The history of the city

nnalistic Dubno is known since 1100, it is one of the most ancient cities of Volyn region, which was always on the crossroads of all the significant historical and political events, it was a hub of the region.

First mention of Dubno appears in Hypatian Chronicle of 1100. The chronicle says that Dubno was handed to Davyd Ihorevych, the prince. The origin of the settlement’s name is connected with a place with many oaks (oak in Ukrainian – “dub”).

Archeological research show that this territory was populated long ago.

Remains of the settlements from the early and late Bronze Age, chernyakhov culture were found in the city along with an ancient Russian city, multilayered settlement of Mesolithic and late Roman eras. Thanks to its favorable geographical position at the crossroads of routes, the settlement became the target for military interventions. In the 11th – 12th centuries Dubno was a part of Volodymyr-Volynskyi principality, in the 13th century it belonged to Galicia–Volhynia principality.

In 1240 Mongols and Tatars attacked the settlement, destroyed it so that it fell to the level of a village. In the second half of the 14th century Dubno was included in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1386 it belonged to Ostrogski family.

As a city founded by Ostroski family, powerful and influential figures of the European politics in the 15th – 17th centuries, Dubno has all the characteristics of a Middle Ages city. The Castle of the end of the 15th century protected the city from the East, Lutsk Brama of the 16th century – from the West, church and a Bernardians monastery of the 17th century from the north east, and some other monasteries – Chesnokhrestsky, Spaso- Transfiguration, Pidboretsky, Straklivsky.

As trade was one of the most important aspects of Ostroski family wealth, craft people regardless of their religion, were summoned to Dubno.

A synagogue is operating since the 16th century. Dubno merchandised objects of foundry, smithcraft, jewelry, and not only Volyn region cities, bur also many European ones were the market places.

In 1498 Dubno get a status of the city, and in 1507 it received a Magdeburg Right. Middle Ages Dubno was one of the cultural hubs of Volyn. Prominent scientists, writers, members of clergy like Meletiy Smotrytsky, Kasiyan Sakovych, father Vitaliy, Yov Zalizo (then Iov Pochayivsky), Hegumen from the Holy Cross Monastery lived and worked in the local monasteries.

Father Vitaliy translated a Greek book “Dioptra…” in 1604, hieromonch Arseniy created a famous Dubno Four Gospels in 1539-1566.

Dubno Castle was called a stronghold of Volyn in the Middle Ages for its advantageous location (Ikva river and its swamps were laving it from three sides) and strong fortifications of the 17th century, which made this building impregnable for several centuries.

Ostroski family kept there their treasures there, and then – their descendants – Zasławski , Sanguszko and Lubomirski families. Their priceless archives were kept under the security of the bannerols of the troops. There also was a ludwisarnia – a foundry which produced cannons, cult things for cathedrals and monasteries, household items.

The walls of the castle endured multiple attacks of the Crimean Tatars in the 16th century, Cossacks troops of Maksym Kryvonis and Russian army in the 17th century. It remained safe during the Great Northern War in 1700-1721, the rebellion of Tadeusz Kościuszko in late 18th century, the French invasion of Russia in 1812. The combat actions of the 18th – early 19th century became the reason Ivan Mazepa, Swedish king  Charles XII, Peter the Great, and commanders Suvorov and Kutuzov.

In 1569, the city was included in Lutsk county of Volyn province of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Since 1629 Dubno belonged to Zasławski family, and since 1674 – to Lubomirski family.

In the 18th century the city gained high economic and cultural development thanks to Dubno contracts brough from Lviv in 1774. These fairs began on January 7 and lasted for a month. Mykhaylo Lyudomyrski constructed a couple of two-storey buildings near Market Square, built up a town hall and another palace in the Castle decorated by Domenico Merlini for the guests and merchants.

Dubno with a population of 6535 people hosted around 30,000 guests annually within two decades. Splendid banquets, knight tournaments, fireworks were being conducted in the Castle. Prominent Polish playwright Wojciech Bogusławski staged his plays, Roman opera gave performances there. Gambling games were held in the Castle, where many people gathered. A Polish King Stanisław August visited Dubno three times in 1781, he was hunting for a bear.

After the third division of Poland (1795) Dubno become a chief town of Volyn province of the Russian empire. In the 19th century it became a border crossing point, it had a military garrison. The construction of a railway which went through Debno in 1873 has contributed to the development of the city.

In early 20th century there were 108 small enterprises, the role of the city as one of the centre of hop-growing has grown. A front line went through Dubno during the World War I. In June 1916 Russian troops liberated the city from the Austrians. In 1918 – 1921 the city’s authorities have changed multiple times. On March 18, 1921 Dubno was included to Poland according to the Treaty of Riga.

On September 17, 1939 the Red Army occupied West Poland, and Dubno, as the entire west of Ukraine, was included in the Soviet Union. The Soviet authority began repressions of the population on the occupied territories. Terror against people lasted till June 22, 1941. Over 10,000 local residents were repressed then,

In June, 1941 the city became a place of combat actions between the Red Army and mechanized Wehrmacht units. The biggest battle on the territory of Ukraine was conducted near Dubno (Battle for Dubno in 1941). The city was almost destroyed, many residents died.

On March 17, 1944 Soviet troops entered Dubno. The city was restored, it became an important trade and cultural hub of Rivne region. Dubno’s role as one of the hop-growing centre increased.

The following sectors of the industry of the city began to prevail: dairy products processing, bread and fish production. A sugar factory was built.  

Wood processing, iron and steel (founding and mechanical) and chemical enterprises, production of building materials began to function.

In December 1939 the city became the centre of Dubnivski region (since 1992 of Dubensky region). In summer 1991 the All-Ukrainian festival of rock and pop music “Taras Bulba” was launched. It is still being carried out. The Festival is aimed at the development and promotion of the national music. New stars of pop and rock music born at the event.

Today Dubno is a city of a regional significance in Rivne region. It is a regional centre located on Ikva River (Styr’s stream of Dnipro drainage-area), railway station. The square in 27 km2, population – 38,000.

There are ten general education establishments, seven pre-primary schools, culture school, medical and pedagogical colleges, the House of Children and Youth, a sports school, two cultural facilities, ten libraries, and a State Historical and Cultural Preserve, which conducts excursion guidance for tourists and visitors of Dubno.


Figure 1 Kostyantyn Ivanovych Ostroski – one of the most prominent representatives of Ostroski family

Figure 2 Dubno and a castle of the 17th-19th century

Figure 3 Trade on the central square of Dubno

Figure 4 The book of Olexiy Isayev “Dubno of 1941”

Sign in to Upgrade to the portal
Required field
Required field

Leave your data so you do not miss any important event. We do not send spam - just relevant information that interests you.

By clicking Subscribe, you consent to the processing of your personal data and agree to the Privacy Policy for the portal. «Візит Дубно»