Oleshia [Олешшя; Oleššja]. A medieval port near the mouth of the Dnieper River, probably at the site of present-day Tsiurupynsk. According to 11th- to 13th-century chronicles Oleshia was a major trading center on the KyivConstantinople route. Fishing also played an important role in its economy. The town's population was mixed, but the largest group of merchants was Greek. Until the 10th century the town belonged to the Byzantine sphere of influence, and then it became a client of Kyivan Rus’. Eventually Oleshia became a Genoese trading colony. In the mid-15th century it was destroyed by the Turks, who established Ochakiv to control access to the Dnieper River.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of #Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]


Encyclopedia of Ukraine