Ethnicity PolishLithuanian[1]-Ruthenian[2]
Current region Poland
Place of origin Czartorysk, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (since 1945 Ukraine)
Members Michał Czartoryski
August Czartoryski
Adam Czartoryski
Adam Czartoryski
Isabella Flemming
Connected families Sieniawski, Poniatowski
Estate Czartoryski Palace
motto: Bądź co bądź ("Come what may")

Czartoryski (feminine form: Czartoryska, plural: Czartoryscy; Ukrainian: Чарторийські, Chartoryisky; Чорторийські, Chortoryisky; Lithuanian: Čartoriskiai) is a Polish princely family of Lithuanian[3]-Ruthenian[4] origin, also known as the Familia. The family, which derived their kin from the Gediminids dynasty,[5][6] by the mid-17th century had split into two branches, based in the Klevan Castle and the Korets Castle, respectively. They used the Czartoryski coat of arms and were a noble family of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 18th century.

Czartoryski family vault in Sieniawa
Kazimierz Czartoryski, founder of the "Familia"


The Czartoryski family is of Grand Ducal Lithuanian descent from Ruthenia. Their ancestor was the Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas's son, known after his baptismal name Constantine (c. 1330 − 1390), who became a Prince of Chortoryisk in Volhynia.[7] One of his sons Vasyli Chortoryiski (Wasyl Czartoryski) (c. 1375 – 1416) was granted an estate in Volhynia in 1393, and his three sons John, Alexander and Michael (c. 1400 – 1489) are considered the progenitors of the family.[8] The founding members were Ruthenian and Eastern Orthodox, and then converted to Roman Catholicism during the 16th century.[8]

It was Michael's descendant Prince Kazimierz Czartoryski (1674–1741) Duke of Klewan and Zukow (Klevan and Zhukiv), Castellan of Vilnius who reawakened their royal ambitions at the end of the 17th century. An intelligent, well educated man, he married Isabella Morsztyn daughter of the Grand Treasurer of Poland and built "The Familia" with their four children, Michał, August, Teodor and Konstancja. The family became known and powerful under the lead of brothers Michał Fryderyk Czartoryski and August Aleksander Czartoryski in the late Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 18th century, during the reigns of monarchs Augustus II the Strong and Stanisław I Leszczyński. The family attained the height of its influence from the mid-18th century in the court of Augustus III of Poland. The Czartoryski brothers gained a very powerful ally in their brother-in-law, Stanisław Poniatowski, whose son became the last king of independent Commonwealth, Stanisław August Poniatowski, near the end of the century.

The Czartoryski's Familia have seen the decline of the Commonwealth and the rise of anarchy and joined to camp which was determined to press ahead with the reforms, thus they sought the enactment of such constitutional reforms as the abolition of the liberum veto.

Although the family estate at Puławy was confiscated by Russian Empire in 1794, during the third partition of Poland, the Familia continued to wield significant cultural and political influence for decades after, notably through the princes Adam Kazimierz, Adam Jerzy and Konstanty Adam.

The Czartoryski family is also renowned for the Czartoryski Museum in Kraków and Hôtel Lambert in Paris.

Today, the only descendants of Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski are Prince Adam Karol Czartoryski and his daughter Tamara Czartoryska who are living in the United Kingdom. The descendants of Prince Konstanty Adam Czartoryski live to this day in Poland and have their representatives in the Confederation of the Polish Nobility.

Coat of arms and motto

The Czartoryski family used the Czartoryski coat of arms and the motto Bądź co bądź ("Come what may", literally 'let be, that which will be'). The family's arms were a modification of the Pogoń Litewska arms.

Notable members

Notable members include:


See also


  1. The Encyclopedia Americana–A Library of Universal Knowledge, Volume 23. Encyclopedia Americana Corporation. 1919. p. 131.
  2. Lerski, Jerzy Jan (1996). Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966-1945. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 94. ISBN 0313260079.
  3. Bain, R. Nisbet (2013). Slavonic Europe : a political history of Poland and Russia from 1447 to 1796. Cambridge University Press. p. 382. ISBN 9781107636910.
  4. Lerski, Jerzy Jan (1996). Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966-1945. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 94. ISBN 0313260079.
  5. Galkus, Juozas (2009). The Vytis of Lithuania. Vilnius: Vilnius Academy of Arts press. p. 42. ISBN 9789955854449.
  6. Łowmiański, Henryk (1998). Zaludnienie państwa litewskiego w wieku XVI : zaludnienie w roku 1528. Poznań: Wydawn. Poznańskie. p. 42. ISBN 9788386138371.
  7. Tęgowski J. Który Konstanty — Olgierdowic czy Koriatowic — był przodkiem kniaziów Czartoryskich? // Europa Orientalis. — Toruń, 1996. — S. 53-59.
  8. 1 2 Jerzy Jan Lerski, Piotr Wróbel, Richard J. Kozicki (1996). Historical dictionary of Poland, 966-1945. Greenwood Publishing. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-313-26007-0.

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