NEISSE, a town and fortress of Germany, in the province of Prussian Silesia, at the junction of the Neisse and the Biela, 32 m. by rail S.W. of Oppeln. Pop. (1905) 25,394 (mostly Roman Catholics) including a garrison of about 5000. It consists of the town proper, on the right bank of the Neisse, and the Friedrichstadt on the left. The Roman Catholic parish church of St James (Jakobikirche) dates mainly from the 13th century, but was finished in 1430. The chief secular buildings are the old episcopal residence, the new town hall, the old Rathaus, with a tower 205 ft. in height (1499), the beautiful Renaissance Kammerei (exchequer) with a high gabled roof ornamented with frescoes, and the theatre. A considerable trade is carried on in agricultural products.
Neisse, one of the oldest towns in Silesia, is said to have been founded in the 10th century, and afterwards became the capital of a principality of its own name, which was incorporated with the bishopric of Breslau about 1200. Its first walls were erected in 1350, and enabled it to repel an attack of the Hussites in 1424. It was thrice besieged during the Thirty Years' War. The end of the first Silesian War left Neisse in the hands of Frederick the Great, who laid the foundations of its modern fortifications.
The town was taken by the French in 1807. Neisse can, at the will of the garrison, be protected by a system of inundation.
See Kastner, Urkundliche Geschichte der Stadt Neisse (Neisse and Breslau, 1854-1867, 3 vols.); Schutte, Beitrage zur Geschichte von Neisse (Neisse, 1881) ; and Ruffert, Aus Neisse's Verga.ngenhe.it (1903).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)