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Modern day Praga with its massive residential buildings
Praga is a historical borough of Warsawmarker, the capital of Polandmarker. It is located on the east bank of the river Vistula. First mentioned in 1432, until 1791 it formed a separate town with its own city charter.


The historical Praga was a small settlement located at the eastern bank of the Vistula river, directly opposite the towns of Old Warsawmarker and Mariensztat, both being parts of Warsaw now. First mentioned in 1432, it derived its name from a Polish verb prażyć, meaning to burn or to roast, as it occupied a forested area that was burnt out to make place for the village. Separated from Warsaw by a wide river, it developed independently from the nearby city. Because of that, on February 10, 1648 king Władysław IV of Poland granted Praga with a city charter. However, as it was mostly a suburb and most buildings were wooden, the town had repeatedly been destroyed by fires, floods and foreign armies. Currently the only surviving historical monument from that epoch is the Church of Our Lady of Loreto.

Although there were numerous attempts to build a permanent bridge across the river, none succeeded and Praga remained a separate entity well into 18th century. Communications between the capital and Praga was maintained by privately-run ferries and, in the winter, over the ice. Finally, in 1791, during the reign of Stanisław August Poniatowski, Praga was attached to Warsaw as its' borough.

In April 1794 the Russian troops in revenge for the massacre of the Russian Garrison in Warsawmarker during the Kościuszko Uprising murdered over 20,000 inhabitants of the Praga district.

Unlike the western parts of Warsaw, during the World War II Praga remained relatively untouched and in the period of reconstruction of the capital was home to many ministries and public facilities.

Because of the traditional separate status of Praga, there are two Catholic dioceses in Warsaw - The Diocese of Warsaw with St. John's Cathedral and The Diocese of Warsaw-Prague with St. Florian's Cathedral.

Administrative division

Currently Praga is administratively divided into:

Praga Południe and Praga Północ include neighborhoods of:

In the wider sense, all areas of Warsaw located on the right bank of Vistula are also known under the collective term of Praga. Besides historical Praga, they include:

See also

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