City of regional significance

Mukacheve town hall


Coat of arms

Location of Mukacheve

Coordinates: 48°27′00″N 22°45′00″E / 48.45000°N 22.75000°E / 48.45000; 22.75000Coordinates: 48°27′00″N 22°45′00″E / 48.45000°N 22.75000°E / 48.45000; 22.75000
Zakarpattia Oblast
Mukacheve city council
Founded 896
  Mayor Andriy Baloha[1]
  Land 27.9 km2 (10.8 sq mi)
Population (2016)
  Total 86,339
  Density 3,187/km2 (8,250/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 89600
Area code(s) +380 3131
Climate Cfb
Website Mukachevo. City Council

Mukacheve (Ukrainian: Мукачеве, Hungarian: Munkács, Czech: Mukačevo; Rusyn: Мукачово see name section) is a city located in the valley of the Latorica river in Zakarpattia Oblast (province), in Western Ukraine. Serving as the administrative center of Mukacheve Raion (district), the city itself does not belong to the raion and is designated as a city of oblast significance, with the status equal to that of a separate raion. The population is 86,339(2016 est.)[2].

The city is now a rail terminus and highway junction, and has beer, wine, tobacco, food, textile, timber and furniture industries. During the Cold War it was home to Mukacheve air base combined with a radar station.

Officially, the population of Mukacheve is 77.1% ethnic Ukrainian.[3] However, while the city is a traditional stronghold of the Rusyn language, the government of Ukraine does not recognize the existence of a Rusyn ethnicity distinct from Ukrainian, and many residents of Mukacheve categorized as "Ukrainian" in official figures are likely Rusyns. There are also significant minorities of: Russians (9.0%); Hungarians (8.5%); Germans (1.9%), and; Roma (1.4%).[3]


There are many different ways to name Mukacheve. In Ukrainian it is usually spelled as Mukacheve while Мукачів (Mukachiv) is sometimes also used.[4] Its name in Rusyn is Мукачево (Mukachevo), which is also a Russian transliteration -Russian: Мукачево- as well as a name adopted by the local authorities and portrayed on the city's coat of arms. Other names are Hungarian: Munkács; Romanian: Muncaci, Munceag; Polish Mukaczewo; Slovak and Czech: Mukačevo; German: Munkatsch; Yiddish: מונקאטש (Munkatsh).


Palanok Castle in Mukacheve

Early history

Archaeological excavation suggest that early settlements existed here before the Middle Ages. For example, a Celtic oppidum and metal works center that existed in the 3rd-1st century BC were found between the Halish and Lovachka mountains. A Thracian fort of the Iron Age (10th century BC) was found on the mountain of Tupcha. Around the 1st century the area was occupied by the Carpi people who displaced the local Celts from the area.

Hungarian rule

In 895 the Hungarian tribes entered the Carpathian Basin through the Verecke Pass, about 60 km (37 mi) north of present-day Mukacheve. During the next century they established the Hungarians and Munkachevo became a regional center of power of Hungarian kings. In 1397, the town and its surrounding was granted by King Sigismund of Hungary to his vassal the Ruthenian prince Theodor Koriatovich, who settled many Ruthenians in the territory. During the 15th century, the city prospered and became a prominent craft and trade center for the region. In 1445, the town became a Hungarian free royal town. It was also granted the rights of Magdeburg law.

During the 16th century, Mukacheve became part of the Principality of Transylvania. The 17th century (from 1604-1711) was a time of continuous struggle against the expansionist intentions of the Habsburg Empire for the Principality. In 1687 the anti-Habsburg Revolt of Imre Thököly started out from Mukacheve. The region also played an important role in Rákóczi's War of Independence.

Austrian control and revolts

After the defeat of Francis II Rákóczi the city came under Austrian control in the mid-18th century as part of the Kingdom of Hungary and was made a key fortress of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1726, the Palanok Castle and the town, before 1711 owned by the Rákóczi family, was given by the Habsburgs to the Schönborn family, who were responsible for an expansion of the town. They also settled many Germans in the territory, thereby causing an economic boom of the region. During 1796-1897, the city's castle, until then a strong fortress, became a prison. The Greek national hero Alexander Ypsilanti was imprisoned at the Palanok Castle between 1821 and 1823.

Mukacheve during and after the wars

In 1919, after the American-Rusyns agreed with Tomáš Masaryk to incorporate Carpathian Ruthenia into Czechoslovakia, the whole of Carpathian Ruthenia was occupied by Czechoslovak troops. On June 4, 1920, Mukacheve officially became part of Czechoslovakia by the Treaty of Trianon. In November 1938, a part of the territory of the former Kingdom of Hungary was re-annexed by Hungary as part of the First Vienna Award. Without delay the new authorities decreed the expulsion of all the Jews without Hungarian citizenship. As a consequence Polish and Russian Jews, long-term residents of the now Hungarian-controlled Transcarpathian region, and also from Mukacheve, as well as the native Jews who could not prove their citizenship, where deported over the Ukrainian border where their fate was sealed by the hands of a German Einsatzgruppe commando led by Friedrich Jeckeln. On August 27 and 28 1941 they were all murdered by the Germans in Kamianets-Podilskyi's massacre.[5] Even so, Mukacheve population still held an important Jewish component, until in 1944 all the Jews were deported to Auschwitz by the Nazi German Eichmann Commando. They were the last Jewish community in Europe to succumb to the Holocaust.

In the end of 1944, the Red Army stormed Carpathian Ruthenia. At first the territory was given to the reestabilished Czechoslovakia, then became part of the Soviet Union by a treaty between the two countries, later in 1945. The Soviet Union began a policy of expulsion of the Hungarian population. In 1945, the city was ceded to the Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine). Since 2002, Mukacheve has been the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese comprising Transcarpathia.


Mukacheve has a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb).

Climate data for Mukacheve
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 46



In 1921, 21,000 people lived in Mukacheve. Of these, 48 percent were Jews, 24 percent were Ukrainians, and 22 percent were Hungarians.[4]

The city's population in 1966 was 50,500. Of these, 60% were Ukrainians, 18 percent Hungarians, 10% Russians and 6% Jews.[4]


According to the 2001 census, 82,200 people live in Mukachevo. Population in 1989 was 91,000, in 2004 77,300 and in 2008 93,738. Its population includes:[7]


Fischer Sports, an Austrian company that produces Nordic Skiing, Alpine Skiing and Hockey equipment has a factory in Mukacheve. The firm benefits from provisional application on January 1, 2016 of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area provisions of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement.[8]

Jewish community

See also Munkacs (Hasidic dynasty)

There are documents in the Berehove State Archives which indicate that Jews lived in Munkács and the surrounding villages as early as the second half of the seventeenth century. The Jewish community of Munkács was an amalgam of Galician & Hungarian Hasidic Jewry, Orthodox Jews, and Zionists. The town is most noted for its Chief Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira who led the community until his death in 1937.

By 1851 Munkacs supported a large yeshiva, thereby demonstrating the community’s commitment to Talmudic learning and piety.

Materially impoverished, yet wealthy in ideological debate, the Jews of interwar Munkacs constituted almost half of the town's population. The Munkacs Jewish community was famous for its Hasidic activity as well as its innovations in Zionism and modern Jewish education.[9]

The Jewish population of Munkacs grew from 2,131 in 1825 to 5,049 in 1891 (almost 50 percent of the total population) to 7,675 in 1910 (about 44 percent). By 1921, the 10,000 Jews still made up about half the residents, though by 1930, the proportion had dropped to 43 percent, with a little over 11,000 Jews. The Jews of Munkacs constituted 11 percent of the Jewry of Subcarpathian Rus.[9]

Interwar Munkacs had a very large Jewish population, which was most visible on the Shabbat. On that day most stores were closed and, after services, the streets filled with Hasidic Jews in their traditional garb. The first movie house in the town was established by a Hasidic Jew, and it too closed on the Shabbat and Jewish holidays.[9]

The Chief Rabbi of Munkacs, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira (who led the community from 1913 until his death in 1937) was the most outspoken voice of religious anti-Zionism. He had succeeded his father, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Spira, who had earlier inherited the mantle of leadership from his father Rabbi Shlomo Spira. He was also a Hasidic rebbe with a significant number of followers. Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira was succeeded by his son-in-law, Rabbi Baruch Yehoshua Yerachmiel Rabinowicz.

Along with the dominant Munkacser hasidic community there co-existed smaller yet vibrant Hasidic groups who were followers of the rebbes Belz, of Spinka, Zidichov, and Vizhnitz. By the time of the Holocaust there were nearly 30 synagogues in town, many of which were Shtieblech ("[small] house" - small [Hasidic] synagogues).

The Hebrew Gymnasium was founded in Munkacs five years after the first Hebrew speaking elementary school in Czechoslovakia was established there in 1920. It soon became the most prestigious Hebrew high school east of Warsaw. Zionist activism along with chasidic pietism contributed to a community percolating with excitement, intrigue and at times internecine conflict

Latorica river

In 1935, Chaim Kugel, formerly director of the Munkacs gymnasium (Jewish high school) and then Jewish Party delegate to the Czechoslovak Parliament, gave a speech during a parliamentary debate: "…It is completely impossible to adequately describe the poverty in the area. The Jews… are affected equally along with the rest…. I strongly wish to protest any attempt to blame the poverty of the Subcarpathian Ruthenian peasantry on the Jews" [10] (Kugel later got to Mandatory Palestine and eventually became mayor of the Israeli city of Holon).

Government policies were covertly directed against Jews, who bore a heavy share of taxes and had difficulty getting high civil service positions.[9]

In 1939, the Hungarians seized and annexed Subcarpathian Rus—including Munkacs—taking advantage of the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. Though antisemitic legislation was introduced by the Hungarian authorities, Subcarpathian Rus, like the rest of Hungary, remained a relative haven for Jews until Nazi Germany occupied Hungary in 1944.[9]

In the spring of 1944 there were nearly 15,000 Jewish residents of the town. This ended on May 30, 1944 when the city was pronounced Judenrein (free of Jews after ghettoization and a series of deportations to Auschwitz).

Today, Mukacheve is experiencing a Jewish renaissance of sorts with the establishment of a supervised kosher kitchen, a mikveh, Jewish summer camp in addition to the prayer services which take place three times daily. In July 2006, a new synagogue was dedicated on the site of a pre-war hasidic synagogue with the attendance of hundreds of local Jews from the Transcarpathia region and a delegation of 300 Hasidic Jews from the United States, Israel and Europe headed by the spiritual leader of Munkacs Hasidic Jewry, Rebbe Moshe Leib Rabinovich, who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Architectural landmarks

St Nicholas Monastery

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Mukachevo is twinned with:


•Helena Kahan Jockel Helena Jockel (1919-), Memoir: We Sang in Hushed Voices ( Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs; VI), 2014.

See also


  1. "Andriy Baloha wins Mukacheve mayoral election at first round". Interfax Ukraine.
  2. "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (PDF) (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  3. 1 2 Ukraine Census
  4. 1 2 3 Mukachiv in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine
  5. Kamenets-Podolski in Yad Vashem
  6. "Climate: Mukacheve". Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  7. "Всеукраїнський перепис населення 2001 | English version | Results | General results of the census | National composition of population | Zakarpattia region:". Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  8. Andrew E. Kramer (May 9, 2016). "Ukraine Makes Iffy Progress After Trade Pact With Europe". The New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 "Jewish Community of Munkacs: An Overview". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  10. Quoted in Sole, "Subcarpathian Ruthenia, 1918-1938," in The Jews of Czechoslovakia, vol. 1, p. 132.
  11. "Mielec- Miasta Partnerskie" [Mielec - Partnership Cities]. Oficjalny serwis Urzędu Miejskiego w Mielcu [Mielec City Council] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2013-08-21. Retrieved 2013-08-25.


This article incorporates text from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and has been released under the GFDL.
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