Ancient Ukrainian Town of Mariyampil
The ground on which the town of Mariyampil is built is believed to have been inhabited since the Paleolithic era. Located on the left bank of the scenic Dniester River, with rolling green hills as far as the eye can see, it is easy to understand why this beautiful part of Ukraine was chosen for a settlement. The settlement remained inhabited throughout the era of the Kingdom of Galicia (1199-1349), but was later destroyed, with the existing town of Mariyampil being built in 1691.
According to archeological evidence, the town was initially built during the rule of the Ruthenian Kingdom. With its strategic placement on a high bend in the Dniester river, the town had the advantage of a good view of the surrounding countryside, adding to their safety. Visitors to the town today will appreciate the beauty of the surrounding landscape from that elevated vantage point. Historical records about the early years of the settlement are scarce, but it is known that the town was ruined during a Tatar raid in the 15th century.
Located in the Halych Raion of the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, the town of Mariyampil was given its name by Stanisław Jan Jabłonowski, the hetman of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, who received the ruined town from the Polish king in 1691. He built a fort on the bend of the river and brought the venerated icon, Our Lady of the Knight, that had accompanied him on his military campaigns, to the town. Currently more commonly known as Mariyampil, the town has had a variety of names based on the Christian name Mary, including Marinopol, Marijampol, Marynopil, Mariyampol and Mar’yampol.
Under the rule of Jabłonowski, and later his son, the town flourished, and in 1703 designed its own crest as the town’s official seal. Emphasizing the importance of the icon Jabłonowski had brought to the town many years before, the crest depicted Mary lamenting over the crucified body of Christ. Initially a wooden church of the Holy Trinity was built by Jabłonowski’s son, with his grandson later building a stone church and a Capuchin monastery. To this day religious monuments are among the town’s most prominent landmarks. Visitors to the town can view the 18th century former Capuchin monastery, the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the ruins of the 17th century castle and fortress, and a fresh spring believed to have miraculous healing powers.