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My native town – Kolomiya

My native town – Kolomiya
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My native town – Kolomiya

Kolomyia (Ukrainian: Коломия, Polish: Koіomyja, Russian: Коломыя) is a town and a raion (district) centre in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast (province) in Ukraine, at the Prut River. It is located at 48° 31? 50? N, 025° 02? 25? E, almost halfways between Lviv and Chernivtsi, in the centre of the historical region of Pokuttya, with which it shared much of its history.
The town has circa 68.000 inhabitants (as of 1993). It is a notable railroad hub, as well as an industrial centre (textiles, shoes, metallurgical plant, machine works, wood and paper industry). It is also one of centres of Hutsul culture.
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. In 1340 it was annexed to Poland by king Casimir the Great, together with the rest of the region of Red Ruthenia. In 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 parochies 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 Valachia Alexander. Although the city remained under Polish sovereignity, the income of the customs offices in the area was given to Vallachians, 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 for a limited self-governance. This moved made the development of the area faster and Koіomyja, as it was called back 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 with yet another privilege which allowed the burghers to trade with salt, one of the most precious minerals of the Middle Ages.
Since the castle gradually fell into dismay, 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 with 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 additional boost, especially that 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 last century. However, the vacuum after the decline of the Golden Horde started to be filled with 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 hommage to the Polish king, thus becoming a vassal of the Polish Crown. For the ceremony, both monarch came with roughly 20 thousand of knights, which was probably the biggest festivity held in the town - ever. After the festivity most knights returned home apart from 3000 under Jan Karnkowski, who were given to the Moldavian prince as support in his battles 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. In the effect of border skirmishes, as well as natural disasters, the town was struck by fires in 1502, 1505, 1513 and 1520. In 1530 one of Stefan's successors, Єtefгniюг, invaded Poland. Most of Pokucie was captured and looted, including Koіomyja.

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