The Grunwald Monument is a symbol of the Battle of Grunwald, representing one of the greatest victories in Polish history. The Battle of Grunwald took place in 1410, between the Polish-Lithuanian army and the Forces of the Teutonic Knights. The monument features many famous figures, like King Jagiello and Ulrich von Jungingen, who were the leaders for both sides of this important battle.
The Battle of Grunwald
The battle of Grunwald was fought near Stebark, Grunwald and Lodwigowo, villages in northern Poland, where the Teutonic forces met the Polish-Lithuanian army. The Polish- Lithuanian army was led by King Jagiello and his cousin, the grand Duke Vytautas. The Teutonic Knights were led by Ulrich von Jungingen. It was the first battle of Tannenberg and a major victory for the Polish and Lithuanian armies. In the battle, von Jungingen was killed by a Polish knight. This battle marked the beginning of the end of the Teutonic Knights’ rule in Poland and Lithuania.
The Grunwald Monument
The Grunwald Monument stands in plac Jana Matejki and is a popular tourist site. The monument, built by Antoni Wiwulski, was dedicated in 1910, the battle’s 500th anniversary. The original Monument that Antoni Wiwulski built was destroyed by the Nazis in 1939. For many years there was no monument but then in 1976, Marian Konieczny rebuilt the Monument. Many people think it’s the original Grunwald Monument but as you know now, it’s not.
At the front we can see Ulrich von Jungingen lying dead at the feet of Grant Duke Vytautas. The figure on the top is King Jagiello on his horse. The soldiers on the west side of the monument are Lithuanian and those on the east side are Polish. In the back of the monument, there is a peasant breaking his chains. This is to symbolize Poland breaking free of the rule of the Teutonic Knights.
King Jagiello (born Jogaila) was born in Vilnius in the middle of the 14th century, and was a Pagan. He was the Grand duke of Lithuania until he married Jadwiga to become King Jagiello of Poland. His reign in Poland lasted from 1386 – 1434. He brought Christianity to Lithuania and beat the Teutonic forces. Before his marriage to Jadwiga, he was baptized a Christian by Wladyslaw and that is why his name is Wladyslaw Jagiello. He wanted to overthrow the Teutonic knights and he won the Grunwald battle and continued to fight against them. The Peace of Thorn ended the battles between them. He died in Grodek Jagiellonski, in modern-day Ukraine in 1434. King Jagiello was buried in Wawel Cathedral and is seen as one of the greatest kings of Poland.
Vytautas was born in Senieji Trakai in 1350 and died on October 27, 1430 in the Trakai Island Castle in Lithuania. He was buried in the Vilnius Cathedral. He had one daughter, named Sophia of Lithuania, and he had two wives who were named Uliana Olshanska and Anna Grand Duchess of Lithuania (1370-1418). He was the cousin of King Jagiello of Poland (Jogaila). He was the Grand Duke of Lithuania in the early 15th century. After, he was baptized and then got the name Wigand and was re-baptized as Alexander. He turned Lithuania into a Catholic country and burned down three important Teutonic castles.
Ulrich von Jungingen
Ulrich von Jungingen was the army general of the Teutonic Knights, and he was killed in the battle of Grunwald on July 15, 1410. He was born January 8, 1360 in Hohenfels Castle, Konstanz, Germany. Ulrich had one brother who was named Konrad von Jungingen. In 1410, Ulrich and his army left the heavily defended Malbork Castle to oppose the Polish-Lithuanian armies. This turned out to be a bad decision for the Knights and von Jungingen.