VILLAGE HISTORY
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VILLAGE HISTORY
VILLAGE HISTORY
  The History of Koenigsau A German-Speaking Roman Catholic Village in Galizia 1783-1940                                                                                                                          The old church of Koenigsau (Photo: 1989) Königsau was created as a Pfälzer Catholic settlement in eastern Galizia in 1783 in the time of the "Josefinische settlement". That region of the world became part of Austria after the first division of Poland in 1772 and remained part of Austria until 1919. From 1919 to 1940 Königsau belonged to Poland. The village's unique pentagonal layout came from the Austrian engineer Burgaller. At first, the village was named Königsaue (Königs-Aue). The land on which it was founded originally belonged to a monastery run by the monks of the Basilius order from Letnia. Because of this, the land was already cleared and the farmers could prepare the land for planting immediately. But developing the farms needed time. The first settlements came in 1782, but the first crop yield was not until 1786! In the meantime, the residents lived in temporary housing in Sandomierz. In 1784 only 24 houses and stables were ready. But by October of 1785, all 78 Roman Catholic families had arrived bringing the village's population to about 300. Initially life was difficult in part due to dishonest officials and fraud. This was particularly bad in the Drohobycz region to which Königsau belonged. But eventually life in the new town settled into a peaceful routine. · From 1790 there was a school in Könisau which taught in German. · In 1846 the first church was built in the center of the village. It was called Holy Sebastian and Holy Fabian. · In 1910 the group "Bund der christlichen Deutschen" was created. · In 1912 a bank (Raiffeisenkasse) was founded with 44 members. · In 1929 a multi-purpose house called the "Deutsches Haus" was built. It contained a dance hall, a shop, a room for the mayor and a library. · In 1936 the Polish administration changed the name of the town to Rowne ad Medenice although the functional language in the town and the official language in the school continued to be German. · In 1945 Königsau became part of the USSR. · In 1991 Königsau became part of Ukraine with the dissolution of the USSR. Königsau's name is now Rivne. Königsau was the fourth-biggest "Josefinische Settlement" in Galizia. The mass resettlement in January 1940 ended 156 years of history of German-speaking people in Königsau. Despite the passage of 60 years, relations between the people from Königsau is still strong. The descendants now living in all parts of the world have frequent contact with one another. After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 there was a very big reunion. The descendants have also taken three group bus trips and many individual car trips to Königsau. Our wish is to write a chronicle of this wonderful village as a memory.        If you are interested and want to know more, please contact us!