Kolomyia (or better, to suit the Ukrainian spelling, Kolomyya, Ukrainian: Коломия, Polish: Koіomyja, Russian: Коломыя, German: Kolomea, Romanian: Colomeea) is a city located on the Prut River in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast (province), in western Ukraine. Serving as the administrative center of the Kolomyisky Raion (district), the city is also designated as a separate raion within the oblast. The city rests approximately halfway between Lviv and Chernivtsi, in the center of the historical region of Pokuttya, with which it shares much of its history.
The current estimated population was around 68,000 inhabitants as of 1993.
The city is a notable railroad hub, as well as an industrial center (textiles, shoes, metallurgical plant, machine works, wood and paper industry). It is a center of Hutsul culture.Contents [hide]
Under Kievan Rus' and the principality of Halych-Volhynia (1241-1340)
The settlement of Kolomyia was first mentioned in 1241, during the Mongol invasion of Rus. Initially part of Kievan Rus', it later belonged to one of its successor states, the principality of Halych-Volhynia.
Under Poland (1340-1498)
In 1340 it was annexed to Poland by King Casimir III, together with the rest of the region of Red Ruthenia. In a short time the settlement became one of the most notable centres of commerce in the area. Because of that, the population rose rapidly.
Prior to 1353 there were two parishes in the settlement, one for Catholics and the other for Orthodox. In 1412 King Wіadysіaw Jagieііo erected a Dominican order monastery and a stone-built church there. About the same time, the king was forced by the war with the Teutonic Order to pawn the area of Pokucie to the hospodar of Moldavia, Alexander. Although the city remained under Polish sovereignty, the income of the customs offices in the area was given to the Moldavians, after which time the debt was repaid.
In 1424 the town's city rights were confirmed and it was granted with the Magdeburg Law, which allowed the burghers limited self-governance. This move made the development of the area faster and Koіomyja, as it was called then, attracted many settlers from many parts of Europe. Apart from the local Ruthenians and Poles, many Armenians, Jews, and Hungarians settled there. In 1443, a year before his death, King Wladislaus II of Poland granted the city yet another privilege which allowed the burghers to trade salt, one of the most precious minerals of the Middle Ages.
Since the castle gradually fell into disarray, in 1448 King Casimir IV of Poland gave the castle on the hill above the town to Maria, widow of Eliah, voivod of Moldavia as a dowry. In exchange, she refurbished the castle and reinforced it. In 1456 the town was granted yet another privilege. This time the king allowed the town authorities to stop all merchants passing by the town, and force them to sell their goods at the local market. This gave the town an additional boost, especially as the region was one of three salt-producing areas in Poland (the other two being Wieliczka and Bochnia), both not far from Krakуw.
The area was relatively peaceful for the next century. However, the vacuum after the decline of the Golden Horde started to be filled by yet another power in the area: the Ottoman Empire. In 1485 Sultan Beyazid II captured Belgorod and Kilia, two ports at the northern shores of the Black Sea. This became a direct threat to Moldavia. In search of allies, its ruler Єtefan cel Mare came to Koіomyja and paid homage to the Polish king, thus becoming a vassal of the Polish Crown. For the ceremony, both monarchs came with roughly 20,000 knights, which was probably the biggest festivity ever held in the town. After the festivity most knights returned home, apart from 3,000 under Jan Karnkowski, who were given to the Moldavian prince as support in his battles, which he won in the end.
However, with the death of Stefan of Moldova, the neighbouring state started to experience both internal and external pressure from the Turks.