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Rawa Ruska

Rava-Ruska (Ukrainian: Рава-Руська, translit. Rava-Rus'ka; Russian: Рава-Русская, translit. Rava-Russkaya; Polish: Rawa Ruska; Yiddish: ראווע, Rave) is a city in the Lviv Oblast of western Ukraine.

It is located near the border with Poland, opposite the town of Hrebenne. It is located in the Zhovkva Raion (district) at around 50°15′0″N 23°37′0″E / 50.25000°N 23.61667°E / 50.25000; 23.61667. The current estimated population is 8,100 (as of 2001).


Rawa was founded in 1455 by the Duke of Belz and Mazovia, Wladyslaw I plocki, who named it after his seat, Rawa Mazowiecka. Due to a convenient location along a merchant trail from Lublin to Lwow, the newly located town quicky developed. For centuries, Rawa, part of the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was in private hands of several szlachta families, such as the Glogowski, Suchodolski, Rzeczycki and Bogusz. In 1622, the town received permission of the King of Poland to organize fairs. In 1672, a skirmish between Polish and Crimean Tatar forces took place here, in which Polish unit under Atanazy Miaczynski freed hundreds of captured peasants. In 1698, Rawa was the site of a meeting between Peter the Great and Augustus the Strong, which led to the Treaty of Preobrazhenskoye in 1699.

From the first partition of Poland in 1772 until 1918, the town was part of the Austrian monarchy (Austria side after the compromise of 1867), head of the RAWA RUSKA district, one of the 78 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Austrian Galicia province (Crown land) in 1900.[1] In 1880, its population was 10,500, with 37% Jews, 35% Poles, 20% Germans and 7% Ukrainians.

In 1857, Rawa received a rail connection with Jaroslaw, and next year, the railroad reached Sokal. In the early 20th century, Rawa developed into a rail junction, with a connection to Lwow, and Rejowiec, built in 1915. In the Second Polish Republic, the line from to Rejowiec was of main importance, as it connected two main cities of Poland, Warsaw and Lwow. Due to the rail lines, Rawa prospered, and several businesses operated in the town. In 1918 - 1939, Rawa was the seat of a county in Lwow Voivodeship. In 1924, a Belgian company opened here a factory of railroad ties. Furthermore, in the interbellum period Rawa was home of Main School of the Border Guard, which was moved here in 1928 from Gora Kalwaria. The school had a department of training of guard dogs, also located in Rawa Ruska.

In 1921, the population of the town was app. 9,000, with 42% Poles, 42% Jews and 14% Ukrainians. By 1938, the population jumped to 12,000. On September 14, 1939, during the Invasion of Poland, Rawa Ruska was captured by the Wehrmacht, but German troops left the town in late September, and Rawa was occupied by the Soviet Union. After World War Two, Polish community of Rawa was forced to abandon the town and move to the Recoverred Territories. Nevertheless, Rava remains one of centers of Polish minority of Ukraine, with local office of the Association of Polish Culture of the Lviv Land operating here.

Points of interest

  • parish church of St. Joseph, built in 1700 - 1776 upon initiative of Castellan of Belz Andrzej Rzeczycki. In the Soviet Union the church served as a warehouse,
  • Franciscan Abbey of Archangel Michael, founded in 1725 by Starosta of Belz Grzegorz Rzeczycki and Jozef Glogowski. The complex of the abbey and the church was completed in 1737 by architect Pawel Fontana, and was one of the most interesting sights of the town. In the Soviet Union, the complex was turned into a warehouse serving the local collective farm.

Notable people

  • Maurice Abraham Cohen, Educator and linguist

Rava is the birthplace of Polish Army general Oswald Frank (born 1887), Polish historian and diplomat Olgierd Gorka (born 1887), Polish poet Michal Dadlez (born 1895), and Polish composer Edward Olearczyk (born 1915).


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