Image - Ovruch on 19th-century lithograph. Image - Ovruch: town center. Image - Ovruch: Transfiguration Cathedral.

Ovruch [Овруч; Ovruč]. Map: II-9. A city (2014 pop 16,515) on the high left bank of the Noryn River and a raion center in Zhytomyr oblast. It is first mentioned in the chronicles under the year 946 as Vruchyi, a Derevlianian settlement. In 977 the princes Oleh Sviatoslavych and Yaropolk I Sviatoslavych fought there; Oleh is purportedly buried in a large grave nearby. In the second half of the 12th century Ovruch was part of Riuryk (Vasylii) Rostyslavych’s principality. In 1362 it came under Lithuanian rule as part of the Lithuanian-Ruthenian state, and after the Union of Lublin in 1569 it was transferred to Poland and made a center of Ovruch starostvo. In 1641 Ovruch was granted the rights of Magdeburg law. After the partition of Poland in 1793, it was annexed by Russia and became a county town in Volhynia gubernia. Today the town has a dairy, a canning factory, and a winery, as well as railway enterprises. Its architectural monuments include Saint Basil’s Church (12th–13th century, restored 1908–12) and monastery buildings (1907–9).

[This article was updated in 2015.]

Image - Ovruch: view of the town's main churches.

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