The Hall No1 «The fateful field of European history and Ukraine in the geopolitical dimension of the 17th century»

The beginning of the Hall No1 exposition is devoted to the history of the field, where 30 ancient burial mounds and 4 ancient settlements were found. At various times, many battles that had far-reaching consequences took place on this field. Among them are the Battle of Vorskla River that was fought on August 12, 1399 between the Tatars, under Edigu and Temur Qutlugh, and the armies of Tokhtamysh and Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania, the decisive battle between Hetman of Ukraine Ivan Vygovsky and Poltava Colonel Martyn Pushkar (1658), the Battle of Poltava (1709). It should also be mentioned that during the shuttle bombing operation “Frantic Joe”, ran between June and September 1944, American heavy bombers B-17 based in Great Britain and southern Italy landed after attack on German military targets at three Soviet airfields in Ukraine including Poltava airfield located close to the battlefield.

Poltava region has always been one of the constituent parts of Ukraine. It was here that the Ukrainian nation was formed, whose interests in the 16th-17th centuries were expressed by the Cossacks. The main ideological and educational center of Ukraine was the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, founded in 1615. Sixteen Hetmans of Ukraine including Hetman Ivan Mazepa and Pylyp Orlyk, Ukrainian Cossack-nobility chroniclers Samiilo Velychko and Gregory Grabyanka were among its graduates.

The radical changes in the political balance of forces in Europe in the middle of the 17th century were connected with the name of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, who in 1648 launched a national-liberation war against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which later turned into a Ukrainian national revolution.

An active and multi-vector foreign policy activity of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky resulted in the recreation of the Ukrainian state, whose policy was a serious factor in the interstate relations of that time.

At this hall, visitors can see many finds discovered during the archeological researches of Poltava battlefield, samples of weapons of 15th and 16th centuries, 17th century household items and sacred artworks, a copy of the map of Ukraine created in 1639 by William le Vasseur de Beauplan, French-Polish cartographer, engineer, and architect. In this hall there are many portraits of outstanding state and cultural figures of Ukraine and neighboring countries from 14th till 17th century.