Historical Figures

Louis of Hungary (1326-1382)

Portrait of Ludwik Węgierski by Marcello Bacciarelli.

Louis of Hungary, Louis of Anjou, Louis the Great (1326-1382) - king of Hungary and Poland. He was the son of the first Hungarian ruler of the Anjou dynasty, Karol Robert, and his Polish wife, Elżbieta Łokietkówna. He grew up under the watchful eye of his mother, who from an early age provided him with the best teachers and took care of his comprehensive education. He ascended the throne in 1342.

Louis of Anjou was one of the most militant Hungarian kings. Almost every year he led military expeditions against his neighbors. He waged long campaigns against the Kingdom of Naples, conquered Dalmatia, imposed his sovereignty over Moldova, Wallachia, Bosnia and parts of Bulgaria.

At his side, the queen mother, Elżbieta Łokietkówna, played a huge role. Thanks to her efforts - and through her - Ludwik inherited the crown of the Polish kingdom from Casimir the Great, who died in 1370. Married to Elżbieta Bośniaczka, he had only daughters and he appointed them - including the younger Jadwiga - as his successors.

Considered one of the greatest rulers in the history of Hungary. In Poland he is remembered coldly, mainly because of the Košice privilege, wrongly considered a source of noble supremacy and a weakening of the monarchy's position.

Despite accepting the Polish crown, Ludwik Andegaweński avoided visiting the Vistula, claiming that he was not served by the harsh climate here. The real power on his behalf was exercised by regent Elżbieta Łokietkówna, and then - Władysław Opolczyk. The king died after a long, possibly hereditary disease.