Ivano-Frankivsk lies in the
Precarpathian plain where fast waters of the Nadvirnianska Bystrytsia and Solotvynska
Bystrytsia join together. Ivano-Frankivsk is the regional center and one of the largest
economic and cultural centers in the west of Ukraine.
The first mention of the city named Stanyslaviv refers to 1662
when the city received a Magdeburg right. The city was founded as a fortress to protect
people from Crimean Tatars’ raids and a stronghold of the Pototskyis – Polish
landlords on Halych lands. Many times the fortress was besieged by Turkish and Russian
Stanyslaviv was originated from the Market square and City Hall,
which can be seen today having been modified. The Reneissanse architectural ideas of
"the ideal city" were reflected in the construction that followed. These ideas
were used for planning a middle part of the city, its streets and churches. Because of the
originality the of architecture sometimes our city is called "small Lviv".
In 18-19 centuries the city was a big trading and manufacturing
center of Poland and from 1772 – of Austria (since 1867 – of Austro-Hungarian Empire).
Except Ukrainians, a certain contribution in development of crafts and culture was made by
Polish, Jews and Armenians whose national communities were quite numerous.
In 1848 the revolution woke public life. In Stanislav there was
created "Rus Rada" (alongside with Polish). They organized a squadron of
National Guards and started printing the first newspaper. Ukrainian deputies were elected
to the newly established Parliament.
The second half of the 19th century is marked by fast
development of industrial relations and creating enterprises. The railway built in 1866
made some impact, too. At that time the locomotive repair factory, distillery, leather
plant "Plai" were established.
In 1884 a prominent public character and writer N. Kobrynska
conducted constituent assembly of the "Rus Woman Society" (later called
"Ukrainian Woman Society"). This initiated the organized woman movement in
During the World War in 1915-1916 there were cruel battles over
the city. Part of historic buildings was destroyed and then restored in new architectural
In 1918 after break-up of Austro-Hungarian Empire there was
created the West Ukrainian People’s Republic.
Stanyslaviv was the capital of the Republic in January-May 1919.
Such prominent public figures as M. Hrushevskyi, V. Vynnychenko, S. Petliura, Y.
Konovalets used to come here at that time.
During the World War II the city was occupied by fascist troops
for three years (1941-1944). The underground representatives of the Organization of
Ukrainian Nationalists – Ukrainian Insurgent Army were in charge of the struggle with
occupants. The hearts of people are still aching when they recall the public execution of
27 patriots in the center of the city in November 1943. In Stanyslaviv and its suburbs
fascists killed more than 100 thousand peaceful people in total.
In 1962 the city celebrated its 300-anniversary. It was renamed
after a famous writer and public figure Ivan Franko who would come here more than once,
made good friends, wrote and recited his works.
The inhabitants of Ivano-Frankivsk and Halychyna gladly accepted
democratic changes in 90’s and became a driving force of all the events. The blue and
yellow national flags were already raised over the city in 1990 and during the referendum
in 1991, people voted for independence of Ukraine.
Every year in August they celebrate a City Day with concerts of
folklore and art ensembles. The Christmas parade of verteps (Christmas plays) from January
1 to January 14 on the streets and squares of the city is a spectacular sight. Also
Ivano-Frankivsk is famous for its all-Ukrainian festival of art ensembles
"Precarpathian Spring" (in May every year), festival of a national and patriotic
song and poetry "Volia" (Freedom) (in October odd years).
Ivano-Frankivsk is a large center of mechanical engineering,
wood-processing, chemical and light industry. The Precarpathian
University named after V. Stefanyk, the Ivano-Frankivsk State Technical University of
Oil and Gas, the Medical Academy, the Spiritual Institute of the Greek-Catholic Church
train their students to become skilled specialists. There is bus and railway communication
with Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Romania and Baltic countries. Planes come and go
to Manchester (Great Britain), Moscow (Russia).
Ivano-Frankivsk has a population of 240 thousand people.