1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Czenstochowa
CZENSTOCHOWA, or Chenstokhov, a town of Russian Poland, in the government of Piotrkow, on the left bank of the Warta (Warthe), 143 m. S.W. of Warsaw, on the railway between that city and Cracow. Pop. (1900) 53,650. Here is a celebrated monastery crowning the steep eminence called Yaznagora or Klarenberg. It was founded by King Vladislaus of the house of Jagiello and was at one time fabulously wealthy. In 1430 it was attacked and plundered by the Hussites; in 1655, and again in 1705, it bravely resisted the Swedes; but in 1772 it was forced to capitulate to the Russians, and in 1793 to the Prussians. The fortifications, which had been built from 1500 onwards, were razed in 1813. This monastery, which is occupied by monks of the order of Paul the Hermit, contains over the altar in its church a painted image of the Virgin, traditionally believed to have been painted by St Luke, and visited annually by throngs (400,000) of pilgrims from all over Russia, eastern Prussia and other neighbouring regions. The inhabitants of the town manufacture cotton, cloth and paper, and do a lively business in rosaries, images, scapularies and so forth.