|• Mayor||Wolodymyr Benewjat|
|• Total||7.16 km2 (2.76 sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Zalishchyky (Ukrainian: Залiщики, translit. Zalishchyky; Polish: Zaleszczyki; Yiddish: זאַלישטשיק, translit. Zalishtshik; Hebrew: זָלִישִיק/זָלִישִיקִי, translit. Zalishiki/Zalishik) is a small city located on the Dniester river in the southern part of the Ternopil Oblast (province), in western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Zalishchyky Raion (district).
In 2001, its estimated population was around 10,100.
Zalishchyky's name, as well as its precursors Zalissia and Zalishche, derive from the Ukrainian word for the witch-hazel shrub (Ukrainian: за ліщиною, translit. za lishchynoyu). The name is attributed to Zalishchyky's initial settlers.
A common myth is that the name originated from "zalis", a compound of the Ukrainian words "за" (za) and "ліс" (lis), together meaning "behind (the) forest". Though, Hinterwalden, the name for a Saxon settlement on Zalishchyky, does indeed find its roots in this, originating from the German "hinterwald" (literally, "behind forest").
Zalishchyky's climate is quite mild, with grapes, peaches and other fruits growing in the area. It is especially famous for its tomatoes. Since the inter-war era, it has been a centre for the tourist industry. Before the collapse of the USSR, some 10,000 visitors arrived annually. In the antebellum period, the town was an important tourist center of Poland. It is also one of the few wine growing areas in that part of Ukraine.
First mentioning of Zalishchyky is traced back to 1340, though the village had existed for some time, and probably dates back to late Paleolithic antiquity given its proximity to a number of other prehistoric settlements. In 1469, the village was a peasant farming community under the name Zalissia (Залісся) or Zalishche (Залісще). In 1569 Zalishchyky was assigned to the Podolian Voivodship, an administrative unit of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, to which the town became a seat for their county in 1774. In 1578 the village adopted the name "Zalishchyky". Around 1750, the modern town was built over the village, now known as "Old Zalishchyky". In the middle of the eighteenth century, at the invitation of Prince Stanisław Poniatowski, Saxon weavers of Silesian cloth settled on part of this historically older portion of Zalishchyky, and named it Hinterwalden, meaning "(place) behind the forest". In 1766, Zalishchyky received the right to self-governance under the Magdeburg Law. The 1772 census lists 159 Jewish families of varying professions dwelling in Zalishchyky. Between 1772 and 1918 Zalishchyky was ruled by the Habsburg Monarchy, with the exception of 1809–1815, when it was under control of the Russian Empire.
During the 19th century, the area around Zalishchyky was populated primarily by Ukrainian country folk, though the town had a large Polish and Jewish population. By then, the city was associated with the best peaches, plums and grapes in the Austrian Empire. In 1863, the town's Christians rioted against the Jewish population after a Jewish business owner attempted to collect on a loan to a Christian storekeeper. In the ensuing chaos, Jews were beaten and Jewish property was destroyed before police from Chernivtsi were able to suppress the incident. Later that same year a Jewish family was butchered in a nearby hamlet. Zalishchyky's synagogue was destroyed in 1871 by a massive fire that also razed 170 houses. At the end of the 19th century, the area around Zalishchyky witnessed large-scale emigration to the New World, especially western Canada.
In 1914, Russia captured Zalishchyky, initially killing 30 Jews, before expelling the rest of the town's Jews on April 15 of the following year, many of whom died of typhus and syphilis. Following the end of the First World War in 1917, the town's economy was bilious and many Jews were either widowed or orphaned by the war. The town recovered from its wartime loses thanks to aid from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and Jews from neighboring towns and oblasts. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918, Zalishchyky was annexed along with the majority of East Galicia by the short-lived West Ukrainian People's Republic. After the subsequent Polish–Ukrainian War ended in Polish victory, Zalishchyky was again under Polish sovereignty.
Once again under Polish sovereignty, Zaleszczyki became part of the Tarnopol Voivodeship. Under the Second Polish Republic, Zalishchyky was located in extreme southeast corner of the country, and developed into a very popular spa, and was dubbed the "Polish Meran" or the "Polish Riviera", especially popular were the sandy beaches located along the Dniester. The town was regarded as the warmest town in Poland and the Polish capital of grapevine, with annual grape festivals taking place here every summer. Zalishchyky had a direct rail connection with Warsaw and Gdynia (the distance of 1,314 kilometres (816 miles), the longest route in the Second Polish Republic). Furthermore, a luxtorpeda fast train connected Zaleszczyki with Tarnopol. The town suffered three catastrophic floods in 1863, 1871, and 1927.
Zalishchyky's already prolific reputation in the world of tourism coupled with the luxtorpeda railways revived Zalishchyky's tourist industry, and the town's economy boomed as it slowly became completely oriented to tourist activity. This bloom lasted until 1939 when Germany commenced the Invasion of Poland, igniting World War II and leading Soviet Ukraine, a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, to annex Zalischyky on September 17, during the Polish September Campaign.
After Soviet capture and occupation of Zalishchyky, the beaches and orchards were destroyed, the Baroque town hall was demolished, and a monument of Lenin was erected in its spot. The Roman Catholic church of St. Stanislaus was devastated, and turned into a fertilizer storage. All Jewish activity ceased, with the exception of some continuing education in Yiddish schools. The evacuation of all the Polish government and military officials to Romania following the Nazi invasion, partially traveled through Zalishchyky thanks to its close proximity to the Poland-Romania border.
On July 8, 1941, German forces entered Zalishchyky and immediately began persecuting the town's Jews. Many were sent to be slave labor in Nazi-controlled Zhvanets in the fall. On November 14, several Jews were deported to work camps, 200 to Kamianka-Buzka, and 40 to numerous smaller locales, such as Kutno. Shortly after 800 Jews were forced to the outskirts of Zalishchyky, where they were murdered. In 2011, a monument was erected near the execution site (now a sports stadium). The proper site of the execution was developed with residential houses and garages after the end of the Second World War.
Much of the town died of hunger and typhoid in the winter of 1941, and between 1942-1943, all Jews were moved to neighboring ghettos, mainly to Tłuste. From Tłuste, most of them were shipped to Bełżec extermination camp, others died during deportations. Only a few dozen survived. Some were able to escape to areas such as Tashkent thanks to Soviet evacuations during the war.
In March 1944, the region was liberated by the Russians, before briefly returning to German control, during which many Jews were murdered by the panicking Nazis. After being liberated a second time, survivors and some of those deported returned to Zalishchyky. The town remained under Russian control until 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine became independent.
Archeology and monuments
Before the Second World War, the area around Zalishchyky became a major centre of archeological attention. Near various villages, especially Koshylivtsi (Ukrainian: Кошилівці), a little north of the Dniester, excavations were carried out which uncovered statues, coins, and other artifacts from as far back as the Neolithic Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, and extending through the period of the Roman Empire and the Migration Period in the Early Middle Ages.
Zalishchyky contains a 17th-century Roman Catholic church, an 18th-century Town Hall and other monuments.
Points of interest
- Roman Catholic Church of St. Stanislaus, founded by Stanisław August Poniatowski in 1763, and completed in 1828. The church served as a storage in 1946–1992. Currently, it is under renovation
- The Poniatowski Palace, built in the late 18th century, and remodelled in 1831. It was property of Duke Józef Poniatowski, in the 19th century belonged to the Brunicki family. Its last owners was the Turnau family
- The Pilsudski Villa, where in 1933 Józef Piłsudski stayed
- 19th century Roman Catholic cemetery
- The manor house of Jan Kasprowicz, a Polish poet who lived here in 1896–1899
City park and bridges over Dniester river
- Mykhailo Orest Haivoronsky — a Ukrainian composer, musician, conductor, teacher, violinist, and critic
- Anna Belina – Polish actress
- Leon Biliński – politician and economist, rector of Lviv University
- Mikolaj Hoszowski – scientist and politician, speaker of the Senate of the Free City of Kraków
- Marian Szpakowski – painter
- Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim — Marshal and sixth president of Finland was in town during World War I
Twin towns – Sister cities
Zalischyky is twinned with:
- "History - Jewish community before 1989 - Zaleszczyki - Virtual Shtetl".
- "Miasta Partnerskie". Bytów City Council Official Site (in Polish). Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- Hryniuk, Stella Peasants with Promise: Ukrainians in Southeastern Galicia 1880–1900 (Edmonton, 1991). Contains a map on the endpapers of the book which shows all of the villages of this part of Galicia, including the Zalishchyky area.
- Przewodnik po Województwie Tarnopolskiem z mapą [Guide to the Ternopil Region with a Map] (Ternopil, 1928: reprinted circa 1990). Contains much historical material.
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