The New Student's Reference Work/Warsaw

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War′saw, the former capital of Poland and the third city of the Russian Empire, is on the Vistula River, about 395 miles east of Berlin. It stands partly on a plain and partly on rising ground, and is connected with one of its beautiful suburbs by two fine bridges. There are about 160 palaces in Warsaw and 180 churches, among them the Cathedral of St. John, which dates from 1250; several theaters, one of them in a garden laid out in the old bed of the Vistula; fine squares and public gardens, with monuments to Sobieski, Copernicus etc. The university, founded in 1816 and closed by the Russians in 1832, was opened again in 1864. It has a library of 350,000 volumes, a fine observatory and 1,114 students. The leading industries of the place are plated silverware, musical instruments, carpets, boots and shoes, carriages, woolen cloth and beer. Warsaw is first mentioned in history in 1224. It belonged to the dukes of Mazovia until 1526, when the land of the Mazurs was annexed to Poland. It was fought over continually by the Swedes, Russians, Brandenburgers and Austrians. In 1795 it was given to Prussia; in 1806 Napoleon's troops occupied it; in 1809 the Austrians; and the Russians finally obtained possession in 1813. Two unsuccessful rebellions against Russia occurred, one in 1834 and the last in 1863. The Russian government, determined to crush out utterly the spirit of independence, took severe measures, executing or banishing to Siberia the nobles and clergy and confiscating their property, carrying off in large bodies the tradesmen, closing the university, schools, monasteries and convents, and placing Russian officials in all places of power. The use of the Russian language was commanded, and even the name Poland was cut out of all legal documents. Population 764,054.