Ternopil (Ukrainian: Тернопіль, translit. Ternopil',
pronounced [tɛrˈnɔpilʲ]; Polish: Tarnopol; Russian:
Тернополь, translit. Ternopol'; German: Tarnopol;
translit. Ternepal/Tarnap'l; Hebrew: טארנופול
(טַרְנוֹפּוֹל), translit. Tar'nopol) is a city in
western Ukraine, located on the banks of the Seret River. Until 1944,
it was known mostly as Tarnopol, and its Ruthenian (Ukrainian) name
was rarely used.
Ternopil is one of the major cities of Western
Ukraine and the historical regions of Galicia and Podolia. It is
Ternopil Airport. The population of
Ternopil is 217 800
1 Administrative status
2.1 20th Century
2.2 Invasion of Poland
2.3 Jewish Ternopil
2.3.1 The Holocaust
6 Notable residents
7 International relations
7.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
8 See also
9 References and notes
10 External links
The city is the administrative center of the
Ternopil Oblast (region),
as well as of the surrounding
Ternopil Raion (district) within the
Ternopil is a city of regional significance, thus
being subject directly to the oblast authorities rather than to the
raion administration which is housed in the city as well.
City's first church, Exaltation of Cross Church
The city was founded in 1540 by Polish commander and
Hetman Jan Amor
Tarnowski, as a military stronghold and castle. On 15 April
King of Poland
King of Poland Sigismund I in
Cracow handed Tarnowski
a permission for the establishment of Tarnopol settlement, in the
vicinity of Sopilcze (Sopilche). Its Polish name "Tarnopol" means
"Tarnowski's city" and stems from a combination of the founder's
surname and Greek term "polis". The Ukrainian name "Ternopil" is
explained as derived from a field covered with thorns (Ukrainian:
терен поле, translit. teren opil, lit. 'thorn
In 1544 the
Tarnopol Castle was completed and repelled the first Tatar
attacks. On 20 January 1548 Tarnopol was granted legal rights by the
King of Poland
King of Poland
Sigismund I the Old
Sigismund I the Old which allowed the town to hold
three fairs annually, and the weekly trades on Mondays. Tarnopol
received Magdeburg city rights two years later from Jan Tarnowski,
regulating the duties of town residents. In 1548 the King of Poland
also gave permission to create a pond near the Tarnopol suburb of
Kutkovets. In 1549 the city managed to survive a Tatar siege by
efforts of the Polish Duchess Eudokia Czartoryska (see House of
Czartoryski). After the death of the Crown
Hetman in 1561, Tarnopol
became the property of his son Jan Krzysztof Tarnowski, who died
childless in 1567. Since 1567 the city was owned by the daughter of
Zofia Tarnowska who was married to Konstanty Wasyl
Ostrogski. In 1570 after her death while giving a birth, Tarnopol
was passed to the Ostrogski family. In 1575 it was plundered by the
Tatars. In 1623 the city passed to the Zamoyski family. In 1589
Tarnopol was visited by the Austrian diplomat Erich Lassota von
Steblau (de) who also mentioned the city's castle.
Ternopil Castle rebuilt in the 19th century as a palace
In the 17th century the town was burned down in the Khmelnytsky
Uprising when most of its Jewish residents were chased out or killed.
Tarnopol was almost completely destroyed by Turkish forces of Ibrahim
Shishman Pasha in 1675 and rebuilt by Aleksander Koniecpolski but did
not recover its previous glory until it passed to Marie Casimire, the
wife of king
John III Sobieski
John III Sobieski in 1690. The city was later sacked for
the last time by
Tatars in 1694, and twice by
Russians in the course
Great Northern War
Great Northern War in 1710 and the War of the Polish Succession
in 1733. In 1747
Józef Potocki invited the Dominicanes and founded
the beautiful late-baroque Dominican Church (today the Cathedral of
the Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary of the
Zboriv eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church). The
city was looted during the
Confederation of Bar
Confederation of Bar (1768–1772) by the
confederates, the king's army, and by the Russians. In 1770 it was
devastated by an outbreak of smallpox.
In 1772, after the First Partition of Poland, the city came under
Austrian rule. In 1809, after the War of the Fifth Coalition, the city
came under Russian rule, incorporated into the newly created Ternopol
krai. In 1815 the city (then with 11,000 residents) returned to
Austrian rule in accordance with the Congress of Vienna. In 1820
Jesuits expelled from Polatsk by the
Russians established a gymnasium
in Tarnopol. In 1843 the last city's owner Jerzy Michal of Turkul sold
the city to its residents for 175,000 florins. In 1870 a rail line
Ternopil with Lviv, accelerating the city's growth. At that
time Tarnopol had a population of about 25,000.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary
(former Dominican Church)
The region was part of Habsburg Galicia and was an ethnic mix of
mainly Roman Catholic Poles, Greek Catholic Ruthenians, and Jews.
Intermarriage between Poles and Ruthenians was common. Church of St.
Mary of the Perpetual Assistance was consecrated in 1908 with its main
tower reaching 62 m (203 ft). In 1954 the church was
blown up by Communist authorities and in its place was built the
city's central supermarket. During
World War I
World War I the city passed from
German and Austrian forces to
Russia several times. In 1917 the city
and its castle were burnt down by fleeing Russian forces. After the
dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the city was proclaimed as
part of the West
Ukrainian People's Republic
Ukrainian People's Republic on 11 November 1918.
After Polish forces captured
Lwów during the Polish-Ukrainian War,
Tarnopol became the country's temporary capital (22 November to 30
December 1918). After the act of union between the West Ukrainian
Republic and the
Ukrainian People's Republic
Ukrainian People's Republic (UPR), Ternopol formally
passed under the UPR's control. On 15 July 1919 the city was
captured by Polish forces. In 1920 the exiled Ukrainian government
of Symon Petlura accepted Polish control of Tarnopol and of the entire
area after receiving the assurance of Józef Piłsudski, the
Lithuanian born Field Marshal of the Polish Army, that there would be
no peace with the
Russians without creating a Ukrainian state. In July
and August 1920 the
Red Army captured Tarnopol in the course of the
Polish-Soviet War. The city then served as the capital of the Galician
Soviet Socialist Republic. Although the Poles and their Ukrainian
allies badly defeated the
Russians on the battle field and the
Russians had offered to cede
Ukraine and Belarus, Polish politicians
Warsaw refused to honor Piłsudski's promise. By the terms of the
Riga treaty, the Soviets and Poles effectively partitioned Ukraine.
For the next 19 years, the ethnically mixed Ternopol area remained in
From 1922 to September 1939, Tarnopol served as the capital of the
Tarnopol Voivodeship that consisted of 17 powiats. According to the
Polish census of 1931, individuals speaking Ukrainian/Ruthenian
accounted for 46% of the Tarnopol Voivodeship, while Polish speaking
population consisted of 49%. The city itself consisted of 77.7%
Poles, 14.0% Jewish and 8.05% Ukrainian/Ruthenian population. After
World War II, Communist Party historians reported that Edward Szturm
de Sztrem, the pre-war chairman of the Polish census statistical
office, admitted that the census returns, particularly those from the
south-east, had been altered at the executive level. Another
account stated that he admitted "that officials had been directed to
undercount minorities, especially those in the eastern provinces".
Invasion of Poland
At the onset of World War II, the
Soviet invasion of Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland began on
September 17, 1939. The
Red Army entered eastern
Poland in furtherance
of the secret
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and contrary to the
Soviet–Polish Non-Aggression Pact. Tarnopol was captured, renamed
Ternopol, and incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist
Republic under Ternopol Oblast. The Soviets made it their first
priority to decimate Polish intelligentsia and destroy Polish culture.
Ukrainian nationalist leaders were imprisoned. Mass arrests, torture
and executions of Ukrainians and Poles followed. The Soviets also
carried out mass deportations of the "enemies of the working class" to
Kazakhstan. In practice, this translated into members of the former
state administration, police, border service and land and business
On 2 July 1941, the city was occupied by the Nazis who led the Jewish
pogrom, and continued exterminating the population by creating the
Tarnopol Ghetto. Thousands of Jews were murdered at the Belzec
extermination camp. Many Ukrainians were sent as forced labour to
Germany. In the years 1942–1943, the Polish
Armia Krajowa was active
opposing Nazi rule and defending ethnic Poles from violence from
Ukrainian Nationalists. During the Soviet offensive in March and April
1944, the city was encircled. In March 1944, the city was declared a
fortified place (Gates to the Reich) by Adolf Hitler, to be
defended until the last round was fired. The stiff German
resistance caused extensive use of heavy artillery by the
Red Army on
March 7–8, resulting in the complete destruction of the city and
killing of nearly all German occupants (55 survivors out of 4,500).
Unlike many other occasions, where the Germans had practised a
scorched earth policy during their withdrawal from territories of the
Soviet Union, the devastation was caused directly by the
hostilities. Finally Ternopol was occupied by the
Red Army on 15
April 1944. After the second Soviet occupation, 85% of the city's
living quarters were destroyed. Due to heavy destruction, the
regional seat was moved to Chortkiv.
Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, the ethnic Polish population of
Tarnopol and its region was forcibly deported to postwar
settled in, and near
Wrocław (among other locations), as part of
Stalinist ethnic cleansing in the Soviet Ukraine. In the following
decades, Ternopol was rebuilt in a typical Soviet style and only a few
buildings were reconstructed.
Euromaidan in Ternopil
Ternopil has been a part of sovereign
Ukraine since August, 24 1991.
Polish Jews settled in
Ternopil beginning at its founding and soon
formed a majority of the population. During the 16th and 17th
centuries there were 300 Jewish families in the city. The Great
Ternopil was built in Gothic Survival style between 1622
and 1628. Among the towns destroyed by
Bohdan Khmelnytsky during
his march from
Zolochiv through Galicia was Tarnopol, the large Jewish
population of which carried on an extensive trade. Shortly afterward,
however, when the
Cossacks had been subdued by John III of Poland, the
town began to prosper anew, and its
Jewish population exceeded all
After the first partition of Poland,
Ternopil came under Austrian
Joseph Perl was able to continue his efforts
to improve the condition of the Jews, which he had begun under the
Russian rule. In 1813 he established a Jewish school which had as its
chief object the instruction of Jewish youth in German as well as in
Hebrew and in various other subjects. Controversy between the
traditional Hasidim and the modernising Maskilim which this school
caused, resulted four years later in a victory for the latter,
whereupon the institution received official recognition and was placed
under communal control. Starting in 1863, the school policy was
gradually modified by Polish influences, and very little attention was
given to instruction in German. The Tempel für Geregelten
Gottesdienst, opened by
Perl in 1819, also caused dissensions within
the community, and its rabbi, Samuel Judah Löb Rapoport, was forced
to withdraw. This dispute also was eventually settled in favour of the
Maskilim. As of 1905, the Jewish community numbered 14,000 in a total
population of 30,415. Jews took control of the active import/export
Russia conducted through the border city of Pidvolochysk.
Tarnopol Synagogue prior to destruction during World War II
In 1941, soon after the German attack on the Soviet positions in
eastern Poland, 2,000 Jews were killed in a pogrom.
In September 1941, the Germans announced the creation of the Tarnopol
Ghetto for Jews still remaining in the city. In the winter of
1941–42, mortality in the ghetto escalated to such a degree that the
Judenrat was forced to bury the dead in a common grave. Between August
1942 to June 1943 there were 5 "selections" that depleted the Jewish
population of the ghetto by sending the Jews to Belzec extermination
camp. A few hundred Jews from Tarnopol and its vicinity attempted to
survive by hiding within the town limits. Many were denounced to the
Germans, including some 200 people shortly before the Soviets
liberated the area. A number of Jews survived by hiding with the
Poles. A monument in memory of the Holocaust victims was built at
Petrikovsky Yar in 1996. On September 19, 2012 the monument was
desecrated, in what seems to be an anti-Semitic act.
Ternopil has a moderate continental climate with cold winters and warm
Climate data for
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days
Average relative humidity (%)
Ternopil National Economic University
Ternopil Ivan Pul'uj National Technical University
Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatyuk National Pedagogical University
Ternopil State Medical University
On 31 December 2013, the 11th
Artillery Brigade, descendant of
artillery units that had been based in the city since 1949, was
Ternopil regional council
Old architecture in Ternopil
Central public library
Motor ship "The Hero Tantsorow" on the
Ostrozky foundation building
Stepan Bandera monument
Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, Polish philosopher and logician
Aleksander Brückner, Polish academician, Slavist
Natalia Buchynska, singer
Mykola Chubatyi, historian of Ukrainian Church
Mike Mazurki, American professional athlete and actor 196 cm (6 ft
5 in) in height
Kazimierz Michałowski, Polish archaeologist, Egyptologist, art
Joseph Perl, Jewish writer
Rudolf Pöch, Austrian anthropologist pioneering in cinematography and
Solomon Judah Loeb Rapoport, Rabbi
Karol Rathaus, Polish-Austrian-American modernist composer
Jan Tarnowski, Polish nobleman, founder of
Ternopil (as Tarnopol)
Casimir Zeglen, Polish-American engineer, founder of commercial
bulletproof vest in 1890s
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Ukraine
Twin towns – Sister cities
Ternopil is twinned with:
Penza in Russia
Sliven in Bulgaria
Yonkers in US (since 1991)
Poland (since 1992)
Chorzów in Poland
Radom in Poland
Tarnów in Poland
Batumi in Georgia
Ternopil Regional Art Museum
Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Ternopil
References and notes
^ (in Ukrainian) Мер Тернополя продає
побачення з собою,
Ukrayinska Pravda (28 December 2011)
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Snitovsky, O.
Five centuries of Ternopil. The city of
Hetman Jan and mason
Leontiy[permanent dead link]. Ukrinform. 28 August 2015
^ a b Olszański, Tadeusz A. (2013). "Kresy Zachodnie. Miejsce Galicji
Wschodniej i Wołynia w państwie ukraińskim" (PDF). Prace OSW (in
Polish) (43). Centre for Eastern Studies: 25–26.
^ Karpluk, Maria (1993). Mowa naszych przodków: podstawowe
wiadomości z historii języka polskiego do końca XVIII w (in
Polish). TMJP. p. 46.
^ a b The Jewish and German population accepted the new Ukrainian
state, but the Poles started the military campaign against the
Ukrainian authority. [...]. On November 11, 1918 following bloody
fighting, the Polish forces captured Lwów. The government of the WUPR
moved to Ternopol and from the end of December the Council and the
Government of the WUPR were located in Ivano-Frankivsk.
(in Ukrainian) West
Ukrainian People's Republic
Ukrainian People's Republic in the "Dovidnyk z
istoriï Ukraïny" (A hand-book on the History of Ukraine), 3-Volumes,
Kyiv, 1993–1999, ISBN 5-7707-5190-8 (t. 1),
ISBN 5-7707-8552-7 (t. 2), ISBN 966-504-237-8 (t. 3).
^ "Główny Urząd Statystyczny Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, drugi
powszechny spis ludności z dn. 9.XII 1931 r. - Mieszkania i
gospodarstwa dome ludność, Wojewodztwo Tarnopolskie" [Central
Statistical Office the Polish Republic, the second census dated 9.XII
1931 - Abodes and household populace, Voivodeship Tarnopol] (PDF,
direct download, table: page 30) (in Polish). Central Statistical
office of the Polish Republic. 1938.
^ Joseph Marcus (1983). Social and Political History of the Jews in
Poland, 1919-1939. Walter de Gruyter. p. 17.
ISBN 978-90-279-3239-6. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
^ Richard Blanke (1993). Orphans of Versailles: The Germans in Western
Poland, 1918-1939. University Press of Kentucky. p. 95.
ISBN 0-8131-3041-7. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
^ a b c d Robert Kuwałek, Eugeniusz Riadczenko, Adam Dylewski,
Justyna Filochowska, Michał Czajka (2015). "Tarnopol". Historia -
Społeczność żydowska przed 1989 (in Polish). Virtual Shtetl
(Wirtualny Sztetl). pp. 3–4 of 5. Retrieved 31 July
2015. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
^ Frieser, Karl-Heinz; Schmider, Klaus; Schönherr, Klaus; Schreiber,
Gerhard; Ungváry, Kristián; Wegner, Bernd (2007). Die Ostfront
1943/44 – Der Krieg im Osten und an den Nebenfronten [The Eastern
Front 1943–1944: The War in the East and on the Neighbouring
Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg
Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg [
Germany and the
Second World War] (in German). VIII. München: Deutsche
Verlags-Anstalt. ISBN 978-3-421-06235-2.
^ Włodzimierz Borodziej; Ingo Eser; Stanisław Jankowiak; Jerzy
Kochanowski; Claudia Kraft; Witold Stankowski; Katrin Steffen (1999).
Stanisław Ciesielski, ed. Przesiedlenie ludności polskiej z Kresów
Wschodnich do Polski 1944–1947 [Resettlement of Poles from Kresy
1944–1947] (in Polish). Warsaw: Neriton. pp. 29, 50, 468.
^ Sergey R. Kravtsov, "Gothic Survival in Synagogue Architecture of
Podolia and Volhynia in the 17th–18th Centuries,"
Architectura. Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Baukunst/ Journal of the
History of Architecture, vol. 1 (2005), 70.
^ "Tarnopol Historical Background". Yad Vashem. Retrieved 9 March
^ a b В Тернополе осквернили памятник
жертвам Холокоста (in Russian).
Евроазиатский Еврейский Конгресс.
2012-09-25. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
Ukraine Climate Data". Climatebase. Retrieved January 21,
^ "Влада Тернополя наполягає на
відновленні військових частин на
Західній Україні" [
Ternopil authorities insist on
restoration of military units in western Ukraine]. Ukrainian
Independent Information Agency (in Ukrainian). 16 April 2014. Archived
from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
^ Yaroslav Padokh,Chubaty, Mykola in the Internet Encyclopedia of
^ wrestler, football and basketball
^ Hodara, Susan (October 26, 2008). "Communities; Cities Find Sisters
Abroad". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
Elbląg – Podstrony / Miasta partnerskie". Elbląski Dziennik
Internetowy (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2011-03-15.
Elbląg – Miasta partnerskie". Elbląg.net (in Polish). Retrieved
Radom – Miasta partnerskie" [
Radom – Partnership cities].
City of Radom] (in Polish). Archived from the original
on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
Radom – miasta partnerskie" (in Polish). radom.naszestrony.pl.
Archived from the original on 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
^ "Miasta Partnerskie". Retrieved 1 May 2014.
Batumi – Twin Towns & Sister Cities".
Archived from the original on 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
A. Bresler, Joseph Perl, Warsaw, 1879, passim;
Allg. Zeit. des Jud.
Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1839, iii. 606;
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906).
"Tranopol". Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls
J. H. Gurland, Le-Ḳarot ha-Gezerot, p. 22, Odessa, 1892;
Orgelbrandt, in Encyklopedia Powszechna, xiv. 409;
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ternopil.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ternopil.
Look up ternopil in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Volodymyr Kubijovyč, Roman Mykolaievych,
Ternopil in the Encyclopedia
of Ukraine, updated in 2012.
(in Ukrainian)(in English)
Website about Ternopil
Historical footage of war damages at
Ternopil (1917), filmportal.de
Administrative divisions of
Administrative center: Ternopil
Administrative divisions of Ukraine
Cities with special status
1Claimed and controlled by
Russia as the
Republic of Crimea
Republic of Crimea and the
City of Sevastopol
Historical Capitals of Rus', Ukrainian states and states on Ukrainian
Medieval Ukrainian states
Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia
Grand Duchy of Rus'
Ukrainian states after
Russian Empire and
before Ukrainian SSR
West Ukrainian People's Republic
Ukrainian People's Republic
* Ukrainian Soviet Republic
Ukrainian SSR (since 1917),
Ukraine (since 1991)
Ukrainian SSR (part of the
SU 1922-91), Ukraine
Kiev (since 1934)
1Meaning (Cossack) states on the territory of current Ukraine
Ukraine (including Crimea) by population
City with special status
City of regional significance
City of district significance
Crimea is the subject of a territorial dispute between Ukraine
(Autonomous Republic of Crimea) and
Russia (Republic of Crimea)