Breslau (Breztlow), capital of Prussian Silesia, 150 m. SE. of Frankfort-on-Oder by rail, is situated at the confluence of the Ohlau and Oder. It has a university founded by the Emperor Leopold I. in 1702, with over 1200 students, and a library of 300,000 volumes; a cathedral (1148-1680); and the Protestant church of St Elizabeth, with a steeple 298 feet in height, and a splendid organ. Linen fairs are held, and Breslau is a great wool-mart. It has manufactures of linens, woollens, cotton, silks, lace, jewellery, machines, earthenware, soap, alum, starch, etc, with many distilleries. Breslau is a city of Slavonic origin, and was for many centuries occupied alternately by the Poles and the Bohemians. It afterwards passed to Austria, from which it was taken by Frederick II. of Prussia in 1741. Six years afterwards it was captured by the Austrians after a bloody battle, but retaken by Frederick in about a month. It was often besieged from that time until 1814, when its fortifications were completely demolished; since 1890, however, it has again been made a first-class fortress. Pop. (1870) 207,997; (1900) 422,800.