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Wanda, Queen of Poland

Eva_K 5 | 34  
3 Nov 2008 /  #1
Can anyone tell me more about the story of Queen Wanda of Poland. From what I understand, Queen Wanda is said to be an 8th Century Queen who refused to marry a Germanic Prince who would exploit and destroy Polish land and its people. She is said to have committed suicide rather than submit to a marriage with an enemy.

Did this Queen actually exist, or is she just a myth? (Is there any historical evidence to support her existence?)

What significance does Queen Wanda (real or myth) have on Polish Culture today? (Is this story taught in schools, Churches, etc.)

Any further information about Queen Wanda is welcome here. Thanks!
McCoy 27 | 1,269  
3 Nov 2008 /  #2

The Legend of Wanda
She chose to drown herself rather that marry a German
OP Eva_K 5 | 34  
3 Nov 2008 /  #3
Thanks, McCoy. The links in your post refer to Queen Wanda as a "legend", so it's still not clear if this person existed and myths were built up around her, or if she was an invention of Medieval writers. On the other hand, according to the wiki article, there is a burial mound outside Krakow that is alleged to hold "her" remains.

Does anyone have any more definitive information about whether or not this Queen Wanda, daughter of King Krak, was a real person? And were any of the (alleged) circumstances of her life, her ascension to the throne or her death fact-based?

Also, is Queen Wanda a well-known figure in Polish Culture today? Is the legend taught in schools or Churches, or is it just the stuff of fairy tales?
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
3 Nov 2008 /  #4
Also, is Queen Wanda a well-known figure in Polish Culture today?

Yes, she's a symbol.

The problem with Polish history dating before late 10. century is quite simple - no written sources, very weak presence in Roman or Byzantine historiography. The earliest existing annals (chronicles) of Poland were written in the 12. century, and like many medieval or antic writings they mix factual truth with beliefs and legends making it hard to decide which of described events were real, which were myths and which were partially real.

So by today's standard we may say that Krak (Wanda's father) was a mythical figure, because he slayed a dragon, in which we don't believe, but maybe it wasn't a dragon, but some other animal, or maybe dragons did exist :)

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