Szczerbiec

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Szczerbiec.jpg
Hilt of Szczerbiec

Szczerbiec (, literally jagged sword) is a sword that was traditionally used in the coronation ceremony of Polish kings. It is the last surviving part of the Polish Crown Jewels - the crown and other items were lost during numerous wars in the past.

Although according to the legend it was used by Bolesław I Chrobry (Boleslaus the Brave, 992-1025), who notched it when hitting the Golden Gate of Kyiv in 1018, it was most probably made in the 12th century, possibly for prince Konrad of Masovia. The Golden Gate was constructed in 1037, that is some time after Chrobry allegedly went to Kyiv. Szczerbiec was used during coronations from the time of Władysław Łokietek to the time of partitions (around 1792).

After the partitions, it was first captured by Prussians, who in 1796 took it to Berlin. Later it found itself in Russia. Finally in 1928 Russia give it back to Poland, in accordance with the Treaty of Riga. At the outbreak of the Polish Defensive War of 1939 it was evacuated from Poland to France. Then during World War II in 1940 it was evacuated to Canada, together with the gold deposits of the Polish banks. It came back to Poland in 1959.

Szczerbiec has been adopted as a badge symbol by many Polish nationalist organisations. It is currently on display in the Wawel Royal Castle Museum, Kraków.

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