The present-day capital was just beginning to emerge from the obscurity of the Mazovian forests. For a capital city, Warsaw entered history late. Although there are records of a settlement here from the tenth century, the first references to anything resembling a town at this point on the Wisla date from around the mid-fourteenth century. Capital status inevitably brought prosperity, but along with new wealth came new perils. In the 14th century, the dUKes of Mazovia built a stronghold on the site where the Royal Castle stands today, and made Warsaw their seat in 1413. The city was badly damaged by the Swedes during the invasion of 1655 - the first of several assaults - and was then extensively reconstructed by the Saxon kings in the late seventeenth century. Warsaw was absorbed into Prussia in 1795. The new hopes for liberty came with the arrival of Napoleon’s but the collapse of his Moscow campaign spelled the end of those hopes following the 1815th congress of Vienna, the city was integrated into the Russian-controlled Congress Kingdom of Poland. The second half of the 19th century saw a steady rate of urban development and industrialization, including a railway linking Warsaw with Vienna and St Petersburg. After WWI, Warsaw was reinstated as the capital of independent Poland and within 20 years made considerable advances in the fields of industry, education, science and culture. . Newly constructed steel-and-glass towers are increasingly breaking the monotony of the grey landscape; shop windows showcase colorful, innovative designs and color.
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