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Lutsk in the Legends


The first mention about Lutsk was found in the Ipatisch Chronicle in 1085, and deals with the war between Jaroslav Mudriy descendants. But city researchers have reasons to consider, that it appeared approximately 1000 A.D.. Archeological investigations tell us about existence of settlements on the territory of the city before the late Stone Age ( III thousand BC). The name “Lutsk” is connected with its location at the bend of the river Styr. There is another version: the name “Lutsk” comes from the name “Luka”. He was the head of dulibs, who found the city on the island, that was formed by the river Styr and its arms. Nowadays that is the territory of the State historical and Cultural Preservation “The Old Lutsk”. During the times when the prince ruled people called Lutsk “Luchsk” or “Luchesk” and only during the Lithuania Times at the the city got its present name.

One of the legends about the city tells us, that it was many years ago, when Lutsk was not founded at all. There were deep forests near the river Styr. It was a beautiful summer day. A short, fair-haired boy Lutsko grazed cattle near Styr. Suddenly he saw a cask. He drew it out and brought home. At home his parents broke the cask and found a peace of leather with some words. Nobody could read it. In a few days later people came from Peremyshl and asked if somebody had found the cask, because there were documents which gave a right to found a city. Those people wanted to move from Peremyshl, because of quarrels they had and planned to finish a struggle. The herdsman gave them the cask with documents back. People named the city in honour of the young herdsman. Later they moved from Peremyshl to Lutsk and lived peacefully.

The legend about the vault tells us, that the vault ways connected the old city with Zhydychun and Shepel, castle in Olyka and another castles around it. Local people confirm, that this vault has two levels. They say, that almost every building had a kind of vault at that time in order to defence.

Also there was a way from the castle to the river, so there was a possibility to replenish the stock of fresh water even when enemies were around. But these ways were very narrow and two people couldn’t pass by each other. People, who spent their childhood in Lutsk, remember how long and how big was the vault, that stretches far away from the city. There is a story that there were two ways into different sides from the church in the underground One of them was the vault way to Zaborol and it was so wide, that somebody could drive a car there. When people built the fishhouse, they found a basement, but later bricked up the ways. There is the third floor of the basement. In the Middle Ages it was the place for torture. On the ceiling there were chains with handcuffs, lower was fire and other instruments for torture. In some rooms one finds many skulls. In these rooms jesuits kept prisoners. People found a room, that was full of skulls. They say that a ghost lives in the vault. Witnesses, who research the vault in Lutsk, tell the stories about this ghost. One of the main secrets of underground is the big crypt of a young girl, her name was Magdalena – she died when she was 19 years old. The reason of such a premature death is unknown. There is no answer why this crypt with the body is situated in this underground. It is interesting that it is impossible to make photos with the crypt, because only white spot appears on the photo. Many people believes that the ghost of a girl is still in the vault.

There is one more very interesting legend about a hidden castle treasure. It was many years ago, when hordes of nomads attacked our territories, burned down the villages, destroyed cities. Lutsk castle also survived those attacks. People, who lived in Lutsk struggled courageously. In one of the battle the prince was wounded. When he died, he ordered to gather all the treasures and to hide them in castle, he said: “This treasure will bring misfortune to those, who will find it keep for himself. It must serve people who live in Lutsk.” They say that nowadays the treasure is still in the castle. If it is found and not given to the welfare of the city it will bring misfortune to its owner.

The legend about one of the oldest city emblem explains, why a young princess is depicted on it. It happened during one of the tatars attack on Lubart Castle. A young girl went out of the castle with two chaplets in her hands. Conqueror’s sons came up to the girl, because they wanted to take the chaplets as a sign of victory. But suddenly the chaplets in her hands turned into poniards and both brothers were killed.

St. Nikolaus is a protector of Lutsk. He is famous all over the world because of his good deeds and desire to help people. And that’s why Lutsk is famous as hospitable and quiet city. The Chronicles “Story of the last years” gives us the description of an interesting event: “And then when Kuremsa stood near Lutsk, God made a great wonder. Lutsk was unfortified and not prepared, and there were a lot of people in the city. The weather was cold and rainy. And when he [Kuremsa], came to Lutsk, he couldn’t cross [the river Styr]. He wanted to capture a bridge, but citizens destroyed it. Then he set vices, trying to drive [them] away, but God made a wonder and St. Ioan [Zlatoustiy] and St. Nikolaus [Merlykiskiy]: there was so windy, that when the vice threw [a stone], the wind turned a stone to them [tatars]. They threw on them [citizens, and] their dust broke by Gods power. And they didn’t achieve anything, they came back to their field”.

They say, that every traveler, who comes to Lutsk will have a great fortune in his life. So when you come to the city make a photo with the Entrance (Viizna ) Tower holding 200 nominal in your hand. After that you will forget about financial problems forever; moreover money will multiply in your wallet.