17.06.

1696: Polish King who Saved Vienna from the Ottoman Turks and after whom a Constellation was Named

1696: Polish King who Saved Vienna from the Ottoman Turks and after whom a Constellation was Named
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Sobieski sending message of victory to the Pope after the Battle of Vienna, by Jan Matejko, 1880, National Museum, Kraków

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 17 June 1696
  • King John III Sobieski freed Vienna from the last Turkish siege in 1683. He was congratulated on this his victory by even the pope, and a constellation was named Scutum Sobiescianum (Shield of Sobieski) in honor of Sobieski.

On this day in 1696, the Polish King John III Sobieski, known as the savior of Vienna from the Ottoman siege, died.

Namely, in 1683, John III Sobieski, coming to the aid of the besieged Vienna, crushed the Ottoman forces led by Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa.

This put an end to the last attempt of the Ottomans to conquer the Habsburg capital.

The Polish king was congratulated on this his victory even by the pope, and a constellation was named Scutum Sobiescianum (Shield Sobieski) in honor of Sobieski.

King John III Sobieski was a descendant of a Polish noble family. It is interesting that he was in fact born in what is now Ukraine, in the castle Olesko, which then belonged to Poland.

In his time, this country was an election monarchy, in which the Parliament had the right to elect a king. So, he was elected king in 1674, at a time when Poland was a large state, both in territory and population, but with a lot of internal problems.

Sobieski married the French woman Marie Casimire Louise de la Grange d’Arquien. She bore him as many as 14 children but not all of them survived childhood.

Their oldest son was called Jakub Sobieski and he also tried to be elected for the Polish king. Jakub’s daughter Maria Clementina Sobieski became the mother of the last members of the British dynasty Stuart (Jacobite pretenders to the British throne).

Specifically, she married James Francis Edward Stuart, also known by the nickname “The Old Pretender”.

John III Sobieski died on this day in Wilanów Palace near Warsaw (the castle is called by some the “Polish Versailles”).

Even today, King John III Sobieski is still held in high regard in Poland, as a kind of national hero

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