History Dates and events Persons  Poltava Sights Photo gallery Maps  Virtual Museum Armament Uniforms Coins and medals Flags Paintings
Poltava photographs News About us Acknowledgments
Main page

The Savior Church
Photo gallery   

   This church is the oldest in Poltava. In the middle of the seventeenth century it was probably a part of the wooden Church of the Transfiguration of Christ, which had burned down in 1705. Old church chronicles tell us that before 1709 a local priest, Ivan Svitaylo, had bought an old wooden church from the Poltava Monastery of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross to replace the burnt church. According to folklore, following the Battle of Poltava, a moleben (service of supplication) was celebrated in the presence of Tsar Peter I while the fortress defenders were being buried on the church grounds. In 1810-1811, when the church had fallen into disrepair, the decision was made to partly demolish it. Only one single-cupola side apse was left as a reminder of its significant role in the history of the Russian Empire. In 1837, Tsar Oleksandr II visited Poltava. From funds granted for the upkeep of monuments and those gathered by subscription a brick exterior was constructed around the wooden church in 1845, based on the design of Kharkiv architect Andrei Ton, which creates the impression of a single domed church. In 1847, a brick bell tower was constructed in front of the western entrance of the church. From 1875 until 1898 it was used as a regimental church for the 33rd Infantry Regiment, then deployed in Poltava. In 1890, a brick-and-iron fence was placed around the church yard. In 1902 the Most Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church approved a thorough restoration of the church. The fate of the Church of the Savior has been fortunate. Before the Revolution of 1917 there were about twenty churches in Poltava. Spaska Church is one of the three local churches that survived the terrible 1930s when so many religious buildings throughout the country were completely destroyed on the orders of Jozef Stalin. Only the bell tower was blown up in 1934. After 1942 the church renewed its activity as a parish of the Moscow patriarchy.

 top  ...back