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Siege of Wolmar
Part of the Polish-Swedish wars
Jan Zamoyski Hetman.jpg
Hetman Jan Zamoyski
DateOctober 18 - December 18, 1601
LocationWolmar, Poland
Result Polish victory
Sweden Sweden Herb Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodow.svg Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Commanders and leaders

Jacob De la Gardie

Carl Carlsson Gyllenhielm

Jan Zamoyski
Stanisław Żółkiewski

Jürgen von Farensbach
1,000 15,000
50 artillery pieces

The Siege of Wolmar occurred during the Polish–Swedish War (1600–1611), between October 18 and December 18, 1601. Polish forces, numbering around 15,000, with 50 pieces of artillery, led by the Grand Crown Hetman Jan Zamoyski besieged the city (present day Valmiera) defended by about 1,000 infantry under Pontus De la Gardie and Carl Carlsson Gyllenhielm. Other notable commanders on the Polish side included the Field Crown Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski and the field marshall Jürgen von Farensbach (Jerzy Farensbach). The king of Poland, Sigismund III Vasa, was initially present at the siege, but left for Wilno on December 5.

At first the Swedish artillery managed to hold back the Poles who did not intend to storm Wolmar without proper siege cannons. However, on December 8 such pieces arrived and an intense bombardment of Wolmar was executed which continued for ten days. Finally on December 18, when the cannons had breached two entrances in the walls, the Polish troops managed to storm the defenses and entered the city. The Swedish garrison withdrew to the town's castle where they defended themselves and held back the Poles for a while. Later when the situation became particularly disadvantagous they asked for conditions of surrender. Subsequently, after capitulation, the Swedish officers were taken prisoner by the Poles while the rank and file soldiers were allowed to leave after swearing an oath that they would not continue to fight against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The captured Swedish generals Pontus De la Gardie and Carl Carlsson Gyllenhielm were treated very well until they were transferred to the king. Sigismund decided to lock them in the castle of Rawa. Conditions there became very tough. De la Gardie was exchanged and returned to the Swedish army in 1605. Gyllenhielm was held captive until 1613.[1]


  1. Claes-Göran Isacson, Vägen till stormakt - Vasaättens krig (2006), Stockholm, Norstedts. Page 322. ISBN 91-1-301502-8

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