Kolomyia

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Kolomyya
Коломия
City Hall in Kolomyia
City Hall in Kolomyia
Flag of Kolomyya
Flag
Coat of arms of Kolomyya
Coat of arms
Kolomyya is located in Ukraine
Kolomyya
Kolomyya
Location of Kolomyia
Coordinates: 48°31′50″N 25°02′25″E / 48.53056°N 25.04028°E / 48.53056; 25.04028Coordinates: 48°31′50″N 25°02′25″E / 48.53056°N 25.04028°E / 48.53056; 25.04028
Country
Oblast
Raion
 Ukraine
Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast
Kolomyia Raion / Municipality
Area
 • Total 41 km2 (16 sq mi)
Population
 • Total 61,448
 • Density 1,509/km2 (3,910/sq mi)
Website www.ko.if.ua
City's administrative statistics at Verkhovna Rada web-site
For the Ukrainian folk dance named after the city of Kolomyia, see Kolomyjka.

Kolomyia or Kolomyya, formerly known as Kolomea (Ukrainian: Коломия, Polish: Kołomyja, Russian: Коломыя, German: Kolomea, Romanian: Colomeea), is a city located on the Prut River in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast (province), in western Ukraine. Serving as the administrative centre of the Kolomyia Raion (district), the city is also designated as a separate raion within the oblast. The city rests approximately halfway between Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi, in the center of the historical region of Pokuttya, with which it shares much of its history.

The current estimated population was around 68,000 inhabitants as of 1993.

The city is a notable railroad hub, as well as an industrial center (textiles, shoes, metallurgical plant, machine works, wood and paper industry). It is a center of Hutsul culture. At the turn of the 20th century the city was the most populous city in Stanislawow voivodeship.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Under Kievan Rus' and the principality of Halych-Volhynia (1241–1340)[edit]

The settlement of Kolomyia was first mentioned in 1241, during the Mongol invasion of Rus. Initially part of Kievan Rus', it later belonged to one of its successor states, the principality of Halych-Volhynia. [citations needed]

Under Poland (1340–1498)[edit]

In 1340 it was annexed to Poland by King Casimir III, together with the rest of the region of Red Ruthenia. In a short time the settlement became one of the most notable centres of commerce in the area. Because of that, the population rose rapidly.

Prior to 1353 there were two parishes in the settlement, one for Catholics and the other for Orthodox. In 1412 King Władysław Jagiełło erected a Dominican order monastery and a stone-built church there. About the same time, the king was forced by the war with the Teutonic Order to pawn the area of Pokucie to the hospodar of Moldavia, Alexander. Although the city remained under Polish sovereignty, the income of the customs offices in the area was given to the Moldavians, after which time the debt was repaid.

Development[edit]

In 1405 the town's city rights were confirmed and it was granted with the Magdeburg Law, which allowed the burghers limited self-governance.[1][2] This move made the development of the area faster and Kołomyja, as it was called then, attracted many settlers from many parts of Europe. Apart from the local Ukrainians and Poles, many Armenians, Jews, and Hungarians settled there. In 1411 the fortress-city was given away for 25 years to the Vlach Hospodar Olexander as a gift for his support in the war against Hungary.[3] In 1443, a year before his death, King Wladislaus II of Poland granted the city yet another privilege which allowed the burghers to trade salt, one of the most precious minerals of the Middle Ages.

Since the castle gradually fell into disarray, in 1448 King Casimir IV of Poland gave the castle on the hill above the town to Maria, widow of Eliah, voivod of Moldavia as a dowry. In exchange, she refurbished the castle and reinforced it. In 1456 the town was granted yet another privilege. This time the king allowed the town authorities to stop all merchants passing by the town, and force them to sell their goods at the local market. This gave the town an additional boost, especially as the region was one of three salt-producing areas in Poland (the other two being Wieliczka and Bochnia), both not far from Kraków.

The area was relatively peaceful for the next century. However, the vacuum after the decline of the Golden Horde started to be filled by yet another power in the area: the Ottoman Empire. In 1485 Sultan Beyazid II captured Belgorod and Kilia, two ports at the northern shores of the Black Sea. This became a direct threat to Moldavia. In search of allies, its ruler Ştefan cel Mare came to Kołomyja and paid homage to the Polish king, thus becoming a vassal of the Polish Crown. For the ceremony, both monarchs came with roughly 20,000 knights, which was probably the biggest festivity ever held in the town. After the festivity most knights returned home, apart from 3,000 under Jan Karnkowski, who were given to the Moldavian prince as support in his battles, which he won in the end. In 1490 the city was sacked by the riot of Ivan Mukha.[4]

Decline[edit]

However, with the death of Stefan of Moldova, the neighbouring state started to experience both internal and external pressure from the Turks. In the effect of border skirmishes, as well as natural disasters, the town was struck by fires in 1502, 1505, 1513, and 1520.

Under Moldavia (1498–1531)[edit]

Władysław II Jagiełło, needing financial support in his battles against the Teutonic Knights, used the region as a guarantee in a loan which he obtained from Petru I of Moldavia, who thus gained control of Pokuttya in 1388, therefore, became the feodal property of the princes of Moldavia, but remained within the Kingdom of Poland..

After the Battle of the Cosmin Forest, in 1498, Pokuttia was conquered by Stephen the Great, annexed and retained by Moldavia until the Battle of Obertyn in 1531, when it was recaptured by Poland's hetman Jan Tarnowski, who defeated Stephen's son Petru Rareş. Minor Polish-Moldavian clashes for Pokuttia continued for the next 15 years, until Petru Rareş's death.

Polish – Ottoman wars[edit]

The following year hetman Jan Tarnowski recaptured the town, and defeated the Moldavians in the Battle of Obertyn. This victory secured the city's existence for the following years, but the Ottoman power grew and Poland's southern border remained insecure.

In 1589, the Turks crossed the border and seized Kołomyja almost immediately. All the burghers taking part in the defence were slaughtered, while the rest were forced to pay high indemnities.

The town was returned to Poland soon afterwards, but the city's growth lost its momentum.

In 1620, another Polono-Turkish war broke out. After the Polish defeat at Ţuţora, Kołomyja was yet again seized by the Turks – in 1626[5] the town was burned to the ground, while all of residents were enslaved in a jasyr.

After the war the area yet again returned to Poland. With the town in ruins, the starosta of Kamieniec Podolski fortress financed its reconstruction – slightly further away from the Prut River. The town was rebuilt, but never regained its power and remained one of many similar-scaled centres in the area.

Partition of Poland - Jews history[edit]

As a result of the first of Partitions of Poland (Treaty of St-Petersburg dated 5 July 1772), Kołomyja [6] was attributed to the Habsburg Monarchy. More details about the history of Galicia can be read in article Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria.

However, as it provided very little profit, Kołomyja was sold to the castellan of Bełz, Ewaryst Kuropatnicki, who became the town's owner. The magnate financed a new Our Lady's Church, but he lacked finance for speeding-up the city's growth.

Austrian stamp cancelled in 1871 in Polish, Galicia Province

The prosperity returned to the town in mid-19th century, when it was linked to the world through the Lemberg-Czernowitz railroad. By 1882 the city had almost 24.000 inhabitants, including roughly 12,000 Jews, 6,000 Ruthenians, and 4,000 Poles. Until the end of that century, the commerce attracted even more inhabitants from all-over the Galicia. Moreover, a new Jesuit Catholic church was built in Kolomyja, as it was called by German authorities, along with a Lutheran church built in 1874. By 1901 the number of inhabitants grew to 34,188, approximately half of them Jews.

20th century[edit]

In 1900 the Jewish population was 16,568, again nearly 50% of the town’s population. The Jewish community had a Great Synagogue, and about 30 other synagogues. In 1910 Jews were prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages. In 1911 they were prohibited from salt and wine occupations.

After the outbreak of the Great War, the town saw fierce battles between the forces of the Russian Empire and Austria-Hungary. Jews were abused for supposedly supporting the Austrians, and many Jewish homes were ransacked and destroyed.[citation needed]

The Russians advance occupied the town in September 1914.

In 1915 the Austrians retook the town.

As a result of the collapse of Austria-Hungary, both the town itself and the surrounding region became disputed between renascent Poland and the West Ukrainian People's Republic.

Second Polish Republic[edit]

However, during the Polish-Ukrainian War of 1919, it was seized without a fight by forces of Romania, and handed over to Polish authorities. During the Polish-Bolshevik 1919 war in Ukraine, a Polish division under General Zeligowski tore through Bessarabia and Bukovina and stopped in Kolomea during its winter march to Poland. Kolomea was then temporarily occupied by the Romanians and the border was near the town (shtetl) Otynia between Stanislav and Kolomea.

After the Polish-Soviet War it remained in Poland as a capital of a powiat within the Stanisławów Voivodship. By 1931 the number of inhabitants grew to over 41,000. The ethnic mixture was composed of Jews, Poles, Ukrainians (including Hutsuls), Germans, Armenians, and Hungarians, as well as of descendants of Valachians and other nationalities of former Austria-Hungary. With the development of infrastructure, the town became a major railroad hub, as well as the garrison city of the 49th Hutsul Rifle Regiment, probably the only purely Hutsul military unit in history. In the interbellum period, every Thursday a market took place at the main square of the town. The town had a monument of Polish poet Franciszek Karpinski, a monument of Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, and an obelisk near the town, located in a spot where in 1485 hospodar Stephen III of Moldavia paid tribute to king Kazimierz IV Jagiellon.

After the outbreak of World War II with the Polish Defensive War of 1939, the town was thought of as one of the centers of Polish defense of the so-called Romanian Bridgehead.[citation needed]

Part of Soviet Union and World War II[edit]

However, the Soviet invasion from the east made these plans obsolete, and the town was occupied by the Red Army.

As a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the occupied town became a part of the Soviet Union as region of the Ukrainian SSR. The accession of the Western Ukraine to the Soviet Union (Reunion of Western Ukraine and USSR) - the adoption of the Soviet Union in Western Ukraine with the adoption of an Extraordinary Session V of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Law "On the inclusion of the Western Ukraine in the Soviet Union to the reunification of the Ukrainian SSR" (November 1, 1939) at the request of the Commission of the Plenipotentiary of the People's Assembly of Western Ukraine. The decision to file motions stipulated in the Declaration "On joining of Western Ukraine in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic" adopted by the People's Assembly of Western Ukraine in Lviv, October 27, 1939.

On November 14, 1939 Third Extraordinary Session of the Supreme Soviet of USSR decided: "Accept Western Ukraine in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and thus reunite the great Ukrainian people in a unified Ukrainian state."

In 1940 part of the local population were arrested by the NKVD,[citation needed] and sent to Gulag system or to various Soviet prisons among which were Polish, Ukrainians, Hungarians, and many others.

In 1941, the town was seized by Nazi Germany. During the German occupation most of the city's Jews were murdered by the German occupation authorities. Initial street executions of September and October 1941 took the lives of approximately 500 people. The following year the remaining Jews were massed in a local ghetto, and then murdered in various concentration camps, mostly in Bełżec. Several hundred Jews were kept as slave workers in a labor camp, and then murdered in 1943 in a forest near Sheparivtsi.

The Red Army liberated Kolomya from the German invaders on March 28, 1944. Soon after that many construction workers, teachers, doctors, engineers and other skilled professionals began to arrive to restore the ruined city. They arrived from the eastern part of Ukraine and other parts of the Soviet Union

During the Cold War the town was the headquarters of the 44th Rocket Division of the Strategic Rocket Forces, which had previously been the 73rd Engineer Brigade RVGK at Kamyshin. The division was disbanded on 31 March 1990.[7]

Under independent Ukraine (1991–present)[edit]

It now remains a part of Ukraine, independent since 1991.

By the time of independence the vast majority of industrial enterprises of Kolomyia in fact ceased to exist or has been eliminated: Plant "Kolomyiasilmash", "Zahotzerno", plant "Elektroosnastka", factory "September 17 ", shoe factory, wood working factory, plant KRP (complete switchgears), printing house on Valova str., factory of brushes, weaving factory and many others. It was eliminated movie theaters, there were 4: Irchan movie theater, Kirov movie theater, movie theater "Yunist" (Youth), a summer theater in the present Trylovskoho park (formerly named Kirov park). Also in Kolomyia it stopped existence film store of regional importance. As a result, many people found themselves without work. For economic reasons many ciyizens of Kolomyia were forced to emigrate abroad. Those companies that have remained from the Soviet era, barely glow. These include curtain factory, paper mill, Metalozavod, Plant PRUT (programmable electronic educational terminals), cheese factory, remains "Kolomyiasilmash", Kolomyia Plant management of building materials, Kolomyia Motor Company, paper mill, clothes factory on Valova str., printing house on Mazepa str., canned fruit plant.

Most of these companies were widely known in the former Soviet Union and abroad, they were highly advanced in years equipment, qualified personnel working and engineering staff. These enterprises produced many products, employees worked in several changes, the City budget received significant income in taxes. Now it's all in the past.

It is a twin town of Nysa in Poland, to where many of its former inhabitants had to move after the war.

Kolomyia administrative district[edit]

The Kolomyia raion (administrative district), is a historic subdivision of Galicia. It included such towns and settlements as:

Local orientation
Regional orientation

Culture[edit]

Pysanka Museum in Kolomyia, Ukraine

Kolomyia is famous for its Pysanka Museum, that was built in 2000.

The museum was opened on 23 September 2000, during the 10th International Hutsul festival. Director Yaroslava Tkachuk first came up with the idea of a museum in the shape of a pysanka, local artists Vasyl Andrushko and Myroslav Yasinskyi brought the idea to life. The museum is not only shaped like an egg (14 m in height and 10 m in diameter), but parts of the exterior and interior of the dome are painted to resemble a pysanka.

Books featuring Kolomyia[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Kolomyia is twinned with:

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]