After the death of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1054, Kyivan Rus' began to fall apart into its component principalities. From 1084 Yaroslav's great-grandsons, Riuryk, Volodar, and Vasylko Rostyslavych, ruled the lands of Peremyshl, Zvenyhorod, and Terebovlia in the western regions of the Rus' state. Volodar's son, Volodymyrko made princely Halych his capital, and his son, Yaroslav Osmomysl, enlarged Halych principality during his reign (1153-87) to encompass all the lands between the Carpathian Mountains and the Dnister River as far south as the lower Danube River. This region assumed the historic name of Galicia. Prince Roman Mstyslavych united Galicia with Volhynia and thus created the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia, which fourished during the reign of Prince (and later King) Danylo Romanovych (1238-64). In 1272 Lviv became the capital, and in 1303 Halych metropoly was founded. But resurgent boyar defiance, the Mongol invasion, and the territorial ambitions of Poland and Hungary took their toll. In 1349 King Casimir III the Great of Poland invaded Galicia and progressively occupied it. The entire region remained under Polish rule until 1772 when it was annexed by the Ausrian Empire. All this time, however, Galicia was a very important centre of Ukrainian national, cultural, and religious life. The defence of Ukrainian interests in the face of strong Polish pressures was assumed by the Orthodox brotherhoods. One of the first was the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood, which existed as early as 1463, but which became most active after the 1580s. However, it was only under Austrian rule in the 18th and 19th centuries that Galicia found favorable conditions to the Ukrainians' religious life and education. Under the impact of Romanticism and developments in central and eastern Ukraine, a Ukrainian cultural and national renaissance began in Galicia in the 1820s. This renaissance reached it apogee in the Revolution of 1848-9 in the Habsburg monarchy when the Supreme Ruthenian Council was founded to represent Galician Ukrainian national aspirations. In the period 1867-1914, Ukrainian cultural and, to some extent, political life in Galicia underwent a remarkable growth. After the Ems Ukase prohibited Ukrainian publications in Russian-ruled Ukraine in 1876, Galicia became the 'Piedmont' of the Ukrainian movement. When the First World War broke out, the Ukrainian parties founded the Supreme Ukrainian Council in August 1914 in Lviv. Before the collapse of the Habsburg state, Galician and Bukovynian political leaders met in Lviv and proclaimed a Ukrainian state on the territories of Galicia, northern Bukovyna, and Ukrainian Transcarpathia--the Western Ukrainian National Republic (ZUNR). On 3 January 1919 the ZUNR officially united with the Ukrainian National Republic, creating thus a unified independent Ukrainian state... Learn more about the city of Lviv and the historic region of Galicia by visiting the following entries:


LVIV. A city (2015 pop 729,429) and the center of Lviv oblast, the historical capital of Galicia and Western Ukraine, and, after Kyiv, the second cultural, political, and religious center of Ukraine. By population it is the seventh-largest city in Ukraine and the largest in the western oblasts. Standing at the meeting place of three geographical-economic regions--the Roztochia woodlands, the cultivated fields of the Buh Depression, and the fields of Podilia--Lviv has been for centuries a natural exchange center among them. But the main reason for its development was its location at the intersection of natural trade routes--the north-south route from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea (Kholm-Halych) and the east-west route (Cracow-Kyiv). Lviv was founded in the mid-13th century by Prince Danylo Romanovych near Zvenyhorod, which had been razed by the Tatars, and named after his son Lev Danylovych. The city is first mentioned in the Galician-Volhynian Chronicle under the year 1256. In the 1260s, during the reign of Prince Lev Danylovych, Lviv became the capital of the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia; it remained its capital until the principality's dissolution in the 1340s. Because of its location Lviv became an important commercial and cultural intermediary between Western and Eastern Europe, a role assumed from the declining cities of Zvenyhorod, Halych, and Kholm. Lviv's influence fluctuated between national and regional, according to historical events, particularly the power of Galicia. Its western location, far from the usual invasion routes of the Tatars, assured it a more peaceful development than Kyiv's. As Kyiv declined, Lviv rose to national stature. Nevertheless, for centuries it was the principal arena of Polish-Ukrainian conflict...



GALICIA. A historical region in southwestern Ukraine. Its ethnic Ukrainian territory occupies the basins of the upper and middle Dnister River, the upper Prut River and Buh River, and most of the Sian River, and has an area of 55,700 sq km. Its population was 5,824,100 in 1939. The name is derived from that of the city of princely Halych, a former capital of the medieval Principality of Galicia-Volhynia. Galicia is linked to the rest of Ukraine by land routes only. It is bounded by Poland in the west, Transcarpathia and the Lemko region in the southwest, Bukovyna in the southeast, Podilia in the east, Volhynia in the northeast, and the Kholm region in the northwest. Its location on the crossroads to the seas led its expansionist foreign neighbors, especially Poland and Hungary, to strive repeatedly to gain control of Galicia. Galicia's location protected it from the incursions of Asiatic nomadic peoples and facilitated contact with the rest of Europe. After the demise of Kyiv as the capital of Kyivan Rus', the main trade route linking the Baltic Sea with the Black Sea and Byzantium passed through Galicia. Because of its distance from the Eurasian steppe, medieval Rus’-Ukrainian statehood survived there as the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia for another century after the sack of Kyiv by the Mongols in 1240. At that time Galicia became a reservoir of Ukrainian population, much of which later remigrated to the east. Under Polish rule (1340-1772) Galicia constituted first Rus' land (Regnum Russiae) and then from 1434 Rus' voivodeship (palatinate) and the western part of Podilia voivodeship. The region was under Austrian rule in 1772-1918...



DROHOBYCH. City (2015 pop 76,795) in Subcarpathia on the Tysmenytsia River; the center of the Drohobych-Boryslav industrial region in Lviv oblast. The population of Drohobych was 32,300 in 1931, 42,000 in 1959, and 56,000 in 1970. The town probably existed in the Kyivan Rus' period. It was first mentioned in documents in the second half of the 14th century. In 1496 it received Magdeburg law. Under the Polish Commonwealth Drohohobych was the center of a large rural county (starostvo). In the 14th-16th century a large salt industry and trade developed. From the beginning of the 17th century a Ukrainian Catholic brotherhood was active in the town. After Austria's annexation of Galicia, one of the two urban Ukrainian schools in Galicia was located in Drohobych from 1775 to 1830. In the middle of the 19th century ozokerite began to be mined, and then oil and natural gas. Petroleum refineries were built at the beginning of this century. The influx of foreigners who worked in industry and trade changed the composition of Drohobych's population: in 1869, of the town's 16,880 inhabitants 28.7 percent were Ukrainian, 23.2 percent were Polish or Roman Catholic, and 47.7 percent were Jewish; in 1939, when the population was 34,600, the respective figures were 26.3 percent, 33.2 percent, and 39.9 percent. Until 1939 Drohobych was a Ukrainian national and cultural center, with a Ukrainian gymnasium, music school, and Basilian monastery. In 1939-41 and 1944-59 the town was the capital of Drohobych oblast, which later became incorporated into Lviv oblast. By 1959 Ukrainians constituted 70 percent of the town's population; Russians, 22 percent; Poles, 3 percent; and Jews, 2 percent...



STRYI. A city (2015 pop 59,629) on the Stryi River and a raion center in Lviv oblast. It is first mentioned in historical documents in 1385, when Galicia was under Polish rule. In 1460 the town was granted the rights of Magdeburg law. Stryi's economic development can be attributed largely to its strategic location on the main trade route to Mukachevo through the Carpathian Mountains. Under Austrian rule (1772-1918) Stryi became a county center and the seat of a circuit court. It developed into an industrial and commercial town, and its population grew from 8,000 in 1843 to 12,600 in 1880, 23,200 in 1900, and 30,900 in 1910. By the end of the 19th century Stryi was an important center of the Ukrainian national movement in Galicia. The town’s chief civic leaders were Yevhen Olesnytsky and Ostap Nyzhankivsky. Stryi was one of the first centers of the Ukrainian women's movement: the first women’s rally was held there in 1891, and the first edition of the women’s almanac Nasha dolia (Our Fate, 1893) was published there. Stryi was an important center of the Ukrainian co-operative movement: the Provincial Dairy Union (later the Maslosoiuz Provincial Dairy Union) was founded there in 1907, and the first Ukrainian provincial exhibition was held there in 1909. A Ukrainian gymnasium was opened in Stryi in 1906, and the newspapers Stryis'kyi holos (1894-5) and Hospodar i promyslovets' (1909-11) appeared there. During the Ukrainian-Polish War in Galicia, 1918-19, the headquarters of the Stryi Brigade of the Ukrainian Galician Army were located in Stryi...



SAMBIR. A city (2015 pop 35,076) on the Dnister River and a raion center in Lviv oblast. When Staryi Sambir was destroyed by the Tatars in 1241, the survivors settled in the fortified settlement of Pohonych and renamed it Sambir, Novyi (New) Sambir, or Nove Misto (New Town), although the name Pohonych was used until the mid-15th century. Sambir was part of the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia (until 1349), the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1387-1772), and the Austrian Empire (1772–1918). It was under Polish rule (1919-39) and after the Second World War became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1390 it was granted the rights of Magdeburg law. In the 15th and 16th centuries it was an important trading and manufacturing town. Under Austrian and then Polish rule it was a county center. Today Sambir is an industrial and transportation center. Its factories produce radio parts, instruments, glass, furniture, clothes, and sugar and repair road-building machinery. Its chief architectural monuments are a Gothic Roman Catholic church (1530-68), Stephen Báthory’s hunting lodge (16th century), the ruins of the town walls (16th-17th century), the city hall (1668) with a tall Renaissance tower, the theological seminary (1679), the Byzantine cathedral (1738, restored 1893-4), a Jesuit church (1751), an 18th-century park, and residential buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries. More recently the Les Kurbas Memorial Museum (1987) and the Boikivshchyna Historical-Ethnographical Museum (1989) have been opened...



ZHOVKVA. A city (2014 pop 13,629) on the Svynia River and a raion center in Lviv oblast. According to archeological evidence the site was inhabited as early as the 3rd or 2nd century BC. A settlement at the location is first mentioned in historical documents under the name Vynnyky in 1368. In 1597 a new town was established at this site and named Zhovkva in honor of its owner, the Polish field hetman Stanislaw Zolkiewski. The town was granted the rights of Magdeburg law in 1603. A castle was built to protect the town from Tatar raids, and King Jan III Sobieski established a residence there. Zhovkva developed into a trade and manufacturing center. It was noted for its talented craftsmen and artists, who at the beginning of the 18th century formed the Zhovkva School of Artists. The town was also an important religious center, with many churches and monasteries. The Zhovkva Monastery of the Basilian monastic order, which was built in the 17th century, developed into an important publishing center at the end of the 19th century. Under Soviet rule Zhovkva was called Nesterov in 1951–1992 in honor of Russian pilot P. Nesterov. Zhovkva’s architectural monuments include the large, well-preserved castle, a church and monastery of the Dominican order from the 17th century, a synagogue, two wooden churches from the beginning of the 18th century, the Basilian church and monastery, which were restored in 1907, the remnants of the brick defensive walls and two city gates, and the old market square with some original buildings...


The preparation, editing, and display of the IEU entries about the city of Lviv and the historic region of Galicia were made possible by the financial support of the IVAN AND ZENOVIA BOYKO ENDOWMENT FUND at the CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF UKRAINIAN STUDIES (Edmonton, AB, Canada).

ABOUT IEU: Once completed, the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine will be the most comprehensive source of information in English on Ukraine, its history, people, geography, society, economy, and cultural heritage. With over 20,000 detailed encyclopedic entries supplemented with thousands of maps, photographs, illustrations, tables, and other graphic and/or audio materials, this immense repository of knowledge is designed to present Ukraine and Ukrainians to the world.

At present, only 30% of the entire planned IEU database is available on the IEU site. New entries are being edited, updated, and added daily. However, the successful completion of this ambitious and costly project will be possible only with financial assistance from IEU supporters. Become an IEU supporter and help the CIUS in creating the world's most authoritative electronic information resource about Ukraine and Ukrainians!

Go To Top Of Page

Click Home to get to the IEU Home page; to contact the IEU editors click Contact.
To learn more about IEU click About IEU and to view the list of donors and to become an IEU supporter click Donors.

Home | Contact | About IEU | Donors

©2001 All Rights Reserved. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.