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    Remembering the Historic Election: Henryk Walezy Chosen as King of Poland in Kamień

    Today, on May 11, 2023, we commemorate yet another anniversary of a significant event in Polish history. It was on May 11, 1573, in the village of Kamień near Warsaw, that Henryk Walezy was elected as the King of Poland in the country’s first-ever free election. This milestone marked a crucial moment in the development of democracy and political freedom in Poland.

    Henryk Walezy, the son of King Henry II of France, arrived in Poland with hopes of securing the Polish throne. The election took place in Kamień, a village known for its picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The small community became the epicenter of a momentous event that would shape the destiny of Poland.

    The free election of Henryk Walezy as the King of Poland represented a turning point in Polish politics. It signified the transition from a hereditary monarchy to an elective monarchy, where the nobility had the power to choose their ruler. This unique system, known as the “Noble Democracy,” granted substantial political influence to the Polish nobility, making Poland a pioneer in the field of constitutional monarchy.

    The election of Henryk Walezy had a profound impact on the development of Poland as a nation. His reign was marked by important political reforms and religious tolerance, exemplifying the progressive ideals of the era. Moreover, his marriage to Louise de Lorraine resulted in the fruitful union of Polish and French cultures, fostering cultural exchange and cooperation between the two nations.

    As we reflect on this historical event in Kamień, we celebrate the legacy of Henryk Walezy and his contributions to Polish history. The first free election in Poland paved the way for future democratic practices and reinforced the nation’s commitment to individual liberties.

    On this day, let us remember the significance of May 11, 1573, and honor the brave individuals who participated in the election, shaping the course of Polish history. May theirvision of a free and prosperous Poland continue to inspirefuture generations.


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