Buczacz

 

In 1515 it was given the Magdeburg Right and an emblem - a family sign of Potocki "Pilawa". Azure field there was an argent five-pointed cross.

 

The emblem of the Polish (1920 - 1939) period was "Pilawa" a azure field there was an argent five-pointed cross.

Town History

Buczacz was founded at the end of the 17th century, but before it became a town it was a village known for its fortress and palace, which was built in a characteristic medieval style. The village of Buczazc was part of the aristocratic Buczaczki family's estates. The Buczaczki family, whose coat of arms was "Abdank", excelled in defending Poland's Eastern Borders and spreading Catholicism and western culture in those areas. The earliest records concerning this aristocratic family which built the palace and the fortress go back to 1260 and 1379. One of the noblemen of the Buczaczki domain, the governor of Halicz, Michael of Buczacz, received from Wladyslaw by way of tenancy the village of Zloczow. Rent was 100 grzibni and the only condition was that he live there on a permanent basis.

After some time Michael handed over the Zloczow village to the Sjonski family, which founded the town of Zloczow there in 1441.

The last member of the Buzcazcki family was Katerina, the daughter of Jacob. Jacob, who died in 1501, was a governor in Belorussia. Katerina handed over the estate as a dowry to her husband, Jan Taburowski, as well as the Filaba coat of arms; the Taburowskis accepted the family name of Buczaczki. At the beginning of the 17
th century the Buczacz family estates fell into the hands of the castellan from Kamienets, Jan Potocki, who married the daughter of Mikolai. Katerinas brother Jan Krzystof Buczaczki, who was known for his fierce struggle against the Calvinists, died leaving no heirs. From that time on the Buczaczki estates were in the hands of the Potocki family, who further developed the estate and perfected the fortress. The one who particularly enlarged the city was the voivode from Bratslaw, Stefan Potocki, who also broadened and perfected the palace and fortress.


Buczacz was handed down from one noble family to the other via commercial transactions, marital relations and inheritance. However, the constitutional basis for the town remained unchanged during these transitional periods. In the middle of the 17
th century the Cossacks raided Buczacz (the calamities of 1648). The town suffered a great deal during the Tatar wars (1655-1667), and the Turkish wars (1672-1675), when Sultan Muhamed the 4th put Buczacz under a long siege after conquering Kameniecs-Podolski. In Buczacz in 1672, under the great linden tree behind the palace, the Sultan dictated severe surrender and peace terms to King Michael Wisniowiski. Poland was forced to relinquish Podolia and the Ukraine to the Turks and was committed to pay an annual tax.

These are the memories of a trawler through the town;
“Buczacz is a large and amusing town spread over mountains and a valley with a lake to the West. The town is surrounded by a wall, its houses are well built. It has three Catholic churches and a Ukrainian monastery. The Armenians also have a church, and the Jews have a synagogue. The castle is made of stone, as are its fortresses. It lies on the top of the mountain where the Stripa River, originating from the village of Zlotnik which is 6 miles away, flows at its sides. The town of Buczacz is the estate of Lord Potocki. At the beginning of the raid, the Cossacks and the Moscals set fire to the whole town, which has now been rebuilt."

In 1675, when the Turks attacked the town, the aristocracy and townspeople fled to the fortress. The town was burnt to the ground. Those in the fortress defended themselves gallantly, maintaining their resistance until the relieving army arrived under the command of Jan III Sobieski.

The town's relief did not last long. A year later in 1676, the Turks lead by Ibrahim Shaytan invaded Zhorbano. Buczacz was again conquered and completely ruined. Jan Sobieski succeeded in defeating the Turks near Zhorbano and dictated the Zhorbano peace terms, according to which Turkey was compelled to return two thirds of the Ukraine. All annual tax payments were cancelled and the issue concerning the return of Podolia was postponed for future negotiation.

When the war ended Jan Potocki rebuilt the town. In 1684 Buczacz was a town built of large high-storied houses. The castle and fortress were also completely rebuilt.

The official documents concerning the community's privileges that were destroyed during the catastrophic years were renewed by Stefan Potocki on 20th May and they are a virtual carbon copy of the privileges that were given years before to the towns of Czortkow and Stanislawow, also by the Potockis. Actually they are no more than a confirmation of the rights given in the past.

In 1772 with the first Partition of Poland, Buczacz was annexed to the Austrio-Hungarian Empire and its fate was that of all the communities in Galicia. In the first division Buczacz belonged to the Zaleszczyki district and later to the Stanislawow district.

 Buczacz and it's Treasures - in Polish

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© Copyright; Paul Havers