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Breslaw c. 1700

Article from The Great Historical, Geographical and Poetical Dictionary (London: H. Rhodes, 1694)

Breslaw upon the Oder, Capital of Silesia, and of particular Duchy, with a Bishoprick Suffragant of Guesn, about 1033 or 35. The Latin Authors call it Uratislavia Budorgis, and Butorigum. It is one of the greatest and fairest of all Germany, and became considerable since the Eleventh Age. in 1109, Boleslas III. King of Poland, defeated the Emperor Henry V. there. it suffered much in the 13th Age by the Incursions of the Tartars, who burned it almost to Ground, and it has been twice since almost destroyed by fire, to which it is very subject, as being built mostly of Wood. The Emperor Charles IV. who lov'd Breslaw, enlarged it, and gave great Priviledges to the Inhabitants, especially in 1348, when he himself came to that City. Vincelaus, his Son, augmented those Priviledges, and they say he gave occasion to the great Mischief which happened there afterwards, by the Mis-understandings of the Inhabitants, and principally in 1418. The Emperor Sigismund, Brother to Vinceslaus, caused 22 of the Ringleaders of the Sedition to be punished; and since that time this City became extreamly flourishing. In the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Ages it had a share in the Evils which afflicted Germany, during the Wars about Raligion. Divers of its Inhabitants are Protestants, and the Emperors have been olbliged to grant them particular Priviledges, by the 13th Article of the Treaty of Westphalia. The River of Oder serves both for Rampart and Ornament, and Conveniency for Trade to Breslaw, because of the Marchandise whis is carried thither from all Parts. It is watered on the other side by the little River Olan, which falls there into the Oder. Here are great Market-places, long and large Streets, fair Houses, and magnificent Churches. The Town-House, built in one of these Markets, is one of the fairest Buildings in Germany, with a Clock, and an admirable Consort of Trumpets, after the Maner of the Country. Near to this are three great Halls, where the richest Merchants have their Warehouses and Shops. The New Market, and the Salt-Market are also very fine Places. The finest Churches are those of St. Magdalen and St. Elizabeth, which are in the Hands of the Protestants. The Cathedral of St. John is in a Suburb of that Name, with a Collegial called that of the Holy Cross. There are also some Religious Houses of Augustins, Franciscans and Jesuits, who have a fine Colledge there. Breslaw is very strong, and of an admirable Situation. The Inhabitants themselves keep Guard in it; and though it depends on the Emperor, with the rest of Silesia, yet it is governed as a Common-Wealth. It stands 120 Miles North East of Prague, 130 North West of Cracow, and 170 North of Vienna.
“Breslaw” in: The Great Historical, Geographical and Poetical Dictionary being a curious miscellany of sacred and prophane history (London: H. Rhodes, 1694).