When I was a child I often went to Petrykivka. At that time I did not know that this village is famous for its Petrykivka paintings and that its history is very different from many villages in Dnipropetrovsk region and Ukraine. In 2016 I was here purposefully to walk and touch the atmosphere of the village. In 2022 I came back here 2 times – to shoot a video and record this blog.
When you come to Petrykivka, what catches your eye at once is the cleanliness and order in the village, as well as painted houses and fences. A sea of flowers. I start my journey through this village and tell you what is so interesting here.
History of Petrykivka
Petrykovka traces its history back to 1772. According to legend, it was founded by Cossack petty officer Peter Kalnyshevsky on the site of the Cossack settlement. He decided to move the village Kurilovka to another place because it was constantly flooded by the Chaplynka river. At first, the farm belonged to the Samara and Protovchanskaya palanka (cossack state administrative unit) of Novaya Sech.
Kalnyshevsky requested permission from the Metropolitan of Kiev to build a church here, and the date of its receipt is considered the official date of the foundation of the settlement.
The name Petrykivka was given by the Cossack Petrik who lived there before. In those days it was customary to call towns and villages by the name of the person who first settled here.
Peter Kalnyshevsky was engaged in the development of Petrykivka and already in the XIX century it was a large village with many businesses, fairs and a population of 21 thousand people. Many towns could not boast such a figure.
Perhaps Petrykovka owes its rapid development to the fact that the village never had serfdom – the village had the status of a public servant’s (doesn`t have slaves) estate.
Petrykivka at present (2016 – 2022)
Modern Petrykovka has about 4,500 inhabitants. Petrykivka village council includes several settlements near Petrykivka, especially Malaya Petrykivka – merged with its older sister.
Now it is a large village by Ukrainian standards, which in terms of population and social infrastructure will outpace the small towns. It has everything for a comfortable life. Two schools, two kindergartens, a large regional hospital, the Center for public services, treasury, pension fund, vocational school 79, art school, music school, house of culture, several industrial enterprises, treasury, market, several cafes (among them is even a burger and bistro!), museum, Center for folk art, horse farm (yes, found on the map), fish farm, old church, restaurant complex, several monuments, district court, fire station.
Petrykivka is located on a highway, so it’s easy to get there from Dnieper, Kiev and Poltava – the terminal or passing buses go there every 15 minutes.
Ancient graves in the center of the village?
There is a monument to World War II soldiers and victims of the Holodomor within walking distance of the bus station. I was also surprised that there are graves practically in the center of the city. No, this is not a cemetery. These are solitary graves from the beginning of XX century. Why they are here is unclear.
Not far from the bus station is the center of the village. The first attraction is the art object “Petrykivka”. There is also a park named after Kalnyshevsky with flowers, a romantic bridge and a monument to the benefactor of Petrykivka – Petro Kalnyshevsky. Unfortunately, during this visit, the park was under reconstruction and was surrounded by a high fence.
An interesting point. Previously, at the entrance to Petrikivka there was a large monument to Peter Kalnyshevsky and the inscription – “1772”. A couple of years ago, the monument was removed due to dilapidation. Instead, a large painted plate was placed.
There is also a House of Culture and a memorial sign – in honor of the awarding of the status of intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine by UNESCO in 2013 Petrykovsky painting. In the House of Culture, according to the locals – there is nothing interesting and nothing happens. It was recommended to go to the Center of Folk Art “Petrykivka”.
Not far from the administration of the village there is a vocational school №79 and a dormitory for students. Nearby is a large shop in the windows of which we saw paints and brushes – apparently they teach how to draw. In front of it there is another monument to those who died in the war of 1941-1945. Everything is nearby here – Tatiana Pata’s art school of 1932. Tatiana Pata is one of the greatest masters of Petrikovsky painting. The school operates to this day (it is already 90 years old).
Fedor Panko Museum
On the map there is a museum of Fedor Panko – the muralist, but in fact it was not found. And in general, in Petrykivka there are a couple of other objects that are listed on the Google Map, but in real life you can’t find them. Apparently someone put indiscriminately, and they remained so:)
According to the idea, the Panko Museum should be next to the House of Culture, but next to it there is only a huge plate in Petrykivka painting and a wrought iron UNESCO monument. In 2013, Petrykivka and Petrykivka painting were included in the list of world heritage.
Petrykivka Folk Art Center
The three-story building with a large banner on the main street Kalnyshevsky, 65, is the Center of Folk Art – a cell of Ukrainian culture and Petrykivka painting. Here are the masters who are engaged in creativity Each has its own office – you can come in and see how the process is going, talk, buy something you like.
Once there were many craftsmen and creative life was boiling here. Even the semi-basement rooms were occupied. And in September 2022, there was no one there. Only locked doors with cell phone numbers, announcements that it was necessary to register in advance for seminars and master classes. Although one could enter the building and walk freely through the floors.
The Center of Folk Art was founded in 1970 by the famous master of Petrykivka painting, Fedor Pank. He was then the chief artist of the local souvenir factory “Druzhba” (Friendship Factory) , but did not see eye to eye with the management and went off on his own voyage. He opened the Experimental Shop of Petrikovsky painting and began to create with craftsmen under the auspices of the Union of Artists. This enterprise did not make souvenirs on stream. They were of better quality and the craftsmen earned more. This allowed Fedor Panko to develop and develop his students.
The experimental workshop existed until 1998, when it was called the Folk Art Center “Petrykivka”.
It’s not going through the best of times right now. This is my personal judgment.
Petro Kalnyshevsky Church of 1812 (Church of the Nativity of the Virgin)
If you leave Petrykovka and walk 500 meters, you will find yourself in the satellite village of Malaya Petrykovka. Here there is a church, the construction of which, according to legend, Kalnyshevsky himself had a hand in.
Church of the Nativity of the Virgin began to be built in 1793, when the wooden church of St. George has ceased to cope with the number of believers. The new shrine was built of stone for 19 years. It was completed and consecrated in 1812.
The temple had three altars, it was made of brick, plastered, with a semicircular altar. Its original color was white, so people still call it “White Temple”.
In the 1930s they stopped serving here. Priests were shot and books were destroyed. Graves of murdered priests can now be found on the grounds.
Now the church is in disrepair – part brick, part steel sheets. The roof is missing – it was blown up in 1961, when the church was no longer used as a warehouse. This is how the communists mocked the shrine on two occasions.
It is said that the face of Jesus Christ appeared on the walls of the church.
There is a wooden church on the territory – it was built in the early 2010s. Now services are held there and at the same time the ancient church of Kalnyshevsky is being restored.
I was able to get inside the old temple and see what’s inside. Regarding 2016 – there really are changes. For example – before there was no roof and the altar was just under the open sky. Now there is a roof and services are held inside in a small room. Especially in winter, because the new temple has no heating and is made of wood, and the old one is made of stone and it is partially heated.
Not far from the church you can see a lonely monument to fallen soldiers in World War II in the village of Malaya Petrykivka.
How to find the Church of Kashnyshevsky in Petrykivka
You can’t find Kalnyshevsky’s church in Petrykivka on the map. To do this, you need to get out of Petrykivka and go to Malaya Petrykivka. This is 500-700m from the village. Google Maps coordinates are 48.7194758, 34.6547317.
Ethnographic Museum of Petrykivka District
Perhaps the most interesting attraction of the village.
The museum is not on the main street, but it is not difficult to find – it is a large white building in the middle of the well-kept lawn. You can’t tell by its exterior that it will be very interesting inside!
When we approached, the doors were closed, we were about to leave and I decided to knock – and yes, they opened the door for us.
The inside of the museum is very cool. There are several halls, and each one has a different theme.
In the first one there are exhibits of everyday life of Ukrainian village of 18-19 centuries. We were shown and told about the traditions of the people of that time, how they lived, what they lived with. They told us a lot of interesting things, including that it became clear to me where many traditions and sayings came from.
The entrance ticket is not expensive – about 30-40 UAH. You can buy a permit to take pictures. It is in the region of 100 UAH.
The ethnographic museum of Pertrykivka district should certainly be visited when you go to Pertrykivka.
Как добраться в музей Петриковки?
The museum’s address is 14B Korchagina Street.
Petrykivka Lake, Kalnyshevsky restaurant complex and the Monument of Military Drivers
Petrykivka is located on the Chaplynka River. It was this river that gave life to the village and for a while there was a small lake near the hospital. In 2022 I did not find the lake. Instead there was a large wasteland with a cracked bottom and overgrown vegetation. It was a pity. That’s all that’s left of the lake, and the bridge over it.
If you go further, in the direction of the village of Shulhovka, you’ll see a new installation in the style of “I ♥ Petrykivka”. This was news to me, because I hadn’t seen this art object in Petrykivka before. It’s on the highway toward Tsarichanka and Poltava, so passing cars can clearly see it. There’s also a market nearby, and right on the highway they sell fish from the local fish farm.
There is also a restaurant complex “Kalnyshevsky” nearby. It is a small area with a restaurant, a grocery store, a shop with souvenirs, and a lake. At the entrance to the complex there is a large sculpture of Peter Kalnyshevsky. It is a very colorful place.
Here at the turn to Shulgovka, Ivanovka and Grechanoye is an old monument to the military truck GAZ-AA. It used to be in a deplorable condition, but a couple of years ago it was cleaned up and now it looks very nice.
Petrikovsky Souvenir Factory “Druzhba”
Once upon a time there was a souvenir factory in Petrykivka. It was called Druzhba and had a long history.
The factory was opened in the mid-1920s as small companies of craftsmen of the village. It made sewing products and even tried to produce sewing machines. After World War II, production was restored and improved.
For the employees of the factory and the local collective farm built housing, a kindergarten, a boiler house. The factory began to produce souvenirs with Petrikovsky painting, and Fedor Panko became the main artist in this direction, who later founded his Experimental Shop of Petrykivka painting because of a conflict with the management.
It is said that this conflict occurred because in the process of creating souvenirs they had to depart from the traditions of Petrykivka painting itself. For example, cheap plywood was used as a wooden base. Its defects had to be concealed with a black background, although traditionally black background should never be used for painting (it is a negative sign).
Panko left the factory to continue to do what he loved and working under the auspices of the Union of Artists to make a quality product, while earning more. If the factory on the flow of the master received 120-140 rubles per month, in the experimental shop – 400-500.
Petrik’s Druzhba factory was known throughout the Soviet Union. It served the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and sold products abroad, earning foreign currency.
After the collapse of the USSR and the loss of cheap energy resources, the factory gradually withered away. First it was declared bankrupt, then the shops began to be dismantled.
We had a hard time finding the ruins of the factory. They are on the street behind the monument to military drivers, on the way to the district court and the fire station. While in 2014 we could still catch the remains of a three-story building, in 2022 we were left with a pile of stones and something resembling a building.
They are even difficult to see from the road – all heavily overgrown and you have to get through the improvised fence of sticks (apparently made so no one walks).
Petrykivka – there is a lot to see here
In general, Petrykovka is a large and developed village. There is all the infrastructure for life, but there is no public transport, and people move around in their cars and motorcycles.
There are clean and tidy yards, many monuments and interesting things – take at least the graves in the middle of the village. What kind of people are buried there? Why haven’t they been moved? The village has great potential, not only industrial, but also cultural. Although I’m upset that the Folk Art Center is no longer what it used to be. This, in my opinion, is not a sign of good trends.