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Thursday, 9 June 2011

9 June: King Władysław IV Vasa, (King of Poland and Lithuania, Prince of Sweden), and Adam Kazanowski

b. 9 June 1595
d. 20 May 1648

Władysław IV Vasa (Polish: Władysław IV Waza; Lithuanian: Vladislovas IV Vaza; 9 June 1595 – 20 May 1648) was a Polish and Swedish prince from the House of Vasa. He reigned as King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 8 November 1632 to his death in 1648. (In 1610 the teen-aged Władysław had been elected tsar of Russia by the Seven Boyars, but had not assumed the Russian throne due to his father's opposition and a popular uprising in Russia. Nevertheless, until 1634 he used the title of Grand Duke of Muscovy).
History, like nature, likes balance. So surely that’s why Wladyslaw IV (1595-1648) , a son of the ‘king-Jesuit’ Zygmunt III, Waza, started to rule.  The same-sex affairs of the king Wladyslaw IV constituted a secret for ages.  But fortunately, my friend Sergiusz Wróblewski, a well-known LGBT journalist and historian from Poznan, has spent some time on revealing these interesting stories.

This is perfect story for a movie.  Wladyslaw IV was very powerful gay.  He was king of Poland and Sweden, he was Tsar of  Russia and Great Duke of Lithuania – and he was gay. This story is very long, so I will give only the precis…..
Symbol of Warsaw is gay
Only a few people know that the Sigmund Column – a symbol of Warsaw and the oldest civic monument in the city – was erected after conflict between conservative ultra-Catholic father and his homosexual son.There is quite a lot of evidence on homosexuality of the king Władysław IV Vasa.  The emotional tie linking the king’s son with Adam Kazanowski was noted by several known people at the beginning of 17th century.  Kazanowski and his family benefited from it greatly. However, let’s concentrate on the Warsaw City.King Sigmund III Vasa wanted his unruly son to be his successor. I n order to facilitate his the election, he bought Bobola’s manorial estate near Krakowskie Przedmieście in Warsaw and refashioned the building into dignified residence that was donated to his son.From chronicles, it can be concluded that it was the one of the most beautiful (and the most expensive) palaces in Europe of the time.  Young Wladyslaw gave it as a present to his lover Adam Kazanowski so the gift constituted beautiful expression of Wladyslaw’s love.Since that time, this building has been called Kazanowski’s Palace.  When king Sigmund found out about this, he went mad.  There were many conflicts between father and his son, but this was the greatest.The king ordered the sealing of the castle.  Nobody could predict how this situation would have turned out (particularly Kazanowki), if the king hadn’t died suddenly.Supposedly, Wladyslaw Vasa had ‘stings of remorse’ and because of that he hadn’t reconciled before his father died. So he decided to commemorate him somehow.The idea of Column building that commemorating Zygmunt III Vasa, met with unexpected opposition.  Actually nobody, with except of young ruler, wanted to realise this challenge.Polish nobles didn’t want it.  And because of that they weren’t satisfied with king’s rule.The Church claimed pagan Romans had built columns and Christians should not have done it.  Church resistance had greater weight because the Bernardines Monastery was the owner of the ground where the sculpture was planned to be erected.Church protests against the construction had some interesting aspects.  For instance, a sculpture of the Blessed Virgin was placed to discourage the ‘king-sodomist’. However, after lots of adventures, Wladyslaw erected the Column.  This is the history of Warsaw’s symbol that today is associated more with catholic conservatism than with family scandal.
-A Postcard from Gay Poland, at UK Gay News 

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