Kovno, a Russian government, S. of Courland, bounded by Prussia and Poland, and just touching the Baltic Sea near Memel. It has an area of 23,000 miles, and forms part of the old Lithuanian government of Wilna, and is well watered by the Niemen, Aa, Wendau, and Duna, and has some fine forests. The majority of the population is Lithuanian, but there are many Jews. The capital, Kovno, partly in a valley and partly on the Vilia and the Niemen, which join in the neighbourhood, is an ancient town, one of the centres of Lithuanian commerce, and annexed by Russia in 1795. A railway passes through, and the town is rising in importance. There are no manufactures, and the chief articles of trade are timber, rags, flax, grain, and linseed. A cast-iron pyramid commemorates the French retreat in 1812.