Royal city in Poland

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]

Medal commemorating the Law on the Cities

The most influential royal cities enjoyed voting rights during the free election period in Poland (1572-1791). These cities were Gdańsk, Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań, Lviv, Vilnius, Toruń, Lublin, Kamianets 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 CitiesEdit

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 regionEdit

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

Crown of the Kingdom of PolandEdit

Greater Poland ProvinceEdit

Elbląg in the 18th century
Toruń in the 17th century

Lesser Poland ProvinceEdit

Kraków, Kleparz and Kazimierz in the 17th century - agglomeration of three royal cities
Lviv in the 17th century
Lublin in the 17th century
Kamianets-Podilskyi in the 17th century
Przemyśl in the 17th century
Sandomierz in the 17th century
Chełm in the 18th century
Biecz in the 17th century
Lutsk in the 18th century

Grand Duchy of LithuaniaEdit

Vilnius in the 17th century
Grodno in the 16th century
Kaunas in the 17th century
Brest in the 17th century
Mogilev in the 18th century
Trakai in the 17th century

Royal castles and residencesEdit

Examples of Polish royal castles and residences found in former royal cities of Poland:

Old townsEdit

Examples of Polish royal cities historic centers include:

See alsoEdit