The first mention of Rivne (in Polish Rivne, in Russian Rovno) as a small rural settlement appears as early as 1283, but the status of a free town, according to the Magdeburg charter, was only granted in 1493. Its spatial development in these times is unknown but obviously the town had as a core an island-located wooden castle as well as an adjoined and also fortified city-part. The next two centuries was destructive for the town because of its permanent involvement in military events. In the 18th century in place of the old castle, Prince Lubomirski built a new palace, and a large park was on territory adjoining from the south. The very first town plan, as stated polish author T. Stecki, was made by a certain Tousher, but now its location is unknown, it appears that it was lost. Nevertheless details of the old town-planning are visible on the first preserved town-plans created at the end of the 18th century, soon after incorporating this town in the Russian Empire. The most informing among them is a plan under the title “Plan du Chateau, Jardins, Parc & ďune partie de la Ville de Rowno” made by architect J.J.Bourguignon. Design plans of the city, created later in the 19th c. on the basis of regular patterns, demonstrate spatial development of the city and at the same time, they show a gradual decline of the old princely palace with its parkland. The important factors of the town planning development in the 2nd half of the 19th century became, at first, the building of the Kyiv-Rivne-Brest transit road, and then the Zdolbunov-Rivne-Lutsk railway. Hence old cartography of the city enables us to trace its historical evolution.

Key words: Rivne, town planning, history, cartography