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Barbara Radziwill as a contemporary woman

Updated on October 24, 2013

My Project About Barbara Radziwill

Barbara Radziwill (Barbora Radvilaite - Lithuanian) to my understanding was a unique European celebrity during Renaissance times. Though she lived only 29 years, stories of her grace and love and importance are told throughout Eastern Europe to this day.

There were numerous queens and women loved by monarchs throughout centuries. But how many of them, even being a queen, are remembered this much, and how many of them rejoyced in mutual love with their king?

The fact, that she dealt with similar challenges to the ones women are dealing today: fertility, love, romance, money situations, war and deadly diseases, and the way she did it makes her a contemporary woman to me.

I strongly believe, that the famous queen achieved this much, because she managed to follow her heart and passion. Can someone be loved and venerated this much without loving and feeling herself?

food

Barbara liked pears very much, and she would have at least one orange a day. The lady was not a fussy eater.

Some Dance Music from 16th Century

It is said that Sigismund and Barbara enjoyed music and dance.

It is also known that at the mentioned time Barbara's cousin Radvila "The Black" had at his disposition some of the best musicians of the whole Europe, and his band surpassed even the band at the royal palace.

So what music and dance would have been performed during their time?

Barbara frequently met with her tailor and discussed her fashion.

Fancy Yourself an Infamous and Beloved Queen? - You can create long lasting memories!

What would be like for you to be a celebrated woman of Renaissance? Have you ever thought about such experience?

Well, now you can especially with Halloween and Christmas/ New Year's parties around a corner.

Mysterious Sexy Black Laser Cut Venetian Mardi Gras Masquerade Mask with Diamonds
Mysterious Sexy Black Laser Cut Venetian Mardi Gras Masquerade Mask with Diamonds

No dress-up Renaissance costume is complete without a perfectly suited mask.

 
Lotustraders Dress Peasant Layer Renaissance Green Medium G922
Lotustraders Dress Peasant Layer Renaissance Green Medium G922

Perfect if you decide to become a Renaissance queen this during this year's Halloween or Christmas/ New Year's party! I wonder what other colors and variations we can find?

 
Little Adventures Full Length Deluxe Velvet Cloak/Cape with Lined Hood for Adults - Black
Little Adventures Full Length Deluxe Velvet Cloak/Cape with Lined Hood for Adults - Black

Disguise yourself arriving or leaving... Can go nicely with a Renaissance costume.

 
Sixteenth-Century Italian Replica Old World Globe Bar
Sixteenth-Century Italian Replica Old World Globe Bar

Mordern antique surrounding. Now, that is classy, especially when you enjoy surrounding yourself with things that evoke certain creative atmosphere. Good for entertaining guests, too!

 
Mount & Blade: Warband [Download]
Mount & Blade: Warband [Download]

Infamous women of those times had to stand up alongside their men. Glory or doom - it is all up to you now! Especially if you enjoy video games. Even if you have just 40 minutes in a week.

Some scientists say, it is a good brain training as well...

Also, by getting a downloadable item, you save time and money usually spent on packaging and posting, or a trip to the nearest shop.

 

Music about Barbara - The lyrics of the first song from the video below, translated by myself

Glory be to the God Almighty!

We have attained such splendour.

We will always venerate the day,

When the King took a wife.

Here is the most luminous Augustus,

Our most noble King,

He ceased living in solitude,

And changed his subsistence.

Our lords advised him so

During assembly in Krakow:

"You need to marry, King,

And extend your lineage."

So He started brooding:

"Where should I look for a wife?"

And dispatched

A huge flock of eagles.

Saying, "fly to every direction

Until you find a wife,

The most noble she-eagle,

Be it beautiful widow or maiden.

He told messenger of

The Lithuanian Grand Duchy

Lord Radvila to travel

As far as Rome.

Here comes the Wife,

Found and brought to Krakow;

Bend before Her all nations:

There is no lass more pretty.

This Lady of noble tribe,

Of honorable Roman lineage.

She is of bloodline of true Kings,

The ones that reign from of old!

The first song in this video was created and used during Barbara's wedding ceremony, and the second, sad one - for her funeral.

How Barbara came to meet the future king

Sigismundus and Barbara were of the same age, and so were her brother Mikolaj "The Red" (he had brown hair) and cousin Mikolaj "The Black" (well, he had black hair), too. They would go hunting all together, also loved steeds and hounds.

Mikolaj "The Black" was brought up together with the young monarch at the royal palace, and they were very good friends, too.

daily routine

Having a relaxing bath, fixing a make-up and a hairdo, choosing a dress was Barbara's daily routine in 16th century, just as we ladies do it now. She would go to meet with her beloved Sigismund only looking her best and she also used perfume all the time.

Reconstruction of Barbara's true image - I provide my own translation from Lithuanian to English

Barbra Radziwil was a daughter of Jerzy Radziwill, who at the time was the castellan of Vilnius city. She was married to a son of Algirdas Gostautas. Very suddenly Barbora became a widow.

Sigismund Augustus was the heir to the the royal throne of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The future king became fascinated by Barbara, and the young lady became a queen even against his mother's wishes. The story of their romantic love inspired various works of art, music and fiction.

Barbara died on 8th of May 1551 in Krakow, at age of 29. Sigismund fulfilled her last wish by burying her at Vilnius cathedral.

Due to a threat of Russian invasion in the middle of 17th century, the royal remains were hidden and their hiding place was forgotten.

In 1931, damage to the foundation of Vilnius cathedral was being examined after flooding of river Neris, and the sarcofagus containing well preserved remains and royal property of Barbara Radziwill was discovered.

Scientists were able to reassemble a documented portrait of the infamous queen, as well as finalize their answers to questions about how she lived and the cause of her premature death.

Now we know of unique features of Barbara. The queen was tall (162 cm), had rather broad shoulders, yet slim. She was one of the most popular women of her century. Barbara was very energetic and determined, and she enjoyed the life of nobility. Sadly, the lady died very young due to cancer, one of most vile diseases.

In this video you can learn how the true appearance of Barbora Radvilaite was reconstructed.

Barbara Radziwill
Barbara Radziwill

Significance

Where are you running so fast?

Maybe halt to enquire what body this is.

Look who lies in this coffin,

Maybe you stand still in your thoughts.

This is Barbara. This is virtuous

Noble Gostautiene,

The sovereign loved her so warmly

And crowned her unexpectedly.

"I am of honorable tribe

At the glorious palace of Radzwill

I was born, a daughter of the chieftain,

Brought up since infancy.

I became the Great Queen,

Received a diamond crown

From the Kingdom of Poland

And the Duchy of Lithuania.

Where are you running so fast?

Maybe halt to enquire what body this is.

Look who lies in this coffin,

Maybe you stand still in your thoughts.

This is Barbara. This is virtuous

Noble Gostautiene,

The sovereign loved her so warmly

And crowned her unexpectedly.

"I am of honorable tribe

At glorious Radvila palace

I was born, a daughter of the Chieftain,

Brought up since infancy.

I became the Great Queen,

Received a diamond crown

From the Kingdom of Poland

And the Duchy of Lithuania.

Song from Barbara's funeral, translated from Lithuanian to English by myself (video with music about Barbara, song 2)

Do you think Barbara's story is interesting?

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What do you think about my story? I appreciate your visit and comments.

Violeta

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  • profile image

    tahirmahmood 3 years ago

    This is a wonderful lens

  • Rangoon House profile image

    AJ 3 years ago from Australia

    I enjoyed reading this and learning more about Barbara Radziwill.

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    karinhalford 3 years ago

    Nice story.

    Karin Halford