Poltava is a city and administrative center of Poltava region of Ukraine. Poltava city lies along the Vorskla River. Poltava is an important railway and highway junction of the region. There is an airport in the city.
Archaeological evidence dates Poltava from the 8th to the 9th century, although the first documentary reference is from 1174, when Poltava was variously known as Ltava. At that time it was ruled by the Lithuanian Princedom. Destroyed by the Tatars in the early 13th century, Poltava was a center of a Cossack regiment by the 17th century.
According to Lyublin union of 1569 Poltava was ruled by Poland. In the chronicle of 1641 Poltava was called a town. In the 17th century the Magdeburg Law was adopted in Poltava city.
In 1709 Peter I the Great inflicted a crushing defeat on Charles XII of Sweden outside Poltava city in battle of Poltava after Charles had laid siege to the town for three months. In 1654 Poltava with Left-bank Ukraine was joined to Russia. In 1802 Poltava city became a provincial center.
After the Northern war was over Poltava was famous all over Russian Empire as the town of Russian glory. Poltava was rapidly growing and soon the town became one of main trade and handicraft centers in the region.
In 1803-1805 the center of Poltava was designed and constructed, it was a unique ensemble consisting of a round square which was a start of 8 radial streets. In 1811 the monument “Glory” was erected in the middle of the square to commemorate the anniversary of Russian army’s victory over Sweden. Poltava was rich in its historical heritage and soon it became the center of cultural and spiritual life of Ukraine.
In 1891 Poltava museum of local study was constructed, with its unique architecture in the Ukrainian baroque style. In 1909, for the 200th anniversary of Poltava battle the monument to glorious defenders of Poltava was opened. Soviet power was established in Poltava in 1918.
During World War II a lot of cultural and historical monuments were destroyed, there was almost no center of the city. In the 1950s, after the war, Poltava was reconstructed, TV came into being, gas was supplied to the city. In 1958 a theater named after Nikolai Gogol was built. In 1962 first trolleybuses began running in Poltava. In 1964 the museum of local study was rebuilt after being destroyed during the war.
When Ukraine became independent Poltava was an important cultural and historical center of the region.