Lutsk is a city on the Styr River in northwestern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Volyn Oblast (province) and the administrative center of the surrounding Lutsk Raion (district) within the oblast, though it is not a part of the raion. Lutsk has the status of a city of oblast significance, equivalent to that of a raion. Population: 217,103 (2015 est.)
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 1240 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 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 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.