POPE John Paul II has accepted an invitation to visit Vienna in 1983 for celebrations marking the 300th anniversary or the defeat of the Turkish army at Vienna by Polish King John 111 Sobieski.
Historians consider that battle a turning point in saving Christian Europe from the threat of being overrun by Islam. According to the spokesman. the Pope confirmed the trip in a meeting with Cardinal Konig, who returned to Vienna. tiller a visit to Rome. on October 30.
In 1683 the Turkish forces, led by Kara Mustapha and numbering from 115.000 to 210,000 men, laid siege to Vienna. which Emperor Leopold of Austria had abandoned. Sobieski, at the request of the Holy See, marched on the city with 25,000 Polish soldiers. His troops were joined by 51,000 from the Holy Roman Empire, including 23,000 from Austria, to form a force of 76,000 under Sobieski's leadership.
On September 12 he personally led the Polish cavalry in a charge that decided the battle, which brought the liberation or Hungary from the Turks. After that Turkey ceased to be a serious threat to Europe.