The first documentary record about the city as a fortress named Ltava was mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle in 1174, but it is still unknown where exactly it was. During Mongol and Tatar invasion in 1240 this settlement was almost completely destroyed and for a long time there were no records about the city. First records about Poltava appeared at the beginning of XV century when the city was under the authority of Lithuanian Prince Vitovt, who later gave it to Tatar Prince Alexander Glinskiy. The city belonged to Glinskiy till 1537 and in 1537 Poltava owner became Baybuza family - Glinskiy's descendants. In 1630 the city was given to Obalkovskiy, in 1641 it was given to Konetspolskiy and in 1646 - to Y. Vishnevetskiy.
Up to 1569 Poltava city was the part of Lithuanian Principality, in 1569 it was under Poland authority and starting from 1667 it became a part of Russia. At the second part of XVI century in Poltava region there were approximately 300 settlements, among which there were many towns, villages, suburbs. Thus these places were populated already at that time. In XVI-XVII Poltava lands belonged to Polish magnates. Many Poles and Lithuanians possessed all the lands in Poltava region. In 1641 according to the historical document Poltava was named as a city for the first time. Approximately during these years Poltava have got "Magdeburg Right", though feudal lords continued interference in city's internal affairs. At that moment there were many potters, blacksmiths and shoemakers in Poltava. In 1646 Poltava was occupied by Yarema Vishnevetskiy's army.
When the Cossacks began their War of liberation against Poland, Poltava city became military and administrative center of Poltava regiment as part of Hetman's Ukraine (since 1648 till 1775). All the territory was divided into territorial and military units - regiments. During the War with Poland, our city was one of the most important regions of Left-bank Ukraine. It provided a reliable logistics for Bogdan Chmelnitskiy's army. Many soldiers from Poltava region showed their courage in this War. Among them: Nestor Morozenko, Martyn Pushkar', Ivan Iskra and others.
In 1658 Poltava city became the center of uprising Cossacks against pro-Polish hetman Ivan Vygovskiy. During Civil War our city was ruined by Vygovskiy's allies and many Poltava people, including women and children had been hold in servitude by Crimean Tatars.
After Andrusov armistice in 1667 Poltava along with Left-bank Ukraine became a part of Russian kingdom. The second part of XVII century was the period of industry and agriculture reconstruction. One of the most important historical events for our city was the North War (1700-1721) between Russia and Sweden. The key battle of this War was the Poltava battle, which changed the course of action. Exactly our city stopped the King Charles's XII troops when they proceeded to Moscow through Ukraine. Poltava at that time was guarded only by three Russian Army's regiments. 4000 population of Poltava supported Russian garrison under the commandant's command, whose name was Aleksey Kelin. During three months our city restrained the Swedish army, which lost a lot of its soldiers during those days. The main battle took place on the 27th, June, 1709 when 60 000 Russian soldiers headed by Peter I approached our city. Russian and Swedish armies had Cossacks regiments. In Russian troops they were headed by Semen Paliy and in Swedish - by Ivan Mazepa. As a result of the battle Charles's XII army was defeated and together with Ivan Mazepa he escaped to Turkey.
After the North War our city started its reconstruction and very soon became one of the most important trade and handicraft production centers of Ukraine. At the beginning of XIX century there were 35 industrial enterprises in Poltava, among them: saltpetre works, soap factories, cloth mills, brickyards and etc.
Our city center was designed and built in 1803-1805. It was the unique round square ensemble with eight streets radiated from the square. In 1811 in the square center there was erected "Glory" monument, which was timed to the anniversary of Russian army against Swedes Victory. Very soon Poltava became Ukraine's cultural and spiritual life center, thanks to its great historical heritage. Since 1818 here was a well-known Masonic lodge with the name "Love to verity". The members of this lodge were: Ivan Kotlyarevskiy, V. Lukashevich, V. Tarnovskiy and many other famous people. In 1820 there were opened the following institutions as: Poltava Noble girls' Institute, religious school, Poltava school of gardening, and in 1840 - military school.
There are many famous people who studied in Poltava institutions. Among them: Nikolai Gogol, who studied in Poltava school in 1818-1819; Mikhail Staritskiy, a famous playwright and theatre director, Mikhail Dragomanov, public figure and historian, and mathematician Mikhail Ostrogradskiy studied in Poltava gymnasium. Ivan Kotlyarevskiy almost all his life worked in Poltava. In 1844 our city was visited by Taras Shevchenko. Ivan Nechui-Levitskiy, Panas Mirniy, Vasiliy Dokuchaev, his student Vladimir Vernadskiy and a famous doctor Nikolai Sklifosovskiy also worked in Poltava.
Poltava Local lore Museum with its unique architecture in Ukrainian baroque was built in 1891. In 1846 such Poltava intellectuals as V. Belozerskiy, G. Andrusskiy and some others were included in "Kirill and Mifodiy Community" which was organized in Kiev. At the beginning of 1860th in Poltava with 30 000 population there were opened the following educational establishments as: Women Gymnasium, Day school, 5 Saturday and Sunday schools. During 1900-1921 such famous writer as Vladimir Korolenko lived and worked in Poltava. On the 30th, August, 1903 Ivan Kotlyarevskiy's monument was erected. This great event was visited by such outstanding cultural figures as Panas Mirnyi, Lesya Ukrainka, Nikolai Lysenko, Mikhail Staritskiy, Mikhail Kotsyubinskiy and many others.
The monument to Commandant Aleksei Kelin and valiant Poltava defenders was erected to the date of Poltava Battle bicentenary celebration in 1909. White Rotunda was built on the place, where long time ago there was an ancient Sampsonyyvska tower. It is not so high semicircular colonnade but with the great view of our city's districts.
In 1917, after October Revolution, Bolshevist and Russian oriented deputies were very powerful in Poltava Council. On the 17th, December, 1917 Central Rada's soldiers disbanded Poltava Council. Though, later our city was occupied by Red Guard (fighting detachments of working people, organized by Bolshevist party in 1917-1918). On the 27th, November, 1918 armed communist troops entered the city, but in two days they were defeated by Ukrainian army.
When Civil War was over, Poltava became the member of USSR (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic). During 1923-1937 some administrative reforms were made and due to one of them on the 22nd, September, 1937 Poltava region was created with the center in Poltava city.
During the Second World War Poltava was completely destroyed. On the 3rd, June, 1942 Poltava was visited by Gitler. On the 22nd, September, 1943 at 11 p.m. the commander of the rifle regiment, the major Ermishyn placed the Red Flag in the central square of Poltava.
Postwar construction in Poltava was carried out in the 50th. During these years Poltava started gas supplying to the population and television appeared in our city. In 1958 N. Gogol Theatre was built. In 1962 first trolley-busses appeared in our city's streets. In 1964 Local Lore Museum was reconstructed after its destruction during the Second World War. In the 80th the following industries as: oil-and-gas producing industry, chemical, mining, automobile, electrical, textile and chemical industries developed very rapidly. When Ukraine's Independence was proclaimed the population of Poltava numbered nearly 314 thousands people.
Poltava city is a very important cultural and historical center of Ukraine.
Many famous and outstanding people were born in Poltava, among them: I. Kotlyarevskiy - the classical writer of new Ukrainian literature, Marusya Churai with her song talent, P. Velichkovskiy - a great church figure. L. Glebov - a famous fabulist, M. Gnedich - an interpreter and literary man, N. Gogol and M. Staritskiy - great writers, A. Makarenko and V. Suhomlinskiy - outstanding teachers - all of them studied in Poltava. Also, many great personalities lived and worked here. Among them: M. Shchepkin (a famous actor), T. Shevchenko (a poet and an artist), G. Myasoedov, M. Yaroshenko (artists), N. Lysenko (a composer), M. Ostrogradskiy (a mathematician), M. Sklifosovskiy (a doctor, surgeon), V. Dokuchaev (soil scientist), G. Danilevskiy, O. Koniskiy, I. Bunin, P. Mirnyi, V. Korolenko (writers) and many others.
Our city is making great efforts to develop and to improve our tourist infrastructure: hotel service, public transport service, etc., trying to create a fascinating investment atmosphere. You will get an ultimate experience and great emotions after acquaintance with the works of our theatrical and music groups, after visiting our museums and picturesque places.
We promise you unforgettable impressions!
Visit our beautiful city, feel its sincerity and our people's hospitality and believe us - you will love Potava and will definitely come back!