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Dantsic Dantzic

town, chief, prussia, considerable, vistula, trade and feet

DANTZIC, DANTSIC, or DANZIG, dint'slir, Germany, city and port of Prussia, capital of the province of West Prussia, 253 miles northeast of Berlin; on an arm of the Vistula (now cut off by a dam from the river), about three miles above its mouth, and on the Mottlau, several arms of which traverse the town. It is one of the most important seaports under the Prussian monarchy, as well as one of its chief commercial entrepots. It is nearly cir calar in form and ranks as a fortress of the first class. The fortifications on the north and west side gave place about 1896 to streets and public gardens, those on the east and south being retained and strengthened. Provision is also made for laying a considerable part of the surrounding country under water. It is entered by four gates, has nine suburbs, and is divided into five parts — the Old, New and Low town, the Speicher (granaries), an island, and Langgarten. The last is the more modern part of the town and is regular and well built. The principal edifice is the Dom, or cathedral, begun in 1343, but not finished till 1503. It is 360 feet long by 142 feet broad, and its vaulted roof, 98 feet above the pavement, is supported by 26 slender brick pillars. It possesses a fine brass font and a curious astronomical clock, which has long ceased to move, but its chief attraction is a painting of the 'Last Judgment> attributed to John Van Eyck. The other build ings and institutions deserving of notice are the town-house, the church of Saint Catharine, the oldest in Dantzic, and the exchange, an impos ing Gothic edifice, built in 1379. Many of the modern public buildings are models of architec ture. It is the seat of the provincial govern ment and contains the various offices connected therewith; and is also the seat of a United States consulate. It is governed by a municipal council of 63,members, effectively controlled by a smaller executive council. It has excellent water supply and sewerage systems; owns the gas and electric plants, and is well equipped with educational and charitable institutions. The in dustrial establishments include several shipyards, works for artillery and firearms, iron foundries, machine shops, steel works, breweries, distil leries, works producing the liqueur called Dan ziger Goldwasser, or Eau de Vie de Dantzic, flour-mills, saw-mills, paper-mills, rope, wire, oil, chemical, soap and glass works. Although

losing as a shipping centre in favor of ports more favorably situated, it is developing rapidly in manufacturing industries. A considerable part of the trade is of products in transit Among imports the chief are coal, iron, cured herrings, salt, tallow and lard, petroleum, rice, coffee and some breadstuffs. The chief exports are timber, beet-sugar, grain and seeds, oil cake, flour, spirits and molasses. Dantzic has a great trade in grain, especially wheat, rye and barley, for the warehousing of which there are immense granaries on the island of Speicher. The wheat, which is chiefly Polish, is remarkable for both the quantity and the quality of the flour which it yields. There is considerable trade at Dantzic in amber, which is manufac tured into various ornamental articles. The proper port of Dantzic is Neufahrwasser, at the mouth of the Vistula (now known as the dead Vistula), and connected with it by an artificial channel. Here a free port has recently been established. By dredging and otherwise, various obstructions to navigation have bete removed and vessels of large size come up close to the town. The history of Dantzic reaches back to the times of historical obscurity. As early as 970 there was a town here. In 1271 it was taken by Mestwin, and in 1294 by the Poles. In the 14th century it fell into the hands of the Teu tonic Knights, under whose sway the town in creased and its commerce was extended. In 1358 the city joined the Hanseatic League; in 1454 it fell into the hands of the Poles, who granted it important privileges. After endur ing many vicissitudes of fortune, on the second partition of Poland, in 1793, it came into pos session of Prussia. It was besieged, bombarded and taken by the French in 1807 and retaken by the Prussians in 1814. Pop. 170,337.