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Summary

Province:inne / inne (before 1939)
County:Житомирська область [ obwód żytomierski ], Бердичівський район [ rejon berdyczowski ] / Житомирська область [ obwód żytomierski ], Бердичівський район [ rejon berdyczowski ] (before 1939)
Community:Бердичів [ Berdyczów ] / Бердичів [ Berdyczów ] (before 1939)
Other names:Бердичів [j.ukraiński]
בערדיטשעוו [j.jidysz]
 
GPS:
49.9026° N / 28.5850° E
49°54'09" N / 28°35'06" E

Location

Olga Pieńkowska /

Berdichev (Berdychiv) – a city in southern Ukraine, a district capital in the Zhitomir (Zhytomyr) Oblast. It is located 41 km south of Zhitomir (Zhytomyr) and 182 km southwest of Kiev, on the Hniłopiat river.

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Local history

Olga Pieńkowska /

Allegedly, in the second half of the 15th century there was a khutor (a type of settlement) here, which was inhabited by someone called Berdycz and around which a settlement developed over time. Around 1430, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Świdrygiełło, granted the land by the rivers Piat and Hujwa (Huyva) to the governor of Putywl (Pytyvl) and Zwenigród (Zvenyhorod), Kalenik, who was the founder of the Tyszkiewicz family (according to one version, Berdycz, who was already mentioned, was to be a servant to Kalenik). The Tatars invaded and destroyed Berdyczów in 1483, which, in a later period, was repeatedly destroyed and invaded. For instance, a description dating from the year 1545 mentions subjects from desolate holdings of the Tyszkiewicz family, including Berdyczów, who, after a Tatar invasion, “were hiding for a long time behind fortified walls in the Żytomierz castle”. In 1546, Berdyczów was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, within the borders of Russian Province. It belonged to the Tyszkiewicz family.

After signing the Union of Lublin in 1569, Berdyczów was annexed to Poland as part of Bracław Province. In 1593, it was granted town privileges. In 1630, Janusz Tyszkiewicz founded on the castle mountain a Discalced Carmelites order, which became well know in the time to come. During the wars in Ukraine, in the years 1648–1649 and 1653, the town was again plundered and destroyed. The nobility and Carmelites did not return here until after 1663, and it took a long time before Berdyczów was able to rise again. Krzysztof Zawisza, Mińsk Province governor, who would go on elk and bear hunts in the local steppes, referred to these territories as "empty Arabia” while on a tour around the area in 1687. 

On the other hand, both the reign of August III and that of Stanisław August Poniatowski were periods of prosperity for Berdyczów, prosp

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