Royal city in Poland

Medal commemorating the Law on the Cities

In the history of Poland, a royal city or royal town (Polish: miasto królewskie) was an urban settlement within the crown lands (Polish: królewszczyzna).[1]

The most influential royal cities enjoyed voting rights during the free election period in Poland (1572-1791). These cities were Gdańsk, Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań, Lwów, Wilno, Toruń, Lublin, Kamieniec Podolski and Elbląg. Other important royal cities included Gniezno (ecclesiastical capital of Poland and former capital of early medieval Poland), Płock (former capital of medieval Poland), Grodno (general sejm location alongside Warsaw), Bydgoszcz and Piotrków (Crown Tribunal locations alongside Lublin).

Law on the Cities

Main article: Free Royal Cities Act

On April 18, 1791, the Great Sejm adopted the Free Royal Cities Act (full title: "Miasta nasze królewskie wolne w państwach Rzeczypospolitej" - "Our Free Royal Cities in the States of the Commonwealth"), included as Article III into the Constitution of May 3, 1791.

The law granted a number of privileges for the residents of royal cities. Many of these privileges and rights have already been enjoyed by major royal cities, and the law effectively equalized all royal cities in this respect. It also includes some rights earlier enjoyed only by szlachta.

Royal cities by region

Warsaw in the 18th century
Gdańsk in the 16th century
Poznań in the 17th century

Crown of the Kingdom of Poland

Greater Poland Province

Elbląg in the 18th century

Lesser Poland Province

Kraków, Kleparz and Kazimierz in the 17th century - agglomeration of three royal cities
Lwów in the 17th century
Lublin in the 17th century
Kamieniec Podolski in the 17th century
Przemyśl in the 17th century
Sandomierz in the 17th century

Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Wilno in the 17th century
Grodno in the 16th century
Kowno in the 17th century
Brześć Litewski in the 17th century
Mohylew in the 18th century

See also


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