|King John III Sobieski, entering Vienna in triumph. |
Painting: Jan Matejko
Venimus, vidimus et Deus vicit: so wrote King John III Sobieski to Pope Innocent XI, after the armies of the Polish and Lithuanian Commonwealth with additional Ukrainian knights smashed the Turkish hordes of Grand Vezir Kara Mustapha after a fearsome siege of Vienna. We easily forget that on that fateful September 12th, European history hung in the balance; had the Turks won the day, the road would have been open to Rome, and the Turks had planned to take Rome. Indeed, the Grand Vezir's had pledged to feed his horse oats on the High Altar of St. Peter's.
|Kahlenburg Plaque of commemoration|