(Ukrainian: Луцьк, translit. Luc'k, [ˈlutsʲk],
Polish: Łuck, Yiddish: לוצק, translit. Luck) is a city on
in northwestern Ukraine. It is the administrative
center of the
(province) and the administrative center of
(district) within the oblast, though it is
not a part of the raion.
has the status of a city of oblast
significance, equivalent to that of a raion. Population:
217,103 (2015 est.)
1 Name etymology
2.1 Crown of the Kingdom of Poland
2.2 Russian Empire
2.3 Second Polish Republic
2.4 World War II
4 Industry and commerce
5 Places of interest
6 Theatres and museums
7 International relations
7.1 Twin towns — Sister cities
9 Notable people
10 In popular culture
12 External links
Lutsk is an ancient Slavic town, mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle
as Luchesk in the records of 1085. The etymology of the name is
unclear. There are three hypotheses: either the name may have been
derived from the old-Slavic word luka (an arc or bend in a river), or
the name may have originated from Luka (the chieftain of the Dulebs),
an ancient Slavic tribe living in this area. The name may have also
been derived from Luchanii (Luchans), an ancient branch of the tribe
mentioned above. Its historical name in Ukrainian is Луцьк; in
Russian, Луцк; and in Polish, Łuck; in Yiddish, Loytsk.
According to legend, Luchesk dates from the 7th century. The first
known documentary reference dates from the year 1085. The town served
as the capital of the Principality of
Halych-Volynia (founded 1199)
until the rise of Volodymyr-Volynsky. The town grew around a wooden
stronghold built by a local branch of the Rurik Dynasty. At certain
times the location functioned as the capital of the principality, but
since there was no need for a fixed capital in medieval Europe, the
town did not become an important centre of commerce or culture. In
Tatars seized and looted the nearby town but left the castle
unharmed. In 1321 George son of Lev, the last prospective heir of
Halych-Volynia, died in a battle with the forces of Gediminas, Grand
Duke of Lithuania, and Lithuanian forces seized the castle. In 1349
the forces of King
Casimir III of Poland
Casimir III of Poland captured the town, but
Lithuania soon retook it.
The town began to prosper during the period of Lithuanian rule. Prince
Lubart (died 1384), son of Gediminas, erected
Lubart's Castle as part
of his fortification programme. Vytautas the Great, Grand Duke of
Lithuania from 1392 to 1430, founded the town itself by importing
colonists (mostly Jews, Tatars, and Karaims). In 1427 he transferred
the Catholic bishopric from
Volodymyr-Volynskyi to Luchesk. Vytautas
was the last monarch to use the title of "Duke of Volhynia" and to
reside in Lubart's Castle. The town grew rapidly, and by the end of
the 15th century there were 19 Orthodox and two Catholic churches. It
was the seat of two Christian bishops, one Catholic and one Orthodox.
Because of that the town was sometimes nicknamed the Volhynian Rome.
The cross symbol of
Lutsk features on the highest Lithuanian
Presidential award, the Order of Vytautas the Great.
Lutsk was the meeting place selected for a conference of
monarchs hosted by
Sophia of Halshany
Sophia of Halshany to deal with the
Tartar threat. Those invited to attend included Sigismund, Holy Roman
Emperor, Vasili II of Russia, the king of
Denmark Eric of Pomerania,
the Grand Master of the
Livonian Order Zisse von Rutenberg, the Duke
Szczecin Kazimierz V, Dan II the Hospodar of
Prince-electors of most of the countries of Germany.
Crown of the Kingdom of Poland
St. Peter and Paul Cathedral
Great Synagogue in Lutsk
Holy Trinity Cathedral
Lutsk Old Town
In 1432 Volhynia became a fief of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland
Lutsk became the seat of the governors, and later the Marshalls of
the Land of Volhynia. That same year, the city was granted Magdeburg
rights. In 1569 Volhynia was fully incorporated into the Polish
kingdom and the town became the capital of the Volhynian Voivodeship
Łuck powiat (Polish administrative unit). After the Union of
Lublin the local Orthodox bishop converted to Eastern Catholicism.
The town continued to prosper as an important economic centre of the
region. By the mid-17th century
Łuck had approximately 50,000
inhabitants and was one of the largest towns in the area. During the
Khmelnytskyi Uprising the town was seized by the forces of Colonel
Kolodko. Up to 4,000 people were slaughtered, approximately 35,000
fled, and the town was looted and partially burnt. It never fully
recovered. In 1781 the city was struck by a fire which destroyed 440
houses, both cathedrals, and several other churches.
In 1795, as a result of the Partitions of Poland, the Russian Empire
annexed Lutsk. The Voivodeship was liquidated and the town lost its
significance as the capital of the province (which was moved to
Zhytomyr). After the
November Uprising (1830–1831) efforts increased
to remove Polish influence and Russian became the dominant language in
official circles, though the population continued to speak Ukrainian,
the Polish population Polish, and the Jewish population Yiddish, if
only in private circles. The Greek Catholic churches were turned into
Orthodox Christian ones, which led to the self-liquidation of the
Uniates here. In 1845 another great fire struck the city, resulting in
a further depopulation.
In 1850 three major forts were built around Lutsk, and the town became
a small fortress called Mikhailogorod. During the
First World War
First World War the
town was seized by
Austria-Hungary on August 29, 1915. The town
sustained a small amount of damage. During more than a year of
Lutsk became an important military centre
with the headquarters of the IV Army under Archduke Josef Ferdinand
stationed there. A plague of epidemic typhus decimated the city's
On June 4, 1916 four Russian armies under general Aleksei Brusilov
started what later became known as the Brusilov Offensive. After up to
three days of heavy artillery barrage, the
Battle of Lutsk
Battle of Lutsk began. On
June 7, 1916 the Russian forces reconquered the city. After the
signing of the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1917, the city was seized by
Germany on February 7, 1918. On February 22, 1918 the town was
transferred by the withdrawing German army to the forces loyal to
Second Polish Republic
During the Polish-Bolshevik War, on May 16, 1919
Lutsk was taken over
by the forces of Poland's Blue Army after a heavy battle with the Red
Army. The city was devastated and largely depopulated. It witnessed
the Soviet counter-offensive of 1920 and was taken on 12 July 1920. It
was recaptured by Poland's 45th Rifles regiment and field artillery on
September 15, 1920. According to American sociologist Alexander
Gella "the Polish victory [over the Red Army] had gained twenty years
of independence not only for Poland, but at least for an entire
central part of Europe.
Łuck was designated by the newly-reborn
Poland as the capital of the Wołyń Voivodeship.
The city was connected by railroad to
Lviv (then Lwów) and Przemyśl.
Several brand new factories were built both in
Łuck and on its
outskirts producing farming equipment, wood, and leather products
among other consumer goods. New mills and breweries opened. An
orphanage was built, and a big new bursary. The first high-school was
soon inaugurated. In 1937, an airport was established in
Łuck with an
area of 69 hectares (170 acres). The 13th Kresowy Light Artillery
Regiment was stationed in the city, together with a
Defense (Poland) Battalion. In 1938, construction of a large modern
radio transmitter began in the city (see Polish Radio Łuck). As of
January 1, 1939
Łuck had 39,000 inhabitants (approximately 17,500
Jews and 13,500 Poles). The powiat formed around the town had 316,970
inhabitants, including 59% Ukrainians, 19.5% Poles, 14% Jews and
Czechs and Germans.
World War II
On Thursday, September 7, 1939 at app. 5 p.m., Polish government,
which had left
Warsaw the day before, arrived at Łuck. German
intelligence quickly found out about it, and the city was twice bombed
by the Luftwaffe: on Sept. 11, and Sept. 14. After panzer units of the
Wehrmacht had crossed the Bug river, on September 14, the government
Łuck and headed southwards, to Kosow Huculski, which
at that time was located near the Polish - Romanian border.
As a result of the invasion of
Poland from both sides and the
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Łuck, along with the rest of western Volyn,
was annexed by the Soviet Union. Most of the factories (including the
almost-finished radio station) were dismantled and sent east to
Russia. Approximately 10,000 of the city's Polish inhabitants (chiefly
ethnic Poles, but also Polish Jews) were deported in cattle trucks to
Kazakhstan and 1,550 were arrested by the NKVD.
After the start of
Operation Barbarossa the city was captured by the
Wehrmacht on 25 June 1941, but not before thousands of Polish and
Ukrainian prisoners were shot by the retreating
NKVD responsible for
political prisons. The inmates were offered amnesty and in the morning
of 000000001941-06-23-0000June 23 ordered to exit the building en
masse. They were gunned down from Soviet tanks. Some 4,000 captives
including Poles, Jews and Ukrainians were massacred. Upon Nazi
occupation most of the Jewish inhabitants of the city were forced into
Łuck Ghetto (German: Ghetto Luzk) and then murdered at the
execution site on Górka Połonka hill not far from the city. In
total, more than 25,000 Jews were executed there at point-blank
range, men, women and children. The
Łuck Ghetto was liquidated
entirely through the Holocaust by bullets. During the massacres of
Poles in Volhynia approximately 10,000 Poles were murdered by the
Ukrainian Insurgent Army
Ukrainian Insurgent Army in the area. It was captured by
Red Army on 2
Following the end of the war the remaining Polish inhabitants of the
city were expelled, mostly to the areas sometimes referred to as the
Polish Regained Territories. The city became an industrial centre in
the Ukrainian SSR. The major changes in the city's demographics had
the final result that by the end of the war the city was almost
entirely Ukrainian. During the Cold War, the city hosted the
As one of the largest cities in Western Ukraine,
Lutsk became the seat
of a General Consulate of
Poland in 2003.
Climate data for
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Industry and commerce
Lutsk is an important centre of industry. Factories producing cars,
shoes, bearings, furniture, machines and electronics, as well as
weaveries, steel mills and a chemical plant are located in the area.
VGP JSC - manufacture of sanitary and hygienic products
LuAZ - automobile-manufacturing plant, part of Bogdan group
SKF - manufacture of bearings, seals, lubrication and lubrication
systems, maintenance products, mechatronics products, power
transmission products and related services globally
Modern-Expo Group - one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of
equipment (metal shelving, high racks systems, checkouts, catering
equipment, refrigeration equipment, POS-equipment and guidance
systems) for retail and warehouse use in Central and Eastern Europe.
Lutsk Automobile Plant LuAZ
Places of interest
Lubart's Castle. The Upper Castle from the 13th century and the Lower
Castle from the 14th century
Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral. A Catholic cathedral built 1610 as a
Jesuit church, reconstructed in 1781
Great Synagogue built in 1626–1629
Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral built 1755 as a church and monastery
Lutsk Orthodox Fellowship
Lesya Ukrainka street
Monasteries, both Catholic and Orthodox: Basilians (17th century),
Dominicans (17th century),
Trinitarians (18th century) and Charites
Two 16th century Greek-Catholic churches
Lutsk compact overhead powerline, a powerline of unusual type.
One of the longest buildings in the world: Apartment house on
Sobornosti av. and Molodyozhi st. (50.761219°N, 25.368719°E) Length:
Theatres and museums
Lutsk Puppet Theatre
Drama Theatre, built in 1939 (uk)
Children's Puppet Theater
Museum of Regional Studies. Address: Shopena St. 20
Museum of Ukrainian army and ammunition opened in 1999. Address:
Lutsk, vul. Taborishi 4
Museum of Volyn Icon was opened in August 1993. Relatively small
museum in the centre on the town. Has some interesting and very old
icons. Address: vul. Yaroshchuka 5. (behind the Lesia Ukrainka Volyn
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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Ukraine
Twin towns — Sister cities
Lutsk is twinned with:
Bielsk Podlaski, Poland
Volyn' regional administration in Lutsk
Former Armenian church
Orthodox Fellowship building
Lesya Ukrainka street
Alojzy Feliński – Polish scientist and writer
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk – Ukrainian football player
Boleslaw Kontrym – officer of the Polish Home Army, executed
by the Communists
Florian Siwicki – general of the Polish Army
Mikolaj Kruszewski – Polish 19th-century linguist
Oksana Zabuzhko – contemporary Ukrainian poet, writer and
Peter Bondra – Ukrainian-born Slovak ice hockey player
Sasha Bonilova – Playboy model, Playmate of the Month for May
Shmuel Shilo – Israeli theatre and cinema actor
Shimshon Unichman – Israeli politician and member of the
Svetlana Zakharova – Russian ballet dancer
Tartak – all the group members were born in Lutsk
Zalman Sorotzkin – Jewish rabbi, author
Anzhelika Savrayuk – member of the Italian group of rhythmic
gymnastics was born in Lutsk; three-time world champion in group all
around, bronze medallist in the group all around at London 2012
Taras Maksimuk, creator of
YouTube channel featuring the
destruction of mobile phones and laptop computers.
Mordecai Sultansky – Karaite Jewish hakham and scholar
In popular culture
NKVD and Nazi massacres are mentioned in the
Prix Goncourt awarded
novel The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell.
Is a location taken over by post-apocalyptic slavers in the
Sci-Fi/Adventure Novel The Crisis Pendant by Charlie Patterson
^ a b "Чисельність наявного населення
України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (PDF) (in Ukrainian).
State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
^ a b Antoni Tomczyk (2013). "
Łuck - Miasto bliskie sercom naszym".
Kresowe Stanice. Stowarzyszenie Rodzin Osadników Wojskowych i
Cywilnych Kresów Wschodnich. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
^ Aleksander Gella (1988), Development of Class Structure in Eastern
Poland and Her Southern Neighbors, SUNY Press,
ISBN 978-0-88706-833-1, Google Print, p. 23.
^ Tadeusz Piotrowski (1998), Poland's Holocaust (Google Books).
Jefferson: McFarland, pp. 17-18, 420. ISBN 0-7864-0371-3.
^ Feliks Trusiewicz, Zbrodnie – Ludobójstwo dokonane na ludności
polskiej w powiecie Łuck, woj. wołyńskie, w latach 1939-1944. (War
crimes committed against Polish nationals in the
1939–44). Retrieved July 22, 2015.
^ Berkhoff, Karel Cornelis (2004). Harvest of Despair. Harvard
University Press via Google Books. p. 14. ISBN 0674020782.
Retrieved July 22, 2015.
^ Piotrowski 1998, p. 17; The Murder of the Jews of
Lutsk at Yad
^ Andrzej Mielcarek, Wieś i kolonia Hnidawa, inaczej Gnidawa, powiat
Łuck; Gromada Połonka. Interactive 1936 map included. Strony o
Wołyniu Wolyn.ovh.org in Polish. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
^ Yad Vashem, Mass-murder of
Łuck Jews at Gurka Polonka in August
YouTube Note: village Połonka (Polish: Górka Połonka or its
Połonka Little Hill subdivision) is misspelled in the documentary,
with testimony of eyewitness Shmuel Shilo. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
^ YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, Lutsk. Ghetto history.
Retrieved 22 July 2015.
^ "The Holocaust by bullets" by National Geographic Channel on YouTube
Retrieved 20 July 2015.
^ General Consulate of
Lutsk (Polish and Ukrainian)
^ "Luck (Lutsk) Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
^ "Serwis informacyjny UM
Rzeszów - Informacja o współpracy
Rzeszowa z miastami partnerskimi". www.rzeszow.pl. Archived from the
original on 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
^ "Miasta Partnerskie Lublina" [
Lublin - Partnership Cities]. City of
Lublin (in Polish). Archived from the original on 16 January 2013.
Retrieved 7 August 2013.
^ "Miasta bliźniacze Torunia" [Toruń's twin towns]. Urząd Miasta
Torunia [City of
Toruń Council] (in Polish). Retrieved
^ "Miasta partnerskie - Zamość". Urząd Miasta
Zamość (in Polish).
"Lutzk". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.
Official tourist website
Lutsk - historical description (in Ukrainian).
Lutsk (in Ukrainian).
Historic images of Lutsk
"Photos of Lutsk". photoua.net.
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Administrative center: Lutsk
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