Poltava (Ukrainian and Russian: ???????; Polish: Po?tawa) is a city in central Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Poltava Oblast (province), as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Poltavskyi Raion (district) 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).

History

It is still unknown when the city was founded. Baltavar Kubrat's grave was found in its vicinity, and its name derives from the title he, his predecessors and his successors bore. 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 Wi?niowiecki (1612-51). Poltava was the base of a distinguished regiment of the Ukrainian Cossacks. In 1667 the town passed to the Russian Empire.

In the Battle of Poltava on June 27, 1709 (Old Style), or 8 July (New Style), tsar Peter the Great, commanding 45,000 troops, defeated at Poltava a Swedish army of 29,000 troops led by Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Rehnski?ld (who had received the command of the army after the wounding of the Swedish king Charles XII on June 17). "Like a Swede at Poltava" remains a simile for "totally helpless" in Russian and Ukrainian idiom. The battle marked the end of Sweden as a great power and the rise of Russia as one.

Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac Krasilschikov served as the city's rabbi for many years both before the Russian Revolution and after. The city played host to the Mir Yeshiva during World War I and until 1921.

Sights

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 Saviour 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 belltower has failed to mar. Another frothy Baroque church, dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos, was destroyed in 1934 and rebuilt in the 1990s.

Famous people from Poltava
  • Marie Bashkirtseff 19th c. Parisian painter, memoirist[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Yitzhak Ben-Zvi a historian, Labor Zionist leader, and the second and longest serving Israeli president.[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Hanka Bielicka - Polish actress[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Andriy Danylko Ukrainian singer[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Nikolai Gogol writer and playwright[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Alexander Gavrilovitch Gurvitch Russian physician and biologist[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Ivan Kotlyarevsky Ukrainian writer, poet and playwright[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Anatoliy Vasilievich Lunacharsky Russian Marxist revolutionary and the first Soviet People's Commissar of Enlightenment responsible for culture and education[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Ivan Paskevich Ukrainian military leader in the Russian service[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • David Peikoff Canadian-U.S. Deaf Rights advocate, born on March 21, 1900, in Yanoschina, Poltava Province former Russia.[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Symon Petlura Ukrainian socialist politician and statesman[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Zhanna Prokhorenko Ukrainian actress[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Sasha Putrya Ukrainian artist[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
  • Nikolai Yaroshenko Russian painter[/*:m:1jdyyo27]
Other Information
Postal Code 3600036499
Dialing Code +380 532

Images

Flag:
[attachment=2:1jdyyo27]800px-Flag_of_Poltava_Oblast.png[/attachment:1jdyyo27]

Coat of arms:
[attachment=0:1jdyyo27]Poltav_s.gif[/attachment:1jdyyo27]

Location:
[attachment=1:1jdyyo27]Poltawa-Ukraine-Map.png[/attachment:1jdyyo27]

Poltava October park:
[attachment=3:1jdyyo27]450px-PICT1550.JPG[/attachment:1jdyyo27]