The first record of Vinnytsia is dated 1362. The history of the city is an integral part of the history of Ukraine. Ukrainian people suffered a great deal during the numerous internal wars in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Vinnytsia also went through 30 depredations by the Tatars from 1400 till 1569 though even under such terrible conditions the city developed as the economic and cultural centre.
In 1558 a new fortress was built. On the right bank of the Southern Bug the New City appeared, and on the left bank the Old City continued its development. According to the Union of Lublin of 1569, Vinnytsia became a part of Poland; starting from 1598 the city was the centre of the Braclaw Voivodeship. Its outstanding role in the agricultural life of the region is proven by the data of 1580 and 1593. In 1634 it provided the privileges of free trade on the whole territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Magdeburg rights approved in 1640.
In 1617 and 1624 the Catholic Church finished building of two monasteries; in 1642 the Jesuit Collegium was built. The Orthodox Collegium was opened owing to the efforts of Petro Mohyla, a famous cultural figure, and a Braclaw land judge Mykhailo Kropyvnytsky. Moreover, the first record of a Vinnytsia student who had studied at Krakow University is dated 1469, and the first record of a craftsman is dated 1508.
One of the most outstanding events in the history of Vinnytsia was a resounding defeat of Poland troops under the command of Ivan Bohun. In 1643 and 1653 Vinnytsia was visited by Bohdan Khmelnytsky. From 1653 till 1667 Vinnytsia was a regimental city of the Hetman State.
After Right-bank Ukraine had become the part of Russia and the Podolia Governorate had been established, the city became the centre of Vinnytsia County (1797). At the beginning of 1798 in Vinnytsia County the City Regulation was implemented. The city started its development. In 1860 its population accounted for 10 000 people; there were 5 schools, a hospital, 190 shops and a theatre there.
A powerful economic development of Vinnytsia was determined by the building of the Kyiv-Baltic Railway and opening the Kozyatyn-Zdolbuniv rail communication. The sugar industry started its development in Vinnytsia, owing mostly to German investment.
The city developed fast at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1911 the city was provided with water supply system and electricity. In 1912 Zamostya tram communication with the centre of the city was opened and the construction of the superphosphate plant was completed. Starting from 1914 the city became the administrative centre of the Podolia Governorate.
From November 1918 till May 1920 during the Ukrainian Revolution Vinnytsia became the place of stay of the Ukrainian People’s Republic government. There, in the Savoy Hotel, the government decided upon landmark and important issues of the country’s statesmanship.
During the USSR times, in 1923, the city became the centre of the Okrug, and in 1931 it became the administrative centre of a newly established Vinnytsia Oblast.
During the Second World War the Nazi regime introduced a specific regime in Vinnytsia due to the proximity of the Werwolf residence, and the life of the people became extremely rough. In 1941-1945 the population accounted for 27 000 people (comparing with 100 000 inhabitants). 10 out of 50 industrial enterprises left and 1800 houses were completely destroyed. By 1949, all the Vinnytsia industrial enterprises were reconstructed. During the USSR times, the city was the centre of engineering, electronic and chemical industries, project and engineering institutions.
During the years of Ukrainian independence, almost all the Soviet Union industrial giants have ceased to operate. As a rule, they have been replaced with more compact industrial units specialized in production of everyday products and development of trade services.
Nowadays Vinnytsia stretches for 12 kilometres and is located on the picturesque banks of the Southern Bug. Vinnytsia is the one of the biggest cities of Right-bank Ukraine. It is famous for being the educational and medical centre and the cultural capital of Podolia. 139 various cultural establishments offer a range of events. The main sights of the city are a public garden near the Water Tower and a musical fountain — the largest fountain in Ukraine. The other places of interest include the M.I. Pyrohov House-Museum and Burial Vault, the House of O.O. Brusylov, the M.M. Kotsiubynsky Literary and Memorial Museum, religious and fortification buildings which date back to the 17th-18th centuries and the ruins of the Hitler’s Werwolf secret residence. An old Jewish district called Jerusalemka is located not far from the centre of the city. The famous people of Vinnytsia are: Mykola Ivanovych Pyrohov (a Russian surgeon and anatomist), Petro Illich Chaykovsky (a Russian composer), Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (a Ukrainian composer), Mykhailo Mykhailovych Kotsiubynsky (a Ukrainian writer), Selman Waksman (a microbiologist, the Nobel laureate) and many others.
The present-day city is constantly growing and getting more and more beautiful. Under the new economic, social and cultural conditions it keeps developing as the industrial and administrative centre of the oblast which complements the other regions of our country.
The city is situated not far from the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv (the distance between the two cities accounts for 258 km). One can get to Vinnytsia by plane, bus or train. Havryshivka Airport is located 7,5 km eastward of Vinnytsia Railway Station. One can also get to the city from Kyiv or Lviv by bus, train or plane.