Podil (Поділ; originally Подоліє [Podoliie], or ‘lower part’). The northern part of the old city of Kyiv, situated on the lower terrace of the Dnipro River's right bank between the mouth of the Pochaina River and the slopes of the Starokyivska, Zamkova, Khorevytsia, and Shchekavytsia hills. During the Princely era, beginning in the 9th century, Podil was the heart of commerce and artisanry in Kyiv. Separate districts of potters, pitch makers, and tanners and the town's harbor and customs house were located there. At the center was a large marketplace, Torzhyshche. After the sack of Kyiv's upper town by the Mongols in 1240, Podil became the central part of Kyiv. In the 16th century the town hall, the Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood and its monastery (see Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood Monastery) and school (see Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood School), and the Kyivan Mohyla Academy were built there, and from 1798 the annual Kyiv Contract Fair was held there. Much of Podil was destroyed in the great fire of 1811, but the district was rebuilt, and new streets were created. In the 19th and early 20th centuries Podil was the main commercial district of Kyiv. Today it is located in Kyiv's Podilskyi raion.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]