Poltava Hotels and Apartments / About Poltava / Poltava Cathedrals / Khrestovozdvizhensky monastery

Khrestovozdvizhensky monastery

Title #0

Khrestovozdvizhensky monastery
Address: 2a, str. Sverdlova

Poltava solitary monastery, in honor of Exaltation of Honest and Healing Cross of God, was found in 1650, on the memory’s occasion of Bohdan Khmelnytsky first victories in the battle with Poles near Zhovti Vody and Pilyavtsy – Poltava regiment Cossacks were participants of the Battle. From that time the Monastery became the most Southern one among the city (or regiment) monasteries of the Hetman state of XVII century. Poltava philistines and Cossack officers headed by Ivan Iskra, Ivan Kramar and Colonel Martyn Pushkar gave money on its development and building. The first wooden monastery complex was blessed by Kyiv metropolitan Sylvester Kosiv.

During XVII and the beginning of XVIII centuries the Monastery was extremely defenseless against Crimean Tatars as it stayed outside Poltava fortress ramparts. During Great Northern War (1700-1721), in May 1709, the monastery became the command post of Swedish king Charles XII. Pre-revolution historians supposed that Charles’s leg was wounded at the monastery hill right before the Battle day - in the morning of 17th, June, 1709. After the Battle the monastery was visited by Peter I. Since that time all crowned representatives of ruling tsarist Russia dynasty had to visit the Monastery while visiting Poltava.

At the first part of XVIII century the monastery received more and more incomes from its large territories. Such villages as Triby, Bulanovo, Rozsoshentsy and Semyonovka (modern Krotenky) were in the monastery disposal. On the Southern side of the Monastery hill there was an apiary which allowed to have some candle business and rich reserves of curative honey. Also, there was a large fruit trees garden on the Monastery hill – good reputation of its fresh and dried fruits spread not only in the city.

At the second part of XVIII century Poltava Monastery became strong educational centre of Southern lands of the Hetman state; this was possible due to Slavic and Kherson metropolitan Eugene Bulgaris – he helped to make the library which was the largest one in the region; there were even such books as editions of Ostrozhskaya typography (XVI-XVII centuries). Under the Monastery’s auspices there was a singers’ school; later it was transformed into theological seminary.

In the 60th, XVIII century, as a result of the Empress Catherine II church reform, great part of the monastery lands and about 2’000 peasants were given to a governmental Commission of church property economy. According to the staff reform, the Monastery received second-class category.

At the beginning of XIX century there was created a small icon painting school by the Monastery. The school was headed by Danyyl Moskovchenko – the author of miracle-making icon of Virgin Mary. Today a copy of that icon can be found in the Khrestovozdvizhensky monastery.

At the end of XIX century there were 40 monks in the monastery. The main source of its existence, as in the previous times, was tillage and farm leasing. There were joinery, sewing workshop and a shelter for clerics. Also, by the Monastery there was school for blind people. With the great help of former Irkutsk tradesman Innokenty Kotelnikov the cathedral iconostasis was renovated, a church in the name of Simeon the Righteous was erected and there was built a hotel for pilgrims.

During the Civil war, started after October revolution in 1917, atheists’ terror also touches the monastery. After several robberies the monastery was blamed in covering the enemies. That was enough to close the monastery in 1923 and to throw out all the monks. In the 30th, the Monastery territory was used as child working colony. Poltava colonists were turned into future Dzerzhynsky colony where Anton Makarenko, a native of Poltava and a famous teacher started his activity.

During the Great Patriotic War there were several nuns who settled in ruined monastery. Since that time the monastery returned to life but this time as women one. In 1960 the monastery was closed for the second time; 87 nuns were taken out to Cherkassy region. Abandoned Monastery’s walls up to the 90th were used by different organizations, including a filial of Poltava regional A. Maltsev psychiatric hospital. Monastery cells were turned to dormitories of B. Korolenko pedagogical University. The Monastery yard became a nursery school. The last organization which used the Monastery was a regional community “Medtechnika”.

On 27th, September 1991, at Exaltation holiday, there was a first Divine Liturgy in the Monastery. On 19th, December, 1991 the Monastery was given back to nuns. Today the monastery complex, which consists of Khrestovozdvizhensky Cathedral, belfry, Saint Trinity temple and Simeon the Righteous, is one of the most popular tourist objects in the city.