Sobieski's liberation of Vienna

Fischer 262 | Michel 283 | Scott 278 | Year of issue 1933 | Pre-war Poland

The 250th anniversary of the liberation of Vienna by Polish and allied forces under command of Jan III Sobieski on 12 September 1683.

Sobieski at the Battle of Vienna
(the central part of a painting by Jan Matejko
on which Jan III Sobieski gives the message of victory to a monk)


Jan Sobieski (1629-1696) or Ioannis II Sobieski in Latin, king of Poland.
Vienna, the captial of Austria, was called Vindobona when it was a Roman garrison town on the south banks of the Danube.
On 12-IX-1683 (12 September 1683), Jan III Sobieski liberated Vienna from the Turks.
Jan Matejko (1838-1893), great Polish painter.

The stamps shows but one sixth of a giant canvas painted by Jan Matejko. The whole thing is in fact 30 feet wide and 15 feet high. Jan Sobieski is displayed here just as he was, quite corpulent, mounted on a spirited war-horse, entering the city of Vienna after his overwhelming victory over the Turks. He hands to the papal Nuncio his message to pope Innocent XI, which included the text: "Veni vidi, Deus vicit!" (I came, I saw, God conquered!). The painting can now be seen in the Vatican.

Relevant pages

The painting is depicted in its entirety on Fischer sheet 79.
This stamp was overprinted 1 Zł as Fischer 272
Find other Polish stamps depicting Jan III Sobieski.


Jan III Sobieski
Battle of Vienna
Jan Matejko
Battle of Vienna 1683 gallery (part of the History on Stamps site by Bjorn Bakken).