|Daugavpils (Latvian ˈdaʊɡafˌpils)|
|German name (until 1893): Dünaburg, Former Russian name (1893--1920): Dvinsk a city in SE Latvia on the Western Dvina River: founded in 1274 by Teutonic Knights; ruled by Poland (1559--1772) and Russia (1772--1915); retaken by the Russians in 1940. Pop: 112 609 (2002 est)|
city, southeastern Latvia. It lies along the Western Dvina (Daugava) River. In the 1270s the Brothers of the Sword, a branch of the Teutonic Knights, founded the fortress of Dunaburg, 12 miles (19 km) above the modern site. The fortress and adjoining town were destroyed, and then refounded on the present location, by Ivan IV the Terrible during the Livonian wars in the 1570s. The end of the Livonian wars saw Dunaburg in Polish possession, and its fortress was rebuilt and strengthened in 1582. Although it was the centre of the province of Latgalia, the town remained of minor importance. It passed to Russia by the First Partition of Poland in 1772. Although strongly fortified in 1811, it fell to Napoleon I the following year. The construction of the St. Petersburg-Warsaw railway in 1861-62 and of the Orel-Riga railway in 1861-66 greatly stimulated the town's growth. Much damage occurred in World War I, when the front line lay on the Western Dvina, and again in World War II, when the city was in German hands
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