Poltava is one of those cities in Ukraine, where literally everything breathes with history. Here you can find not only a huge amount of secular monuments, but church. One of these monuments is Poltava Holy Cross Monastery.
Holy Cross Monastery was founded in 1650 on the banks of the river Vorskla. Colonel Martyn Pushkar, the Cossack foreman Ivan Iskra and Poltava bourgeoises were the initiators of the monastery after the defeat of the Polish forces in these places. A Kiev Metropolitan Sylvester Kosov gave the Blessing. Less than a century later, in 1695, the monastery was occupied and devastated by the Crimean Tatars. In 1709 it was occupied by the Swedes. Moreover, the Swedish army used the monastery as a firing point to shoot at the fortress of Poltava. There was a headquarters of Charles XII in the monastery.
At the beginning monastic buildings were made of wood, stone was used for the restoration of the monastery after the destruction of the Crimean Tatars. At the end of the XVII century began the construction of a new stone Assumption Cathedral. For reasons of internal conflicts and the capture of the monastery by the Swedes the construction was stopped. And it was resumed only in the first quarter of XVIII century. At the very beginning the church had two iconostasises, although none of them has reached our days. Both were destroyed in 1933.
In 1750, another Trinity church was built near the Assumption Cathedral. Up until 1894 it was rebuilt several times. A tetra-tier bell tower, erected near the cathedral Holy Cross church in 1786, was another decoration of the monastery. A bell, weighing over 6.5 tons was the pride of the bell tower. In 1887, the Church of St. Simeon was built. With the establishment of Soviet power the most valuable religious items were took away.
In 1923 it was decided to close the general cloister. Some premises were given to the club; some were housed the archives of Poltava Provincial Archives Administration. From 1933-1940 there was the NKVD labor colony for orphans and homeless children in the Temple of God. Then the cells housed the student dormitory of Poltava State Pedagogical Institute. In 1942, a group of nuns was initiated to open a nunnery in the surviving buildings of the monastery. The bombing caused serious damage to the nunnery. It was slowly restored after the end of hostilities. However, a few years later the nunnery was closed.
Only in 1990 the remains of Holy Cross Nunnery were transferred to Poltava diocesan administration to restore the activity of the convent. A year later, December 19, 1991 Poltava Holly Cross Nunnery was opened.