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Brzeg

From Academic Kids

Brzeg (German: Brieg) is a town in southwestern Poland with 39,900 inhabitants (1995), situated in the Opole Voivodship.

Its name, meaning "shore" in Polish, derives from its being on the banks of the Oder (Odra) river. The city received municipal rights in 1250 from Duke Henry III the White of Wrocław. From 1311-1675 Brzeg was the capital of a Silesian duchy ruled by the Piast dynasty. The Duchy of Brzeg, along with Silesia, was part of the Kingdom of Bohemia during the Middle Ages. When Bohemia fell to the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria in 1526, Brzeg fell under the overlordship of the Habsburgs in their roles of Kings of Bohemia, although it was still ruled locally by the Piasts. Upon the extinction of the Piast dukes in 1675, Brzeg came under the direct role of the Habsburgs.

In 1537 the Piast duke Frederick II of Brzeg concluded a treaty with Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg, whereby the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg would inherit the duchy upon the extinction of the Piasts. Frederick the Great of the Kingdom of Prussia used this treaty to justify his invasion of Silesia during the War of the Austrian Succession in 1740. Brzeg and most of Silesia were annexed by Prussia after that state's victory. The city became part of Imperial Germany in 1871, but joined Poland in 1945 after the Second World War.

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