Jarosław

Name in English: 
Yaroslav
Name in Ukrainian: 
Yaroslav
Name in Polish: 
Jarosław
Name in German: 
Jaroslau
Name in Yiddish: 
יאַרעסלאָוו‎ (Yareslov)
Historical-cultural region: 
Western Galicia
Administrative District : 
Subcarpathian Voivodeship
Population Data: 

Year

General Population

Jewish Population

1872

(?)

 More Than 4500

1880

11422

4474

1890

18065

4820

1900

22660

5705

1910

23965

6154

1921

19973

6577

1931

22195

6272

 

Jarosław is located on the western bank of the San River, one of the tributaries of the Vistula River, on the road between Lvov and Krakow, about 100 km. west of Lvov and 25 km. north of Przemyśl. We do not have exact information about the year in which the city was founded, but its name would appear to be connected to that of the Russian prince Yaroslav “the Wise” (1019-1054). During the 12th and 13th centuries the Russians and the Poles fought for control of the Przemyśl region, a struggle that concluded in 1340 following the conquests of the Polish king Kazimierz III the Great, who bestowed local city rights on Jarosław, and even annexed further territories to it. Between the years 1372 and 1378 the city was granted Magdeburg city rights, which greatly aided its development. During the 15th-16th centuries, the city suffered from invasions of the Vlachs and the Tatars, and in 1502 the city was almost completely destroyed. Despite this, Jarosław very quickly became an economic center, with the large trade fairs held in the city attracting merchants from many different countries, from Spain in the west to Persia in the east. The city’s geographical location, on a central thoroughfare and on the banks of the San, effected the passage of merchandise through the city. Barge construction businesses developed in the city for the transportations of merchandise and produce to the fairs in Danzig (Gdańsk), as well as businesses for the import of merchandise from Danzig. At the beginning of the 17th century, the city had approximately 3,000 inhabitants, but during city fairs about 30,000 merchants would converge there. This fact contributed to the continued economic flourishing of the city until the second half of the 17th century, despite many disasters the city sustained throughout the century: A number of fires that destroyed significant amounts of property and killed many people, and epidemics that took many lives. In 1631 there were around 11, or perhaps even 20 professional unions in about 24 different fields, and many artisanal workshops. Alongside this, however, beginning in the second half of the 17th century, Cossack attacks on the city and invasions by the Swedes and Hungarians inflicted significant damage on the city and led to a continuous decline in its economic standing.

The Austrian conquest of Galicia in 1772 was injurious to Jarosław, which was cut off from its commercial ties with the western regions of Poland, which were transferred into Prussian hands. As a result, merchants began leaving the city. At the beginning of the 19th century, however, came a turning point in the city’s history, with its designation as a free city and the district capital. During this period, the footwear industry developed in the city, and in a census from 1881 about 400 shoemakers and 300 suppliers of the industry were counted. In addition, from 1867 to the outbreak of the First World War, the city was a site of consistent, significant infrastructural work: Among other projects, yards and streets were straightened out, and in 1900 gas lighting was installed throughout the city. The train track built to connect Krakow and Przemyśl passed through Jarosław.

With the outbreak of the war, the San became a battlefront between the Austrian and Russian armies, and the city passed back and forth twice between the combatant sides. These transfers of power obviously had a ruinous effects on the remaining population of the city, and brought about much destruction.