Drohobych (Дрогóбич; Cities' alternative names) is a city located at the confluence of the Tysmenytsia River and Seret, a tributary of the former, in the Lviv Oblast (province), in western Ukraine. The current estimated population is around 77,049 (as of 2005).
Serving as the administrative center of the Drohobytskyi Raion (district), Drohobych itself is a city of oblast subordinance, thus being subject directly to the oblast authorities rather to the raion administration housed in the city itself.
Drohobych probably existed in the Kievan Rus' period while there are only legendary accounts of that. According to one legend there was a settlement, called Bych, of the salt-traders. When Bych was destroyed in the Cumans raid, the survivors rebuilt the settlement at the nearby location under the current name which means the Second or Another Bych. In the time of the 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 of Kievan Rus.
The city was first mentioned in 1387 in the municipal records of Lvov in connection with some Martin (or Marcin) of Drohobych. Also, the chronicler's "List of all Ruthenian cities, the further and the near ones" in Voskresensky Chronicle (dated 1377–1382) mentions "Другабець" (Drugabets') among other cities in Volhynia that existed at the time such as Холмъ (Cholm), Лвовъ Великій (Lvov the Great) In 1392 Jogaila ordered a construction of the first Latin Catholic cathedral (Kosciół farny) using the foundations of old Ruthenian buildings that existed prior to that. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the city was the center of large rural starostvo (county at Ruthenian Voivodeship). Drohobych received the Magdeburg rights some time in the 15th century (sources differ as to an exact year and some give 1422, 1460, or 1496 but in 1506 the right were confirmed by the king Alexander the Jagiellonian). In the 14th–16th centuries the city was a home of significant salt industry. From the early-17th century, the 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 Uniates and the Jews, were murdered at the time, while some managed to survive in the Bell tower not taken in the raid.
Following World War I, the area became part of Second Polish Republic and was located in the Lwow Voivodeship. In 1928 the Ukrainian private gymnasium opened in the center of the city and is currently operational. In late 1920s town's population was some 40 000 and its oil refinery was one of the biggest in Europe, employing 800 people. Numerous visitors came there to see beautiful 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 Ukraine Drohobych became a center of the Drohobych Oblast (province). 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 a site of the large ghetto which the Nazis liquidated in June 1943. On August 6, 1944, Drohobych was liberated from the Nazi occupation by the forces of the Red Army. Following the war, the city remained an oblast center until the Drohobych Oblast was into 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.
The population of Drohobych throughout the years was:
In 1869, of the town's 16,880 inhabitants 28.7% were Ukrainian, 23.2% were Polish or Roman Catholic, and 47.7% were Jewish; in 1939, when the population was 34,600, the respective figures were 26.3%, 33.2%, and 39.9%. By 1959 Ukrainians constituted 70% of the town's population, Russians 22%, Poles 3%, and Jews 2%.
In 1931, the total population of the Drohobych district was 194,456, distributed among different languages:
In January 2007, the total population of the metropolitan area was over 103,000 inhabitants.
|City||Country||Year of Signing|
|Buffalo, New York||United States|
|Muscatine, Iowa||United States|