Grodno, Russia (Capital) - Encyclopedia




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GRODNO, a town of Russia, capital of the government of the same name in 53° 40' N. and 23° 50' E., on the right bank of the Niemen, 160 m. by rail N.E. of Warsaw and 98 m. S.W. of Vilna on the main line to St Petersburg. Pop. (1901) 41,736, nearly two-thirds Jews. It is an episcopal see of the Orthodox Greek church and the headquarters of the II. Army Corps. It has two old castles, now converted to other uses, and two churches (16th and 17th centuries). Tobacco factories and distilleries are important; machinery, soap, candles, vehicles and firearms are also made. Built in the 12th century, Grodno was almost entirely destroyed by the Mongols (1241) and Teutonic knights (1284 and 1391). Stephen Bathory, king of Poland, made it his capital, and died there in 1586. The Polish Estates frequently met at Grodno after 1673, and there in 1793 they signed the second partition of Poland. It was at Grodno that Stanislaus Poniatowski resigned the Polish crown in 1795.

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