Explore the Village of Sulymivka
Located along the left bank of the Stara Krasylivka River in the Boryspil Region of Ukraine, the picturesque village of Sulymivka was founded in the late 1620s by Ivan Sulyma, the head of the Registered Cossacks in 1628 and 1629, and the Kosh Otaman (top ranking officer) of the Zaporizhian Cossacks from 1630 to 1635. As an active member of the military, Sulyma was among the Cossacks commanded by Hetman Sahaydachny, who fought alongside Polish forces against the invading Turkish army in 1621, thereby preventing the Turkish invasion of Europe from the east. Sulyma was awarded a medal, presented to him by Pope Paul V, for his role in the Christian defense against Turkish invasion. The medal was apparently buried with him.
This period in Ukraine’s early history was tumultuous, with alliances being forged and broken, enemies becoming allies only to become enemies again. It appears that Sulyma changed his allegiance from time to time, fighting against both the Tatars and Polish forces, creating personal enemies along the way. He was eventually captured by the Poles and executed in Warsaw. Attempts by his wife to have his remains returned to the village bearing his name for burial failed, but some of his descendants were buried in the village.
Visitors to Sulymivka will find interesting reminders of these historic times in attractions such as the Pokrovska Church. This sturdy building with exterior walls measuring up to two meters thick served as both a place of worship and a fortress against attacks by Tatar invaders. It also stood the test of time during the period where the Bolsheviks desecrated places of worship, and the Soviets used them as venues for socializing and promoting atheistic doctrines. However, many of the Pokrovska Church’s icons and iconostases were destroyed. However, one iconostasis was saved. Painted in the 1730s, it features the unmistakable likeness of Ivan Sulyma among the people depicted. Following the independence of Ukraine, the church was restored and once more became a gathering place for the religious community.
On the outskirts of the village are the ruins of a mansion built for the Sulyma family, set in a garden that was likely splendid in its day, but has not been maintained. Nonetheless, the majestic oak, ash, maple and linden trees of the park, some of which are more than 300 years old, are an impressive sight. Other items of interest in the park include a bust of Lenin, and a stone pagan idol of indeterminate age overlooking a dried-up canal – a reminder of times long past.