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Anna Dorota Chrzanowska

Anna Dorota Chrzanowska née von Fresen (fl. 1675), was a Polish heroine of the Polish–Ottoman War (1672–76), known for her acts during the Battle of Trembowla in 1675.


She was married to Captain Jan Samuel Chrzanowski. In 1675, she was present with her spouse at his command position, Trembowla Castle, when it was besieged by the Ottoman Turks. Despite Turkish efforts, the defenders of castle managed to hold their positions after several attacks. After several days, shortages of food and water became severe, and Captain Chrzanowski decided to surrender. Chrzanowska disagreed with this decision, and threatened to commit suicide if he proceeded. She convinced him to hold the fort, furthermore, Anna Dorota urged the defenders to carry out an attack on Turkish positions, resulting in heavy losses among the Ottomans. Chrzanowska’s determination is regarded to have raised the morale among the Poles, despite the fact that their losses were also heavy. The Turks ended the siege on October 11. In 1676 Polish Sejm raised the Chrzanowski couple to become members of the szlachta (legally privileged noble class), with the right to use the Poraj coat of arms. They became famous celebrities. In 1683, a monument of Anna Dorota Chrzanowska was erected in Trembowla.


Anna Chrzanowska has been the subject of Polish painters and writers. She was, for example, the subject of a drama written by Józef Wybicki, the novel Trembowla by Zofia Kossak, and a poem of Andrzej Waligorski, "Piesn o obronie Trembowli", performed by Andrzej Chyla.


  • Kazimierz Piwarski, Anna Dorota Chrzanowska, w: Polski Słownik Biograficzny, Kraków 1937, t. III, s. 458.

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