From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
City of regional significance
Drohobych skyline
Drohobych skyline
Flag of Drohobych
Coat of arms of Drohobych
Coat of arms
Drohobych is located in Lviv Oblast
Drohobych is located in Ukraine
Location of Drohobych
Coordinates: 49°21′00″N 23°30′00″E / 49.35000°N 23.50000°E / 49.35000; 23.50000Coordinates: 49°21′00″N 23°30′00″E / 49.35000°N 23.50000°E / 49.35000; 23.50000
Country  Ukraine
Region  Lviv Oblast
Municipality Drohobych
First mentioned 1387
 • Mayor Taras Kuchma
 • Total 41.0 km2 (15.8 sq mi)
Population (2016)
 • Total 76 686
Website http://www.drohobych-rada.gov.ua/

Drohobych (Ukrainian: Дрогóбич; Polish: Drohobycz; Yiddish: דראָהאָביטש‎;) is a city of regional significance in Lviv OblastUkraine. It is the administrative center of Drohobych district. In 1939–1941 and 1944–1959 it was the center of Drohobych Oblast.

The city was founded at the end of eleventh century as important transport post between Kyiv Rus' and the rest of Europe. From the fifteenth century the city was developing as a mercantile and saltworks centre. Drohobych became part of Habsburg Empire after the first partition of Poland. In the mid-nineteenth century it became Europe's largest oil extraction center, which significantly contributed to its rapid development. In interwar Poland it was the center of Lviv province county.

The city was the birthplace of well-known personalities like Yuriy Drohobych (Kotermak), Ivan Franko and Bruno Schulz. The city has several oil refineries. The Drohobych saltworks is considered to be the oldest in Europe. The estimated population of the city in 2016 was 76,686.

Administrative status[edit]

As the administrative center of the Drohobych Raion (district), Drohobych itself is a city of oblast significance, subordinate directly to the oblast authorities, rather than to the raion administration located in the city itself.


While there are only legendary accounts of it, Drohobych probably existed in the Kievan Rus' period. According to one legend there was a settlement, called Bych, of salt-traders. When Bych was destroyed in the Cumanian raid, the survivors rebuilt the settlement at a nearby location under its current name which means a Second Bych. In the time of Kievan Rus', the Tustan fortress was built near Drohobych. However, scholars view this legend with skepticism, pointing out that Drohobych is a Polish pronunciation of Dorogobuzh, a common East Slavic toponym applied to three different towns in Kievan Rus'.[1]

The city was first mentioned in 1387 in the municipal records of Lviv in connection with a certain Martin (or Marcin) of Drohobych.[1] Furthermore, the same chronicler's List of all Ruthenian cities, the further and the near ones[2] in Voskresensky Chronicle (dated 1377–82) mentions "Другабець" (Druhabets') among other cities in Volhynia that existed at the same time such as Холмъ (Kholm), Лвовъ Великій (Lviv the Great)

In 1392 Jogaila ordered the construction of the first Roman Catholic municipal parish church (Kosciół farny), using the foundations of older Ruthenian buildings. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the city was the center of large rural starostvo (county of the Ruthenian Voivodeship).

Drohobych received Magdeburg rights some time in the 15th century (sources differ as to the exact year, some giving 1422 or 1460,[1] or 1496[3] but in 1506 the rights were confirmed by King Alexander the Jagiellonian). The salt industry was significant in the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries.

From the early seventeenth century, a Ukrainian Catholic brotherhood existed in the city, In 1648, during the Khmelnytsky Uprising, the Cossacks stormed the city and its cathedral. Most of the local Poles, as well as the Greek Catholics and the Jews, were murdered at the time, while some managed to survive in the Bell tower not taken in the raid. The 1772 partition of Poland gave the city to Austria. Significant oil resources were discovered in the area, making the city became an important center of the oil and natural gas industries.

After World War I, the area became part of the short-lived independent West Ukrainian People's Republic(Zakhidnoukrayins’ka Narodna Respublyka; ZUNR). The ZUNR was taken over by the Second Polish Republic and Drohobych became part of the Lwow Voivodeship in 1919. In 1928 the still extant Ukrainian private gymnasium (academically oriented secondary school) opened in the center of the city. The population reached some 40,000 in the late 1920s, and its oil refinery at Polmin became one of the biggest in Europe, employing 800 people. Numerous visitors came there to view the wooden Greek Catholic churches, among them the Church of St. Yur, which was regarded the most beautiful such construction in the Second Polish Republic, with frescoes from 1691. Drohobych was also a major sports center (see: Junak Drohobycz).

In September 1939, the city was attached to Soviet Ukraine when the territory of the interwar Poland was divided between the Nazi Germany and the USSR. In Soviet Ukraine, Drohobych became a center of the Drohobych Oblast (region). Its local Polish boy scouts created the White Couriers organization, which in late 1939 and early 1940 smuggled hundreds of people from Soviet Union to Hungary, across the Soviet-Hungarian border in the Carpathians. In early July, 1941, during the first weeks of the Nazi invasion of the USSR, the city was occupied by the Nazi Germany. As Drohobych had a significant Jewish population, the city became the site of a large ghetto (Drohobych ghetto) which the Nazis liquidated in June 1943.[4] The German occupation ended on 6 August 1944, but it was immediately reoccupied by the Soviets. Despite the large Jewish population prior to the war, a current resident stated that he was one of only two Jews who came back to his village to live after the war.[5] After the war, the city remained an oblast center until the Drohobych Oblast was incorporated into the Lviv Oblast in 1959. In Soviet times, Drohobych became an important industrial center in Western Ukraine with highly developed oil-refining industry, machine building, woodworking industry, light industry, and food industry.

Yuriy Drohobych Monument
Town Hall


The population of Drohobych over the years was:

  • 1931 – 32,300
  • 1959 – 42,000
  • 1978 – 65,998
  • 1989 – 77,571
  • 2001 – 79,119
  • 2010 – 78 368

In the mid-eighteenth century, the town had a population of 2,200 (58.8%) Jews, 1,274 (34%) Roman Catholics, and 263 (7%) Greek Catholics.[6]

In 1869, 28.7% of the town's 16,880 inhabitants were Ukrainian, 23.2% Polish or other Roman Catholic, and 47.7% Jewish; in 1939, when the population was 34,600, the respective figures being 26.3%, 33.2%, and 39.9%. By 1959, Ukrainians constituted 70% of the town's population, Russians 22%, Poles 3%, and Jews 2%.[3]

In 1931, the total population of the Drohobych district was 194,456, distributed among various languages:[7]

  • Polish: 91,935 (47.3%)
  • Ukrainian: 79,214 (40.7%)
  • Yiddish: 20,484 (10.5%)

In January 2007, the total population of the metropolitan area was over 103,000 inhabitants.


Industries currently based in the city include oil-refineries, chemicals, machinery, metallurgy, and food processing.



Notable people from Drohobych[edit]


The Arts[edit]

Other fields[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Drohobych is twinned with:

City Country Since
Bytom Poland Poland
Buffalo, New York United States USA
Dębica[8] Poland Poland
Legnica Poland Poland
Muscatine, Iowa United States USA
Olecko Poland Poland
Smiltene Latvia Latvia


  1. ^ a b c Історія Дрогобича [History of Drohobych] (in Ukrainian). drohobych.net. Archived from the original on 16 January 2006. 
  2. ^ А СЕ ИМЕНА ГРАДОМЪ ВСЂМЪ РУССКЫМЪ, ДАЛНИМЪ И БЛИЖНИМЪ in PSRL, Т. VII. Летопись по Воскресенскому списку. — СПб, 1856. — с. 240–41.
  3. ^ a b Kubijovyč, Volodymyr (2016). "Drohobych". Online Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 19 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Преступления нацистов на территории СССР [Nazis crimes in the territory of the USSR] (in Russian). holocaust.ioso.ru. Archived from the original on 2 September 2006. 
  5. ^ "Execution Sites of Jewish Victims Investigated by Yahad-In Unum: Execution of Jews in Drogobych". yahadmap.org. 2005. Retrieved 19 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Motylewicz, Jerzy (2005). "Ethnic Communities in the Towns of the Polish-Ukrainian Borderland in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Centuries". In C. M. Hann; Paul R. Magocsi. Galicia: A Multicultured Land. University of Toronto Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-8020-3781-7. Retrieved 19 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Bielawa, Matthew (2002). "Genealogy of Halychyna/Eastern Galicia: 1931 Polish Statistics: Population by language". halgal.com. Retrieved 19 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "Partnerstwo Samorządów Siłą Europy". Europa Miast (in Polish). Retrieved 2013-08-13. 

External links[edit]