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Gniezno [ˈɡɲeznɔ] ( listen) (German: Gnesen) is a city in central-western Poland, some 50 km east of Poznań, inhabited by about 70,000 people. One of the Piasts' chief cities, it was the second capital of Poland, after Poznań. Its Roman Catholic archbishop, the Archbishop of Gniezno, is the primate of Poland. These historical facts make its position in Polish history similar to Canterbury or Rheims.

Gniezno is located in the Greater Poland Voivodeship (since 1999), previously in Poznań Voivodeship. The city is the administrative capital of the Gniezno County (powiat).



There are archaeological traces of human settlement since the late Paleolithic. Early Slavonic settlements on the Lech Hill and the Maiden Hill are dated to 8th century. At the beginning of the 10th century this was the site of several places sacred to the Slavic religion. The ducal stronghold was founded just before AD 940 on the Lech Hill, and surrounded with some fortified suburbs and open settlements.

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