Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Lemberg

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From volume XIV of the work.
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LEMBERG (i.e., Leonberg; also Lemburg or Löwenburg; Polish, Lwow; Lat., Leopolis), the capital of the Austrian crown-land of Galicia, and according to its population the third city of Austria-Hungary, lies 180 miles east of Cracow and 60 miles from the Russian frontier. The hollow of the Sarmatian plateau, in which the town is situated, is about 1000 feet above the sea-level, and, as drained by the Peltew, a tributary of the Bug, belongs to the basin of the Vistula.

Plan of Lemberg.

The Löwenburg proper or Castle Hill rises to 1300 feet. In the early part of the present century Lemberg would have been described as a small fortified place, with a number of large villages in the immediate vicinity; but the fortifications were transformed into pleasure grounds about 1811, and the villages have gradually changed into suburb and town. The old city proper occupies only about 60 acres; the suburbs extend over 12 square miles. During the 16th and 17th centuries the most striking feature of Lemberg was the immense number of its ecclesiastical buildings, and it still possesses among the rest a Greek Catholic, a Roman Catholic, and an Armenian cathedral. The church of the Dominicans (an imitation of the Karlskirche at Vienna) contains a monument, by Thorwaldsen, to the countess Josepha Borkowska. Lemberg is the seat of a university, founded in 1784 by Joseph II., and restored by Francis I. in 1817; and in the national institution founded by Ossolinski it has a noble library of books and manuscripts, and valuable antiquarian and scientific collections. The linguistic heterogeneousness of the population requires the maintenance of three separate gymnasiums,—for the Poles, the Germans, and the Ruthenians respectively; and there are besides two normal colleges, a deaf and dumb institution, and a blind asylum. Industrially and commercially Lemberg is a more important city than Cracow; it has a chamber of trade and commerce, and among the leading articles of manufacture are flour, beer, vinegar, oil of roses, and matches. The population has increased from 87,109 in 1869 to 110,250 in 1880. At the former date 46,252 were Roman Catholics, 26,694 Jews, and 12,406 Greek Catholics.

Leopolis was founded about 1259 by the Ruthenian prince Daniel for his son Leo. From Casimir the Great, who captured it in 1340, it received the Magdeburg rights, and for almost two hundred years the public records were kept in German. During the whole period of Polish supremacy it was a most important city, and after the fall of Constantinople it greatly developed its trade with the East. In 1648 and 1655 it was besieged by the Cossacks, and in 1672 by the Turks. Charles XII. of Sweden captured it in 1704. In 1848 it was bombarded.