Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and the historical centre of Lithuanian economic and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the centre of a county in Trakai Municipality of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413. In the Russian Empire, it was the capital of the Kaunas Governorate from 1843 to 1915. During the interwar period, it served as the temporary capital of Lithuania, when Vilnius was seized by Poland between 1920 and 1939. During that period Kaunas was celebrated for its rich cultural and academic life, construction of countless Art Deco and Lithuanian National Romanticism architectural-style buildings as well as popular furniture, the interior design of the time, a widespread café culture; the city interwar architecture is regarded as among the finest examples of European Art Deco and has received the European Heritage Label. It contributed to Kaunas being named as the first city in Central and Eastern Europe to be designated as a UNESCO City of Design. Kaunas has been selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2022, together with Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.
The city is the capital of Kaunas County, the seat of the Kaunas city municipality and the Kaunas District Municipality. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas. Kaunas is located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris, is near the Kaunas Reservoir, the largest body of water in the whole of Lithuania; the city's name is of Lithuanian origin and most derives from a personal name. Before Lithuania regained independence, the city was known in English as Kovno, the traditional Slavicized form of its name. An earlier Russian name was Ковно Kovno, although Каунас Kaunas has been used since 1940; the Yiddish name is קאָװנע Kovne, the names in German include Kaunas and Kauen. The city and its elderates have names in other languages. An old legend claims; these Romans were led by a patrician named Palemon, who had three sons: Barcus and Sperus. Palemon fled from Rome. Palemon, his sons and other relatives travelled to Lithuania. After Palemon's death, his sons divided his land.
Kunas got the land. He built a fortress near the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers, the city that grew up there was named after him. A suburban region in the vicinity is named "Palemonas". On 30 June 1993, the historical coat of arms of Kaunas city was re-established by a special presidential decree; the coat of arms features a white aurochs with a golden cross between its horns, set against a deep red background. The aurochs was the original heraldic symbol of the city, established in 1400; the heraldic seal of Kaunas, introduced in the early 15th century during the reign of Grand Duke Vytautas, is the oldest city heraldic seal known in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The current emblem was the result of much study and discussion on the part of the Lithuanian Heraldry Commission, realized by the artist Raimondas Miknevičius. An auroch has replaced a wisent, depicted in the Soviet-era emblem, used since 1969. Blazon: Gules, an aurochs passant guardant argent ensigned with a cross Or between his horns.
Kaunas has a greater coat of arms, used for purposes of Kaunas city representation. The sailor, three golden balls, Latin text "Diligite justitiam qui judicatis terram" in the greater coat of arms refers to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of merchants and seafarers, regarded as a heavenly guardian of Kaunas by Queen Bona Sforza. According to the archeological excavations, the richest collections of ceramics and other artifacts found at the confluence of the Nemunas and the Neris rivers are from the second and first millennium BC. During that time, people settled in some territories of the present Kaunas: the confluence of the two longest rivers of Lithuania area, Lampėdžiai, Kaniūkai, Marvelė, Romainiai, Petrašiūnai, Sargėnai, Veršvai sites. A settlement had been established on the site of the current Kaunas old town, at the confluence of two large rivers, at least by the 10th century AD. Kaunas is first mentioned in written sources in 1361. In 1362, the castle was destroyed by the Teutonic Order.
Commander Vaidotas of the Kaunas castle garrison, with 36 men, tried to break through, but was taken prisoner. It was one of the largest and important military victories of the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century against Lithuania; the Kaunas castle was rebuilt at the beginning of the 15th century. In 1408, the town was granted Magdeburg rights by Vytautas the Great and became a centre of Kaunas Powiat in Trakai Voivodeship in 1413. Vytautas ceded Kaunas the right to own the scales used for weighing the goods brought to the city or packed on site, wax processing, woolen cloth-trimming facilities; the power of the self-governing Kaunas was shared by three interrelated major institutions: vaitas, the Magistrate, the so-called Benchers' Court. Kaunas began to gain prominence, since it was at an intersection of a river port. In 1441 Kaunas joined the Hanseatic League, Hansa merchant office Kontor was opened—the only one in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. By the 16th century, Kaunas had a public school and a hospital and was one of the best-formed towns in
Integrated Authority File
The Integrated Authority File or GND is an international authority file for the organisation of personal names, subject headings and corporate bodies from catalogues. It is used for documentation in libraries and also by archives and museums; the GND is managed by the German National Library in cooperation with various regional library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero licence; the GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format; the Integrated Authority File became operational in April 2012 and integrates the content of the following authority files, which have since been discontinued: Name Authority File Corporate Bodies Authority File Subject Headings Authority File Uniform Title File of the Deutsches Musikarchiv At the time of its introduction on 5 April 2012, the GND held 9,493,860 files, including 2,650,000 personalised names.
There are seven main types of GND entities: LIBRIS Virtual International Authority File Information pages about the GND from the German National Library Search via OGND Bereitstellung des ersten GND-Grundbestandes DNB, 19 April 2012 From Authority Control to Linked Authority Data Presentation given by Reinhold Heuvelmann to the ALA MARC Formats Interest Group, June 2012
Toruń is a city in northern-central Poland, on the Vistula River. Its population was 202,562 as of December 2017, it was the capital of the Toruń Voivodeship and the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Since 1999, Toruń has been a seat of the self-government of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship and, as such, is one of its two capitals; the cities and neighboring counties form the Bydgoszcz–Toruń twin city metropolitan area. Toruń itself is the second in the voivodeship. Toruń is one of the oldest cities in Poland, with the first settlement dated back to the 8th century and having been expanded in 1233 by the Teutonic Knights. Over centuries, it was the home for people of diverse religions. From 1264 until 1411 Toruń was part of the Hanseatic League and by the 17th century it was one of the elite trading points, which affected the city's architecture ranging from Brick Gothic to Mannerism and Baroque. In the early-modern age, the city was a royal city of Poland and it was considered one of the four largest cities of Poland.
After the partitions of Poland it was part of Prussia and the German Empire. After Poland declared independence in 1918, Toruń was reincorporated into Polish territory, during World War II it was one of the few cities in the country that sustained no damage; this allowed the Old Town to be preserved with its iconic central marketplace. Believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Toruń is renowned for the Museum of Gingerbread, whose baking tradition dates back nearly a millennium, its large Cathedral. Toruń is noted for its high standard of living and quality of life. In 1997 the medieval part of the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2007 the Old Town in Toruń was added to the list of Seven Wonders of Poland. Toruń is the birthplace of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus; the first settlement in the vicinity of Toruń is dated by archaeologists to 1100 BC. During early medieval times, in the 7th through 13th centuries, it was the location of an old Slavonic settlement, at a ford in the Vistula river.
In spring 1231 the Teutonic Knights crossed the river Vistula at the height of Nessau and established a fortress. On 28 December 1233, the Teutonic Knights Hermann von Salza and Hermann Balk, signed the foundation charters for Thorn and Kulm; the original document was lost in 1244. The set of rights in general is known as Kulm law. In 1236, due to frequent flooding, it was relocated to the present site of the Old Town. In 1263 Franciscan friars settled in the city, followed in 1239 by Dominicans. In 1264 the adjacent New Town was founded predominantly to house Torun's growing population of craftsmen and artisans. In 1280, the city joined the mercantile Hanseatic League, thus became an important medieval trade centre; the First Peace of Thorn ending the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War was signed in the city in February 1411 leaving the town in the hands of the Order. In 1440, the gentry of Thorn formed the Prussian Confederation to further oppose the Knights' policies; the Confederation rose against the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights in 1454 and its delegation submitted a petition to Polish King Casimir IV Jagiellon asking him to regain power over Prussia as the rightful ruler.
An act of incorporation was signed in Kraków, recognizing the region, including Toruń, as part of the Polish Kingdom. These events led to the Thirteen Years' War; the New and the Old Towns amalgamated in 1454. The citizens of Thorn enraged by the Order's ruthless exploitation, conquered the Teutonic castle, dismantled the fortifications brick by brick, except for the Gdanisko tower, used until the 18th century for the gunpowder storage. During the war, Toruń financially supported the Polish Army; the Thirteen Years' War ended in 1466 with the Second Peace of Thorn, in which the Teutonic Order ceded their control over the city to Poland. The Polish King granted the town great privileges, similar to those of Gdańsk. In 1473, Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Toruń. In 1501, Polish King John I Albert died in Toruń and his heart was buried in Toruń's St. John's Church. In 1506 Toruń became a royal city of Poland. In 1528, the royal mint started operating in Toruń. A city of great wealth and influence, it enjoyed voting rights during the royal election period.
Sejms of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth were held in Toruń in 1576 and 1626. In 1557, during the Protestant Reformation, the city adopted Protestantism. Under Mayor Heinrich Stroband, the city became centralized. Administrative power passed into the hands of the city council. In 1595 Jesuits arrived taking control of St. John's Church; the Protestant city officials tried to limit the influx of Catholics into the city, as Catholics controlled most of the churches, leaving only St. Mary's to Protestant citizens. In 1677 the Prussian historian and educator Christoph Hartknoch was invited to be director of the Thorn Gymnasium, a post which he held until his death in 1687. Hartknoch wrote histories of Prussia, including the cities of Royal Prussia. During the Great Northern War, the city was besieged by Swedish troops; the restoration of Augustus the Strong as King of Poland was prepared in the town in the Treaty of Thorn by Russian Tsar Peter the Great. In the second half of the 17th century, tensions between Catholics and Protestants grew to religious wars throughout Europe.
In the early 18th century about 50 percent of the populace the gentry and middle class, were German-speaking Protestants, while the
Pomerania is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in Central Europe, split between Germany and Poland. The name derives from the Slavic po more, meaning "by the sea" or "on the sea". Pomerania stretches from the Recknitz and Trebel rivers in the west to the Vistula river in the east; the largest Pomeranian islands are Usedom/Uznam and Wolin. The largest Pomeranian city is Gdańsk, or, when using a narrower definition of the region, Szczecin. Outside its urban areas, Pomerania is characterized by farmland, dotted with numerous lakes and towns; the region was affected by post–World War I and II border and population shifts, with most of its pre-war inhabitants leaving or being expelled after 1945. Pomerania is the area along the Bay of Pomerania of the Baltic Sea between the rivers Recknitz and Trebel in the west and Vistula in the east, it reached as far south as the Noteć river, but since the 13th century its southern boundary has been placed further north. Most of the region is coastal lowland, being part of the Central European Plain, but its southern, hilly parts belong to the Baltic Ridge, a belt of terminal moraines formed during the Pleistocene.
Within this ridge, a chain of moraine-dammed lakes constitutes the Pomeranian Lake District. The soil is rather poor, sometimes sandy or marshy; the western coastline is jagged, with many peninsulas and islands enclosing numerous bays and lagoons. The eastern coastline is smooth. Łebsko and several other lakes were bays, but have been cut off from the sea. The easternmost coastline along the Gdańsk Bay and Vistula Lagoon, has the Hel Peninsula and the Vistula peninsula jutting out into the Baltic; the Pomeranian region has the following administrative divisions: Hither Pomerania in northeastern Germany, stretching from the Recknitz river to the Oder–Neisse line. This region is part of the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; the southernmost part of historical Vorpommern is now in Brandenburg, while its historical eastern parts are now in Poland. Vorpommern comprises the historical regions inhabited by Slavic tribes Rugians and Volinians, otherwise the Principality of Rügen and the County of Gützkow.
The West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland, stretching from the Oder–Neisse line to the Wieprza river, encompassing most of historical Pomerania in the narrow sense. The Pomeranian Voivodeship, with similar borders to Pomerelia, stretching from the Wieprza river to the Vistula delta in the vicinity of Gdańsk; the northern half of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, comprising most of Chełmno Land. The bulk of Farther Pomerania is included within the modern West Pomeranian Voivodeship, but its easternmost parts now constitute the northwest of Pomeranian Voivodeship. Farther Pomerania in turn comprises several other historical subregions, most notably the Principality of Cammin, the County of Naugard, the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp, the Lauenburg and Bütow Land. Parts of Pomerania and surrounding regions have constituted a euroregion since 1995; the Pomerania euroregion comprises Hither Pomerania and Uckermark in Germany, West Pomerania in Poland, Scania in Sweden. "Pomerania" and its cognates in other languages are derived from Old Slavic po, meaning "by/next to/along", more, meaning "sea", thus "Pomerania" means "seacoast" or "land by the sea", referring to its proximity to the Baltic Sea.
Pomerania was first mentioned in an imperial document of 1046, referring to a Zemuzil dux Bomeranorum. Pomerania is mentioned in the chronicles of Adam of Bremen and Gallus Anonymous; the term "West Pomerania" is ambiguous, since it may refer to either Hither Pomerania or to the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. The term "East Pomerania" may carry different meanings, referring either to Farther Pomerania, or to Pomerelia or the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Settlement in the area called Pomerania for the last 1,000 years started by the end of the Vistula Glacial Stage, some 13,000 years ago. Archeological traces have been found of various cultures during the Stone and Bronze Age, Baltic peoples, Germanic peoples and Veneti during the Iron Age and, in the Dark Ages, Slavic tribes and Vikings. Starting in the 10th century, early Polish dukes on several occasions subdued parts of the region from the southeast, while the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark augmented their territory from the west and north. In the 12th century, narrow Pomerania became Christian under saint Otto of Bamberg.
Since the Griffin Duchy of Pomerania stayed with the Holy Roman Empire and the Principality of Rugia with Denmark, while Pomerelia, under the ruling of Samborides, was a part of Poland. Pomerania, during its alliance in the Holy Roman Empire, shared borders with Slavic state Oldenburg, as well as Poland and Brandenburg; the Teutonic Knights succeeded in integrating Pomerelia into their monastic state in the early 14th century. Meanwhile, the Ostsiedlung started to turn Slavic narrow Pomerania into an German-settled area. In 1325 the line of the pri
Samogitia or Žemaitija is one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. Žemaitija is located in northwestern Lithuania. Its largest city is Šiauliai. Žemaitija has a long and distinct cultural history, reflected in the existence of the Samogitian dialect. Ruthenian sources mentioned the region as jemotskaia zemlia. In Latin texts, the name is written as Samogitia, Samogetia etc; the area has long been known to its residents and to other Lithuanians as Žemaitija. Žemaitija means "lowlands" in Lithuanian. The region is known in English as Lower Lithuania or, in reference to its Yiddish names, Zamet or Zhamot. Žemaitija is located in northwestern Lithuania in the territories of: Akmenė District Municipality Jurbarkas District Municipality Kelmė District Municipality Kretinga District Municipality Mažeikiai District Municipality Palanga city municipality Plungė District Municipality Raseiniai District Municipality Rietavas Municipality Šilalė District Municipality Skuodas District Municipality Tauragė District Municipality Telšiai District Municipality Šiauliai District MunicipalityEastern parts of: Klaipėda District Municipality Šilutė District MunicipalityWestern part of: Joniškis District Municipality Šiauliai city municipality.
The largest city is Klaipėda if the latter is considered in the region. Telšiai is the capital; the largest cities are: Šiauliai/Šiaulē Mažeikiai/Mažeikē Telšiai/Telšē – considered capital Tauragė/Tauragie Plungė/Plongi, Plongė Kretinga Skuodas/Skouds The people of Žemaitija speak Samogitian, a dialect of the Lithuanian language, considered one of 3 main dialects. Samogitian has southern subdialects. A western subdialect once existed in the Klaipėda region, but it became extinct after World War II after its inhabitants fled the region as a result of being expelled or persecuted by the Soviet authorities. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Samogitians of the Klaipėda region called themselves "Lietuvininkai", whereas at the end of the 19th century when the area, known in German as the Memelland, was part of Prussia, they were known as "Prūsai." After World War II, the territory of the western subdialect was resettled by northern and southern Žemaičiai and by other Lithuanians. Samogitian has a broken intonation similar to that of the Latvian language.
In 2010, the Samogitian dialect was assigned with an ISO 639-3 standard language code, as some languages, that were considered by ISO 639-2 to be dialects of one language, are now in ISO 639-3 in certain contexts considered to be individual languages themselves.Žemaitija is one of the most ethnically homogeneous regions of the country, with an ethnic Lithuanian population exceeding 99.5% in some districts. During the first part of the 19th century, Žemaitija was a major center of Lithuanian culture; the local religion is predominantly Roman Catholic, although there are significant Lutheran minorities in the south. The use of the Samogitian dialect is decreasing as more people tend to use standard Lithuanian, although there have been some minor attempts by local councils in Telšiai, to write certain roadside information in Samogitian as well some schools teach children Samogitian dialect in schools; the modern concept of "dialectological" Žemaitija appeared only by the end of the 19th century.
The territory of ancient Samogitia was much larger than current ethnographic or "dialectological" Žemaitija and embraced all of central and western Lithuania. The term "Samogitians" is a Latinized form of the ancient Lithuanian name for the region's lowlanders, who dwelt in Central Lithuania's lowlands; the original subethnic Samogitia, i.e. the Central Lithuania's flat burial grounds culture, was formed as early as the 5th–6th centuries. Before that, it was inhabited by southern Curonians; the western part of historical Žemaitija became ethnically Lithuanian between the 13th and 16th centuries. The primal eastern boundary of historical Samogitia was the Šventoji River since the end of the 13th century; because during the 13th through 16th centuries the Teutonic Order and the Livonian Order bordered Žemaitija, it was always threatened by their expansionist aims. As such, Samogitian territory was offered to these orders, or exchanged in peace treaties, a number of times. Lithuania would regain Žemaitija during subsequent conflicts.
For more than two hundred years, old Samogitia played a central role in Lithuania's wars against the crusading order of the Teutonic Knights. Invasions started in Lithuania in 1229. Combined military forces undertook numerous campaigns against Lithuanians. Saule, Durbe
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth – formally, the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland – was a dual state, a bi-confederation of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, both King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th– to 17th-century Europe. At its largest territorial extent, in the early 17th century, the Commonwealth covered 400,000 square miles and sustained a multi-ethnic population of 11 million; the Commonwealth was established by the Union of Lublin in July 1569, but the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had been in a de facto personal union since 1386 with the marriage of the Polish queen Hedwig and Lithuania's Grand Duke Jogaila, crowned King jure uxoris Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland. The First Partition of Poland in 1772 and the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 reduced the state's size and the Commonwealth collapsed as an independent state following the Third Partition of Poland in 1795.
The Union possessed many features unique among contemporary states. Its political system was characterized by strict checks upon monarchical power; these checks were enacted by a legislature controlled by the nobility. This idiosyncratic system was a precursor to modern concepts of democracy, constitutional monarchy, federation. Although the two component states of the Commonwealth were formally equal, Poland was the dominant partner in the union; the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was marked by high levels of ethnic diversity and by relative religious tolerance, guaranteed by the Warsaw Confederation Act 1573. The Constitution of 1791 acknowledged Catholicism as the "dominant religion", unlike the Warsaw Confederation, but freedom of religion was still granted with it. After several decades of prosperity, it entered a period of protracted political and economic decline, its growing weakness led to its partitioning among its neighbors during the late 18th century. Shortly before its demise, the Commonwealth adopted a massive reform effort and enacted the May 3 Constitution—the first codified constitution in modern European history and the second in modern world history.
The official name of the state was The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Latin term was used in international treaties and diplomacy. In the 17th century and it was known as the Most Serene Commonwealth of Poland, the Commonwealth of the Polish Kingdom, or the Commonwealth of Poland, its inhabitants referred to it in everyday speech as the "Rzeczpospolita". Western Europeans simply called it Poland and in most past and modern sources it is referred to as the Kingdom of Poland, or just Poland; the terms: the Commonwealth of Poland and the Commonwealth of Two Nations were used in the Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations. The English term'Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth' and German'Polen-Litauen' are seen as renderings of the Commonwealth of Two Nations variant. Other names include the Republic of Nobles and the First Commonwealth, the latter common in Polish historiography. Poland and Lithuania underwent an alternating series of wars and alliances during the 14th century and early 15th century.
Several agreements between the two were struck before the permanent 1569 Union of Lublin. This agreement was one of the signal achievements of Sigismund II Augustus, last monarch of the Jagiellon dynasty. Sigismund believed, his death in 1572 was followed by a three-year interregnum during which adjustments were made to the constitutional system. The Commonwealth reached its Golden Age in the early 17th century, its powerful parliament was dominated by nobles who were reluctant to get involved in the Thirty Years' War. The Commonwealth was able to hold its own against Sweden, the Tsardom of Russia, vassals of the Ottoman Empire, launched successful expansionist offensives against its neighbors. In several invasions during the Time of Troubles, Commonwealth troops entered Russia and managed to take Moscow and hold it from 27 September 1610 to 4 November 1612, when they were driven out after a siege. Commonwealth power began waning after a series of blows during the following decades. A major rebellion of Ukrainian Cossacks in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth began in 1648.
It resulted in a Ukrainian request, under the terms of the Treaty of Pereyaslav, for protection by the Russian Tsar. Russian annexation of part of Ukraine supplanted Polish influence; the other blow to the Commonwealth was a Swedish invasion in 1655, known as the Deluge, supported by troops of Transylvanian Duke George II Rákóczi a