Romny – Where Many a Legend Has Stood
The city of Romny in the Sumy Oblast, located on the Sula River, recently celebrated its 900th anniversary. It was a celebration that few will forget, complete with celebrity guests, politicians, concerts, exhibitions and sports. Even though Prince Volodymyr Monomakh was the first to mention the city in 1096, it is believed that the prince relocated people here as early at 988. But a few years difference could not dampen the spirits of almost 57,000 residents and people who attended the celebrations.
Romny was taken over by Tsarina Catherine II in the year 1781 and by
1989, the population of 6000 in 1638, had grown to approximately 57,000. By
1708, Romny was taken over by Charles XII from Sweden and despite the change
in rulers over the years, one thing has remained constant – industry growth.
Production industries, engineering and agriculture led to Romny remaining a
bustling city with a medical school and agricultural college.
What makes this destination in the Sumy Oblast so noteworthy is the
amount of famous Ukrainian people that have ties to the city and the many fascinating
attractions. Romny was the very first to erect a monument in honor of Taras Shevchenko, who lived in the city for some time. The monument was erected
in 1918 and was sculpted by Ivan Kavaleridze. Visitors should not miss the
Holy Spirit Cathedral that was constructed in 1735 and is a wonderful
example of Ukrainian Baroque architecture. The Church of Ascension has three
beautiful domes, and was built between 1795 and 1801. Next to the Ascension
Church is the belfry that originates from the years 1753 to 1763.
So many famous people have walked the streets of Romny that it would be
impossible to mention them all. Some of them included Joachim Strutschewsky
and Abram Ioffe. Journalist and writer, Leonid Poltava, was born in Romny,
while engineer Stephen Timoshenko completed his studies here. So many
visionaries and important figures are tied to the city and visitors enjoy
knowing that they are in the same place these people once were.
Today, the city of Romny concentrates on improving its economy through
cloth factories, meat processing plants and factories such as
Tractorozapchast that supply spare parts but also offer employment
opportunities in their workshops, tool rooms and machine shops. Romny is a city
that knows no defeat, only how to overcome obstacles and how to keep looking
toward the future.