A tower of Dubno Fortress
Flag of Dubno
Coat of arms of Dubno
Coat of arms

Dubno is located in Rivne Oblast <div style="position: absolute; top: Expression error: Missing operand for *.%; left: -847.4%; height: 0; width: 0; margin: 0; padding: 0;">
Country  Ukraine
Province  Rivne Oblast
District Dubno Raion
First mentioned 1100
Magdeburg law 1498
 • Mayor Vasyl Antoniuk
 • Total 27 km2 (10 sq mi)
Elevation 200 m (700 ft)
Population (2017)
 • Total 38,039
 • Density 1,409/km2 (3,650/sq mi)
Postal code 35600—35608
Area code(s) +380-3656

Dubno (Ukrainian: Ду́бно|) is a city located on the Ikva River in Rivne Oblast (province) of western Ukraine. Serving as the administrative center of Dubno Rayon (district), Dubno is incorporated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the rayon. The city is located on intersection of two major European routes E40 and E84. Population: Template:Ua-pop-est2017

In Soviet times it was home to the Cold War facility Dubno air base. The city is also famous for its fortress.


First mentioned in a chronicle of 1100, when it was in possession of Yaroslav the Wise's grandson David of Brest, Dubno was even a seat of local princes for a short period of time. In the early 14th century it was annexed by Poland with the rest of Halych-Volynia. Later, it became a notable royal stronghold guarding that country's eastern border. Granted city rights in 1498, the town attracted many foreign settlers, most notably Jewish and Armenian. As such, it became the seat of one of the oldest and most vibrant Jewish communes in Central-Eastern Europe. Since 14th century owned by the mighty Ostrogski family, who built the Dubno Castle during the times of Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski (Ostrozhsky). Between 1489 and 1506 the castle was significantly expanded by Konstanty Ostrogski, who made it a modern fortress, one of the strongest in the area.

Saint Elijah church

With the death of Janusz Ostrogski in 1619, the last of his kin, the area was inherited by his brother-in-law Aleksander Zasławski of the cadet branch of the Ostrogski family. About that time it was again modernized to stand up to the standards of renaissance warfare and modernization of artillery. Finally, in 1753 it was sold to the Lubomirskis following the Treaty of Zdołbunów.

In the 1780s the castle underwent yet another modernization and was rebuilt as a residential manor, mostly losing its fortified character. By that time, the town was the largest settlement of the Volhynian Voivodeship and arguably the most notable centre of the area. Annexed by Imperial Russia in 1795 during the Partitions of Poland, the town initially flourished as the szlachta register was moved there from Lwów. However, after the third partition it was moved to Kiev and the town lost its importance, gradually falling into neglect. In 1870 it was declared a Fortified Town, which imposed serious limitations on settlement and housing construction, further limiting the development. However, it remained a notable centre of commerce, most notably because of numerous Czech settlements around the town, that gave it the nickname of the brewery of Volhynia. The castle was ruined in 1915 during the World War I.

Old centre of Dubno

Retaken by Poland in 1918 and finally granted to that state in the Peace of Riga, it was a seat of a powiat and a notable military garrison of both the KOP, and the Polish Army, with the 43rd Rifle Regiment (part of the 13th Kresy Infantry Division), and the 2nd Regiment of Mounted Artillery (part of Volhynian Cavalry Brigade) stationed here. Dubno also was the seat of Papal Eastern Seminary (Papieskie Seminarium Wschodnie). In 1935 a large prison was started to be built, the third biggest in Poland at that time. Between 1932 and 1939 the castle was being rebuilt in its original form, but the works were stopped by the outbreak of World War II. In 1937, its population was app. 15,500, out of which Jews made 45%, Ukrainians 29%, and Poles 26%.

House of contracts in Dubno

Occupied by the Soviet Union following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, it was subject to harsh policies of the NKVD. The uncompleted prison was taken over by the NKVD in December 1939 and was used for political prisoners from all parts of Soviet-annexed Poland. Between 1500 and 3000 prisoners were kept there in harsh conditions, with new inmates arriving after the previous ones were successively transported to Gulag and other Soviet prisons. In 1940 most of the local Poles were arrested and resettled to various Soviet Gulags and prisons throughout the USSR. In 1941, following the outbreak of Soviet-German War, on June 24 and June 25, 1941, approximately 550 prisoners of the Dubno prison were executed by the withdrawing NKVD while only 8 of them survived. About that time in the vicinity of the town (and around Lutsk and Brody) a large tank battle was fought. In the Battle of Brody (1941) the German 1st Panzer Group under Ewald von Kleist managed to break the counter-attack by Soviet 9th and 19th Mechanized Corps, and 8th Mechanized Corps. 8th Corps Tank Group took Dubno and held it for 5 days before it was retaken by stronger German forces' (under Konstantin Rokossovski, Nikolay Feklenko and D.I Rybjasev, Commander of 8th Corps Tank group was brigade commisar N.K. Popel, respectively). Soon afterwards the town was occupied by Germany.

In the second half of 1943, Dubno became a shelter for ethnic Polish population of Volhynia, who came here to escape the Volhynian Genocide. The town was defended by a unit of Polish self-defence, which was tolerated by German authorities. On February 28, 1944, the Germans evacuated Poles from Dubno to Brody, and then to the Reich, where they became slave workers.

After the war the town was given to Soviet Ukraine.

Jewish history[]

According to the census of 1897, Dubno had a population of 13,785, including 5,608 Jews. The main sources of income for the Jewish community were trading and industrial occupations. There were 902 artisans, 147 day-laborers, 27 factory and workshop employees, and 6 families cultivating land. The town had a Jewish hospital and several chederim (Jewish schools). The earliest date given in connection with the Jews of Dubno is the beginning of the 17th century. In [1650] there were 47 Jewish and 141 Christian taxable households.

Dubno is perhaps best known within the Jewish world as the long-time home of Yosef Yaakov (Yoska) Sabatka, the Rabbi Yosef, Rabbi of Dubno and Jacob ben Wolf Kranz, known as the Dubno (or Dubner) Maggid.

In 1942 a large ghetto was created in the city. Most of the local Jews (roughly 12,000, that is 59% of pre-war inhabitants of the town) were killed in The Holocaust. Most were shot at mass executions by the SS Einsatzgruppe outside of the city. A detailed description of the mass murder was given by Hermann Friedrich Graebe at the Nuremberg trials. A young German officer of the German Infanterieregiment 9, Axel von dem Bussche witnessed the executions and reacted by joining the resistance movement against Hitler. Around 300 Jews managed to survive the massacres.



  • Yosef Yaakov (Yoska) Sabatka, Rabbi Yosef, Rabbi of Dubno
  • Jacob ben Wolf Kranz, Dubner Maggid
  • Axel Freiherr von dem Bussche-Streithorst
  • Rafał Leszczyński (1650–1703)
  • Aleksander Dominik Lubomirski
  • Józef Karol Lubomirski
  • Katarzyna Ostrogska (1560-1579)
  • Stanisław Skalski, Polish fighter ace of the Polish Air Force in World War II, Brigadier General, participant of the Battle of Britain
  • Wiktor Poliszczuk
  • Joseph Soloveitchik
  • Vyacheslav Ivanovich Zof
  • Roman Toporow

International relations[]

Twin towns — Sister cities[]

Dubno is twinned with:

See also[]

  • Ostroh
  • List of towns with German town law
  • Battle of Warsaw (1920)
  • Polish-Soviet War
  • Battle of Uman
  • Polish-Soviet War in 1920
  • German XLVIII Panzer Corps
  • Operation Spark (1940)


Bibliography of Jewish Encyclopedia[]

  • P. Pesis, 'Ir Dubno we-Rabbaneha, Cracow, 1902;
  • Regesty i Nadpisi, i. 339, 432, St. Petersburg, 1899;
  • K. H. Margolyesh, in Ned. Khronika Voskhoda, 1887, p. 45.H
This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, a publication now in the public domain.
By : Herman Rosenthal, S. Janovsky & M. Seligsohn

External links[]

Template:Rivne Oblast