Korets

Administrative center of the Rivne Oblast's Korets Raion in Western Ukraine (50°37′02″N 27°09′39″E). Located on the river Korchyk, 66 km (41 mi) by highway from the oblast's capital Rivne and 33 km (20.5 mi) from the nearest railroad station in Novohrad-Volynsky. Korets is known for its ten churches, for which it is sometimes called the "Christian Mecca." Historical region: Volyn.

Population: 7,428 as of Jan. 1, 2011.

Area: 6 sq.km (2.3 sq.mi).

Established in 1150 as Korchesk.

Member of the Association of Local Governments "The Gediminids’ Way" since Oct. 24, 2013.

Official site of Korets:
www.korec-misto.rv.ua


As the Volyn-Halych Principality declines in the firs half of the 14th century, Volyn goes over to the Lithuanian state. Its ruler Liubartas (the youngest son of Great Duke of Lithuania Gediminas) transfers quite a piece of the surrounding lands to princes from Ostroh. In 1386, King of Poland Władysław II Jagiełło confirms the title of the Ostroh princes to Zaslav, Korets and Ostroh proper. Neither did Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas (Vytautas the Great) object to the move.

The new rulers set off their activities in Korets, in the first place, organizing the city's defense against a new danger that began threatening Ukrainian lands from the 15th c. – attacks by Turks and Tatars. As soon as in 1386, Prince Fedir of Korets laid the foundation of a wooden castle on a cliff above the Korchyk. The castle was encircled with a deep moat, filled with water from the river. In 1495, the castle withstood a Tatar siege.

In the second half of the 16th c., Prince Bohush of Korets reconstructed the castle completely, having it fortified with stone walls. As a result, the castle became almost impregnable.

As of the late 15th c., Korets was one of 35 urban settlements that existed at the time in Ukraine. It was among Volyn's 29 towns on the geographic map of Europe drawn in 1554 by Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator.

Monuments from the epoch of the Gediminids and GDL that have survived in Korets:

  • Castle of the Korets Princes (14th–16th c.)
  • Church of St. Anthony (1533)
  • Stone Bridge (16th c.)