Gnesen, a town in the Prussian province of Posen, with (in 1885) 15,760 inhabitants. It is believed to be the most ancient town of the former Polish empire. The cathedral church contains the relics of St. Adalbert, the apostle of the Prussians, which were purchased and deposited there by duke Boleslav I. Soon after, at the beginning of the 11th century, Gnesen as made the see of an archbishop, Gaudentius, the brother and companion of St. Adalbert, being the first incumbent of that dignity. The archbishops of Gnesen were primates of the Polish empire, the first after the king, and the ragents of the empire during the vacancy of the throne. In 1821 the united archbishopric of Poses and Gnesen was organized, the archbishop residing at Posen, but Gnesen remaining the seat of a chapter. See Neher, Kirchl. Statistik, volume 2.

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