Antemurale Christianitatis (Latin for the Bulwark of Christianity) was a country defending frontiers of Christian Europe from the Ottoman Empire.

Pope Leo X called Croatia the Antemurale Christianitatis in 1519, given that several Croatian soldiers made significant contributions to the struggle against the Turks. The advancement of Ottoman Empire in Europe was stopped on Croatian soil, which could be in this sense regarded as a historical gate of European civilization. Nevertheless the Muslim Ottoman civilization conquered part of Croatia from the 15th to the 19th century and some Croats converted to Islam.

For its centuries-long stance against the Muslim advances, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth would gain the name of Antemurale Christianitatis.[1] In 1683, the Battle of Vienna marked the final turning point in a 250-year struggle between the forces of Christian Europe and the Islamic Ottoman Empire. Wespazjan Kochowski in his Psalmodia polska (The Polish Psalmody, 1695) tells about the special role of Poland in the world (antemurale christianitatisthe bulwark of Christianity) and the superiority of Polish political system (złota wolnośćthe golden liberty).

See also


  1. Poland, the knight among nations, Louis Edwin Van Norman, New York: 1907, p. 18
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