Khrestovozdvizhensky monasteryPoltava solitary monastery in honor of Exaltation of Honest and Healing Cross of God was found in 1650, as memorial of Bohdan Khmelnytsky first victories in the battle with Poland near Zhovti Vody and Pilyavtsy – Poltava regiment Cossacks were participants of the Battle. The monastery became the most Southern among the city (or regiment) monasteries of the Hetman state of XVII century. Money for building was given by Poltava philistines and Cossack officers headed by Ivan Iskra, Ivan Kramar and colonel Martyn Pushkar. The first wooden monastery building was blessed by Kyiv metropolitan Sylvester Kosyv.
In XVII and the beginning of XVIII the monastery was extremely defenseless as it stayed outside Poltava fortress ramparts. During Poltava period of the Great Northern war (1700-1721), in May 1709, the monastery became the command post of Charles XII. Pre-revolution historians suppose that Charles leg was wounded at the monastery hill right before the Battle day - in the morning of 17 June 1709. After the Battle the monastery was visited by Peter I. Since that time all crowned representatives of ruling 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 monastery hill South side there was an apiary which allowed having some candle business and rich reserves of curable honey. Also, there was a large fruit 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 gather the library which was the largest one at the region; there were such books as editions of Ostrozhskaya typography of XVI-XVII centuries. Under the patronage of the monastery there was a school of singers; later it was transformed into Slavic seminary.
In 60th of XVIII century, as a result of the Empress Catherine II church reform, great bulk 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 secondary category.
At the beginning of XIX century there was created small school of icons painters. The school was headed by Danyyl Moskovchenko – the author of miraculous icon of Virgin Mary. Today there can be found a copy of that icon in the monastery Khrestovozdvizhensky cathedral.
At the end of XIX century there were 40 monks in the monastery. The main source of money was rented and cultivated lands. There was joinery, sewing workshop, shelter for ecclesiastics and school for blinds in the monastery. With great help of former Irkutsk tradesman Inokenty Kotelnikov there was renovated the cathedral iconostasis, built a church of Simeon the Righteous and a hotel for pilgrims.
During the Civil war, started after October 1917 events, atheists terror didn’t pass the monastery. After several robberies the monastery was blamed in covering enemies. That was enough to close the monastery in 1923 and to throw out all monks. In 30th the monastery territory was used as child working colony. Poltava colonists were turned to future Dzerzhynsky colony where the activity of famous Anton Makarenko began.
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 second time; 87 nuns were brought out to Cherkassy region. Abandoned walls of the monastery were used by different organizations (for example, a filial of Poltava region A. Maltsev psychiatric hospital) up to 90th. Monastery cells were turned to halls of B. Korolenko pedagogical university. The monastery yard became a nursery school. The last organization which used the monastery was a store of region community “Medtechnika”.
On 27th September 1991, at holiday of Exaltation, there was a first Divine Liturgy in the monastery. On 19 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.