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Poltava, Town Of

POLTAVA, TOWN OF, a town of Russia, capital of the government of the same name, on the right bank of the Vorskla, 88 m. by rail W.S.W. of Kharkov. Pop. 53,060. The town is built on a plateau which descends by steep slopes on nearly every side. Several suburbs, inhabited by Cossacks, whose houses are buried amid gardens, and a German colony, surround the town. The oldest buildings are a monastery, erected in 1650, and a wooden church visited by Peter the Great after the battle of Poltava. There are a military school for cadets, a theological seminary and two girls' colleges; also flour-mills, tobacco works and a tannery.

Poltava is mentioned in Russian annals in 1174, under the name of Ltava, but does not again appear in history until 1430, when, together with Glinsk, it was given by Gedimin, prince of Lithuania, to the Tatar prince Leksada. Under the Cossack chief, Bogdan Chmielnicki, it was the chief town of the Poltava " regiment." Peter the Great of Russia defeated Charles XII. of Sweden in the immediate neighbourhood on the 27th of June 1709, and the victory is commemorated by a column over 50 ft. in height.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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