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The House of Vasa (Swedish: Vasa├Ątten, Polish: Waza) was the Royal House of Swedenmarker 1523-1654 and of Polandmarker 1587-1668. It origined from a noble family in Upplandmarker of which several members had high offices during the 15th century. The name continues to be associated with the Swedish royalty.

Kings and Queens of Sweden

In 1654 Christina, the daughter of Gustavus Adolphus, the Protestant Champion of the Thirty Years' War, abdicated, converted to Catholicism and left the country. The throne passed to her cousin Charles X of the House of Palatinate-Zweibr├╝cken, a cadet branch of the Wittelsbachs.

The kings of the house of Holstein-Gottorp, which produced the kings of Sweden from 1751 to 1818, emphasized their Vasa descent through a female line. The currently ruling house of Bernadotte similarly claims a Vasa mantle, as Charles XIV was an adopted son of Charles XIII, and his son Oscar I married a Vasa descendant.

Kings of Poland and Grand Dukes of Lithuania

Royal banner of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the reign of the House of Vasa (1587-1668).

John III of Sweden married Catherine Jagellonica, the sister of Sigismund II Augustus of Poland, and when Sigismund died without a male heir, their son was elected king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania as Sigismund III in 1587. On John's death Sigismund also gained the Swedish throne.

The House of Vasa and its connection to successor dynasties in Sweden.

Sigismund was Catholic however, which ultimately led to his losing the throne in Sweden. His uncle Charles IX succeeded him. We thus have two Houses of Vasa from this point onwards: the senior, Catholic branch ruling in Poland, and the cadet, Protestant branch ruling in Sweden. This arrangement led to numerous wars between the two states. After John, the Polish Vasa died out. See also Rulers of Poland.

See also

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