LEMBERG (Pol. Lw6w, Lat. Leopolis), the capital of the crownland of Galicia, Austria, 468 m. N.W. of Vienna by rail. Pop. (1900) 159,618, of whom over 80% were Poles, 10% Germans, and 8% Ruthenians; nearly 30% of the population were Jews. According to population Lemberg is the fourth city in the Austrian empire, coming after Vienna, Prague and Trieste. Lemberg is situated on the small river Peltew, an affluent of the Bug, in a valley in the Sarmatian plateau, and is surrounded by hills. It is composed of the inner town and of four suburbs.
The inner town was formerly fortified, but the fortifications were transformed into pleasure grounds in 1811. Lemberg is the residence of Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic and Armenian archbishops, and contains three cathedrals. The Roman Catholic cathedral was finished by Casimir IV. in 1480 in Gothic style; near it is a chapel (1609) remarkable for its architecture and sculpture. The Greek cathedral, built in 1740-1779 in the Basilica style, is situated on a height which dominates the town. The Armenian cathedral was built in 1437 in the ArmenianByzantine style. The Dominican church, built in 1749 after the model of St Peter's at Rome, contains a monument by Thorvaldsen to the Countess Dunin-Borkowska; the Greek St Nicholas church was built in 1292; and the Roman Catholic St Mary church was built in 1363 by the first German settlers. The town hall (1828-1837) with a tower 250 ft. high is situated in the middle of a square. Also notable are the hall of the estates (1877-1881), the industrial museum, the theatre, the palace of the Roman Catholic archbishop and several educational establishments. There are many beautiful private buildings, broad and well-paved streets, numerous squares and public gardens. At the head of the educational institutions stands the university, founded in 1784 by Joseph II., transformed into a lycee in 1803, and restored and reorganized in 1817. Since 1871 the language of instruction has been Polish, and in 1901 the university had no lecturers, and was attended by 2060 students. There are also a polytechnic, gymnasia for Poles, Ruthenians and Germans respectively seminaries for priests, training colleges for teachers, and other special and technical schools. In Lemberg is the National Institute founded by Count Ossolinski, which contains a library of books and manuscripts relating chiefly to the history and literature of Poland, valuable antiquarian and scientific collections, and a printing establishment; also the Dzieduszycki museum with collections of natural history and ethnography relating chiefly to Galicia. Industrially and commercially Lemberg is the most important city in Galicia, its industries including the manufacture of machinery and iron wares, matches, stearin candles and naphtha, arrack and liqueurs, chocolate, chicory, leather and plaster of Paris, as well as brewing, corn-milling and brick and tile making. It has important commerce in linen, flax, hemp, wool and seeds, and a considerable transit trade. Of the well-wooded hills which surround Lemberg, the most important is the Franz- Josef-Berg to the N.E., with an altitude of 1310 ft. Several beautiful parks have been laid out on this hill.
Leopolis was founded about 1259 by the Ruthenian prince Leo Danilowicz, who moved here his residence from Halicz in 1270. 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. In 141 2 it became the see of a Roman Catholic archbishopric, and from 1432 until 1772 it was the capital of the Polish province of Reussen (Terra Russia). 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.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)