|Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition||Public Domain via Project Gutenberg|
a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Posen, 32 m. by rail W.N.W. from the fortress of Thorn, 7 m. W. from the bank of the Vistula, and at the centre of an important network of railways, connecting it with the strategical points on the Prusso-Russian frontier. Pop. (1900) 52,082; (1905) 54,229. Its public buildings comprise two Roman Catholic and three Protestant churches, a Jewish synagogue, a seminary, high grade schools and a theatre. The town also possesses a bronze statue of the emperor William I., a monument of the war of 1870-71, and a statue of Benkenhoff, the constructor of the Bromberg Canal. This engineering work, constructed in 1773-1774, by command of Frederick II., connects the Brahe with the Netze, and thus establishes communication between the Vistula, the Oder and the Elbe. The principal industrial works are iron foundries and machine shops, paper factories and flour mills; the town has, moreover, an active trade in agricultural and other products. In view of its strategical position, a large garrison is concentrated in and about the town. Bromberg is mentioned as early as 1252. It fell soon afterwards into the hands of the Poles, from whom it was taken in 1327 by the Teutonic Order, which held it till 1343, when the Poles recaptured it. Destroyed in the course of these struggles, it was restored by Casimir of Poland in 1346, and down to the close of the 16th century it continued to be a flourishing commercial city. It afterwards suffered so much from war and pestilence that about 1772, when the Prussians took possession, it contained only from five to six hundred inhabitants. By the treaty of Tilsit it was transferred to the duchy of Warsaw; in 1813 it was occupied by the Russians, and in 1815 was restored to Prussia.