Panoramic view of Buchach in 2012.
|Magdeburg Rights||1393(first), 1515(second)|
|• City Head||Iosyf Mostsipan|
|• Total||9.98 km2 (3.85 sq mi)|
|Population (2001 census)|
|• Density||1,253.6/km2 (3,247/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Postal code||48400 — 48401|
|Area code(s)||+380 3544|
Buchach (Ukrainian: Бучач; Polish: Buczacz, Turkish: Bucaş) is a city located on the Strypa River (a tributary of the Dniester) in Ternopil Oblast (province) of western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Buchach Raion (district), and rests 135 kilometres (84 miles) south east of Lviv, in the historic region of Galicia.
The estimated population was around 12,500, according to the 2001 Ukrainian census.
The earliest recorded mention of Buchach is in 1260. In 1340, the region of Halychyna (Galicia) became part of the Kingdom of Poland, and as Ruthenian Voivodeship, remained in Poland until 1772 (see Partitions of Poland). It was during this time that the area experienced a large influx of Polish, Jewish and Armenian settlers. In the late 14th century, Polish nobleman (szlachta), Michał Awdaniec, Abdank coat of arms became the owner of the town. On July 28, 1379, Awdaniec founded here a Roman Catholic parish church, and built a castle. In 1393, King Wladyslaw Jagiello agreed to grant Magdeburg rights to Buczacz: it was first Magdeburg-style town, located in the Halicz Land. In the early 15th century, the Awdaniec family of Buczacz changed its last name into Buczacki, after its main residence. Frequent invasions of the Crimean Tatars brought destruction to the town, and in 1515, it once again received the Magdeburg rights. In 1580, local castle was rebuilt: the castle was twice besieged by the Tatars (1665, 1667), who finally captured it in 1672, during the Polish–Ottoman War (1672–76). Buczacz was a temporary residence of Mehmed IV; here, on October 18, 1672, the Treaty of Buczacz was signed between Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. According to this treaty, Poland handed the provinces of Ukraine and Podolia to Turkey. As a result, until 1683 Buczacz was divided into two parts: Polish and Ottoman.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Buczacz belonged to the Potocki family. Mikolaj Bazyli Potocki, the Starosta of Kaniow and the Voivode of Belz built here a late Baroque Roman Catholic Church (1761-1763), with a 35-meter tower, and rebuilt the castle, destroyed by the Turks. With the unification of Poland and Lithuania in 1569, the newly united kingdom extended from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Owing to its importance as a market town, Buchach had become a prominent trading centre linking Poland and the Ottoman Empire.
In 1772, Red Ruthenia, together with other areas of southwestern Poland, was annexed by Austria as part of the First Partition of Poland. Industry came to Buchach around the end of the 19th century. Among the small-scale industries there included a brickworks, and candle and soap factory, (modern) flour mills, a textile plant, and a necktie factory. The town also boasted a brewery and a winery. The largest factory was established early in the 1900s, when the Hilfesverein concern of Vienna set up a plant for the manufacture of wooden toys in Buchach employing some 200 workers, mainly young girls. In 1912 the Stanislaviv-based Savings and Credit Union opened a branch in Buchach, and this served as a bank for local industrialists and business.
Buchach remained a part of Austria and its successor states until the end of the First World War in 1918. The town was briefly a part of the independent West Ukrainian People's Republic before it was captured by the Republic of Poland in 1920. Also, between August 10 and September 15, 1920, it was occupied by the Red Army (see Polish-Soviet War). In the Second Polish Republic, Buczacz was the seat of a county (powiat) in Tarnopol Voivodeship. In the 1920s, Buczacz was inhabited by Jews (60%), Poles (25%), and Ukrainians (15%). On September 18, 1939, during the Soviet Invasion of Poland, Buczacz was occupied by the Red Army, and incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR (see Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). In 1941, it was invaded by Nazi Germany. Before World War II, approximately 10,000 Jews (half of the local population) lived in Buchach. According to the Soviet Extraordinary Commission, approximately 7,000 Jews were killed in Buchach during the Nazi occupation. When Soviets retook the town on July 21, 1944, only about 100 Jewish survivors remained.
The town was returned to the Soviet Union after the war. In 1945, its Polish residents were resettled into the Recovered Territories, and Communist authorities closed the parish church, turning it into a storage facility. Bones of the members of the Potocki family, kept in the church cellar, were thrown out, and later buried at the local cemetery. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Buchach became a part of newly independent Ukraine, and new, Ukrainian government returned the church to its rightful owners.
Coat of Arms
People from Buchach
- Mykola Bevz – Ukrainian scientist, member of ICOMOS from Ukraine
- Ihor Pylatiuk – Ukrainian scientist, musician, the rector and professor of the violin department of Lviv National Musical Academy named after Mykola Lysenko
- Jan Franciszek Adamski – Polish film actor and writer,
- Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888–1970), Nobel Prize-winning author
- Michal Buczacki – Polish nobleman, the Voivode of Podole, and the Castellan of Halicz in 1433–37,
- Dawid Buczacki – Voivode of Podole in the late 15th century,
- Jakub Buczacki – royal secretary and Bishop of Płock in the first half of the 16th century,
- Leopold Pamula – Polish Airforce pilot, who fought in the Invasion of Poland,
- Antoni Opolski – physisist, rector of Opole University,
- Jan Jerzy Pinzel – Baroque sculptor,
- Simon Wiesenthal
- Emanuel Ringelblum
- Alicia Appleman-Jurman - Holocaust survivor and author
- Abraham David ben Asher Anshel Buczacz
- Mina Rosner
- Ruben Feldschuh (Ben Shem) (1900–1980), Zionist author and political activist
- Wladyslaw Zych – Polish scientist, geologist and soldier of the Home Army.
The closest international airports are:
- Lviv International Airport, in Lviv (LWO), ca. 90 km (56 mi) away
- Ivano-Frankivsk International Airport, in Ivano-Frankivsk (IFO), ca. 50 km (31 mi) away
- Chernivtsi International Airport, in Chernivtsi (CWC), ca. 70 km (43 mi) away
- Rzeszów International Airport, in Rzeszów (RZE), Poland, ca. 220 km (137 mi). away
Twin towns and sister cities
Buchach is currently twinned with:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Buchach.|
- Verkhovna Rada website — city of Buchach, Buchatskyi Raion, Ternopil Oblast
- Buchach Today
- Buchach info site with photos and history
- "Execution Sites of Jewish Victims Investigated by Yahad-In Unum". Yahad-In Unum Interactive Map.
- MYKOLA BEVZ
- Academical Chamber Orchestra HARMONIA NOBILE
- Laurence Weinbaum, "Shaking the Dust Off" The Story of the Warsaw Ghetto's Forgotten Chronicler, Jewish Political Studies Review Vol. 22 No. 3–4 (Fall 2010).