An ancient town with the Radziwill family castle.
Olyka is a center of the united territorial community, an urban-type settlement with a population of over 3,000 inhabitants.
The exact date of its foundation is unknown, but the town was first mentioned in the Ipatiev Chronicle in 1149.
The name Olyka comes from the name of the river Olychi (modern rivers Putylivka and Osenishche). Another version says it was derived from the old Rus word “oulichka” – “street”, which later transformed into Olyka.
The first owner of Olyka was Lenko Zarubych, mentioned in documents dated 1433. In the middle of the XV century, Olyka was owned by the Lithuanian hetman, Trotsky voivode and Lutsk mayor Petro Yanovych Bily. After his death, Olyka went first to his daughter, Anna Montigerdovichova, and then to his granddaughter, Anna of Kishkiv, who in 1513 married Jan Mykola Radziwill the Bearded. For 400 years the town became the patrimony of the ancient Lithuanian family Radziwill.
On May 31, 1564, Olyka received the Magdeburg right, which intensified its urban development.
Olyka first appeared on the map of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Pol. Rzeczpospolita) created by Stanislaw Sarnytsky in 1585.
In the XVII century Olyka was one of the largest towns in the Volyn region.
Olyka is included in the list of historical settlements of Ukraine, the town has 10 objects of historical heritage: 5 architectural sites of national significance and 5 sites of local significance.
The medieval castle of the Radziwill family is the main historical site and tourist attraction of Olyka.
The roman-catholic Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul is the oldest architectural monument in the town, another collegiate Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is known for its architectural perfection.
The entrance to Olyka is “guarded” by the Lutsk Gate – the XVII century monument of defensive architecture.
The picturesque Radziwill Road from Olyka to Tsuman was lined with concrete hexagons, known as “trylinka”, back in the 1930s.
Architectural Sites of National Significance
Radziwill Castle in Olyka was built in the XVI century and belonged to the Radziwill family for four centuries. This was the first rectangular bastion-type castle in Ukraine. It was repeatedly rebuilt and changed its functions from a defensive fortress to a residence. The castle is surrounded by a moat, lined with bricks, and has two entrance gates and the palace complex. During the Soviet occupation, the castle housed a psychiatric hospital. In 2021 the building was transferred to the management of the Volyn Museum of Local Lore.
The Collegiate Cathedral of the Holy Trinity was built in the first half of the XVII century in the Baroque style. The project of the cathedral belongs to the Italian architects Benedetto Molly and Giovanni Maliverna and resembles the style of the Church of the Gesu in Rome. A college, a seminary and a hospital were also established here. The territory around the temple is surrounded by walls, with a brick bell tower 15.8 m high nearby. The Radziwill family tomb is located in the crypt of the Collegiate Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.
Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in Volyn, a monument of sacred architecture. Built in 1450 on the old cemetery, it was rebuilt in 1612 and later used as a chapel. The church is small in size, and can accommodate only up to 30 people.
Architectural Sites of Local Significance:
- Trinity Church, built in 1886 on the site of a burned church, in the suburb of Olyka – Zavorottia.
- The cemetery chapel of the duke Novoveysky`s family, built in the Romanesque-Gothic style.
- Administrative and residential buildings of the early XX century.