Łęczyca is a town of 14,362 inhabitants in central Poland. Situated in the Łódź Voivodeship, it is the county seat of the Łęczyca County; the town was named after a Slavic tribe called Leczanie, which inhabited central Poland in the early Middle Ages. Some scholars however claim that the town was named after an Old Polish word łęg, which means a swampy plain. In medieval Latin documents, Łęczyca is called Lonsin, Lunciz, Loncizia and Lunchicia. In the early 12th century, Gallus Anonymus called Łęczyca “Lucic”, in 1154, Arab geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi named it Nugrada, placing it among other main towns of the Kingdom of Poland, such as Kraków, Gniezno, Wrocław and Santok. Łęczyca lies in the middle of the county, has the area of 8.95 km2. In the past, the town was the capital of the Land of Łęczyca, turned into Łęczyca Voivodeship. In the Second Polish Republic and in 1945 - 1975, Łęczyca belonged to Lodz Voivodeship. In 1975-1998, it was part of Plock Voivodeship; the geometric centre of Poland is located near Łęczyca.
Łęczyca is one of the oldest Polish cities, mentioned in the 12th century. It was the place of the first recorded meeting of Sejm, the Polish parliament, in 1182. In 1229 it became the capital of the Duchy of Łęczyca, which in 1263 was split into two parts - the Duchy of Łęczyca and the Duchy of Sieradz. In the early 14th century, the Łęczyca Voivodeship was created; this administrative unit of the Kingdom of Poland existed until the Partitions of Poland in the late 18th century. Łęczyca, which lies in the centre of Poland, was for centuries one of the most important cities of the country. It received Magdeburg rights before 1267, in 1331 the Teutonic Knights sacked the city during one of their repeated incursions into Poland. A considerable number of buildings were burned down, including two churches. A few decades on the initiative of Casimir the Great, the city was walled and a castle built to the southeast of the city.Łęczyca prospered in the period between the mid-14th and mid-17th centuries.
The royal castle, built by Casimir the Great, was located on a small hill, protected by a moat with water from the Bzura river. The complex was made from red brick, set on stone foundations, it was protected with a tower located in its southwestern corner. Gate tower was placed in the western wall, in the basement was a prison, in the courtyard there was a two-storey tenement building. Rooms of that building housed meetings of the Royal Council. In 1964, widespread renovation of the complex began. Another building was added at that time. Soon after its completion in the mid-14th century, the castle was named one of royal residences, the seat of the Starosta of Łęczyca. In 1406, it was burned by the Teutonic Knights, but the complex was rebuilt so that in 1409, King Władysław II Jagiełło attended here a meeting of his advisors, discussing the oncoming war with the Knights. Following the Battle of Grunwald, a number of high-ranking Teutonic prisoners was kept here for ransom. Four sessions of the Sejm took place here: in 1420, 1448, 1454 i 1462.
Furthermore, the castle served as headquarters of King Casimir IV Jagiellon, during the Thirteen Years' War. At that time, the Łęczyca Voivodeship was divided into three counties - Orzel and Łęczyca. In 1420, a Bohemian delegation offered here Czech crown to Jagiełło; the city's prominence came to an end with the Swedish invasion of Poland when the castle was overrun and most of the city once again destroyed, it remained in a state of crisis until the Partitions. Following the invasion of Poland at the start of the Second World War, Łęczyca was occupied by Nazi Germany and incorporated into the region known as Reichsgau Wartheland as part of the district of Lentschütz. In January 1942 there was a forced labor camp operating near the town. After the war it was reintegrated into the People's Republic of Poland; because of its royal history Łęczyca is more tourist-worthy than its current size might suggest. Some of the more interesting sights include: The Royal Castle - dating from the 14th century, rebuilt from scratch after 1964.
The Church of St Andrew the Apostle—the current church dates was consecrated in 1425. The former Dominican monastery in Ul. Pocztowa. Former political internees include Władysław Frasyniuk; the Cistercian church and monastery in ul. Poznańska, built between 1636-1643; the defensive walls of Łęczyca, some of which are still extant. The original walls enclosed an area of 9 hectares, amounted to 1150 metres in length and 7 metres in height; the town plan is still recognisably that of a medieval town. A couple of kilometres away are the Collegiate church and the earthworks at the site of the medieval settlement of Tum. 1228-1232 Henry I the Bearded 1232-1233 Konrad of Masovia 1234-1247 Konrad of Masovia 1247-1260 Casimir I of Mazovia 1260-1275 Leszek the Black 1275-1294 divided into two duchies of Sieradz and Łęczyca 1294-1297 Ladislaus I the Short 1297-1305 Wenceslaus II of Bohemia after 1305 parts of the united Kingdom of Poland as two vassal duchies incorporated as Łęczyca Voivodeship and Sieradz Voivodeship.
1233-1234 Konrad of Masovia 1275-1294 Casimir II of Łęczy
Kuyavia referred to as Cuyavia, is a historical region in north-central Poland, situated on the left bank of Vistula, as well as east from Noteć River and Lake Gopło. It is divided into three traditional parts: north-eastern and south-eastern; the name Kuyavia first appeared in written sources in the 1136 Bull of Gniezno issued by Pope Innocent II, was mentioned in many documents from medieval times. It is mentioned in the chronicles of Wincenty Kadłubek. In the north, Kuyavia borders with the historic regions of Prussian Gdańsk Pomerania and Chełmno Land, in the west with proper Greater Poland, in the south with Łęczyca Land and in the east with Masovia and Dobrzyń Land; the borders of Kuyavia stretch out on the left bank of Vistula River: from the mouth of Skrwa Lewa in the south-east to the mouth of the Wda River to the north. The borders of Kuyavia spread out to the west from Koronowo and Nakło to the Noteć River where they turn south-west, cross Trląg Lake, on to Strzelneński Forest, reaching Skulski Lake and the upper Noteć River.
The borders enclose Brdowski Lake and Lubień Kujawski through the Skrwa Lewa, ending at the Vistula River. The Kuyavia lowlands have an average high of 100–130 meters above sea level, is post-glacial landscape undulating, in some places there are moraine hills elevations and sandy gravel embankments. In deep dykes and depressions is about 600 lakes with surface higher than 1 kilometre, under ice formation there are layers of rock-salt and potassium, under the Tertiary Period there are lignite and ceramic clay. In Kuyavia there are black fertile soils, thanks to which Kuyavia is called “the granary of Poland”; the episcopal see of Kuyavia was Kruszwica, Włocławek. The capital of this Duchy, - from the late 14th century - the residences of the Voivode governors were Inowrocław, Brześć Kujawski, Radziejów as the seat of the shared regional Sejmik council of the two voivodeships. Today, the biggest center of Kuyavia is Bydgoszcz, however it is considered non-kujavian; the southern part of Toruń lies in the historical region.
Some ethnographers and historians, for example Oskar Kolberg and Zygmunt Gloger, count the lands of Dobrzyń and Chełmno north-east of the Vistula as parts of the Kuyavia region. The Linear Pottery culture existed in the area; the earliest solid evidence of cheese-making, dating to 5,500 BC, was found in Kuyavia. The beginnings of the state in Kuyavia are connected with the tribal state of the West Slavic Goplans; the Goplans, which some researchers identify with the Mazowszanie-Kłobianie or with the Kuyavians, had created a country with the main centers in Kruszwica on the northern shore of Lake Gopło. During the 10th century, their territory was conquered by another West Slavic tribe, the Polans settling in the adjacent Greater Polish land around Poznań and Gniezno and upon the death of Duke Mieszko I of Poland in 992, the Kuyavia lands were part of his Civitas Schinesghe as circumscribed in the Dagome iudex papal regesta. According to Andrzej Bańkowski, the Polans had moved into the region of Greater Poland after they had to leave together with the Morawianie, their former Pannonian territories, conquered by the Avars.
According to some sources, during the war with the Goplans, the Polans were supported by a Great Moravian army. As a result of occupation of the Goplans’ territory, the lands of Kuyavia were under the strong influence of the Pannonian culture and they lost their primary Masovian spirit; when the name Cuiavia arose for the first time in the 1136 Bull of Gniezno, it referred to the lands east of Greater Poland around Kruszwica and Włocławek, bordering with the Vistula river. The bull confirmed the position of the Bishopric of Kuyavia at Włocławek as a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Gniezno. In the times of the Polish fragmentation upon the 1138 Testament of Bolesław III Krzywousty, Kuyavia at first became part of the Duchy of Masovia under Bolesław IV the Curly and his son Leszek. Casimir's son Duke Konrad I of Masovia in 1233 created the Duchy of Kuyavia for his second son Casimir I; when Casimir's elder brother Duke Bolesław I of Masovia died in 1248, he took the occasion and took Dobrzyń Land east of the Vistula River from the heritage of his younger brother Siemowit I.
Upon Casimir's death 1267, the Duchy of Kuyavia was divided by his sons Leszek II the Black, Ziemomysł and Władysław I the Elbow-high into the two separate duchies of Inowrocław and Brześć-Kujawy. In 1306 Ziemomysł's son Casimir II swore allegiance to his uncle Władysław I, who began to re-unite the Lands of the Polish Crown under his rule; the duchy was devastated during the Polish–Teutonic War of 1326–32, culminating in the 1331 Battle of Płowce, but was restored by the Teutonic Knights in the 1343 Treaty of Kalisz. With the death of Casimir's son Władysław the White in 1388, the Kuyavian line of the Piast dynasty became extinct. After the union of Polish lands in the 14th century, the division into provinces and counties was introduced; that division finalized in the 15th century, existed until the dissolution of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795. Kuyavia was divided into the two administrative divisions of Brześć Kujawski Voivodeship and Inowrocław Voivodeship; the voivodeship of Brześć-Kujawy was further divid
Sandomierz is a town in south-eastern Poland with 25,714 inhabitants, situated in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. It is the capital of Sandomierz County. Sandomierz is known for its Old Town, a major tourist attraction. In the past, Sandomierz used to be one of the most important urban centers not only of Lesser Poland, but of the whole country; the name of the city might have originated from the Old Polish Sędomir, composed of Sędzi- and mir, or more from the antiquated given name Sędzimir, once popular in several Slavic languages. Sandomierz is known in German: Sandomir. Sandomierz is one of the oldest and most significant cities in Poland. Archeological finds around the city indicate that humans have inhabited the area since neolithic times; the city came into existence in the early Middle Ages, taking advantage of an excellent location at the junction of Vistula and San rivers, on the path of important trade routes. The first known historical mention of the city comes from the early 12th-century, when the chronicler Gallus Anonymus ranked it together with Kraków and Wrocław as one of the main cities of Poland.
The testament of Bolesław III Wrymouth, in which he divided Poland among his sons, designated Sandomierz as the capital of one of the resulting principalities, the Duchy of Sandomierz. In the course of the 13th century the city suffered grievous damage during raids by Tatars in 1241, 1259 and 1287; the old wooden buildings of the town were destroyed. As a result, in 1286 the High Duke of Poland Leszek II the Black refounded the city under Magdeburg Law; the city archives preserve the founding document. After the re-unification of the Polish lands in the 14th century, the former principality became the Sandomierz Voivodeship, incorporating large areas of southeastern Poland; until 1474, it was one of two voivodeships of Lesser Poland, together with Krakow Voivodeship. In 1474, Lublin Voivodeship was created from eastern part of Sandomierz Voivodeship. At this time Sandomierz was one of the largest Polish cities. In the middle of the 14th century the city was burned again during a raid by the Lithuanians.
It was rebuilt during the rule of king Casimir III of Poland. The layout of the city has survived unchanged since that time until the present day; the following three hundred years, running until the middle of the 17th century, were quite prosperous for the city. The most important historical buildings were built during this period; this golden age came to an end in 1655 when Swedish forces captured the city in the course of the Deluge. After holding out in the city, the withdrawing Swedes blew up the castle and caused heavy damage to other buildings. In the next 100 years the economy of Poland suffered a decline, which affected the city. In 1570 an alliance of non-Catholic Polish Churches, the Lutherans, the Reformed, the Bohemian Brethren, drew up what is known as the Consensus of Sandomir, effecting a confederation of the work in order to stave off defeat at the hands of the Roman Church. A great fire in 1757 and the First Partition of Poland in 1772, which placed Sandomierz in Austria, further reduced its status.
As a result, Sandomierz lost its role as an administrative capital. In 1809, during the Napoleonic Wars, fighting between the forces of Austria and of the Duchy of Warsaw caused damage to the city. After 1815 it found itself in the Russian Empire. At this point it had just 2640 inhabitants; this cathedral contains a series of paintings built into the church's wooden panelling depicting the Martyrologium Romanum. The third painting shows the scene which, it is claimed: "...depicts ritual murders committed in Sandomierz by Jews on Christian children. The inscription above the painting reads filius apothecary ab infidelibus judaeis sandomiriensibus occisus The St Paul's Church contains a different series of paintings including one in the chancel, depicting the torment of Jerzy Krassowski, strangled by the Jews. Discussion on these pictures has taken place with the participation of the Polish Jewish Community. "The Polish Council of Christians and Jews has offered to finance a plaque with explanations of the blood libel and information about the official statements by various Popes rejecting the accusation".
This plaque is now displayed in the St Paul's Church next to the picture in question. Fr. Stefan Zuchowski from Sandomierz wrote two books propagating the myth of blood libel, he took an active role in two ritual murder trials in Sandomierz which led to the murder of five Jews and were the inspiration for the paintings displayed in Sandomierz Cathedral and St Paul's Church. The city again s
Płock is a city on the Vistula river in central Poland. It is located in the Masovian Voivodeship, having been the capital of the Płock Voivodeship. According to the data provided by GUS on 30 June 2009 there were 126,675 inhabitants in the city, its full ceremonial name, according to the preamble to the City Statute, is Stołeczne Książęce Miasto Płock. It is used in ceremonial documents as well as for preserving an old tradition. Płock is now a capital of the powiat in the west of the Mazovian Voivodeship. From 1079 - 1138 it was the first historical capital of Poland, its cathedral contains the sarcophagi of a number of Polish monarchs. It is the cultural, scientific and transportation center of the west and north Masovian region; the first Jewish settlers came to the city in the 14th century, responding to the extension of rights by the Polish kings. They built a community and constituted a large portion of the population through the 19th century, sometimes more than 40%. Jews contributed to expansion of trades and crafts, helped the process of industrialization.
In 1939, they made up 26% of the city's population. After the 1939 invasion of Poland, the German Nazis established a Jewish ghetto in Płock in 1940, they exterminated most of them in the Holocaust. By the war's end, only 300 Jewish residents were known to have survived, of more than 10,000 in the region; the area was long inhabited by the pagan peoples. In the 10th century, a fortified location was established high of the Vistula River's bank; this location was strategic for centuries. Its location was a great asset. In 1009 a Benedictine monastery was established here, it became a center of art for the area. In 1075, a diocese seat was created here for the Christian church. Płock was the capital city during the reign of the Polish monarchs Władysław I Herman and Bolesław III Wrymouth, it was a seat of several of the dukes of Masovia. During the rule of the first monarchs of the Piast dynasty prior to the Baptism of Poland, Płock served as one of the monarchial seats, including that of Prince Mieszko I and King Bolesław I the Brave.
The king built the original fortifications on Tumskie Hill. From 1037–1047, Płock was capital of the independent Mazovian state of Masław. Płock has been the residence of many Mazovian princes. From 1079 to 1138, the city was the capital of Poland earning its title as the Ducal Capital City of Płock, it served as the medieval capital during the reigns of the Polish monarchs Władysław I Herman and Bolesław III Wrymouth. The city suffered major losses in population due to plague and warfare, with wars between Sweden and Poland in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. At that time, the Swedes destroyed much of the city. In the late 18th century, it took down the old city walls, made a New Town, filled with many German migrants. In the 19th century, the city was included within the region controlled by the Russian Empire, when Poland was divided among it, Austria-Hungary, it was a seat of an active center. It laid out a new city plan in the early 19th century. Many of its finest buildings were constructed in this period in the Classical style.
It had a scientific society before mid-century, in the late 19th century began to industrialize. Germany attacked Poland in 1939, began to take over its government annecting the town to the Reich as part of the Regierungsbezirk Zichenau, it impressed people as forced laborers for German factories. The Germans renamed the city in 1941 to Schröttersburg, after the former Prussian Upper President Friedrich Leopold von Schrötter; the Museum of Płock Mazowiecki provides exhibits and interpretation of the city and region's history. Płock is the oldest legislated seat of the Roman Catholic diocese, it is one of the five oldest cathedrals in Poland. From the visions of Feliksa Kozłowska in 1893, the Mariavite order of priests originated working to renew clergy within the Roman Catholic Church. Despite repeated attempts, they were not recognized by the Vatican and in the early 20th century established a separate and independent denomination; this site is the main seat of the Mariavite bishops. Their most important church was built here in the beginning of the 20th century.
Poland in total has about 25,000 members of the Old Catholic Mariavite Church, as it is now named, with another 5,000 in France. A smaller breakaway church, the Catholic Mariavite Church, which has an integrated female priesthood, has 3,000 members in Poland; the Jewish presence in Płock dates back many centuries to the 13th and 14th centuries, when records include them. The Polish kings extended rights to them in 1264 and the 14th century, provided continued political support through the centuries. At the beginning of the 19th century, their more than 1200 residents comprised more than 48% of the city's population in what is considered the city's Old Town, it varied as German migrants were arriving in the region, the
Bolesław IV the Curly
Bolesław IV the Curly of the Piast dynasty was Duke of Masovia from 1138 and High Duke of Poland from 1146 until his death. He was the third son of Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth of Poland by his second wife Salomea, daughter of the Swabian count Henry of Berg; the death of his older brothers and Casimir, before 1131 and in October 1131 left him as the eldest son of their parents. Bolesław was 13 years old at the time of his father's death and of the legal age to take on the government of the lands he inherited according to his father's testament, the newly created Duchy of Masovia; because his main domain was Masovia, the prince was called Bolesław of Masovia. In the first years of his government, young Bolesław remained under the strong influence of his mother Salomea and the Voivode Wszebor, who feared the ambition of his elder half-brother High Duke Władysław II. Władysław II deposed the Junior Dukes; the disputes with the High-Duke began in 1141, when the Dowager Duchess Salomea -without the consent of High Duke Władysław II-, organized a meeting with her sons at her residence in Łęczyca.
Here was decided the betrothal of her youngest daughter Agnes with Mstislav II of Kiev, a scion of the Rurik Dynasty — in order to gain allies in a possible conflict — and the division of the Łęczyca lands between Salomea's sons upon her death. However, the Junior Dukes in this first struggle were defeated, because the Kievan Grand Prince Vsevolod II decided to make an alliance with Władysław II, reinforced by the marriage of Vsevolod's daughter Zvenislava with the High Duke's eldest son Bolesław I the Tall. An additional humiliation for Bolesław IV and his brothers was that they were sent by the High Duke on an expedition to the Kievan Rus' as ambassadors during 1142–1143; the "peace" lasted only two years until 1144 when, after Salomea's death and according to the Bolesław III's Testament, the Łęczyca province reverted to the Seniorate Province of High Duke Władysław II. The idea to reserve the lands for his minor brothers Henry and Casimir II was not popular with Wladyslaw, who thought that the land was only temporarily separated from his Dzielnica senioralna and now in its entirety should be returned.
Outbreak of civil war was therefore only a matter of time. The war erupted with full force in 1145, it seemed that the Junior Dukes were defeated and the High Duke achieved the unification of the country. At first the combined forces of Bolesław IV and his brothers prevented the disaster and demanded a hasty reorganization of the forces of Władysław at the Battle on the Pilicą River; the major significance of this battle was to the former voivode Wszebor, whose military experience far exceeded the ability of Władysław's commanders. Soon, the situation was reversed as a result of the Kievan troops who entered in the country as Władysław's allies. Bolesław had to agree to step down and renounce any pretension over the lands belonging to his mother; the concessions of the Junior Dukes didn't resolve the problem. Moreover, Władysław's confidence in his forces had him embark on a final solution, the removal of his stepbrothers from their lands; the Junior Dukes could rely on the support of the High Duke's all-powerful voivode Piotr Włostowic, for whom Władysław's plans were too radical and threatened to weaken his position.
While Władysław opted for a quick response against him, forcing Włostowic to go to Kiev, the High Duke's final decision on his confrontation with the voivode weakened his position. What's more, Włostowic convinced the Kievans to break his alliance with Władysław. At the beginning of 1146 the rebellions against Władysław's government rose mighty, sparked by the fate of Piotr Włostowic; the final victory of Władysław seemed especially after the conquest of Masovia and the siege of Poznań in Greater Poland in the spring of 1146. However, thanks to the rebellion in Władysław's own lands, the excommunication imposed to him by the Archbishop of Gniezno, the High Duke suffered an unexpected defeat. Władysław and his family had to flee across the border with the Holy Roman Empire, at first to Bohemia and to Germany, accommodated by King Conrad III; the Junior Dukes reassigned the Polish provinces between them. The Duchy of Silesia and the Seniorate Province at Kraków were taken by Bolesław, who received the title of High Duke, the western Duchy of Greater Poland was retained by his brother Mieszko III, Henry received his long-promised Land of Sandomierz.
Casimir II, the youngest brother, again remained without lands. Thanks to the intrigues of his wife Agnes of Babenberg, a half-sister of King Conrad III, Władysław II succeeded in convincing his brother-in-law to make a military expedition to Poland; the hastily organized expedition however clashed with the reluctance of the former subjects of the deposed High Duke, was defeated on the Polish border near the Oder river in August 1146. In subsequent years, Bolesław IV along with his younger brothers bellows sought to maintain good relations with the royal House of Hohenstaufen, Władysław's allies. To this end, in 1148 the Junior Dukes organized a meeting in Kruszwica, to which they invited the warlike Margrave Albert the Bear of the German Northern March, who had reached the Polish border in the course of the Wendish Crusade. There, Bolesław arranged the marriage of his sister Judith with the margrave's son O
Mieszko III the Old
Mieszko III the Old, of the royal Piast dynasty, was Duke of Greater Poland from 1138 and High Duke of Poland, with interruptions, from 1173 until his death. He was the fourth and second surviving son of Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth of Poland, by his second wife Salomea, daughter of the German count Henry of Berg-Schelklingen. According to the 1138 Testament of Bolesław III, Mieszko received the newly established Duchy of Greater Poland, comprising the western part of the short-lived Greater Poland, he had been Duke of Poznań where he had his main residence. His older half-brother, Władysław II, the eldest son of the late duke with his first wife Zbyslava of Kiev, was proclaimed High Duke and overlord of the Seniorate Province at Kraków, including the Greater Polish lands of Gniezno and Kalisz, as well as Duke of Silesia; the first major conflict with the High Duke took place during 1140–1141, when his younger half-brothers Bolesław IV the Curly and Mieszko III together with their mother but without Władysław's knowledge divided between them the lands of Łęczyca, which were held only as a wittum by Bolesław's widow Salomea for life and should revert to Władysław's Seniorate Province upon her death.
In 1141 Salomea of Berg organized a meeting at Łęczyca, where she and her sons decided to marry their younger sister Agnes with one of the sons of Grand Prince Vsevolod II of Kiev in order to gain an ally against High Duke Władysław II. Only by Władysław's rapid intervention did the independent plans of the Junior Dukes fail. Grand Prince Vsevolod II, facing the choice between an alliance with the strong High Duke or the weak Junior Dukes and their mother, chose the former, sealed with the betrothal of Władysław's eldest son, Bolesław I the Tall, to Vsevolod's daughter, Zvenislava in 1142. Władysław II had not been invited to the Łęczyca meeting, despite the fact that as the High Duke, he had the final voice on Agnes' engagement. In retaliation for this omission, he supported Kievan military actions against Salomea and her sons in the winter of 1142–1143; the first clash between the brothers was a complete success for the High Duke. On 27 July 1144, the Dowager Duchess Salomea died and High Duke Władysław II incorporated the Łęczyca Land into the Seniorate Province as intended by his father's testament.
This was again opposed by the Junior Dukes Bolesław IV and Mieszko III, who wished to give this land to their minor brother, Henry. Fighting took place in 1145. After an unexpected defeat, the High Duke was able to obtain the victory, thanks to his Kievan allies. An agreement was made under. However, the High Duke continued with his intention of reuniting all of Poland under his rule; this provoked the strong opposition from his Silesian voivode Piotr Włostowic, who support the interests of the Junior Dukes in order to maintain his own power and position. Władysław, instigated by his wife Agnes of Babenberg, decided to eliminate Włostowic for good; the voivode was captured in an ambush. Agnes demanded Włostowic's death for treason, but the High Duke instead chose a terrible punishment: Włostowic was blinded and expelled from the country. However, the voivode had numerous supporters. Włostowic fled to the Kievan court, where he began to intrigue against the High Duke, thus beginning Władysław's downfall.
The war erupted again in early 1146. This time, Władysław could not count on his Kievan allies, because they were busy with their own issues. Władysław's plight had made him swear allegiance to King Conrad III of Germany, half-brother of his wife Agnes. Władysław was confident of his victory and it seemed that success was on his side, as Bolesław IV and Mieszko III, fearing clashes in an open field, escaped to Poznań. At this time the disaster to the High Duke began. Władysław's cause lost support when he was excommunicated by Archbishop Jacob of Gniezno for his behavior against Piotr Włostowic, he faced rebellion by his own subjects, who were against his tyrannical rule. The defeat of Władysław was total; the former High Duke and his family were forced to escape to save their lives, first to Bohemia and to the Kaiserpfalz of Altenburg in Germany, under the protection of King Conrad III. Once they had consolidated their rule over Poland, Bolesław IV and Mieszko III made new decisions. Bolesław, as the elder brother, succeeded Władysław as ruler over Silesia.
Mieszko, on the other hand, retained his Duchy of Greater Poland and was satisfied with his role his brother's ally. Henry, the next-born received his Duchy of Sandomierz. Only the youngest brother, Casimir II, remained without lands. Urged by his brother-in-law Władysław, King Conrad III of Germany attempted to restore the former High Duke to the Polish throne. An agreement was reached under which King Conrad accepted the rule of Bolesław IV, in return the new High Duke had to pay a tribute to the German king; the dispute between Władysław and the Junior Dukes remained unresolved as King Conrad III was busy with the preparations for the Second Crusade to the Holy Land. Meanwhile, the Junior Dukes had no intention to just wait passively for an arrangement to consolidate their power. In May 1147 they received from Pope Eugene III the confirmation of a foundation for a monastery in Trzemeszno, a clear recognition of their sovereignty. In addition, they sought to improve their relations with the German rulers.
In 1147 with the arrival of King Conrad III to the Holy Land, Duke Mieszko III j
Duchy of Silesia
The Duchy of Silesia with its capital at Wrocław was a medieval duchy located in the historic Silesian region of Poland. Soon after it was formed under the Piast dynasty in 1138, it fragmented into various Duchies of Silesia. In 1327 the remaining Duchy of Wrocław as well as most other duchies ruled by the Silesian Piasts passed to the Kingdom of Bohemia as Duchies of Silesia; the acquisition was completed, when King Casimir III the Great of Poland renounced his rights to Silesia in the 1335 Treaty of Trentschin. During the time of its establishment, the Silesian lands covered the basin of the upper and middle Oder river. In the south the Sudetes mountain range up to the Moravian Gate formed the border with the lands of Bohemia - including Kłodzko Land - and Moravia. After a more than century-long struggle, the boundary had just been determined by an 1137 agreement with the Bohemian duke Soběslav I. In the west Lower Silesia bordered on the German March of Lusatia and the former Milceni lands around Bautzen with the boundary running along the Bóbr and Kwisa rivers.
Silesia was limited by the Polish provinces of Greater Poland in the north and the Seniorate Province of Lesser Poland in the east, separated by the Przemsza and Biała rivers. The boundaries varied in the following decades: at least when the duchy was re-established for the sons of Władysław II the Exile in 1163, it comprised Lubusz Land northwest of Krosno, the western outpost of Greater Poland and passed to the margraves of Brandenburg in 1248. In 1177 the Polish High Duke Casimir II the Just attached the former Lesser Polish castellanies of Bytom, Oświęcim, Siewierz und Pszczyna to Upper Silesia in favour of Duke Mieszko IV Tanglefoot. After Silesia as a whole had become a Bohemian fief according to the 1335 Treaty of Trentschin, these lordships - except for the state countries of Bytom and Pszczyna - returned to the Polish Crown; as the Silesian Province, the duchy was one of five main provinces established in medieval Poland according to the Testament of Bolesław III Krzywousty. By the terms of the will from 1138-1146 it was controlled by the Senior Duke of Poland or High duke, Bolesław's first-born son Władysław II the Exile, who held the Duchy of Kraków.
The testament however failed to prevent a violent inheritance conflict between Władysław and his younger half-brothers, who allied against him. After his failed bid to take control of the entire Kingdom in 1146, he lost his status as the senior duke, was excommunicated by Archbishop Jakub ze Żnina of Gniezno and fled to the Holy Roman Empire; the duchy was under control of his half-brother High Duke Bolesław IV the Curly. With support from Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, who had campaigned in Greater Poland in 1157 and forced Bolesław IV to cede Silesia, Władysław's sons were able to return to the duchy in 1163; as long as they were under pressure by High Duke Bolesław IV, they ruled jointly at Wrocław, until tensions between them erupted into an open conflict in 1172. As a result, the brothers divided the duchy among themselves; the second son, Mieszko I Tanglefoot, received a far smaller part in Upper Silesia and took his residence at Racibórz. In view of his disadvantage, the Polish High Duke Casimir II the Just ceded him further Lesser Polish territories in 1177.
After a revolt by Bolesław's eldest son, Jarosław, who feared for his heritage, his father ceded him a strip of land around Opole, for the first time creating the Duchy of Opole. In turn Jarosław had to remain celibate. Bolesław's and Mieszko's youngest brother, Konrad Spindleshanks, when he came of age claimed his rights and about 1177 received the Lower Silesian lands around Głogów. However, Bolesław I outlived both his youngest brother and his son, both territories fell back to him in 1190 and 1201 resp. Bolesław I died in the same year and was succeeded by his only surviving son Henry I the Bearded, who soon entered into conflict with his Piast relatives as well as with his German neighbours. In 1202 he had to face the invasion of his uncle Mieszko I, still dissatisfied with the 1172 partition, annexed the Opole territory of late Jarosław; the Duchy of Opole remained with the estates of Mieszko's descendants, whereby the secession of Upper Silesia was conclusive. In 1206 Henry I came to an agreement with the Polish High Duke Władysław III Spindleshanks to swap Lubusz Land for the Greater Polish Kalisz region.
The plan however was foiled, when Władysław III lost the seniorate and furthermore Lubusz was occupied by the troops of the Wettin margrave Conrad II of Lusatia. Duke Henry had to struggle for his northwestern outpost, which he regained upon the margrave's death in 1210, he had to defend Lubusz once more against the campaigns of Landgrave Louis IV of Thuringia from 1221. Upon the death of his cousin Duke Casimir I of Opole, son of Mieszko I Tanglefoot, in 1230, he acted as guardian of his minor nephews, thereby once again ruling over whole Silesia. In 1232 he became High Duke of Poland, as he was able to secure the succession of his son Henry II the Pious upon his death in 1238, it seemed that the Polish fragmentation could be overcome and the will of Bolesław III Krzywousty would be fulfilled. Henry II in 1239 had to resign the regency of Uppe