Number of inhabitants: 217,000 inhabitants

Area (km²): 41,6 km²

Lutsk is one of the most ancient towns of Ukraine, with a history dating back to 1085. In the Middle Ages, Lutsk played an important role in the political life of Central and Eastern Europe. By the end of the XIVth century, it was the second capital (after Vilno)  of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Ruthenia and Zhamozhitia. In 1429, European monarchs, among which were Polish King Władysław II Jagiełło, future Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg, King of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden Eric of Pomerania, Grand Prince of Moscow Vasilii II of Russia, and others, gathered at the Congress of Lutsk to discuss problems of European defense, international relations and trade, and to witness the coronation of Vytautas the Great who received the title of King of Lithuania.

Lutsk High Castle, also known as Lubart's Castle, began its life in the mid-14th century as the fortified seat of Gediminas’ son Liubartas (Lubart), the last ruler of united Galicia-Volhynia. Lutsk Castle is one of the few remaining medieval castles of Ukraine, and recognized as one of the five most beautiful fortifications in the country. From the beginning of its existence, the Lutsk Castle became the administrative, political and spiritual centre of the region. Vytautas the Great founded the town itself by importing colonists (mostly Jews, Tatars, and Karaites).

In 1432, Lutsk was granted Magdeburg rights. Since 1569, the town developed as part of the Polish-Lithianian Commonwealth, and in 1795 it was annexed by the Russian Empire. In 1869, the first general plan of Lutsk was approved. From March 1921 to September 1939, Lutsk appeared as a capital of the Volyn province (Wolyn Voivodeship) in the Second Polish Republic. In autumn 1939, the Red Army entered the town, and on 4 December, it became the centre of the Volyn region of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic.

Nowadays, Lutsk is the regional centre of the Volyn oblast, an important industrial centre producing cars, shoes, bearings, furniture, machines and electronics. Above all however, the town is well-known for its valuable cultural heritage: buildings, temples, fortifications, streets, bridges, the historical environment and space, rich traditions, tales, festivals.

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Heritage characteristics

Lutsk has a set of preserved monuments of national significance, most of which are concentrated in the historic part. An important feature is the multi-culturalism of monuments reflecting the history of town development. The historic area, located on the ancient island, was divided into three parts, each of which had its fortifications: High Castle, Lower Castle and the Town. Even today this part of town has retained the traditional layout of streets and size of quarters. This distinguishes it from other modern quarters.

The important characteristics of the cultural heritage of Lutsk are the preserved and practised intangible heritage: traditional crafts – pottery, blacksmithing, the painting of Easter eggs (pysanky), straw braiding, special culinary traditions, honey making. All this creates a favourable background for the different ethnic festivals in Lutsk.


Expected achievements

The COMUS project implementation area embraces the historical part of the town on the former island.

Market Square is one of the oldest and most important squares of Lutsk, not only in historical terms but also culturally. There negotiations between towns and countries and public fairs took place. Today Market Square is part of the historical and cultural reserve "Old Lutsk". However, the square has now lost its economic, cultural and political significance in community life. The revitalization of the Market Square could be the beginning for cultural, economic and innovative renaissance of the historical area.


Local community priorities

  • improvement of living conditions of local dwellers in the protected historical area by legislative, organisation, financial and political instruments;
  • use of abandoned plots – waste ground within and around the historical part of the town attracting new businesses, ideas, resources;
  • development of business and services supporting town development through favourable conditions and shared ideas;
  • improvement of urban infrastructure and public space.

Contacts Contacts
general information general information

Lutsk city official website

Lutsk on the map of Ukraine


Lutsk High Castle, also known as Lubart's Castle

Old Town in winter

German Church

Street of Old Town

Historical landscape in the morning

Photos by Viktor Chukhrai (with permission).