Due to its generous soils and
favourable climate, the territory of today’s city has been settled since ancient times. Keeping of
Vinnytsia’s chronicle was initiated in 1363 and was connected with the attempts
of Grand Lithuanian Duchy to maintain its domination over Podillia after the
defeat of Tatars and Mongols.
History of the city is an integral part of history of Ukrainian people,
who all their lives fought for the right to be owners of their land. The life
of our ancestors during the intestine wars in Lithuanian Duchy was rather hard;
Vinnytsia underwent 30 devastating plundering raids of Tatars from 1400 till
However, even in such severe environment the city developed as an
economic and cultural centre. The oldest record of Vinnytsia citizen, student
of Krakow University, is dated year 1469, and the record about the first
tradesman – year 1508.
In 1545, in Vinnytsia there were 273 houses, in seven years – 429
Due to erection of a new fortress on the island Kempa in 1558, the New City appeared on the
right bank of the Southern
Buh River and on the left one the Old City continued to develop.
In accordance with the Lublin
Treaty Vinnytsia was part of Poland and since 1598 it was a centre
of Bratslav Province. The privileges of a free trade area in all the territory
of Polish-and-Lithuanian State granted in 1580, 1593 and 1634 and adoption of Magdeburg Law in 1640 serve
as an evidence of its great importance in economic life of the region.
These years the important processes occurred in spiritual life of its
inhabitants. In 1617 and 1624, the Catholics completed the construction of two
cloisters; in 1642, the Jesuit
Collegium was opened.
Among Orthodox believers was growing the popularity of Vinnytsia Brotherhood of Kuzma and
Demian, which since the last quarter of XVI century maintained the
Ukrainian Brotherhood School. Due to efforts of the famous cultural figure Petro Mohyla and the
deputy judge from Bratslav Mylhaylo
Kropyvnytskyy, in 1632 the Orthodox
Collegium was established.
The defeat of Polish troops by the Cossacks’ regiments under the command
of famous Ivan Bohun
in March 1651 was a very important event in history of the city. In 1643 and
1653, Bohdan Khmelnytskyi
Upon joining of Right-Bank
Ukraine to Russia and establishment of Podilska Guberniya (Province
Podilska) in 1797, the city became a centre of Vinnytsia Povit (district), and
in the beginning of 1798 the City
Regulations were introduced there, and in all the territory of
Russia it was introduced only after 1801.
Since then the steady development of the city became evident; in 1860,
there were 10 thousand inhabitants, 5 schools, 1 hospital, 190 stores there.
There was a theatre as well.
The construction of Kyiv-Balta
railway and opening of railway communication Kozyatyn-Zdolbuniv were
important incitements for further development of the city; due to this a direct
connection with Kyiv, Odesa, Moscow, St Petersburg and Poland became possible.
For the last 40 years of XIX century Vinnytsia had grown nearly three
and a half times. It took the first place in Podillia province on volume of
The city changed greatly at the beginning of XX century. In 1911, the
first part of water-supply system was built, electric lighting was installed.
In 1912, the tram communication between Zamostya and centre of the city was
opened; construction of the superphosphate plant was completed.
In 1914, Vinnytsia became an administrative centre of Podillia province.
Abrupt events occurred in the city within the years 1917-1918. The power was
held by revolutionary committees of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies, people
supported by Austrian-and-Hungarian troops, the Denikin’s Army. That time in
the hotel “Savoy” in the centre of the city the Government of Ukrainian People’s Republic was
In 1923, the city becomes a centre of the district, and since 1923, it
has been an administrative centre of the established Vinnytsia Oblast (region).
The city suffered the irretrievable loss during the years of communist
regime repressions. But the most devastating loss was caused by fascist
invaders, which established a special regime in Vinnytsia as the headquarters FHQ “Werwolf” was located
During the World War II in 1941-1945, the number of inhabitants reduced
from 100 thousand to 27 thousand; only 10 of 50 industrial enterprises
survived; 1880 dwelling houses were completely destroyed. Due to the heroic
efforts of Vinnytsia inhabitants and people from the other regions of the
country at the beginning of 1948 the city industry was nearly completely
rebuilt; and the following years electronic, radio, metalworking and other
industries developed rapidly in this regional centre.
In 1972, the city was divided into three districts.
The scientist, surgeon, founder of field military surgery, founder of
Russian Red Cross, author of 4 -volume edition “Topographical (applied) Anatomy” M.I.Pyrogov,
who saved the famous Italian Jiuseppe
Garibaldi from gangrene, spent more than 20 last years of his life
in Vinnytsia. Guests and local inhabitants always show a great interest in Memorial estate of M.I.Pyrogov with
Vinnytsia inhabitants are proud of the facts that in our city Ukrainian I.Franko Academic Theatre
started its creative development; famous M.D.Leontovych
discovered a never-dying beauty of Ukrainian songs. Under the patronage of
UNESCO the local museum of local lore, history and economy keeps the richest
collection of Podillya icons.
The Municipal Choir
and dance group Barvinok
are famous for their masterly performance far more than outside Ukraine.
The Literary and
Memorial Museum of the “great sun-lover”, classical author of
Ukrainian literature M.M.Kotsyubynsky,
is very popular among local inhabitants and guests; it is also a place of
development for creative youth. In the city, numerous historical buildings are
being repaired and new ones are being built.
People of Vinnytsia always keep in their memory the names of Yatsko Palagenko, executed
by Polish gentry because of his fighting for the city independence; leader of
country philosopher Semen
Oliynychuk, famous artist Nathan
of Podillia Yosyp-Anthony
Rollet, researcher of history of Vinnytsia Valentyn Otamanovsky,
writer Mykhaylo Stelmakh
and many others, who added a lot of glorious pages to the city history.
Upon declaration of independence of Ukraine, due to awakening of
powerful democratic forces, Vinnytsia was the third city in Ukraine in which a
blue-and-yellow flag fluttered on the main square by official consent of local
Now Vinnytsia extends for 12 km on both picturesque banks of the Southern Buh River. It is
growing steadily, becomes more beautiful, looks more European.
In new economic, social and other actual environment, Vinnytsia
continues to develop steadily as an industrial and administrative centre of the
oblast, connected with the other regions of the state.
At present in Vinnytsia there are Medical,
Technical, Teacher’s Training and Agricultural Universities, which
are famous even outside Ukraine. About 900 foreign students from almost all the
world continents study there. Five institutes, ten institutions of specialized
secondary education, nine research institutes, ten independent
research-and-development organizations and two research-and-design structures
supplement scientific potential of the city.
Based on the former Air
Centre, the Central
Treatment-and-Diagnostic, Expert-and-Rehabilitation and
Research-and-Methodological Military Medical Centre of the Air Forces of
Ukraine with the Department of Aerospace
Medicine was established; complex treatment-and-rehabilitation
techniques and methods are applied.