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City (pop., 2009 est.: 1,709,781), capital of Poland, on the Vistula River. Founded c. 1300, it flourished as a trade centre, came under Polish control in 1526, and became the capital in 1596. During the late 18th century it expanded rapidly, but it was destroyed in 1794 by the Russians. In 1807 it was made the capital of the Duchy of Warsaw by Napoleon. Taken by the Russians in 1813, it was the centre of Polish insurrections in 1830–31 and 1860. It was occupied by the Germans in World War I and again in World War II, when its large Jewish population revolted in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (1943). The Warsaw Uprising in 1944 was unsuccessful, and the Germans virtually destroyed the city. Modern Warsaw, rebuilt after the war, now houses government bodies, including the Sejm (parliament); it is also an industrial and educational centre. Among its historic buildings are a 14th-century Gothic cathedral and a medieval castle.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Warsaw, visit Britannica.com.