Przemysł (Premislas) II (1257–1296)

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Duke of Wielkopolska and King of Poland. Born 1257in Poznań, after his father Przemysł (Premislas) I died.

Having taken power of the Gdansk Pomerania in 1294 (after Mściwój [Mestwin] II’s death), he became the most powerful of the Piast-line dukes and in 1295, inspired to this end by Archbischop Jakub Świnka, crowned himself in Gniezno as King of Poland. This fact was of momentous political significance as it laid the foundation for unification of the Polish lands, then fragmented, and for restitution of a Kingdom. Przemysł was married three times: to Ludgarda, a Mecklenburg duchess who died in mysterious circumstances; to Rixa, a Swedish princess royal, and finally, to Margaret, a Brandenburg margravess.

His second marriage yielded a daughter, Rixa-Elizabeth, later married to Vaclav II, the King of Poland and Bohemia. The seat of Przemysł II was Poznań where he started in 1290 a redevelopment of the castle into a splendid royal residence. He was the first Polish ruler who used the crowned eagle symbol in his majestic seal. A few months after his coronation, Przemysł was murdered in 1296 near Rogoźno by the Brandenburgians. He is buried at the Poznań Cathedral.

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