Helena of Moscow

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Helena of Moscow (Polish Helena Ivanovna Moskiewska , Russian Елена Ивановна ; * May 19, 1476 in Moscow ; † January 20, 1513 in Vilnius ) was Grand Duchess of Lithuania from 1495 by marriage and from 1501 Titular Queen of Poland from the Rurikids dynasty . Since she did not convert to the Catholic faith , she was not allowed to be crowned queen under Polish law.


Helena was the daughter of the Grand Duke of Moscow Ivan III. and his wife, the Byzantine princess Sofia Palaiologa , a niece of Emperor Constantine XI. , the last emperor of Byzantium, was born in the Moscow Kremlin .

On February 18, 1495, she was married in Vilnius to Grand Duke Alexander of Lithuania , who later became King of Poland. The connection was intended to improve relations between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Grand Duchy of Moscow . Alexander's attempts to convert her to the Catholic faith, contrary to his promises, were partly responsible for various military conflicts (1500-03, 1507-1508 and 1512-22) between the two countries in which Helena tried, between her husband and father Iwan to convey.

Helena was well educated and surrounded herself with numerous Polish humanists at the royal court .

After Alexander's death in 1506, she lived in Lithuania and died at the age of 37 on January 20, 1513, and was buried at the side of her husband in the Cathedral of Vilnius .

No children were born from the marriage to King and Grand Duke Alexander.

Individual evidence

  1. Helena's biography on the website of the Literary Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
predecessor Office Successor
Elisabeth of Habsburg Queen of Poland
Barbara Zápolya