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Buchach

First written reference to Buchach dates from the 12 th century. The city concealed itself from the winds and the enemies in a deep canyon over the Strypa River. In 1515 the town obtained Magdeburg rights. Gothic capitals have been discovered under the foundation of the local fortress.

Starting in 1379 it was persistently rebuilt and fortified by lords Buchack, Tvorovski, Holski, Potocki. In 1672 the castle withstood the Turkish onslaught. When the enemy army approached the walls, Teresa Potocki, in the absence of her husband, commanded the defense. She rejected the sultan’s demand to surrender, and added that a victory over a woman would not bring him great glory. In 1676 another attempt of the Turks under the command of Ibrahim Shishman proved more successful. In 1687 Jan III Sobieski started rebuilding of the fortress again. In the 18 th century, when a threat of Tatar and Turkish onslaughts disappeared, the fortress lost its defensive function, declined, and was dismantled for building material. Today it is just picturesque ruins.

The Town Hall is a major architectural memorial of Buchacha. Today it is also only 35 meters of ruins and despair. In 1750-51, on demand of the Kaniv headman Mykola Potocki, the architect B.Meretin designed a structure with a two-tier tower. The outstanding master Johann George Pintzel completed the architectural miracle by adding fourteen original sculptures. In 1865 the town hall suffered from fire.”David Killing Goliath,””Themis,””Herades and his Labors”- today we can only guess what is what among the nine surviving sculptures.

Beside the town hall there is the rococo Roman Catholic Assumption Church (1761-1763). This is yet another foundation of the famous M. Potocki, which is evinced by an interesting inscription at the entrance. In Soviet times the temple was used as a boiler-house. Walking around the church you will see a pipe that remained from that time. As of today the temple has been restored, but, unfortunately, only a few authentic fragments have been preserved in the interior. On the slope of “Fedir” mountain (A.Mickiewicz St.) is situated the Monastery of Basilian Fathers and the Church of the Holy Cross. The Basilians came to the city on invitation of the Potockies in 1712, and in 1753, owing to M. Potocki’s efforts, they completed the building of the monastery premises. The architect G.Gofman designed the church. Within the monastery there was a boarding school and theological seminary. In 1944 the monastery and the institutions in its territory were liquidated, but in 1991 they resumed their activity. The Church of St. Nicholas (1610) was founded by Stefan and Maria Potocki. It had a defensive purpose, and its iconostasis is considered among outstanding works of Galician art, on a par with the iconostasis of Bohorodchany and Zhovkvy.

The inhabitants and guests of Buchach who cross the Stripa River every day have no idea that under to the treaty signed in 1672 the center of town was a fronĀ­tier between Rzeczpospolita and the Ottoman Empire for eleven years.

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