Fi. There is a room for people with disabilities. The deluxe rooms are equipped with air conditioning and a safe.
There is a restaurant (European and Ukrainian cuisine). The additional services: booking tickets, bank office, gift shop, tourist and excursion services. Pushkin Street, 4. Phones: +38 0432 59 22 33 , +38 0432 59 22 32.