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History of Ivano-Frankivsk (Stanislaviv)

panorama of ivano-frankivsk stanislaviv
The city of Ivano-Frankivsk (former Stanislaviv) was founded in 1662 by Andrey Pototskiy, representative of an old Halychyna noble kin (former ancient Ukrainian village of Zabolottya).

The main buildings

A city-fortress was built in a short period of time (5 months) according to the project of François Korassini from Avignon (France) in the form of regular hexagon with additional bastions, redoubts and fort. On the edges of a hexagon there were disposed bastions – external five-cornered defences which allowed fulfilling of flank gunning along walls. The transverse walls section was formed by 20-30m wide earth- barrage, strengthened by the oak logs from outside. Already after 15 years of foundation, Stanislaviv fortress was so strong, that proved able to stop enormous Turkish army in 1672, standing a protracted siege.

The prosecutions of Stanislaviv fortress strengthening was prolonged to the middle of XVIII century. In 1679-1682 an engineer Karol Benua improved fortress in the direction of new built castle of Pototskiy Palace. In about 1680 the stronghold becomes longitudinal.

“Among all cities of the Pre-Carpathian Region Stanislaviv is the most beautiful one. Its fortifications amaze by their perfection”

– the French traveler François de Leran wrote in 1687. In 1734-1750 the paling was replaced by stone and brick, and an arsenal was fully reconstructed. Walls became brick, and gates became stone. There were totally seven large and small fortress bastions. The height of fortress walls reached 10m. Fortress was surrounded by earth-walls and stretched behind them ditches, which were filled up with water from the rivers Bystrytsa Nadvirnyanska and Bystrytsa Solotvynska. It was possible to reach the city only through the flying bridges which were pulling down by hand bit-braces, opening city gate. Access to the fortress was blocked from south by the Black forest and by stripe of continuous bogs.

According to the ancient European canons of city-planning in cities with Magdeburg right the main square was a market-place with city-hall, situated on it. The latter was not only the organ of self-government and city decoration but also watchtower, the highest point of city-fortress, from which permanent supervisions have been conducted whether an enemy approaches and whether the fire blazed somewhere up. There was a city council, court and shops in a city-hall. The first city-hall was wooden one.

In 1699 the brick city-hall building was completed. The market sides each were densely built-up by houses that as a rule could not overtop one, and later two floors and be wider than three-four windows. This requirement of city-planning tradition according to the Magdeburg right was determined for reasons of safety. Total area of that time market was 9, 667 square meters. There could be placed almost 34 thousands of people counting 4 persons per 1 m.

Population of Stanislaviv

The city was multinational. There lived the Ukrainians, the Armenians, the Jews, the Poles, and the Austrians in it, percent ratio of which changed in different historical periods. At the beginning of XVIIIth century there were mostly the Ukrainians.

Austrian times

In 1772 Stanislaviv fortress lost its defensive importance after joining Halychyna to the Austrian monarchy. In 1804 the walls were pulled down under emperor’s decree, the fortress ditches were filled up. Barrages have been demolished till 1870. Over the filled ditches were paved streets, with wall stone and brick 4 squares, 24 streets were laid and dwelling houses built.

In the first part of XIX century, as well as before, three annual fairs were hold in the city. The rich merchant class with a noticeable enough capital showed up, they lived and built houses in the best city quarters.

In 1816 city building became even more active, when trade and manufactory production revival occurred. It was ordered to build houses with stone and brick, and to demolish old wooden buildings. All roads and streets were covered with stones.

In April, 17 1848 impetuous revolutionary events forced an emperor Ferdinand to sign a patent (decree) “About abolition all serfdom works and citizens tributes in Halychyna from May, 15 1848” for recompense to squires at the expense of the state in the future.

In the first decade after serfdom three industrial enterprises worked in Stanislaviv. Next to the railway station (in 22, Zaliznychna St.) locomotive repair plant works presently. It is one of the oldest city enterprises. Regular circulation of the trains was launched on a line Lviv-Chernivtsi on September, 1 1866. 67 locomotives, 190 passenger coaches, 115 freight and postal carriages worked on this line.

In September 1866 there were brought into action main workshops, which belonged to five the largest industrial enterprises of East Halychyna of that time. There were also a lot of hotels, restaurants, coffee shops in city. The branches of the Viennese and Lviv banks were opened, amount of operations in a city.

In the second part of XIX century – at the beginning of XX century considerable changes in city building took place. Instead of old houses new ones appeared, mainly two-storey stone buildings. In 1880 their number was 1350. About 500 of them were situated in the center of city.

The square near a city-hall stayed as city center, from which main streets dispersed, joining with smaller ones. Totally there were 45 streets, 10 squares and public gardens in city. Main streets had sidewalks and were paved with stones. In 1876 street light appeared in the town, at first the railway station was lighted by gas-lamps, and then partly central streets.

Opening of railway circulation became not only the factor of prestige for Stanislaviv but also of economic and tourism development. Mass trips began to Pokuttia and Chornogora. Tourists, ethnographers, linguists began to visit Hutsulschyna, Vorokhta, Yaremche, Mykulychyn, Zhabje and other tillages and towns. The Ukrainians of Stanislaviv city established the tourist society “Chornohora”.

At the beginning of XIX century German Stanislas Frantsishek Kratter was district headman. By his initiative the first public garden was created in town, unveiled in 1827, which became a favorite resting place of petty bourgeoisies. Presently it is territory between the streets of Sichovykh Striltsiv and Hetman Mazepa. It was named by people as “Kratterivka”.

In the middle of XIX century a number of the Austrians was noticeable in city. From the end of XVIII to the beginning of XX century they were working as officials in the Magistracy, City Council, they were the teachers of gymnasiums, schools. In the 70s years of XIX century they built the kirha.

The Armenians settled in city in the 60s years of XVII century with the permission of Andrey Pototskiy. By initiative of Stanislaviv Armenian Fraternity was built at first wooden and afterwards stone church. The Armenians were well-to-do, engaged in handicrafts, in particular, in making of goatskins wares. They made a special input in city development.

From the second part of XIX century the Ukrainians of Halychyna activated their national institutions considerably. Beginning from 70s years, following Lviv, which was the center of the Halychyna-Ukrainian revival, appears centers of different Ukrainian societies in Stanislaviv. The national centers were: “Prosvita”, “Plast”, “Sokoly”, “Rus’ka besida”, branch of Ukrainian Pedagogical Society, “Teaching Society”, “Society of Russian Women”, “Society of craftsmen” etc.

Stanislaviv railway station

stanislaviv railway station

Cathedral in Ivano-Frankivsk

cathedral ivano-frankivsk

City Hall

City Hall Stanislaviv old

Market Square

market square stanislaviv