Dobromyl Territorial Community
The Dobromyl Urban Territorial Community is located in the territory of the Sambir District in the Lviv Region; its boundaries constitute the state border of Ukraine with the Republic of Poland. The total length of the state border in the Dobromyl Community is 27 km.
The total area of the territory: 299.3 square kilometres.
Population: 20,050 residents (as of 01 January 2021).
Men: 6,370 residents
Women: 8,213 residents
Children: 2,464 residents
Pensioners: 3,003 residents
Internally displaced persons: about 370 people
The Community consists of one settlement, thirty-five villages, with the administrative centre in the town of Dobromyl.
The outskirts of Dobromyl were inhabited in the ancient times. Numerous archaeological findings found in the neighbouring villages indicate that people lived in the Vyrva basin (local river) as early as in the Eneolithic period.
Dobromyl was first mentioned in 1374.
Around 1450, Mykola Herburt built a wooden castle on the Blind Mountain near Dobromyl, which burned down in 1497 due to a Tatar attack.
An important milestone in history was 1566, when Dobromyl received Magdeburg rights. At the same time, the town was exempted from town tax for fifteen years.
On the Blind Mountain, Herbert built a stone and brick fortress.
The main source of wealth for Dobromyl and the surrounding villages were salt mines and salt works. Merchants from Hungary and Silesia came there to buy salt and cloth, paying taxes on commercial transactions to the Herburts.
In the first third of the 19th century, the town hall was built, but the exact date of its construction is unknown. The building has survived to this day and is used for its intended purpose, but it needs reconstruction. The clock on the town hall is special. It was made in 1890 by a Viennese master, and even despite its respectable age – 130 years – the local residents still check time against it.
The laying of cobblestones on Rynok Square is interesting. Flat river stones were placed on the rib. They say that this technique was used nowhere else in Europe.
In 1871, a railway track was laid through Dobromyl, which contributed to the development of local trade and crafts.
After the First World War, the inspired work on the renewed land was interrupted by the aggression of fascist Germany. On 23 June 1941, fascist troops invaded the town, and the tragic days of occupation began.
Lysa Mountain is situated on the northern side of the town; the Salina area is located behind this Mountain and is known primarily as the site of the tragedy that happened in 1941 (the officers of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the USSR threw more than 3,500 innocent people, living and dead, into the salt mines). Before that, salt had been mined there since the 15th century. After the war, the salt mines were closed. Instead, a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients worked there from 1954 to the mid-1980s.
The monastery of Saint Onuphrii the Great is located in the territory of the community. The monastery bell tower in the Baroque style (1751) is an architectural landmark of national importance. The first written mention dates back to 1613.
Economy and Welfare
The economy of the Dobromyl Community is mainly based on agricultural production represented by more than a dozen farms specializing in the cultivation of grains, vegetables, horticulture and berry growing.
The community has a good geopolitical position. It can also be explained by the work in the neighbouring territorial communities of a road crossing point across the state border (Smilnytsia – Kroscienko) and a road and pedestrian crossing (Shehyni – Medyka), as well as the Nyzhankovychi (Ukraine) – Malhowice (Poland) road crossing point, the construction of which is still in progress.
Industrial production is represented by Ukrlisholding, a joint Ukrainian-Chinese enterprise, which specializes in the production of veneer, a workshop of a sewing factory, a company producing wooden furniture, an enterprise producing briquettes, etc.
Small businesses focus on trade and intermediary operations, small narrow-profile production, public administration, education, health care, and personal farming.
In total, sixty-three legal entities (mainly agricultural, commercial, service) and one hundred and twenty-tow individual entrepreneurs (trade and commercial activities) operate in the territory of the community.
Eleven secondary education institutions, four preschool institutions, the Dobromyl Art School, the Nyzhankovychi Vocational Lyceum, thirty-four community centres and twenty-eight libraries function in the Dobromyl Urban Territorial Community.
There is also an extensive network of health care facilities: four outpatient clinics, thirty-one paramedics and obstetrics centres and the Dobromyl District Hospital.
Within the framework of the European Union Program “Agreement of Mayors – for Economic Growth”, the project “Cowboys – Ukrainian Wild West” has been implemented in one of the villages of the community, which has no match in Ukraine. As part of the project, a craft cheese factory, an apiary, and a greenhouse were created. Tourists and local residents can buy natural products of their own production. There is also the School of Economic Development; themed festivals, quests and culinary master classes are held. (Video)
The Cowboy project is already successful. People who previously did not believe in the possibility of earning money at home, now actively want to join and create their own business without going abroad or to another city.
Community and War
On 24 February 2022, the employees of the municipality immediately switched to a 24-hour mode of work in the conditions of martial law to ensure the smooth operation and coordination of all services and assistance in the accommodation of people who arrived in the community. At the town council, hubs for the collection of the most necessary items for internally displaced persons and military personnel were established.
Places for long-term residence of forced refugees have been arranged in the community. In total, places for more than 200 people have been arranged. International partners helped with furniture and equipment.
Immediately in the first days of the full-scale invasion, partners from Poland began to contact the leaders of the community to provide aid.
Unfortunately, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the community has lost 11 heroes who served in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The residents of the community are doing their best and believe in a quick victory for Ukraine!
People of the Community
The community is run by the temporary acting head of the community – Olena Matsko and the first deputy mayor – Tetiana Terletska.
The leadership of the community is a participant in the international conference “Together over the Polonynas” regarding cooperation in the development of tourism as one of the ways to boost the economic capacity of the territories on both sides of the border, draft a joint program for the development of border territories and develop project ideas within the framework of the new financial perspective Poland – Ukraine 2021 – 2027.
A large number of international and national projects have been implemented on the initiative and with the support of the community leadership.
A new school bus for the community has also been received. The previous two buses were given to the territorial defence unit in connection with military operations.
The Dobromyl School of Arts signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Ropczyce Music School (Republic of Poland). Since then, for five years, there has been an exchange of experience between teachers in the form of master classes, online conferences, and an exchange of music literature of the two nations.
An important step for the development of the community is the opening of an international border crossing point with the Republic of Poland. It ensures the passage of empty trucks weighing more than 7.5 tons.
In order to improve logistics routes with Poland, 46 kilometres of roads leading to a new border crossing point through the territory of the community have been repaired.
Also, the railway track connecting Ukraine (Nyzhankovychi) and Poland (Przemysl) was completely restored in the territory of the community. In early 2024, three daily trains are planned to run along the route.
The community has developed a concept of increasing the employment of internally displaced persons and the permanent population in wartime and post-war time. The concept envisages the construction of two industrial parks, a dry port and a grain terminal in the territory of the Dobromyl Community, which will create a large number of new jobs. Construction of housing for future employees is planned.
Moreover, the Dobromyl Territorial Community is one of the five communities selected for cooperation with UNICEF – an organization that plans to implement a comprehensive program in the Sambir District. The key areas of cooperation include the support of critical infrastructure; support of the creation of youth centres; humanitarian aid to schools; creation of children’s spaces at hospitals and renewal of the material and technical resources; current repairs of pre-school and out-of-school institutions, updating of the material resources of out-of-school facilities; social protection of children, support of social workers in communities.