Portrait of Barbara Jagiellon (1478-1534), Duchess consort of Saxony and Margravine consort of Meissen (1500-1534)
Barbara Jagiellon (German: Barbara von Polen; 15 July 1478 – 15 February 1534), was a Polish princess member of the Jagiellonian dynasty and by marriage Duchess of Saxony. Born in Sandomierz, she was the sixth daughter of King Casimir IV of Poland and Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria. She was named after her great-grandmother, Barbara of Cilli, Holy Roman Empress. Barbara was married on 21 November 1496 in a glittering ceremony in Leipzig to George, Duke of Saxony (1471–1539). At the wedding, 6,286 German and Polish nobles were said to be present. This marriage was a key part of maintaining good diplomatic relations between Germany and Poland. For Barbara's family, the marriage was also important due to their rivalry with the House of Habsburg. In 1513, Barbara and her husband founded Meissen Cathedral; several Masses and liturgical celebration of Easter have been recorded to have taken place since then. Barbara sent letters to her husband while he was at battles. Witnesses say the couple had a very loving and happy marriage. Barbara died in Leipzig aged 55. Her husband was so stricken by grief that he grew a beard during this time, which was why he was nicknamed "the Bearded".
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