Bratslav (Ukrainian: Брацлав; Polish: Bracław; Yiddish: בראָסלעוו, Broslev, today also pronounced Breslev or Breslov as the name of a Hasidic group, which originated from this town) is a townlet in Ukraine, located in the Nemyriv Raion of Vinnytsia Oblast, by the Southern Bug river. It is a medieval European city which dramatically lost its importance during the 19th-20th centuries. In 1988, Bratslav had a population of 6,100.
The first written mention of Bratslav dates back to 1362. City status was granted Magdeburg Rights in 1564. Bratslav belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania until the Lublin Union of 1569, when it became a voivodeship center in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
In 1648, during the Bohdan Khmelnytsky rebellion, Bratslav became a Cossack regimental city, part of the Ukrainian Hetman state, which was later assimilated by the Duchy of Muscovy. In 1667, under the Treaty of Andrusiv, Muscovy returned the city to Poland. The city ruled by Ottoman Empire between 1672-1699 and became part of the Russian Empire (the new name of Muscovy since 1708) after the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, along with the rest of the Right-bank Ukraine. Under Russia, Bratslav was an uyezd (district) center in the Podolia guberniya. As the city had no access to a railroad, its importance and population gradually declined.
Bratslav is famous in Judaism as the place where Rabbi Nachman lived and taught between 1802 and 1810. Rabbi Nachman was the founder of one of the major branches of Hasidism, Breslover Hasidism, and an author of Jewish mystical works.
In 1926 Bratslav had a population of 7,842 (Source=Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer).
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