Chernivtsi (Russian Chernovtsy; Romanian Cernauti; German Czernowitz) is a city, southwestern Ukraine, capital of Chernivtsi Oblast. The city is a railroad hub on the Prut River, about 35 km (20 mi) north of the border with Romania. Situated in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, the city stretches out along the Prut River for more than 10 km (6 mi). It is an industrial center in which chemicals, textiles, processed foods, wood products, and machinery are produced. The city is the site of a university and a medical school. Chernivtsi dates to at least 1407, when it was part of the Polish-Lithuanian monarchy. It was an important city of the region known as Bukovina and was held by Austria from 1775 to 1918. It was named the capital of Bukovina in 1849 when the region became a crown land of the Austrian Empire. In this period the city became a focal point of Ukrainian nationalism, and it flourished as an educational center following the founding of the university in 1875. Chernivtsi and the Bukovina region were incorporated into Romania when the Austro-Hungarian empire collapsed at the end of World War I. In 1940 it was annexed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Population 259,000 (1998 estimate).