POSEN (Polish Poznan), the chief t. of the province of Posen, and a Prussian fortress of the first rank, is situated ou the low and sandy banks of the Wartha, nearly 150 tn. e. of Berlin. Pop. '71, 56,374; '73, 60,998—of whom not quite the half are Protestants, and toward 10,000 are Jews. Posen, which ranks as one of the most ancient cities of Poland, became the seat of a Christian bishop in the 10th century. Till 1296 it was the seat of the Polish dukes; and it was a member of the Hanseatic league during the middle ages, when it was an importaut trading mart between western Europe and the Slavonic lands bordering on Asia. At this time many German, English, and Scottish traders settled in Posen, which latterly fell into decay. It passed into the possession of Prussia in 1815. At the great lire of 1803, when many of the older parts of the town were destroyed, Posen lost the most striking features of its semi-oriental style of arc hitecture; but it still retains a certain picturesque character from the number of its church loners and lofty houses. Among its fifteen principal churches the most noteworthy are the cathedral, a recently restored and elaborately ornamented building, and St. Stanislans, a splendid
Jpeeimen of Italian architecture. Posen, which has been strongly fortified since 1828, is encircled by six suburbs. It is the see of an archbishop, the seat of the provincial gov ernment, ;inn has a fine town-hall. two gymnasia. a public library with 20,000 training-schools for teachers of both sexes, a school for midwives, a theater. etc. Et cent restorations and improvements have rendered it one of the pleasantest-looking towns in Prussia, and it can now boast of many fine regularly-built streets and squares, in which are situated the winter residences of many of the provincial Polish nobles. A consider able trade in wood, corn, wool, broadcloth, and linen is carried oit here, principally by the Jews, and the annual fairs held in summer attract large crowds from all parts of the province. The chief manufactures of Posen are cloth, leather, carliages, copper vats and other vessels used in distilling, and tobacco; while there are likewise several brew eries, distilleries, and sugar-refineries.