History of Sumy

municipal arms SumySumy - is an administrative, economic and cultural centre of Sumy region, it was founded on January 10, 1939. The quantity of population on census of 2005 makes 302 thousand people. In 2005, the city celebrated its 350 anniversary.

People lived there in a neolith period. The rests of settlements of Chernyakhovsk culture, Common Slavic people, and Severyan's settlements of VIII-Х centuries and times of Kiev Russia were saved up to nowadays. From the end of XIV and to the middle of XVII centuries the district where modern Sumy is located was not settled.

Since 1652, the Ukrainian peasants from Right-bank Ukraine started to move there, at that time they were under the power of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The city was occupied by several waves of immigrants from the river Dnepro, but Colonel Gerasim Kondratyev who came there in 1655 with group of Cossacks-immigrants from town Stavischi of Belotserkovsky regiment, is considered the founder of Sumy. Immigrants came there not on the empty place. There are data that people lived there much earlier. In the area of Luki and the former village Topol' (where Topolyanskaya Street is situated now) the rests of more ancient settlements of Old Slavic and Kiev Russia times were found. Sumy, which was also called «Sumy's small town», began when Gerasim Kondratyev's Cossacks started to live there. In summer of 1655 the petition was sent to Moscow: « ... poor and ruined because of poles and Tatars from town Stavischa, ordinary Cossacks of Ataman Gerasimok Kondratyev, all 100 persons are making obeisance ... we have come from Dnepro river ... with women and kiddies and having arrived we settled on the river Psle near small Sumy river ... ».

Moscow allowed Cossacks to locate there, and they began to build a wooden fortress. This process of migration proceeded to the middle of XVIII century. In 1656-1658 under the imperial order in a mouth of three rivers - Psla, Sumki and Strelki - the settlement and fortress was erected. Around it, the ditch was dug out and the bank was raised, which fragments were saved up to nowadays. The fortress was besieging by Tatar hordes not once, but unsuccessfully. It served as an assembly point of armies during preparation of the Crimean campaigns.

Since XVIII century, Sumy turned to considerable shopping centre. On the scope Sumy, fairs won first place on Slobozhanschina. Merchants from all Ukraine, Russia, Western Europe and Asia were going to annual fairs. Products of Sumy handicraftsmen: potters, smiths, weavers, jewelers, tanners were of great demand.

On census of 1732, already 3818 people of male sex lived in Sumy. The city was burning many times, went through set of wars, including Northern war of Russian Empire with Sweden, it remembered military parade of a victorious army of Peter I, punishment over Mazepa's supporters, Cossacks destruction.

From the beginning of XIX century in Sumy, there were people, who considerably affected the city destiny and changed its shape. This was the family Kharitonenko. Its founder, Gerasim Emelianovich, became the merchant of the third guild with his own work and ran the business successfully enough. In addition, his son Ivan «worked with sugar»: at first, it was only trade, and then numerous sugar factories on Sumy region appeared. Among them - one of the most powerful in Russia - Pavlovsk (now is called KRZ), which by the end of XIX century had become the largest factory in Empire. Also thanks to Ivan Kharitonenko Sumy became the railway station. Its successor, Pavel Ivanovich, was not only the industrialist, but, as well as father and grandfather, was engaged in patronage of arts and the welfare work.

With participation of foreign capital in beginning of ХХ century industrial enterprises, among which machine-building factory of Belgian anonymous society and one of the greatest in Russia Empire sugar refining plant of Kharitonenko actively started to develop in Sumy.

Today Sumy is the important administrative, economic and cultural centre. It is a perfect modern city in which architectural and modern buildings adjoin to untouched corners of the nature. The peak of city building falls on 80-th years.

Sumy is an important cultural and educational centre. The city has five higher educational institutions; there are many technical schools and vocational schools there. Two theatres and philharmonic society, museum of local lore, art museum "Small Tretiakovsk gallery" in which masters of West European and Russian painting of 15 century are richly presented, are opened for visitors and townsmen. In the city there are many architectural monuments, among which Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral with painting masterpieces of Russian masters of the end of 19 century, Zaporozhian Cossacks constructed the most ancient.

There were Voskresensky church of 17-18 century, a tomb of Suhanovi and Kharitonenko - city patrons of art, whose gravestones were performed by well-known French sculptor Aristid Kruazi. Sumy is associated with names of many famous people. In 60-th years of XVIII century Ukrainian philosopher and educator G.Skovoroda visited the city. Poets Taras Shevchenko, Lesya Ukrayinka, Aleksander Oles', actor Mikhail Schepkin, sculptor Aleksander Kavaleridze, well-known writers Anton Chekhov, Andrey Hvyleviy, composers Petr Tchaikovsky, Sergey Rakhmaninov, artists Ivan Kramskoy, well-known physicists Alexander Ioffe, Boris Lazarev, teacher Anton Makarenko lived and conducted scientific and creative activity there.

In 1810 the known Petersburg publisher and bookseller I.Lysenkov, was born there, he was one of the first, who published T.Shevchenko's works. In 1899, A.Kuprin worked in the city, and in 1902, V.Korolenko came there for performance in the court as the lawyer.

Now Sumy is one of the largest industrial centers of Ukraine (leading branches - chemical, food, mechanical engineering, metal working).

Sumy citizens are justifiably proud of architectural monuments, theatres and museums of the city.

The most interesting objects of tourism are: Voskresensky church of 1702; the Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy cathedral of 1776; Ilinsky church of 1836; the Peter and Paul church of 1851; Panteleymonovsky monastery of ХIХ century; A.Chekhov's house-museum of ХIХ-ХХ century; Musical-drama theatre of M.Schepkin; State historical and cultural reserve in Gluhov; the Triumphal arch (a serf arch) of 1744; the Nikolaev church of 1693; the Anastasievsky cathedral of 1885-1886; factory of art weaving of ХIХ century; Vvedensky church 1774-1784; Ancient settlement.Gorodok. (the rests of annalistic Putivlya city) of ХI-ХIII century; the Cathedral of Rozhdestvo Bogoroditsi of 1591; Movchansky monastery of ХVI-ХVIII century; the Memorial complex.Spadschansky forest;.Golden gate. Park Hihst of village Volokitne; Svyatodukhovensky cathedral of 1738-1744; Kurgan burial grounds; Park.Neskuchnoe beginning of ХIХcentury; the Grotto of nymphs of 1809; Room-museum of Ukrainian poet of P.Grabovsky; Room-museum of writer Ostap Vishnya; Trostyanetsky Palace of ХIХ century.

Under the editorship of: V.A. Kovalenin

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