back to top

    June 20, the Birth of Sigismund III Vasa: Future King of Poland

    On June 20, 1566, Sigismund III Vasaa, the future King of Poland, was born in the Gripsholm Castle, located on an island in Lake Mälaren near Stockholm. His parents were John Vasa, Duke of Finland, and Catherine Jagiellon, sister of Sigismund Augustus. Sigismund was born in captivity after his father was captured by King Eric XIV of Sweden, who considered the marriage between his son and the Polish king’s daughter an act of treason due to their conflict over Livonia.

    A King with Regal Majesty

    Contemporaries described Sigismund as a man of great dignity and royal majesty. He was known for his gentle, approachable, and forgiving nature. Sigismund was diligent, never neglecting public affairs, even participating in parliamentary sessions despite illness.

    However, Sigismund was also known to be reserved, stubborn, and distrustful. He made decisions slowly and deliberately but was consistent in his actions. He was moderate in his consumption of food and drink, yet appreciated life’s pleasures, able to be cheerful and encourage others to enjoy themselves. Sigismund was an excellent manager, frugal in financial matters, and a generous patron of the arts.

    More in section