Zhovkva is a city in the Lviv Oblast (province) of western Ukraine, north of Lviv. It is the administrative center of the Zhovkivskyi Raion (district). The current estimated population is 13,500. The site of Zhovkva has been inhabited since the 14th century. In 1594, the Polish military commander Stanisław Żółkiewski fortified the settlement and built Żółkiew Castle. Due to its strategic location at the intersection of important trade routes, the town prospered.
In the 17th century, it became the royal residence for King John III Sobieski of Poland, and a hub of religious life, arts and commerce. From its earliest days, the population was a mix of Poles, Ukrainians and Jews. Landmark buildings include a fortress-like synagogue, churches and monasteries.