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Crowning Glory Long Gone: Recalling the Regalia of Polish Kings

Thursday, September 22, 2016 16:58
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Crowning Glory Long Gone: Recalling the Regalia of Polish Kings

Before World War II, Poland had lots of treasures located in its castles and palaces. Memories of the best times in the rich history of the country are well documented too. However, the regalia of Polish kings was lost a long time before that war began. It was the victim of previous wars and the need for money.

Polish royal history starts with the coronation of King Bolesław Chrobry, known as Boleslaw I the Brave (crowned in 1025). The last king was Stanisław August Poniatowski, who abdicated on January 7, 1795. The history of Polish kings lasted from the early medieval period to the end of the 18th century, but the glory of their treasures disappeared in the ashes of war. Numerous rich artifacts were lost.

The Regalia of Rulers Near the Vistula River

The history of Polish royalty begins in the 11th century. King Bolesław I the Brave, the son of Mieszko I, was the first ruler of Poland and the one who decided to baptize the country in 966. The crowning of Bolesław took place in Gniezno, Poland’s first capital. Apart from the crown, the ceremony included a replica of Saint Maurice's Spear, which became one of the first insignias of the Kingdom of Poland.

Bolesław Chrobry portrait by Jan Matejko.

Bolesław Chrobry portrait by Jan Matejko. (Public Domain)

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