Buchach is a small city
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 located on the Strypa River (a tributary of the Dniester River) in the Ternopil Oblast
Ternopil Oblast
Ternopil Oblast is an oblast' of Ukraine. Its administrative center is Ternopil, through which flows the Seret River, a tributary of the Dnister.-Geography:...

Oblast is a type of administrative division in Slavic countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union. The word "oblast" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region"...

) of western Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. It is the administrative center
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 of the Buchach Raion
Buchach Raion
Buchach Raion is a raion in Ternopil Oblast in western Ukraine. Its administrative center is Buchach. It has a population of 65 078.-See also:* Subdivisions of Ukraine* Ternopil Oblast...

A raion is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet countries. The term, which is from French rayon 'honeycomb, department,' describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district"...

), and rests 135 km south east of Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

, in the historic region of Galicia.

The current estimated population is around 12,500 (as of 2001 Ukrainian census
Ukrainian Census (2001)
The first Ukrainian Census was carried out by State Statistics Committee of Ukraine on 5 December 2001, twelve years after the last Soviet Union census in 1989....



The first written mention of Buchach was in 1260, when the great empire of the Kievan Rus was on the decline and another - that of Halych Volynsk - was on the rise. The city took its name from an archaic word "bucha," which translates literally as, "a native water", likely the Strypa River which cuts through the middle of the town.

From this vantage point, across the river and atop another hill stand the ruins of a stone castle, Buchach's crowning jewel, which was long ago governed by two important noble families, the Buchatskys and the Potockis. Both families played an important role in the development of Buchach and the region.

The Buchatskys were first to incorporate Buchach into their land holdings. Between the 14th and 17th centuries, the town was the main bastion of defense in Podilya, a geographic region in Western Ukraine. Buchach and its outskirts were guarded by a system of towers and castles. The Buchatskys made the castle their home and even built underground tunnels to allow residents to escape in the event of an attack. The castle was rebuilt several times, after increasingly frequent raids by the Turks and Tatars. Four hundred years later, when the Buchatsky clan vanished and the Potockis ruled the region, Mykola Potocki decided to build a new fortress for his family and the castle was abandoned as a place of residence.

The Buchatskys left to Buchach more than their castle. Copies of a 14th century religious document state: "Mykhaylo Buchatsky, the possessor of Buchach, founded on July 28, 1397, the Roman Catholic parish in Buchach." Arguments continue over the actual date, as other documents read the year as 1379 or 1387. No matter, Buchach became home to a Roman Catholic church that stood for almost four centuries, surviving fire and other potential ruin. Over time it became evident a new structure was needed. The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption was erected in 1761-63 and still stands today.

Never to be outdone, the Potockis also went on a building spree. In 1610, Stefan Potocki and his wife Maria erected the Church of St. Mykola, the first stone chapel in Buchach. Excavations in the cellar only a few years ago uncovered human skeletons bearing signs of torture. Historians had little doubt - this was another memorial to the brutality of the Soviet secret police. On May 12, 1751, Stefan's descendent, Mykola, laid the first stone for the magnificent Basilian Monastery. At the beginning of the 17th century, Stefan was given permission by the archbishop in Lviv to invite Basilian Fathers from Lithuania to found a theological school in Buchach. The abbey remains one of Western Ukraine's most beautiful and has in recent years been undergoing a facelift.
In 1772, Galicia was annexed by Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 as part of the First Partition of Poland
First Partition of Poland
The First Partition of Poland or First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in 1772 as the first of three partitions that ended the existence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by 1795. Growth in the Russian Empire's power, threatening the Kingdom of Prussia and the...


Industry came to Buchach around the end of the 19th century. Among the small-scale industries there included a brickwork, and candle and soap factory, (modern) flour mills, a textile plant, and a necktie factory. The town also boasted a brewery and a winery. The largest factory was established early in the 1900s, when the Hilfesverein concern of Vienna set up a plant for the manufacture of wooden toys in Buchach employing some 200 workers, mainly young girls. In 1912 the Stanislaviv-based Savings and Credit Union
Credit union
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by its members and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to its members...

 opened a branch in Buchach, and this served as a bank for local industrialists and business.

Jews were predominant in certain artisan occupations in Buchach, notably tailoring, furriers, tin-smithing, book publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

, and waggoneering. Jews were also active in carpentry and cabinet making
Cabinet making
Cabinet making is the practice of using various woodworking skills to create cabinets, shelving and furniture.Cabinet making involves techniques such as creating appropriate joints, dados, bevels, chamfers and shelving systems, the use of finishing tools such as routers to create decorative...

. From the late 19th century local Jews began to enter the free professions. By 1910 there were 14 Jewish lawyers and four medical doctors
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 belonging to the Association of Zionist Professionals, and this reportedly represented about half the total number of Jewish professionals in Buchach. An association of accountants was formed in 1905 with 40 members.

Buchach remained a part of Austria and its successor states until the end of the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1918. The town was briefly a part of the independent West Ukrainian People's Republic before it was captured by the Republic of Poland in 1920.

In World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Eastern Galicia, including Buchach, was annexed by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or in short, the Ukrainian SSR was a sovereign Soviet Socialist state and one of the fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union lasting from its inception in 1922 to the breakup in 1991...

 (see Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

). In 1941, it was invaded by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

; the town's Jewish community was almost completely obliterated during the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

. The town was returned to the Soviet Union after the war, during which time its Polish community was ethnically cleansed
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Buchach became a part of newly independent Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...


Famous natives

  • Shmuel Yosef Agnon
    Shmuel Yosef Agnon
    Shmuel Yosef Agnon , was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. In Hebrew, he is known by the acronym Shai Agnon . In English, his works are published under the name S. Y. Agnon.Agnon was born in Galicia, Austro-Hungarian Empire...

     (1888-1970), Nobel Prize-winning author
  • Simon Wiesenthal
    Simon Wiesenthal
    Simon Wiesenthal KBE was an Austrian Holocaust survivor who became famous after World War II for his work as a Nazi hunter....

  • Emanuel Ringelblum
    Emanuel Ringelblum
    Emanuel Ringelblum was a Polish-Jewish historian, politician and social worker, known for his Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto, Notes on the Refugees in Zbąszyn chronicling the deportation of Jews from the town of Zbąszyń, and the so-called Ringelblum's Archives of the Warsaw Ghetto.-Before the war:He...

  • Alicia Appleman-Jurman
    Alicia Appleman-Jurman
    Alicia Appleman-Jurman is a Polish-American memoirist and has spoken out about her experiences of the Holocaust in her autobiography, Alicia: My Story....

  • Abraham David ben Asher Anshel Buczacz
    Abraham David ben Asher Anshel Buczacz
    Abraham David ben Asher Anshel Wahrman , was a Galician Talmudist....

  • Mina Rosner
    Mina Rosner
    Mina Rosner was a native of Buchach, Ukraine, who survived The Holocaust by hiding with a Polish family. After the war, she moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with her husband, Michael Rosner. She recorded her war-time experiences in her book I am a Witness...

Twin towns — Sister cities

Buchach is currently twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Złotoryja, Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

External links

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