May 3rd – Treaty of Oliwa

352 years ago today a peace treaty was signed between two kingdoms: the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden.

Seldom this date is mentioned elsewhere than in Oliwa, before or after the organ recital… And yet the treaty is worth remembering, as it ended the great war mess – which happened in this part of Europe in the second half of the 17th century. It seems that at this time everyone fought against everyone. It was  the time of the Second Northern War. In Polish history this period of time is known as the Swedish Deluge.

When finally the peace treaty was signed – it seems that the greatest winner was Frederick William. Being a very smart politician, cleverly winning the local conflicts among Swedes and Poland, he was able to finally gain what he was dreaming of: sovereignty of Ducal Prussia.

So… celebrating the 221th anniversary of the Polish Constitution (Europe’s first and the world’s second constitution of this type), it is worth remembering also the anniversary of the Peace Treaty of Oliwa.

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By the way – it is worth visiting Oliwa Cathedral not only because of the treaty. It really is a medieval masterpiece of architecture. Not to mention the marvelous sound of the splendid organ.

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