The Jadwiga and Jagiello monument is the representation of the most important marriage in Polish history. Queen Jadwiga and King Jagiello are important because Jagiello was the king of Lithuania and Jadwiga was the king of Poland (it’s complicated) and their marriage in 1386, united Poland and Lithuania. Not only is the monument important because of the marriage that it represents, but it also celebrates 500 years of bringing christianity to Lithuania. If you think that the statue does not look similar to Jadwiga and Jagiello, you are right. To find out who the statue really represents, read more below.
Władysław Jagiełło II was born in May of 1351. He died on May 31, 1434 in Grodek, near Lviv. As the king of Poland, he was the founder of the Jagiellon dynasty, which became the most powerful dynasty in eastern central Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. Jagiello was one of the 12 sons of Olgierd, the ruler of Lithuania. When Olgierd died in 1377 people didn’t want Jagiello to be their new ruler. Only several years later, after some brutal actions like going to jail for murdering his uncle Kejstus, his rule became as secure as his father’s. In 1384 Polish lords, who wanted a strong ruler who could help them take back land from Hungary, they offered Jagiełło marriage to their young Polish queen, Jadwiga. This way they would share the throne on the condition that Lithuania would adopt Christianity. Jagiełło was baptized in Krakow on February 15, 1386, married to Jadwiga on February 18, and crowned on March 4 in Krakow. As long as queen Jadwiga lived, Jagiełło needed to confer with her about every decision he made until her death in 1399. After Jadwiga’s death, Jagiello married 4 times. His next 3 wives were Sophia of Halshany, Sonka Olshanskaya, Anna of Cilli, and Elizabeth Granowska. Rumor has it that after the death of Jadwiga, Jagiello never loved any other wife as much as he loved her.
Jadwiga was born in July of 1373. She died giving birth on July 17, 1399. Jadwiga was the daughter of Louis I, king of both Hungary and Poland, and Elizabeth, queen of Bosnia. After Louis died on September 11, 1382, his elder daughter Maria was chosen to be the queen of Hungary, but the Polish people chose to end the personal agreement between the two countries by choosing Jadwiga as their king – even though she was only a nine year old child. On October 15, 1384, she was crowned king of Poland. In the same year, lord’s encouraged her to marry Jagiełło in order to make a union of territories larger than the one that they had had with Hungary, and this new changed balanced the powers in central Europe. The marriage also opened the way to Christian growth of the pagan (people which don’t believe in god) Lithuanians. When Jagiełło was baptized, he and Jadwiga became rulers of both Poland and Lithuania. Jadwiga died in 1399 shortly after giving birth to her only child, a daughter named Elizabeth, who died four days before Jadwiga. She will always be known as one of the greatest rulers of Poland.
The Jadwiga and Jagiełło Monument
In the year 1852 for the Gniezno cathedral our sculpture was suppose to do a sculpture of our couple that lives in the Plants, Mieszko i Dąbrówka. In the same time he was making a sculpture of Jagiełło and Jadwiga for Lithuania. The two sculptures were identical and there were only a couple of details that made the sculptures different. In year 1864 the monument of Jagiello and Jadwiga flew to Moscow. The monument stayed there and was never taken away. From some information we know that there was a replica of the statue and that the Mieszko and Dąbrówka statue never stood in the Watykan gardens. So Lithuania and Poland decided that they will put the statue in Krakow Planty and it will represent Jagiello and Jadwiga, and the moment of there marriage.