Zhovkva main market square
|o Total||7.64 km2 (2.95 sq mi)|
|o Density||1,742/km2 (4,510/sq mi)|
|Area code(s)||+380 3252|
|Sister cities||Kra?nik, Poland|
Zhovkva (Ukrainian: ['u?kw?]; Polish: ?ó?kiew; Yiddish: , romanized: Zolkva; Russian: ?, 1951-1992: Nesterov) is a city in Lviv Oblast (region) of western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of Zhovkva Raion (district). Its population is approximately .
A village named Winniki was mentioned at the site in 1368 and was part of the Kingdom of Poland under the Piast dynasty. The town was founded in 1597 as a private fortified town and named ?ó?kiew after its founder, one of the most accomplished military commanders in Polish history, hetman Stanis?aw ?ó?kiewski. Like Zamo, which was founded by ?ó?kiewski's mentor Jan Zamoyski, ?ó?kiew was built on an ideal Renaissance city plan. Due to its strategic location at the intersection of important trade routes, the town prospered. In 1603 it was granted town rights by King Sigismund III Vasa. From its earliest days, the population was a mix of Poles, Armenians, Ukrainians and Jews.
In the 17th century, it became the royal residence for King John III Sobieski of Poland, and a hub of religious life, arts and commerce. In 1676, King of France, Louis XIV, visited ?ó?kiew and awarded the Polish King with the Order of the Holy Spirit. The city was the site of celebrations after the victorious Battle of Vienna of 1683, and in 1684 the Polish King was awarded there with papal gifts, sent by Pope Innocent XI.
As a private town of Poland, ?ó?kiew was the property of the ?ó?kiewski, Dani?owicz, Sobieski and Radziwi families. During this period, most of the city's landmarks were built, including the Zhovkva Castle and St. Lawrence's Church, both founded by Stanis?aw ?ó?kiewski, the Dominican church, founded by Teofila Sobieska, a fortress-like synagogue, co-financed by King John III Sobieski, and the foundations of the king's sons: the Saint Lazarus church founded by prince James Louis Sobieski and the Holy Trinity Church, founded by prince Konstanty W?adys?aw Sobieski.
From the First Partition of Poland in 1772 until 1918, the town (named ?ó?kiew) was part of the Austrian monarchy (Austrian part of Austro-Hungary after the compromise of 1867), head of the district with the same name, one of the 78 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Austrian Galicia province (Crown land) in 1900.
The West Ukrainian People's Republic, established on November 1, 1918, included the whole Zhovkva povit (county). The town came under Polish control in May 1919, seven months after the re-establishment of independent Poland, confirmed by the Paris Peace Conference in June 1919 and the Peace of Riga in 1921. It was a county (powiat) seat located in the Lwów Voivodeship. In the interwar period the 6th Cavalry Regiment of the Polish Army, named after hetman Stanis?aw ?ó?kiewski, was stationed in the town.
In 1939, following the Soviet invasion of Poland, ?ó?kiew, together with the rest of Poland's Kresy Wschodnie, was occupied by the Soviet Union until 1941. The Soviets destroyed the statue of King John III Sobieski, located in front of the town hall and the statue of the city founder hetman Stanis?aw ?ó?kiewski, located in the park. In June 1941, the Soviets executed 34 people, Ukrainians and Poles, in a prison organized in the former ?ó?kiewski castle, as part of the NKVD prisoner massacres. A few people managed to escape the massacre, including a German prisoner of war.
From 1941 to 1944 it was occupied by Germany. Few Jews survived the Holocaust out of the 4,500 who lived in the city before World War II, accounting for nearly half of its population. In 1942, Germans deported 3,200 Jews to the Belzec extermination camp. Many others were killed by Germans in the vicinity of the city, and the rest were taken to the Janowska concentration camp. The synagogue was blown up by the Nazis in 1941, leaving only the outside walls. In 2000, the building was declared one of the world's most endangered sites by the World Monuments Fund. A restoration campaign began in 2001, supported by WMF's Jewish Heritage Program and other sources, which is ongoing.
From July 1944 it was occupied by the Soviets again and in 1945 it was annexed by the Soviet Union. It became a part of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1944. As a result of the actions of both the Ukrainian nationalists of the UPA and the Soviets, almost all Poles left the city in 1944-1946. In 1951 the town was renamed Nesterov after the World War I aviator Pyotr Nesterov who became the first to perform aerial ramming in the history of aviation near Zhovkva in 1914. The name Zhovkva, which is the Ukrainian version of the historic Polish name, was restored in 1992, after Ukraine became independent of the Soviet Union.
The Collegiate Church of St. Lawrence, a domed church from the 17th century founded by Stanis?aw ?ó?kiewski and built by a group of Italian architects, was turned into a warehouse under Soviet rule. After Ukraine declared independence in the early 1990s, the church was restored. The church contains the sarcophagus of the city's founder Stanis?aw ?ó?kiewski.
The town center of Zhovkva was declared a heritage site in 1994, and restoration work is now under way.Zhovkva Castle, the town's oldest and largest building, former residence of hetman Stanis?aw ?ó?kiewski and King John III Sobieski, is being converted into a culture and conference hall.
The wooden Holy Trinity Church built in 1720 by Polish prince Konstanty W?adys?aw Sobieski, was listed in 2013 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, as a part of the composite site Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine.
Relics of Saint Parthenius, 3rd-century Christian martyr from Rome were moved to Zhovkva in 1784. They are kept at the local Church of Holy Heart of Jesus, run by Ukrainian Greek-Catholic monks of the Basilian order.
In 2017 Zhovkva became the first city of Ukraine that did not use gas in central heating system.
European Union financed Zhovkva project. It allowed to fully eliminate gas and use wood instead.