Map of Ukraine (blue) with Rivne Oblast and Ostroh (red).
|• Mayor||Taras Pustovit|
|• Total||10.9 km2 (4.2 sq mi)|
|Population (2001 census)|
|• Density||1,358/km2 (3,520/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||+380 3654|
|Sister cities||Sandomierz, Bieruń|
Ostroh (Ukrainian: Остро́г; Russian: Остро́г, Ostrog, Polish: Ostróg) is a historic city located in Rivne Oblast (province) of western Ukraine, located on the Horyn River. Ostroh is the administrative center of the Ostroh Raion (district) and is itself designated as a special administrative subordination within the oblast. The current estimated population is around 15,202 (as of 2007). The Ostroh Academy was established here in 1576, was the first higher educational institution in current Ukraine. Furthermore, in the 16th century, first East Slavic books, notably the Ostrog Bible, were printed there.
The Hypatian Codex first mentions Ostroh in 1100, as a fortress of the Volhynian princes. Since the 14th century, it was the seat of the powerful Ostrogski princely family, who developed their town into a great centre of learning and commerce. Upon the family's extinction in the 17th century, Ostroh passed to the Lubomirski family.
In the second half of the 14th century, Ostroh, together with whole Volhynia, was annexed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Following the Union of Lublin (1569), the town became part of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, where it remained until late 18th century (see Partitions of Poland). Ostroh, known in Polish as Ostrog, received Magdeburg rights in 1585. In the 17th century, the town was surrounded by fortifications, with a moat, a rampart and five bastions. In 1609–1753, it was the capital of the Ostrogski family fee tail, founded by Voivode Janusz Ostrogski, who invited Bernardine monks to Ostrog. Furthermore, the town had a Calvinist academy; among its lecturers was Andrzej Wegierski.
During the Khmelnytsky Uprising, the town was burned by the Cossacks, and its residents were murdered. Ostrog slowly recovered, and in the second half of the 18th century, it became the seat of a Jesuit college (see Collegium Nobilium). In 1793, the town was annexed by the Russian Empire, in which it remained until 1918. Railroad lines, built in the 19th century, missed Ostrog, and as a result, the town stagnated.
In the interbellum period, Ostrog belonged to County of Zdolbunow, Volhynian Voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic. The town was an important garrison of the Polish Army, and the Border Protection Corps (KOP). Here, KOP Battalion “Ostrog” was stationed, as well as the 19th Regiment of Volhynian Uhlans. On July 7, 1920, during the Polish-Soviet War, a battle between Polish unit under Wincenty Krajowski, and Bolsheviks of Semyon Budyonny’s 1st Cavalry Army took place. Since in 1919 - 1939 Ostrog was located in close proximity to the Polish - Soviet border, special passes were required to enter some districts of the town.
Following the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, Ostrog was annexed by the Soviet Union, as part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Unknown number of town’s residents were forcibly sent to Siberia. In the summer of 1943, during the Volhynian Genocide, Ostrog was turned into a shelter for Polish residents of several villages, who were protected by German and Hungarian units stationed in the town. Furthermore, Poles organized a Home Army battalion Borszczowka, which fought the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. According to estimates of Fr. Remigiusz Kranc from local Roman-Catholic parish, in three summer months of 1943, app. 560 Poles murdered by their Ukrainian neighbours were buried in a cemetery. Mass murder of Poles continued after withdrawal of German and Hungarian forces. In early January 1944, Polish residents retreated to the complex of the monastery, where they were surrounded by Ukrainians.
On February 5, 1944, Ostrog was captured by the Red Army. Father Kranc was welcomed by General Karol Swierczewski, and soon afterwards, the brave Catholic priest was sent to Kolyma. Among people born in the town are actress Anna Ciepielewska, pilot Boleslaw Drobinski of the No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron, Polish Army general Kazimierz Kardaszewicz, Polish senator Boguslaw Litwiniec, film and theatre actress Miroslawa Lombardo, and painter Wlodzimierz Tiunin.
The town formerly had a sizable Jewish community, whose rabbis included Kalonymus Haberkasten, Samuel Edels, and Solomon Luria. A Jewish community existed in Ostroh already in the first half of the 15th century and perhaps earlier. At the beginning of WWII two thirds of the town's population of ca. 15,000 was Jewish. In Breslov Chassidus, this town has some significance, as it was the place where Rebbe Nachman's magnum opus, "Likutey Moharan" (Anthology of Our Teacher, Rebbe Nachman) was first printed.
Landmarks include the Ostroh Castle on the Red Hill, with the Epiphany church (built in the fifteenth century) and several towers. To the north-west from the castle stand two sixteenth-century towers. The suburb of Medzhirichi (or Międzyrzec) contains the Trinity abbey, with a fifteenth-century cathedral and other old structures.
- Ostrogski family
- Ivan Fyodorov (printer)
- Ostroh Castle
- Ostroh Academy
- National University Ostroh Academy
- "Sister cities". Official website of the Ostroh City Council (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2008-06-14.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ostroh.|
- "Main". Official website of the Ostroh City Council (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- "Ostroh". art.lutsk.ua (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- "Ostroh free classifieds newspaper". Ostroh free classifieds newspaper (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2013-01-22.