Dubno castle – Rivne region Ukraine

Листопад 17 10:30 2013

In the late 14 – early 15 centuries prince Fedir Ostrozky built a wooden-and-ground fortification that, of course, looked different than today. This building was surrounded with ground ramparts and fenced with stockade all around. Inside there were many living and household buildings.

But small territory and insufficient strength of wooden walls and fortifications, frequent fires and, the most important, comparatively low location, forced prince Kostyantyn Ostrozky to begin construction of a new stone fortress.

1492 is the official date of construction of Dubno castle.

During its existence the castle was rebuilt and strengthened for several times. At the beginning of the 17 century Krakow prince Janusz Ostrozky restored the castle in Late Renaissance style. At the same time two bastions with guard towers were built. Between the old town and the new castle there was a deep trench that was easily filled with water from the Ikva River if necessary. The second, wider and more convenient for defense trench was dug out from the opposite side of the castle. Its eastern slope was made of bastion facades and high plumb wall from the town side was made of “wild” stone. This dig was also filled with water. The bastions had casemates connected with the suburbs. They were so wide that one could go there on a carriage and turn around.

Under the castle there was a net of wide stone secrete ways where local people hid with their holdings during attacks on the castle. Here were reserves of water and food for defenders in case of siege.

In the 16 century the castle had 73 cannons. Arsenal was constantly replenished by the local foundry workshop. During all its history the castle was the witness of the development of weapons: from muskets, flint-locks, old cannons to modern rifles, submachine guns, machine-guns, pistols etc.

The castle as the family residence of the princes Ostrozkys was handled after marriages from one princely dynasty to another. It was the private property of the Ostrozkys, Zaslavskys, Sangushoks, Liubomyrskys. And only at the end of the 19 century it was sold to military administration and since then there were one by one departments of the Russian tsar Mykola II, Austrian king, Petlura followers, Polish, Red Army, Hitler army, Soviet troops.

On the territory of the castle there are two palaces. From the southern side there is the palace of the princes Ostrozkys, and opposite to it, from the northern side, there is the palace of the Liubomyrskys. The name of the architect who made the project for the palace of the Ostrozkys is unknown. To the right from the entrance above the ground floor a small fragment of Medieval ornament was saved. On its basis the workers of Dubno national park managed to recreate ornamentation that for hundreds of years was the adornment of this monument of history, culture and architecture. In different time this palace was the place where princes Ostrozkys, Zaslavskys, Liubomyrskys, Sangushoks and even Konetspolskis saved their valuable archives. For some time the owners kept here gold, diamonds, weapons, food, pottery etc.

The palace of the princes Liubomyrskys was built on the remnants of the ancient building in the second half of the 18 century by Mykhailo Liubomyrsky who re-planned the old castle. He put the household buildings and the archives in the palace of the Ostrozkys and opposite to it he built a palace of modern looking. The project for this palace was made by the architect Domenico Merlini. Domenico Merlini was specialist in reconstruction of old palaces. That is why he was ordered the rebuild interiors of the palace of the Liubomyrskys. The architect made a large ball hall and used his favorite mode: the hall was ascended to the height of the 1,5 levels and decorated with a round colonnade in right-angled lodging. Opposite to the entrance he made a big niche. He took this mode from the architecture decoration of Rome terms. The colonnade with caps of Corinth order, that backed the balustrade around the open space of the upper part of the room, was also typical for his work.

The Liubomyrskys became the owners of the castle and town in 1758 in the result of the decision of Kolbushov transaction. During their rule Dubno developed quite quickly and it became the biggest town of Volhynia region.

As long as it existed, Dubno castle was never conquered.

The Tatars attacked it twice in 1577. The first time it was in March. The siege lasted for seven days, but the Tatars did not reached their aim. They were met with the desperate resistance of the defenders.

In 1594-1596 Severyn Nalyvaiko served as sotnik in Dubno castle. Soon he became the leader of the peasants’ rebellion. July 5, 1648 rebellious departments of Maxim Kryvonos fought the Polish army of prince Domenic Zaslavsky, seized Dubno, but they failed the take the castle where the Polish gentry was hiding.

The castle was greatly ruined during the World War I (1914-1918). During the civil war here was the staff of the First Cavalry Army of Budionyj. The town and castle considerably suffered during the World War II. The fascists deleted the part of the archives of the princes Ostrozkys and some architectural monuments.

Nowadays the workers of the regional ethnography museum and historical and cultural national park do their best to restore the castle and find out lost rarities.