Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Fortress of Poltava. The Return from Nonexistence

In accordance with the diary written by the Swedish fenrik Rober Petre, the fortress of Poltava for the first time has been seen by the King Charles XII in the late April, 1709. He decided to lay this fortress in siege to force Tsar Peter I to dare to the final battle of the Great Northern war. You know what happened next to the Swedish army that found itself in the depth of Ukraine near some small town of Poltava…

Viktor Babenko and his vision of the fortress of Poltava in the time of the Great Northern war
Many centuries had passed since 1607 when this fortress was built by the will of then ruler of this part of Ukraine – Polish Hetman (a political title from Central and Eastern Europe, historically assigned to military commanders) Stanislav Zholkievsky. In 1658 the fortress was enlarged and reinforced.
What our local historians are missing most of all, are old engravings, drawings, and paintings showing how the fortress of Poltava looked many years ago. That is why Ukrainian painter Viktor Babenko who lives in Poltava decided to reconstruct an appearance of the fortress using all available documents including the diary written by Robert Petre.
                                                     Viktor Babenko, painter

I was happy to give my translation of the diary to his disposal. On the picture you can see the painter and his vision of the fortress. May be in the future this painting will move to the Poltava Battle Museum.
The fortress of Poltava by Viktor Babenko
Historical painting is only one side of such a many-sided personality of the painter. Besides, he has created many paintings using Slavonic mythology.  His paintings are available at
Hope you will find them interesting.