State Historical and Cultural reserve «The Field of the Great Poltava Battle»
The great Battle of Poltava took place on June 27, 1709. This battle had farseeing consequences for whole Europe. Since that day, as Swedish historian Peter Englund marked, «...the Swedish period of ruling was over; Russia won its old enemy, the powerful neighbor who had been closed the way to the Baltic Sea. At the same time this Battle became the colossal catastrophe not only for Sweden, but also for Europe — it broke the old power balance. Russia became stronger and transformed to the powerful state.» In 1709 Ukraine lost its independence, juridical and international legal rights — all this ruined Ukraine as a state.
In 1909 there was found a museum on the field of the great battle; this happened due to initiative of Ivan Frantsevych Pavlovsky — Poltava Cadet Military School teacher of history. In 1981 the museum of History of Poltava Battle and its complex of monuments were declared the State Historical and Cultural reserve «The Field of the Great Poltava Battle». The restricted territory of historical field consists of 1 906, 42 acres. But there were many other significant events before and after the great battle on this huge area (territories of Khrestovozdvizhensky monastery and such villages as Yakivtsi, Petrivka, Semenivka, Zhuky, Osmachky, Takhtaulovo, Ivonchentsi, Rybtsi and Pushkarivka). There are four old settlements and more than 30 burial mounds (1st millennium B.C. and 1st millennium A.D.) on the reserve territory.
N. Sklifosovs’kyy — the scientist surgeon, one of the founders of peritoneal surgery in Russia — lived and worked there, in Yakivtsi village (the northeast part of the Battle Field). He visited his country house every summer since 1871; in 1900 he moved to Yakivtsi village. The country house of the famous doctor was called «Poltava Switzerland». In 1884 at the territory of Poltava Battle Field, the Experimental Field was created — in 1910 it already was Poltava Agricultural Experimental Station. The famous Ukrainian and Russian scientists — A. Y. Zaykevych, O. O. Izmailsky, N. I. Vavilov, V. I. Vernadsky, V. V. Dokuchaev — took part in its scientific activity. In 1962 the arboretum-park was planted there — now it is the commemorative place of garden-park arts of the state importance (total area is 346 acres).
Today the State Historical and Cultural reserve «The Field of the Great Poltava Battle» is important cultural, scientific and methodical centre of Ukraine history (XVII-XVIII cent.) in European policy context. In 1994 the museum showed new exhibition called «the Cossack state». Mass media of Ukraine, Russia, Sweden and other countries, scientists and officials are interested in activity of the reserve. Today «The Field of the Great Poltava Battle» is the only Ukrainian museum which is one of UNESCO historical museums; it is listed to the world tourist itinerary.
There are monuments, connected with the Great Battle of Poltava. They
- 10 granite obelisks pointing old redoubts places (1939);
- Memorial sign «To Swedes from Russians» (1909);
- Memorial sign «To Swedes from their compatriots» (1909);
- Memorial sign at place of crossing the Vorskla by Russian
- Russian warriors Bed of Honor (1894);
- Memorial sign at place of the Command Post of Peter I
- Sampsonyyvska church (1852-1856, reconstructed in 1895);
- Monument to Peter I near the Museum (1915);
- Monument to defenders of Poltava fortress and to the commandant
O. S. Kelyn (1909);
- Monument of Glory (1811);
- Monument at the rest-place of Peter I (1849);
- Church of the Saviour (1705-1706, reconstructed in 1845);
- Khrestovozdvizhensky monastery, where Charles XII headquarters was (1650);
- Monument to died Ukrainian Cossacks (1994).
The materials of the Museum collection touch not only the Battle itself, but also the Great Northern war, which lasted for 21 years and involved Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Ukraine and Turkish. There are 9 museum halls, filled with magnificent historical relics, such as cold steel arms, shooting iron, medals, coins, canvases, portraits, icons, engravings, battle flags and banners, clothing, old books, maps, charters and other historical documents of the second half of XVIII century.