Vinnitsa or Vinnytsia, they say… but can it be possible with just one word to express deep admiration for this town! Have a look while reading this brief presentation …
Vinnytsia is a very beautiful and picturesque town on the banks of the Southern Boog. The town was founded in the 13th century by Lithuanian Prince Olgert. Since the medieval period of history pieces of tall brick walls “Mury” have remained from the architectural complex that served as a fortification construction. You can find the remnants of the wall in Soborna street. The complex consists of old walls of Jesuitical monastery (built in 1610), the oldest construction in the town. Now Vinnytsia Regional Archive is located here. For an ardent fan of history Vinnytsia offers the museum of Local Lore which is situated in the center of Vinnytsia. There are expositions devoted to various periods of development of Vinnytsia.
Vinnytsia Art Museum is situated next to the museum of Local Lore. It used to be an inconspicuous building where monastery cells were in the 17th century. Now it houses a lot of paintings that were brought from private collections at the beginning of the 20th century. The most remarkable ones, so to say, came here from Pototsky’s palace in Nemirov. Tropinin’s icon-paintings were transferred from Kukavka village. Besides, there are several pictures presented by the artist’s relatives and friends. There are four main halls in the museum. In the first hall you can see examples of the West European Art of the 17th century presented by four Leading National Schools. The paintings were brought from Italy, Flanders, Holland and France. The 17th century in the art is known as “Golden century” and the time of the beginning of the new era in the art. The epoch brought forth Vilaskes, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rein, Caravadgio. They inspired and tried to open a new way to the realistic art.
There are canvases of the Central European Art, especially Polish and Austrian ones. As we know, the 18th century was the age of Enlightenment. Philosophers, musicians, poets, painters were invited to European kingdoms. The artists satisfied the demands of their customers and models. That’s why the painters were very popular in the upper society.
The ceremonial portraits were rather widespread. In Poland and Ukraine they were called the “Sarmat Portraits”. The canvases which are presented in Hall 2 are interesting memorials of Pototsky’s family.
The exposition of the third hall presents several styles of the West European Art in the pictures of Polish, Austrian and French authors.
The canvases of Ukrainian and Russian Art are represented in the fourth hall.
In the 19th century the portraiture was widespread. That period of time in Russian Art was called ‘the time of psychological portraits’. In 1870 the association of Peredvizhnikov was created in St. Petersburg. Many brilliant painters took part in it. Their names were: Nikolay Ge, Ivan Kramskoy, Vasil Perov, brothers Makovskys, Ilya Repin, Arhip Kuindgy, Nikolay Jaroshenko and other. They were all representatives of realistic school with democratic tendencies. The portrait and genre-painting played an important role in their canvases. In the forth hall you can see the oil-paintings well-known in the Ukrainian Art.
Nearby you are amazed to contemplate a marvelous building, Dominican church, dated back to 1758. In the 19th century it was taken over by Orthodoxies from the Catholics and became Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. In the low part of the cathedral there was Grocholscy family’s burial vault, the founders of the church. We know that Myhailo Kotsiubynskyi was baptized and got married in the cathedral. In Soborna street, on the opposite side of the cathedral, there is a Capuchin monastery. The Capuchin monastery was built in 1746. It belongs to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. The most striking feature of the monastery is that it was built in a rare (at least for Ukraine) architectural style, Toscana baroque.
Visitors from abroad get a lot of pleasure strolling along Soborna street. There are a number of civil and public buildings of the end of 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Namely, the Savoy hotel (1912), Vinnytsia used to be the capital of UPR (Ukrainian People Republic) and the government was in sessions there. A row of neatly-planned buildings in the center includes Mayor’s house, Regional State Administration, Vinnytsia Regional Library, Vinnytsia Academic Ukrainian Musical and Drama Theatre,
Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics, Gymnasium # 2 and others, mainly, lodging houses. At the junction of Grushevskyi and Kozytskyi streets the spirit of old Vinnytsia is hovering in the air. On the pedestrian area of the Kozytskiy square you can see a symbol of the town “Bashta” (1912), it used to be a fire tower. Several detached houses in the center have historical and architectural value, for example, “Symon Petliura’s bedroom”. Petliura lived in this detached house when Vinnytsia was the capital of UPR.
To see the oldest Orthodox Church in the town you have to go over the bridge in the direction of the Old Town. On the flank of the Castle hill St. Mykolai church is located. The church was built in 1745 without nails. The wooden church is a perfect example of “Cossack baroque” architectural style. This wooden church stands on the same place where there used to be the Castle temple (the 14th century), but the temple was burnt down by the Polish during Cossack wars. The Castle on the hill was destroyed by Tatars much earlier.
About 5 kilometers from the town center in Pyatnychany district two places of interest are located: Grocholscy palace with utility structures and the Church of Maria’s nativity, one of the biggest churches in the town.
As soon as the Soviet Union fell down Protestant church-goers were happy to build a new Christian place of worship. The temple building started in early 90s. In due course of time, a modern impressive temple appeared on the map of Vinnytsia – Vinnytsia Baptist Church “Gospel’s home”.
Inhabitants of the town are proud of the fact that Pirogov, a famous doctor, lived in Vinnytsia. The monument to the outstanding doctor was erected in Pirogov street. It was opened in 1971 on the occasion of the centenary of the Red Cross Society. State National Medical University and the Regional hospital are named after Pirogov. The estate-museum of Pirogov is reported to be a unique place where Nature and positive energetic aura are being unified. To be convinced that the place has a positive atmosphere you should walk on shady alleys and green lawns. The house, where Pirogov lived, is surrounded by the park. Some of the trees in the park were planted by Nikolai Ivanovich himself. Peace and quietness rein over the territory of the estate-museum. You can see the rooms where the prominent surgeon lived and wrote his scientific theses. A few kilometers away from the museum you can visit the church and the burial vault where Pirogov’s balmed body is kept.
There is one more place of interest in Vinnytsia which is worth mentioning. It is the museum of the classic of Ukrainian literature, Mihailo Kotsiubynskyi. One small white-washed house stands in the middle of the urbanized jungle of brick and steel. Kotsiubynskyi lived with his family there. In the evenings members of the literature circle used to gather in the rooms of the house to enjoy a friendly conversation about current events or listened to newly-written pages of Fata Morgana, Intermezzo and other novels. They say it was Myhailo Kotsiubynskyi who first mentioned the necessity of creating a public library in Vinnytsia.
The estate-museum is a source of positive energy. However, there is a dark energetic pole between Vinnytsia and the village of Stryzhavka. Two poles apart are put in different directions on the map of Vinnytsia. Here is a brief history of the dark one. During the Great Patriotic War many Soviet officers were captured and imprisoned in special labour camps. One of the camps was near Stryzhavka. Imprisoned soldiers were forced to build a huge underground structure for Hitler and his staff. This construction is called Hitler’s headquarters. All the workers were ruthlessly shot after it was built. As the General Headquarters were retreating back to Germany, all the entrances were mined and blasted off. Now you can walk on the territory of Hitler’s headquarters and see remnants of Nazi epoch. Another name for Hitler’s headquarters is Werewolf.
But there is a very romantic peculiarly about Vinnytsia. Vinnytsia is the only place in Ukraine where everything is made for romantic love! The special romantic red marble stones curved in the shape of a heart, benches for lovers can be found in the central park. And, last but not least, Roshen Music Fountain is the only place in Europe where you can freely watch and enjoy a breathtaking show on the water .
A virtual tour shows Vinnytsia as a perfect place for night-life.