Zloczow, a county seat in Galicia, situated between 49 degrees 47' - 49 degrees 50’ north longitude and 42°32’- 42° 37’ east latitude from Ferro [24 degrees 54’ as measured from Greenwich]. Horodylow and Jelechowice are to the north, Zazule to the northeast, Bieniow and Strutyn to the east, Woroniaki to the south, and Jasieniowce and Chylczyce to the west. The river Zloczowka flows through the northeastern part of the area. The town and the suburbs of Glinianskie, Szlaki, Podwojcie, Lwowskie and Brodzkie lie in its valley. The valley of the Zloczowka, elevation 262 meters above sea level, is open toward the southeast and northwest and is surrounded by hills, spurs of the Woroniaki range. The highest peaks reach an elevation of 414 meters. The town, along with Zarzecze, Woroniaki, Zazule and Folwarki, comprise a cadastral district [gmina]. The major estate has 330 morgs of farmland, 119 of meadows and gardens, 83 of pastures, and 2,920 of forests; the minor estate has 4,096 morgs of farmland, 1,435 of meadows and gardens, 971 of pastures, and 477 of forests.
In 1890 there were 866 houses and 10,113 residents in the district (2,190 Roman Catholics, 2,826 Greek Catholics, 5,086 Jews, and 11 of other denominations; 7,254 Poles, 2,633 Ruthenians, and 199 Germans). There is a Roman Catholic parish in the town, belonging to Zloczow deanery of Lwow archdiocese. The parish was founded in 1624 by Jakub Sobieski, the starosta of Krasnystaw. The following villages belonged to it: Bieniow, Boniszyn, Chylczyce, Folwarki, Horodylow, Jasieniowce, Jelechowice, Iwaczow, Kniaze, Luka, Podlipce, Pluhow, Strutyn, Troscianiec, Woroniaki, Zalesie, Zarwanica, Zarzecze, and Zazule. The present parish church, of the Assumption of Our Lady, consecrated in 1839, used to belong to the Piarists. After the order was disbanded in 1788, the monastery buildings were seized as property of the state, and the church was turned into a warehouse. When the former parish church was turned into a Greek Catholic church, the parish was moved to the former Piarist church. The bell was moved from the old church to the new one and placed in the bell tower; a memorial to the Sobieskis, the bell had been cast in 1693 in Gdansk and was paid for by King Jan III Sobieski (see Sokalski, Geographical-Statistical Sketch of the Zloczow School District, p. 207). The following parishes belong to the Zloczow Latin-rite deanery: Bialykamien, Gologory, Jezierna, Pomorzany, Sassow, Zborow, and the Olejow chaplaincy.
There is also a Greek Catholic parish church in the town, of Zloczow deanery; it was also endowed by the Sobieski family. Belonging to it are Folwarki, Woroniaki, Zarzecze and Zazule. Up until 1838, the present Church of the Resurrection, built in the Renaissance style, was the Latin-rite parish church; its construction was begun in 1604 by Marek Sobieski, the voivode of Lublin and grandfather of Jan III. When, at the request of the Greek Catholic inhabitants of Zloczow, who had only the small church of St. Mikolaj, the Austrian government turned over the dilapidated former Piarist church to them, there was a voluntary exchange between the parishioners of the two rites. The Latin-rite parish church was given to the Greek Catholics to be their church, and the old Piarist church was given a new roof, renovated, and turned into the new Roman Catholic parish. The Greek Catholic Church of St. Mikolaj [Nicholas] is probably one of the oldest buildings in Zloczow (see Sokalski, loc. cit, p. 209). These parishes belong to the Greek Catholic deanery of Zloczow: Belzec, Bobutyn, Bobszczany, Hodow, Jasieniowce, Kalne, Kniaze, Koropiec, Lackie Wielkie, Machnowce, Plesniany, Pluhow, Poczapy, Podlipce, Pomorzany, Remizowce, Rozhadow, Rykow, Scianka, Skwarzawa, Slawna, Snowicz, Strutyn, Troscianie Maly, Urlow, Zukow, and Zulice. Zloczow also has a Basilian monastery, founded by Jan Sobieski in 1665. It is located in the suburb of Lwowskie. The small brick church with a zinc roof was built not long ago to replace a small wooden one. (Szematyzm czyna sw. Wasylia Welykoho w Halyczyni, [Inventory of the Order of St. Vasyli the Great in Galicia], Lwow, 1867, p. 15).
Zloczow is the seat of the starosta's jurisdiction and site of the district, county, and municipal delegate courts of law; the main tax office; postal and telegraph offices; the district education council; the county council; the police station, a unit of the Treasury guard, the command of the 80th Infantry Regiment and of the defense command of the military police, the valuation committee, and the district office. As regards educational institutions, Zloczow has a gimnazjum [high school] founded in 1873 by the district as a lower gimnazjum and elevated to a higher one in 1881. On September 1, 1892, the school came under government funding. Courses are conducted in Polish. In 1896, 293 pupils attended the school.
Additionally, there is a 6-class boys' school, a 5-class girls' school, and a Jewish elementary school funded by Baron Hirsch. All the schools conduct courses in Polish. The boys' school dates back to 1789. It began as a 3-class school with one teacher in what had been a monastery before the Reformation. It was established by the district office in Zloczow, and its first patron was Prince Radziwill was the first patron, followed by Princess Sapiezyna. In 1790, when the district administration office was moved from Brody to Zloczow, the school was transformed into the chief Royal and Imperial school of the district, and in 1800 it was moved to a separate structure built for that purpose. Until 1849 classes were held in German, but after that Polish was used, and the study of the Ruthenian language was compulsory. In 1865 the school became the property of the local district council.
The girls’ school has existed since 1853 and is presently housed in a building that used to belong to the Piarists.
Among other facilities worth noting, there is the general hospital founded in 1847; the invalids' shelter set up in 1663 by Jan Sobieski for 12 patients; 3 credit institutions; a mutual credit society for business and trade; branches of various societies, namely pedagogical, Rodzina, agricultural circles, and Proswita. Trade and industry are not very well developed. At one time the local forests provided an abundance of wood, and the Zloczow ponds provided fish. Today, there is no wood for export, and the ponds have been replaced with fields and meadows. Since 1882, Zuckerhandel and son have been running a printing house, which publishes, among other things, books for children and youth.
Zloczow existed as a village as early as the first half of the 15th century. In a document dated 23 August 1442, Wladyslaw Warnenczyk bequeathed 200 grzywnas to Jerzy Strumilo of Dymoszyn for the village of Zloczow (A. G. i Z., vol. 7, p. 83). In 1443 the King secured for Michal of Buczacz 100 grzywnas for the royal village of Zloczow in the district of Lwow (Kod. dypl. pol., vol. I, page 327). The village belonged to the Oleski estate, which Wladyslaw Warnenczyk gave to Jan of Sienna. On 8 April 1469 in Lwow the district judge Piotr z Branic, along with subaltern judge Jan z Wysokiego, in response to the charge of Lwow prosecutor Mikolaj Grzymala, took from Katarzyna, wife of Andrzej of Sienna, and Elzbieta, full sisters from Gologory, the right to collect duties in the village of Zloczow (loc. cit., vol. 6, p. 127). In Wilno on 17 June 1522 Zygmunt I ordered Stanislaw of Chodziecz, marshal and starosta of Lwow, to occupy the estate of the excommunicated heir to Zloczow, Stanislaw Malogoski (Arch. krajowe we Lwowie, C., vol. 12, p. 595).
In 1523, Zygmunt I, due to the efforts of Stanislaw Sieninski, the lord of Zloczow at that time, bestowed a municipal charter under Magdeburg law upon the settlement (the original charter is in the Zloczow town hall). In a document issued on 3 August 1528, Bernard, Archibishop of Lwow, ordered the pastors of Gologory, Zloczow and Pomarzany to call upon Stanislaw Sienienski of Zloczow to banish from his house Dorota of Sandomierz, with whom he was living in adultery. If he did not comply within 6 days he was to be excommunicated (_loc. cit._, C., vol. 13, p. 840). On 10 September 1528 in Dunajow the same archbishop ordered the same pastors to have Stanislaw Zloczowski excommunicated from their parishes. On 10 October 1428 he ordered them to expel him again, and again on 2 November. In a document dated 15 December 1530 the same archbishop instructed the same pastors to remind Stanislaw Zloczowski (Sienienski) to pay the prescribed levy within a week, or else he would be excommunicated (loc. cit., p. 844). In 1532 Stanislaw Sieninski sold the town of Zloczow with its stronghold (cum fortalitio) and several villages to Jedrzej Gorka, the castellan of Poznan (Balinski, Star. Polska, Vol. II, page 590). By a charter dated 1537 Jedrzej Gorka exempted the town of Zloczow from various levies in view of the impoverishment of the inhabitants due to repeated attacks of the enemy (the original document is in the Zloczow town hall).
The Gorka family fortified the castle, improved the town's defenses, and brought many Armenians in to settle there, for whom Lukasz z Gorki, the voivode of Leczyca, acquired funds from Zygmunt August for a church. It was built where the courthouse stands today. The Armenians carried on a sizable trade in white sturgeon and pork fat, and planted large orchards amid the forests (Sokalski, loc. cit., page 213). In 1553, at the request of Lukasz, the starosta of Busk, and Jedrzej and Stanislaw Gorka, lords of the town, Zygmunt August established a fair on the feast of the Three Kings (Balinski, loc. cit.).
Marek Sobieski, the voivode of Lublin and grandfather of King Jan Sobieski, obtained the Zloczow estates from the Gorka family. He began his administration of the newly acquired estate by issuing a separate charter, written at the castle of Zloczow in 1599, by which he confirmed all grants and exemptions given the city by his predecessors (the original document is in the town hall). Marek's son Jakub, upon taking over the estate, added greatly to its improvement. He confirmed his father's 1599 charter, finished construction on the church (which had already begun) in 1604, and endowed the Latin-rite parish in 1624. That same year his first wife Maryanna, princess Wisnowiecka, died in Zloczow. He married again, to Teofila nee Danilowicz, and resided sometimes at the Zloczow castle, where his first son Marek came into the world, as did as his two daughters later, Zofia and Katarzyna. In 1634 Jakub Sobieski transformed the Zloczow castle into a small citadel with four stone bastions. He also probably established and endowed the monastery of the Order of the Reformation, the buildings of which house the army today. The Zloczow estate then came into the hands of Jan Sobieski, who frequently stayed there and founded camps there as well; in his numerous charters (preserved in the town hall) he showed his concern for the good of the town. First and foremost he confirmed the charter his grandfather had issued in 1599.
In 1672, after having captured Kamieniec, the Turks, along with the Khan and Cossacks, set off for Lwow, capturing and burning Zloczow on the way. Immediately after his election in 1674, Jan III was encamped at Zloczow, and after holding a council of war, he decided to postpone his coronation and set off for Ukraine. In 1675, 10,000 Tartars, under the command of Adzigirej, approached Zloczow, where the Ruthenian voivode Stanislaw Jablonowski, with a small handful of men, forced the enemy to retreat. That same year, in a charter issued at the Zloczow castle on 15 August, the king confirmed all the liberties granted the city by Wladyslaw IV in 1633 and the Magdeburg town charter granted by Zygmunt I. At that time the castle fortifications were strengthened and the town's walls improved, and it served as a place for keeping Turkish and Tartar prisoners of war. In 1682, with the King’s permission, work began on the construction of the Greek Catholic Church of the Resurrection, of which not a trace remains today. In 1691 a fire destroyed the whole town.
After the death of Jan III, the king's son, Jakub, lived for a while in Zloczow. He, too, confirmed the charters given by the king, increased the grants to the Armenian Church and shelter for the poor, and circa 1730 founded the Pijarist College. After his death in 1737, the remaining properties were passed on to his daughter, Maria Karolina de Bouillon. She in turn sold everything (in the form of a donation) to Prince Michal Kazimierz Radziwill, the grandson of Katarzyna Sobieska, Jan´s sister. When he took over the estate in 1744, he confirmed all previous grants from the time of the Gorkas in a charter issued in Krzemieniec. But all the hereditary property which Karol Radziwill owned as of 1772 was so heavily in debt that bankruptcy was unavoidable. It forced the Radziwills out in 1789; Zloczow came under the ownership of Princess Sapieha.
After the Austrian army occupied Zloczow in 1772, the municipal charter under terms of Magdeburg law ceased to be valid. The monastery of the Order of the Reformation and the College of the Piarists (where Onufry Kopczynski taught from 1760 on) were abolished, and the monastery churches were turned into warehouses. The town fell into total disrepair. A fire in 1797 completed the devastation. It was not until 1848 that the town began to rise from the ashes. Lukasz Komarnicki, appellate councilor in Lwow, bought Zloczow in 1802, and it remained in the Komanicki family until 1868 (Sokalski, loc. cit., page 213 and following). Komarnicki was a nobleman of the proud and rebellious type. After having repaired the castle to some extent, he had a marble plaque placed on one of the outer walls with the inscription "Joannes III rex fundavit. Comes Komarnicki restauravit" [King Jan III founded it. Count Komarnicki restored it]. The castle came to be owned by Jews. In 1873, when the walls were beginning to be torn down, president Pozniak convinced the government to let him restore it; he bought the property, renovated it and turned it into a prison and site of offices of courts of law.
The ancient castle has been preserved to this day more or less in its entirety. It is located in the southeastern part of the city, on a sizable elevation. In form it is an elongated quadrilateral, surrounded by high ramparts, and the escarpment exterior is faced with ashlar. A 5-sided ashlar-faced bastion projects from each corner, at the pinnacle of which there is a 6-sided lookout tower. On each is a stone plate with a shield divided into four fields, in which appear the coats of arms Janina, Gozdawa, Rawicz, and Herburt, and on the sides are the letters J.S.K.K.S.K., which stand for "Jakub Sobieski, krajczy koronny, starosta krasnostawski" [Jakub Sobieski, Crown Trencher-Knight, Starosta of Krasnystaw]. The bastions and rampart walls connecting them are surrounded by a deep ditch, for the most part still visible today. The entrance gate is on the north side, in a two-story building, between the two bastions on that side. It is architecturally bordered, with a barrel-like cupola, with vestiges of a drawbridge. The inscription "Sub tuum presidium" [under your protection] appears on the lintel. Within a fairly sizable courtyard, at the western rampart wall, there is a one-story building, long, narrow, made of brick, used formerly for living quarters. Today it is a prison. Beside it to the south is an 8-sided building with the Janina coat of arms, apparently either the chapel or castle arsenal. There are underground prison cells in the ramparts. Today, the castle is the property of the government and houses the court and prisons (Czolowski, "Dawne zamki i twierdze na Rusi halickiej" in Teka konsweratorska, Lwow, 1892, pages 127 and 128).
Literature and drawings, besides those cited in the article: Rozmaitosci (Lwow, 1827, page 418; 1830, page 411). -- Miscellen (Lemberg, 1823, No. 23). -- Galicya w obrazach (Lwow, ed. Piller, fascicle 7). Kalendarz Stanislawowski, 1848. -- Przyjaciel ludu, 1844 (vol. I, page 132). -- Tygodnik ilustr. (from 1862, vol. VI, page 237, and from 1871, No. 199). -- Literaturnyi sbornik (Lwow, 1870, page 31). -- Collection of the drawings of Pawlikowski (No. 5625-2628).
Source: Slownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1895, vol. 14, pp.628-631]