(Somlyo, Transilvania 1533 – 1586 Grodno)
King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania
Stephen Báthory was born on 27 September 1533 in the castle at Somlyó, also known as Szilágysomlyó. He was the son of Stephen VIII Báthory of the noble Hungarian Báthory family and his wife Catherine Telegdi. Little is known about his childhood. Around 1549-1550, he visited Italy and spent a few months attending lectures at Padua, in 1549 he went to Mantua, Lombardy to attend the wedding of Catherine of Austria with Francesca Gonzaga.
There is no definite news of a subsequent return to Vienna or to his native Transylvania. It is believed he stay in Padua based on a letter dated November 12, 1549, in which the meeting between the sender, the Hungarian aristocrat Lörinc Révay (then student of the Venetian city) and Báthory. While the letter can be confirmed as sent to Báthory in Padua, his attendance to the university cannot be verified.
Crowned King of Poland in 1576, Báthory pursued a successful rule of expansion, guaranteeing the domination of the Baltic for over a century. His statue, commissioned by the last ruler of Poland, Stanislaw August Poniatowski, stands in Prato della Valle