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city, Dolnoslaskie wojewodztwo (province), southwestern Poland, on the Pilawa River in Lower Silesia. The community was founded as Reichenbach in the 12th century and received town rights in the 13th. The duke of Ziebice (Munsterberg) pledged the town to Bohemia (1335), whence it passed to the Habsburgs. In 1742 it was surrendered, with Silesia, to Prussia; it returned to Poland in 1945 and was renamed for the Polish priest Jan Dzierzon. The economy of Dzierzoniow was long based on heavy industry, though this activity had fallen into decline by the late 20th century. It is the major trading centre for its surrounding area. Pop. (2002) 35,437.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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