Putyvl was first mentioned in chronicle in 1146. It is considered that its name originates from the word “put” (way) or from the local river Putyvelka. In the 12th century it was a well-fortified feudal patrimony of Princes Olgovichi of Novgorod-Siversky. The local armed force of Prince Vladimir in 1183 took part in the campaign of Prince Igor Sviatoslavich of Novgord-Siversky against the Polovtsians. The campaign, as well as the grief of Igor’s wife, are glorified in the literary memorial “The Lay of Igor’s Host.”
From the 14 th century a strong garrison was quartered in Putyvl as a boundary fortress. In 1500 the city was seized by Muscovy. After Russia signed peace treaty with Turkey (in 1681) and Poland (in 1686), the city lost its defensive significance. Handicrafts and trade began to develop instead. In 1719 there was founded Putyvl cloth manufactory, one of the largest in the country. The symbolism of the city’s coat of arms is linked therewith: two golden weaving shuttles with red bobbins are depicted on a shield Putyvl and its environs became famous during the Second World War: large partisan detachments commanded by S. Kovpak, S. Rud-nev and S. Kyrylenko were active in the surrounding forests.
The Transfiguration Cathedral (1617-1693,45 K.Marx St.) appeared in place of a wooden church. Formerly it was part of the Convent of the Holy Spirit. The iconostasis of the 17 th-18 th centuries is found within its interior. In 1693-1697 there were built the gates, a church and a bell tower. According to a legend, the sister of Peter I – Sofia – was detained within the precincts of the convent for a certain time. In 1822 the central part of the cathedral was connected, be means of three arches, with the southern side alter, and in 1834, by two arches, with the northern side altar. The baroque bell tower was built in 1700; its lower tier was provided with a passage to the convent yard.
The Church of Mykola the Cosskk (1735-1737,102 Pershotravneva St) is known in literature under the name of “Stone Mykola”. A typical example of Ukrainian baroque, it was built on money of the Ukrainian Cossacks. The belfry was built in 1770. Fragments of mural paintings can be seen within the interior.
The local Molchansky Monastery (N.SchorsSt.) was founded as part of the Molchanovsky Saphronius Hermitage, which was located to the east of Putyvl and came into being in 1405 in place of the appearance of the wonder-working icon of the Virgin. Formerly a fortified Old Rus settlement was located there. In 1602-1604 the monastery was surrounded with a wall with defensive casemates and towers at the corners. It was here that Grigory Otrepyev (pseudo Dmitriy I) hid himself for some time. The latter was actively supported in his struggle against Moscow by the local population, which is evinced by the fact that a few thousand inhabitants joined the adventurer. In 1630-1636 the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin was built in the monastery, and in 1700, a bell tower on the walls of which you can see the remains of old frescos. The fact that Putyvl lost the status of a frontier fortress had an adverse effect on the state of the monastery. It was only in the 1860 s that it began to revive again. In 1866-1869 there were built a new temple of the Nativity of John the Baptist, a refectory, the buildings of monastic cells, and a library. In Soviet times the monastery was methodically destroyed. The renewal began in the 1990 s. The architectural ensemble of the monastery is an example of a successful influence of Russian architectural style on the Ukrainian culture. Now it is a convent (Moscow patriarchy).