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King Wladyslaw Lokietek Stein
Impressive Polish ceramic stein featuring the image of King Wladyslaw Lokietek.

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Impressive Polish ceramic stein featuring the image of King Wladyslaw Lokietek.

Władysław was born circa 1260 as the third son of Kazimierz I Kujawski, Duke of Łęczyca, Sieradz and Kuyavia. After the death of his father, he inherited Kuyavia, while the remaining two duchies went to his brothers, Leszek Czarny (the Black) and Ziemomysł. However, following the deaths of both brothers, the entire inheritance passed to Władysław, who began the task of re-uniting the Kingdom of Poland. His next step was winning Lesser Poland, for which he had to contest the local prince, Przemysł II. Following Przemysł's death in 1296, Władysław proclaimed himself his successor and established himself in Lesser Poland, as well as Pomerania. While Władysław enjoyed the support of the Lesser Polish peasants, knights, and part of the clergy, who preferred a prince from the domestic Piast dynasty, he had to defer to Václav II of Bohemia, who had the support of the local lords. In 1304 Władysław entered and occupied Lesser Poland with an army of his supporters, which, according to the 15th-century historian Jan Długosz, consisted of more peasants than knights. He also conquered Pomerania around Gdańsk, but since he did not win the favour of the local lords and settlers from Brandenburg who had migrated to that area, he was forced to give up the idea of complete control of the Baltic coast.

By 1311, Władysław was in power in Lesser Poland and his Kuyavian patrimony. Despite the Rebellion of wójt Albert in Kraków and Sandomierz, he was able to hold these cities thanks to the support of the nobility, gentry and townsfolk. Three years later, Greater Poland also came under his rule. However, John of Luxemburg, King of Bohemia, also claimed the Polish crown. In alliance with the Teutonic Order, he attacked Władysław's forces from the north and west, while the Brandenburgians attempted to capture Greater Poland. Nonetheless, Władysław managed to maintain his dominions.

In 1318, he embarked on a coronation campaign. The pope, though initially unwilling, finally granted his approval and Władysław was crowned King of Poland on 30 January 1320 in Kraków. The coronation was a sign that he had overcome Poland's internal fragmentation and re-united the country as an independent kingdom under his rule.

A Polish-Teutonic War (1326–1332) occupied Władysław's last years. On 27 September 1331 he fought the Battle of Płowce in Kuyavia against a group of Teutonic knights. Other groups of enemies withdrew to the north. After numerous casualties the armies were stalemated, though Władysław's forces conquered the field, captured some prisoners and stopped the expansion of the Teutonic Order in the region.

Władysław endeavored to establish a uniform legal code throughout the land. In this code he assured the safety and freedom of Jews and placed them on an equal footing with Christians.

Władysław died on 2 March 1333 in Kraków. His son, Casimir III the Great, inherited Lesser Poland, the Duchy of Sandomierz, Greater Poland, Kuyavia, and the Duchies of Łęczyca and Sieradz, while Silesia and Lubusz Land to the west, along with Gdańsk Pomerania, Western Pomerania, and Mazovia to the north remained beyond the Kingdom's borders. Nevertheless Władysław's reign was a major step on the road to restoration of the Kingdom of Poland.
  • Size - 10" - 25cm tall
  • Made in Poland

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