Visit Velyki Sorochyntsi

Renowned for being the birthplace of noted writer and dramatist, Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852), the village of Velyki Sorochyntsi is located in the Poltava Oblast of Ukraine. This picturesque village is the venue of the annual Sorochyntsi Fair, a celebration based on Gogol’s short story The Fair at Sorochintsi, which attracts visitors from far and wide. Honoring the role of Nikolai Gogal in the history and development of the village, in August 1911 a monument sculpted by Russian sculptor Ilya Ginzburg was erected in the village. Moreover, the village boasts a museum named after this famous literary figure and in 1983 a postal stamp was issued by the Soviet Union featuring both the museum and the monument.

Other famous people associated with the village of Velyki Sorochyntsi include writer Volodymyr Samiylenko, and the renowned Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko who visited there in 1845 while conducting research to compile a record detailing the architecture and history of the Poltava Oblast. A street was later named in Shevchenko’s honor. Velyki Sorochyntsi was also the birthplace of Danylo Apostol (1654-1734), who rose to become a military commander (Hetman) of what was known as Left-bank Ukraine, lying to the east of the Dnieper River, and an officer in the military elite of the Ukrainian Cossacks.

The earliest record of the settlement has been traced to the 1620s, and in 1646 it became the domicile of a Polish Prince from the influential Wisniowiecki family of Ruthenia, as this region of Ukraine was known as at the time. In the late 17th century, on into the early 18th century, the village was occupied by a regiment of Cossacks, led by the previously mentioned Danylo Apostol. Under his direction the Ukrainian baroque Church of the Transfiguration was built and completed in 1732, with Apostol being buried there two years later. Visitors to the village can take a walk through this historic church where Danylo Apostol lies at rest and Nikolai Gogal was baptized.

The Sorochyntsi Fair started in the middle of the 18th century, when it was held up to five times a year, but came to an end during Soviet rule. However in 1999 the fair was revived, and under Presidential Decree now has the status of a National trade fair. This celebratory gathering gives buyers and sellers the opportunity to trade traditional handicrafts such as Opishnya ceramics, Reshetilivka embroidery, rugs and a variety of other items. It is also the opportunity to entertain the crowds with theatrical performances re-enacting Nikolai Gogal’s story The Fair at Sorochintsi, and scenes from other much-loved Ukrainian tales, while enjoying mouth-watering local cuisine. Certainly, the fair is a social and cultural event to be enjoyed when visiting Velyki Sorochyntsi in Ukraine’s Poltava Oblast.