Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Cracow

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CRACOW, the old capital of Poland; in 1815-1846 capital of a republic of the same name later forming part of Austrian Galicia; is on the left bank of the Vistula, where it becomes navigable, and consists of Cracow proper, or the old city, and several suburbs. It is the see of a bishop, is well built and regularly fortified. The cathedral, a fine old Gothic edifice, contains monuments of many Polish kings, of Kosciusko, etc. The university was founded in 1364, but gradually fell into decay, and was reorganized in 1817. It has a library of 300,000 volumes. Three miles from the city is a hill 65 feet high thrown up in 1820-1823 in honor of Kosciusko. In November, 1914, the Russians reached the outer line of forts, but were repulsed by Austrian forces. The region around the city was the scene for concentrating German-Austrian armies for Mackensen's drive, which resulted in the reconquest of nearly all of Galicia. As a result of the World War Cracow became a part of the new republic of Poland (q. v.). Pop. about 180,000.