Stryi (Ukrainian: Стрий, Polish: Stryj) is a city located on the left bank of the river Stryi in the Lviv Oblast (province) of western Ukraine (in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains). Serving as the administrative center of the Stryiskyi Raion (district), the city itself is also designated as a separate raion within the oblast. Stryi is supposedly the first place to bear the blue over yellow Ukrainian National Flag when it was hoisted on the flagpole of the Town Hall.
Most likely the city got its name from the name of the river Stryi, one of the tributaries of Dniester. Obviously, the name of the river is older than the city that was founded later.
Stryi, as a name of river is a very old name and means "stream". Its etymology stems from an Indo-European root *sreu. Words that have the same root can be found in modern Ukrainian - струм, струя, Polish - struga, strumien, Irish (Celtic) - sruami, German - stromm, Persian - struth (river), Hindu - sravati (to flow), Latvian - straume, Lithuanian - sriatas, strautas (stream, the thing that flows) and several other languages.
In different times the name was written differently, although it has always sounded the same. In various old documents we can find such names: Stryg, Stry, Stryj, Stryjn, Stryjia, Strig, Strigenses, Stryi, Strey, Striig, Strya, Sthryensis, Sthrya, Stryei, Stri. The inhabitants take pride in the fact that the city has managed to keep its original name over time.
Stryi was mentioned for the first time in 1385 (see: Red Ruthenia). In 1431 it was given the Magdeburg Rights, and it was located in the Ruthenian Voivodeship, which from the XIV century until 1772 was a part of Poland.
Its geographical location had a positive influence on its development and growth. The town became a flourishing trade center from the 15th to 16th century due to support from the Polish king Jan III Sobieski, but declined in the 17th century, after numerous wars fought by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
There was a big castle in the city that was demolished in the 19th century. In 1886, a large fire burned almost the entire city to the ground. In 1915 a bloody World War I battle took place in the Carpathian Mountains, around the peak of Zwinin (992 metres above sea level), a few kilometres south of Stryi in which some 33,000 Russian soldiers died.
Stryi passed to Austria in 1772 (see: Partitions of Poland), to Poland in 1919, and to the Soviet Union (Ukrainian SSR) in 1939 (see: Polish September Campaign). In interbellum Poland, it was the capital of the Stryj County (area 2081 km²., pop. 152600) of the Stanisławów Voivodeship. According to the Polish census of 1931 its' population consisted of 35.6% Jews, 34.5% Poles, 28% Ukrainians and 1,6% Germans. The Nazis exterminated many of the Jews and sent almost all of the remaining Jews to concentration/work camps. During the Cold War it was home to Stryy air base.
Recent history On April 9, 2009 the city's counsil decided to remove a Soviet-era statue to the Red Army soldier and move it to a museum of Soviet totalitarianism, saying the statue had no historical or cultural value. The next day Lyubov Sliska, deputy speaker of Russia`s lower house of parliament, said such decisions could only be made by a "criminal regime."
People born in Stryi who are famous: - Louis Begley (born 1933), American novelist, - Jan Kociniak, popular Polish actor, - Józef Koffler (1896–1941), Polish composer, - Józef Kustroń (1892-1939), General of the Polish Army, - Kornel Makuszynski, Polish writer, - Kazimierz Nowak (1897–1937), Polish traveller, - Julian Stryjkowski, Polish writer, - Zygmunt Szendzielarz, one of commandants of the Home Army, - Mendel Wolf Hacker Diesendruck (1902-1974), Rabbi, - Tea Weintraub Sternklar (1904-1997), Artist.
Ukraine (Ukrainian: Україна, transliterated: Ukrayina) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east; Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova to the southwest; and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south. The city of Kiev (Kyiv) is both the capital and the largest city of Ukraine.