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The Free City of Kraków (Polish: Wolne Miasto Kraków), also known as Republic of Kraków (Rzeczpospolita Krakowska), was a city-state created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and controlled by its three neighbors, Russia, Prussia and Austria until 1846. It was a remnant of the Duchy of Warsaw partitioned by the three empires in 1815.
The Free City was officially established on May 3, 1815. It comprised the city of Kraków and its environs (1164 sq. km) and in 1815 it had a population of about 88,000, mostly Poles. In 1818 it was given a constitution which gave it much autonomy. The legislative power was vested in an Assembly of Representatives, and the executive power - in a Governing Senate. The law was based on the civil Napoleonic code, and French commercial and penal law. The official language was Polish.
The Free City was a duty-free area allowed to trade with Russia, Prussia and Austria. The Jagiellonian University could accept students from all three partitions of Poland.
During the November Uprising of 1830-1831 Kraków was a base for arms smuggling to the Kingdom of Poland. After the fall of the uprising the autonomy of the Free City was abridged. Kraków was occupied by the Austrian army 1836-1841. After an unsuccessful Kraków Uprising of 1846 the Free City was eventually annexed by Austria on November 16, 1846 and turned into a Grand Duchy of Kraków .
See also: Free City of Gdansk