Bavaria the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres, Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Nuremberg; the history of Bavaria includes its earliest settlement by Iron Age Celtic tribes, followed by the conquests of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC, when the territory was incorporated into the provinces of Raetia and Noricum. It became a stem duchy in the 6th century AD following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire, became an independent kingdom, joined the Prussian-led German Empire while retaining its title of kingdom, became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Duchy of Bavaria dates back to the year 555. In the 17th century AD, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918. In 1946, the Free State of Bavaria re-organised itself on democratic lines after the Second World War. Bavaria has a unique culture because of the state's Catholic majority and conservative traditions. Bavarians have traditionally been proud of their culture, which includes a language, architecture, festivals such as Oktoberfest and elements of Alpine symbolism; the state has the second largest economy among the German states by GDP figures, giving it a status as a rather wealthy German region. Modern Bavaria includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia and Swabia; the Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps inhabited by Celts, part of the Roman provinces of Raetia and Noricum. The Bavarians spoke Old High German, unlike other Germanic groups, they did not migrate from elsewhere. Rather, they seem to have coalesced out of other groups left behind by the Roman withdrawal late in the 5th century; these peoples may have included the Celtic Boii, some remaining Romans, Allemanni, Thuringians, Scirians, Heruli.
The name "Bavarian" means "Men of Baia" which may indicate Bohemia, the homeland of the Celtic Boii and of the Marcomanni. They first appear in written sources circa 520. A 17th century Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the diocese was named after an ancient Bohemian king, Boiia, in the 14th century BC. From about 554 to 788, the house of Agilolfing ruled the Duchy of Bavaria, ending with Tassilo III, deposed by Charlemagne. Three early dukes are named in Frankish sources: Garibald I may have been appointed to the office by the Merovingian kings and married the Lombard princess Walderada when the church forbade her to King Chlothar I in 555, their daughter, became Queen of the Lombards in northern Italy and Garibald was forced to flee to her when he fell out with his Frankish overlords. Garibald's successor, Tassilo I, tried unsuccessfully to hold the eastern frontier against the expansion of Slavs and Avars around 600. Tassilo's son Garibald II seems to have achieved a balance of power between 610 and 616.
After Garibald II little is known of the Bavarians until Duke Theodo I, whose reign may have begun as early as 680. From 696 onwards he invited churchmen from the west to organize churches and strengthen Christianity in his duchy, his son, led a decisive Bavarian campaign to intervene in a succession dispute in the Lombard Kingdom in 714, married his sister Guntrud to the Lombard King Liutprand. At Theodo's death the duchy was reunited under his grandson Hugbert. At Hugbert's death the duchy passed from neighboring Alemannia. Odilo issued a law code for Bavaria, completed the process of church organization in partnership with St. Boniface, tried to intervene in Frankish succession disputes by fighting for the claims of the Carolingian Grifo, he was defeated near Augsburg in 743 but continued to rule until his death in 748. Saint Boniface completed the people's conversion to Christianity in the early 8th century. Tassilo III succeeded his father at the age of eight after an unsuccessful attempt by Grifo to rule Bavaria.
He ruled under Frankish oversight but began to function independently from 763 onwards. He was noted for founding new monasteries and for expanding eastwards, fighting Slavs in the eastern Alps and along the River Danube and colonising these lands. After 781, his cousin Charlemagne began to pressure Tassilo to submit and deposed him in 788; the deposition was not legitimate. Dissenters attempted a coup against Charlemagne at Tassilo's old capital of Regensburg in 792, led by his own son Pépin the Hunchback; the king had to drag Tassilo out of imprisonment to formally renounce his rights and titles at the Assembly of Frankfurt in 794. This is the last appearance of Tassilo in the sources, he died a monk; as all of his family were forced into monasteries, this was the end of the Agilolfing dynasty. For the next 400 years numerous families held the duchy for more than three generations. With the revolt of duke Henry the Quarrelsome in 976, Bavaria lost large territories in the south and
Frederick II, Duke of Swabia
Frederick II, called the One-Eyed, was Duke of Swabia from 1105 until his death, the second from the Hohenstaufen dynasty. His younger brother Conrad was elected King of the Romans in 1138. Frederick II was the eldest son of Duke Frederick I of Swabia and his wife Agnes of Waiblingen, a daughter of the Salian emperor Henry IV, he succeeded his father in 1105 and together with his brother Conrad continued the extension and consolidation of the Hohenstaufen estates. Frederick had numerous castles erected in the Alsace region; the Hohenstaufen brothers supported King Henry V in the conflict with his father Emperor Henry IV. In 1110 he and Henry V embarked on an expedition to Italy, where in Rome Henry enforced his coronation by Pope Paschal II. In turn, the emperor appointed Conrad Duke of Franconia and both brothers German regents when he left for his second Italian campaign in 1116. On the other hand, the rise of the Hohenstaufens began to upset rivalling princes like Archbishop Adalbert of Mainz, who loathed the supporters of Henry V.
About 1120 Frederick married Judith, a daughter of Duke Henry IX of Bavaria and member of the powerful House of Welf. Their first son Frederick was born in 1122. Upon the death of Emperor Henry V in 1125, the Salian dynasty became extinct. Frederick II, Henry's nephew, stood for election as King of the Romans with the support of his younger brother Conrad and several princely houses. However, he lost in the tumultuous round of elections, led by Archbishop Adalbert of Mainz, to the Saxon duke Lothair II. Frederick at first rendered homage to the new king, however, he refused the feudal oath and insisted on the inheritance of the Salian family estates along the Middle Rhine. At the 1125 Hoftag diet in Regensburg, the king requested the surrender of the Salian possessions. After he imposed an Imperial ban on the Hohenstaufens, the conflict erupted between Frederick and his supporters, Lothair: encouraged by Archbishop Adalbert and several princes, the king occupied Hohenstaufen lands in Upper Lorraine and Alsace.
However, an attack by Welf forces on the Swabian core territory failed, like the siege of Nuremberg by Lothair in 1127. Frederick relieved the siege and moreover gained the support from his brother Conrad, who had just returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During the fighting, Frederick lost whereafter he was no longer eligible as German king. In December 1127 Conrad declared himself King of the Romans, while the next year Duke Frederick II occupied the Salian city of Speyer; the attempt of Duke Henry X of Bavaria to capture his brother-in-law Frederick during the negotiations failed. However, afterwards the supporters of Lothair won a number of victories both in Germany and in Italy. Speyer and Ulm were captured, his second wife, Agnes of Saarbrücken, was a niece of his old enemy Adalbert of Mainz. After Lothair was crowned emperor in 1133, Frederick saw himself stuck between the Saxon and Bavarian forces, he submitted to him in the spring of 1135 at Bamberg. Both were reconciled and Emperor Lothair renounced further attacks against the Hohenstaufens.
After Lothair's death in 1137 and the following election of Conrad as King of the Romans, Frederick supported his brother in the struggle with the Welfs. According to Otto of Freising, Frederick was "so faithful a knight to his sovereign and so helpful a friend to his uncle that by valor he supported the tottering honor of the realm, fighting manfully against its foes..." Duke Frederick II died in 1147 at Alzey. He was buried at the Benedictine abbey of Walburg in Alsace, his son Frederick succeeded him as Swabian duke and was elected German king in 1152. With Judith of Bavaria, daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria: Frederick III Barbarossa, duke of Swabia and Holy Roman Emperor as Frederick I Bertha of Lorraine, married Matthias I, Duke of LorraineWith Agnes of Saarbrücken, daughter of Frederick, Count of Saarbrücken: Conrad of Hohenstaufen, Count Palatine of the Rhine Jutta, married Louis II, Landgrave of Thuringia Dukes of Swabia family tree Brooke, Christopher. Europe in the Central Middle Ages: 962-1154.
Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV, called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was King of the Romans from 1314, King of Italy from 1327, Holy Roman Emperor from 1328. Louis IV was Duke of Upper Bavaria from 1294/1301 together with his elder brother Rudolf I, served as Margrave of Brandenburg until 1323, as Count Palatine of the Rhine until 1329, he became Duke of Lower Bavaria in 1340, he obtained the titles Count of Hainaut, Holland and Friesland in 1345 when his wife Margaret inherited them. Louis was born in Munich, the son of Louis II, Duke of Upper Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine, Matilda, a daughter of King Rudolph I. Though Louis was educated in Vienna and became co-regent of his brother Rudolf I in Upper Bavaria in 1301 with the support of his Habsburg mother and her brother, King Albert I, he quarrelled with the Habsburgs from 1307 over possessions in Lower Bavaria. A civil war against his brother Rudolf due to new disputes on the partition of their lands was ended in 1313, when peace was made at Munich.
In the same year, on November 9, Louis defeated his Habsburg cousin Frederick the Fair, further aided by duke Leopold I. He was a friend of Frederick, with whom he had been raised. However, armed conflict arose when the guardianship over the young Dukes of Lower Bavaria was entrusted to Frederick though the late Duke Otto III, the former King of Hungary, had chosen Louis. On 9 November 1313, Frederick was defeated by Louis in the Battle of Gammelsdorf and had to renounce the tutelage; this victory caused a stir within the Holy Roman Empire and increased the reputation of the Bavarian Duke. The death of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII in August 1313 necessitated the election of a successor. Henry's son John, King of Bohemia since 1310, was considered by many prince-electors to be too young, by others to be too powerful. One alternative was Frederick the Fair, the son of Henry's predecessor, Albert I, of the House of Habsburg. In reaction, the pro-Luxembourg party among the prince electors settled on Louis as its candidate to prevent Frederick's election.
On 19 October 1314, Archbishop Henry II Cologne chaired an assembly of four electors at Sachsenhausen, south of Frankfurt. Participants were Louis' brother, Rudolph I of the Palatinate, who objected to the election of his younger brother, Duke Rudolph I of Saxe-Wittenberg, Henry of Carinthia, whom the Luxembourgs had deposed as King of Bohemia; these four electors chose Frederick as King. The Luxembourg party did not accept this election and the next day a second election was held. Upon the instigation of Peter of Aspelt, Archbishop of Mainz, five different electors convened at Frankfurt and elected Louis as King; these electors were Archbishop Peter himself, Archbishop Baldwin of Trier and King John of Bohemia - both of the House of Luxembourg - Margrave Waldemar of Brandenburg and Duke John II of Saxe-Lauenburg, who contested Rudolph of Wittenberg's claim to the electoral vote. This double election was followed by two coronations: Louis was crowned at Aachen - the customary site of coronations - by Archbishop Peter of Mainz, while the Archbishop of Cologne, who by custom had the right to crown the new king, crowned Frederick at Bonn.
In the following conflict between the kings, Louis recognized in 1316 the independence of Switzerland from the Habsburg dynasty. After several years of bloody war, victory seemed within the grasp of Frederick, supported by his brother Leopold. However, Frederick's army was decisively defeated in the Battle of Mühldorf on 28 September 1322 on the Ampfing Heath, where Frederick and 1300 nobles from Austria and Salzburg were captured. Louis held Frederick captive in Trausnitz Castle for three years, but the determined resistance by Frederick's brother Leopold, the retreat of John of Bohemia from his alliance, the Pope's ban induced Louis to release Frederick in the Treaty of Trausnitz of 13 March 1325. In this agreement, Frederick recognized Louis as legitimate ruler and undertook to return to captivity if he did not succeed in convincing his brothers to submit to Louis; as he did not manage to overcome Leopold's obstinacy, Frederick returned to Munich as a prisoner though the Pope had released him from his oath.
Louis, impressed by such nobility, renewed the old friendship with Frederick, they agreed to rule the Empire jointly. Since the Pope and the electors objected to this agreement, another treaty was signed at Ulm on 7 January 1326, according to which Frederick would administer Germany as King of the Romans, while Louis would be crowned as Holy Roman Emperor in Italy. However, after Leopold's death in 1326, Frederick withdrew from the regency of the Empire and returned to rule only Austria, he died on 13 January 1330. Despite Louis' victory, Pope John XXII still refused to ratify his election, in 1324 he excommunicated Louis, but the sanction had less effect than in earlier disputes between emperors and the papacy. After the reconciliation with the Habsburgs in 1326, Louis marched to Italy and was crowned King of Italy in Milan in 1327. In 1323, Louis had sent an army to Italy to protect Milan against the Kingdom of Naples, together with France the strongest ally of the papacy, but now the Lord of Milan Galeazzo I Visconti was deposed since he was suspected of conspiring with the pope.
In January 1328, Louis entered Rome and had himself crowned emperor by the aged senator Sciarra Colonna, called captain of the Roman people. Three months Louis published a decree declaring Pope John XXII deposed on grounds of heresy, he installed a Spiritual Franciscan, Pietro Rainalducci as Nicholas V, but both left Rome in August 1328. In the meanti
Henry X, Duke of Bavaria
Henry the Proud, a member of the House of Welf, was Duke of Bavaria from 1126 to 1138 and Duke of Saxony as well as Margrave of Tuscany and Duke of Spoleto from 1137 until his death. In 1138 he was a candidate for the election as King of the Romans but was defeated by Conrad of Hohenstaufen, he was the second son of daughter of Duke Magnus of Saxony. Henry came of age in 1123, in 1126 his father retired to Weingarten Abbey where he and his wife died shortly afterwards; as his elder brother Conrad had entered the Cistercian Order, Henry was enfeoffed with the Duchy of Bavaria. He shared the family possessions in Saxony and Swabia with his younger brother Welf VI. In 1127 he married the only child of King Lothair III of Germany. Henry's father had been promised her marriage and inheritance as reward for his changing to support Lothair in the royal election of 1125 against the Hohenstaufen rival Duke Frederick II of Swabia. Gertrude was heir of the properties of three Saxon dynasties: the House of Supplinburg, the Brunonids, the Counts of Northeim.
The marriage marked the expansion of power of the Welf dynasty, Bavarian dukes since 1070, to the northern parts of Germany. The couple had Henry the Lion. After the marriage, Henry remained a loyal supporter in the warfare between King Lothair and the Hohenstaufen brothers, Duke Frederick II and Conrad Duke in Franconia and proclaimed the German anti-king. While engaged in this struggle, Henry was occupied in suppressing a rising in Bavaria, led by Count Frederick of Bogen, during which both duke and count sought to establish their own candidates as Bishop of Regensburg. After a war of devastation, Count Frederick submitted in 1133, two years the Hohenstaufen brothers made their peace with Emperor Lothair. In 1136, Henry accompanied his father-in-law to Italy, taking command of a Bavarian division of the Imperial army marched into the south Italian Kingdom of Sicily up to Bari, devastating the land as he went. Having distinguished himself by his military abilities during this campaign, Henry was appointed as margrave of Tuscany, succeeding Engelbert III of Sponheim, as Lothair's successor in the Duchy of Saxony.
He was given the private properties of late Margravine Matilda of Tuscany from the hands of Pope Innocent II. When Emperor Lothair died on his way back from Italy in December 1137, Henry's wealth and position made him a formidable candidate for the German crown. According to the contemporary chronicler Otto of Freising, after his appointment as Duke of Saxony he boasted of a realm stretching "from sea to sea, from Denmark to Sicily". However, the same qualities which earned him the cognomen of "the Proud" aroused the jealousy of the princes and so prevented his election; the new king, Conrad III, demanded the Imperial Regalia which Henry had received from Lothair, the duke in return asked for his investiture with the Saxon duchy. But Conrad, who feared his power, refused to assent to this on the pretext that it was unlawful for two duchies to be in one hand. Attempts at a settlement failed, when in July 1138 Henry refused to take the oath of allegiance, he was banned and deprived of both his duchies.
Bavaria was given to the Babenberg margrave Leopold IV of Austria, a half-brother of the new king Conrad. Saxony, which he had attempted to hold but was not invested with, was given to the Ascanian count Albert the Bear, son of Eilika of Saxony, a younger daughter of the last Billung duke Magnus. In 1139 Henry succeeded in expelling his enemies from Saxony and was preparing to attack Bavaria when he died in Quedlinburg. Henry is buried in the Imperial Cathedral of Königslutter next to his parents-in-law Emperor Lothair and Richenza of Northeim, his death left his son Henry the Lion underage who would be given Saxony, while Henry II, Duke of Austria received Bavaria. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Henry "The Proud"". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Heilika of Pettendorf-Lengenfeld
Heilika of Pettendorf-Lengenfeld was by marriage Countess Palatine of Bavaria. She was one of the two daughters of the edelfrei Lord Frederick III of Pettendorf-Lengenfeld-Hopfenohe, who died between 1112 and 1119 without a male heir, her mother was a Heilika of Swabia the daughter of Duke Frederick I of Swabia and his wife, Agnes of Germany. So, she was a granddaughter of Emperor Henry IV, she married Count Otto IV of the Count Palatine of Bavaria. In 1124, he moved his residence from Scheyern Castle to Wittelsbach Castle in Aichach, he donated Scheyern Castle to the Benedictine Order. Otto and Heilike had eight children: Herman Otto, nicknamed "the Redhead", succeeded his father as Count Otto VIII of Scheyern, Count Otto V of Wittelsbach and Count Palatine Otto VI of Bavaria. In 1180, after the fall of Henry the Lion, Emperor Frederick I "Barbarossa" enfeoffed Otto the Redhead with the Duchy of Bavaria. From on, he called himself Otto I of Bavaria; the Wittelsbach dynasty would retain the duchy from 1180 until 1918.
Conrad, Archbishop of Mainz as Conrad III and Archbishop of Salzburg as Conrad I Frederick II, married in 1184 to a daughter of Count Mangold of Donauwörth Udalrich Otto VII, married Benedicta a daughter of Count Mangold of Donauwörth Hedwig, married in 1135 to Count Berthold, who in 1151 became Duke Berthold III of Merania, Margrave Berthold I of Istria and Count Berthold III of Andechs. In 1157, he became Count of Dießen-Wolfratshausen. Adelaide, married Otto II of SteflingHeilika's sister Heilwig was married to Count Gebhard I of Leuchtenberg and brought the Lordship of Waldeck into the marriage. Heilika was buried in Ensdorf Abbey. Heilika of Lengenfeld at genealogie-mittelalter.de
Rudolf I of Germany
Rudolf I known as Rudolf of Habsburg, was Count of Habsburg from about 1240 and King of Germany from 1273 until his death. Rudolf's election marked the end of the Great Interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire after the death of the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II in 1250. A Swabian count, he was the first Habsburg to acquire the duchies of Austria and Styria in opposition to his mighty rival, the Přemyslid king Ottokar II of Bohemia, whom he defeated in the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld; the territories remained under Habsburg rule for more than 600 years, forming the core of the Habsburg Monarchy and the present-day country of Austria. Rudolf was the first king of the Romans of the Habsburg dynasty, he played a vital role in raising the comital house to the rank of Imperial princes, he was the first of a number of late medieval count-kings, so called by the historian Bernd Schneidmüller, from the rival noble houses of Habsburg and Wittelsbach, all striving after the Roman-German royal dignity, taken over by the Habsburgs in 1438.
Rudolf was born on 1 May 1218 at Limburgh Castle near Sasbach am Kaiserstuhl in the Breisgau region of present-day southwestern Germany. He was the son of Count Albert IV of Habsburg and of Hedwig, daughter of Count Ulrich of Kyburg. Around 1232, he was given as a squire to his uncle, Rudolf I, Count of Laufenburg, to train in knightly pursuits. At his father's death in 1239, he inherited large estates from him around the ancestral seat of Habsburg Castle in the Aargau region of present-day Switzerland as well as in Alsace. Thus, in 1240 in order to quell the rising power of Rudolf and in an attempt to place the important "Devil’s Bridge" across the Schöllenenschlucht under his direct control, Emperor Frederick II, granted Schwyz Reichsfreiheit in the Freibrief von Faenza. In 1242, Hugh of Tuffenstein provoked Count Rudolf through contumelious expressions. In turn, the Count of Habsburg failed to take his seat of power; as the day passed on, Count Rudolf bribed the sentinels of the city and gained entry, killing Hugh in the process.
In 1244, to help control Lake Lucerne and restrict the neighboring forest communities of Uri and Unterwalden, Rudolf built near its shores Neuhabsburg Castle. In 1245 Rudolf married Gertrude, daughter of Count Burkhard III of Hohenberg, he received as her dowry the castles of Oettingen, the valley of Weile, other places in Alsace, he became an important vassal in Swabia, the former Alemannic German stem duchy. That same year, Emperor Frederick II was excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV at the Council of Lyon. Rudolf sided against the Emperor; this gave them a pretext to damage Neuhabsburg. Rudolf defended it and drove them off; as a result, Rudolf, by siding with the Pope, gained influence. Rudolf paid frequent visits to the court of his godfather, the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II, his loyalty to Frederick and his son, King Conrad IV of Germany, was richly rewarded by grants of land. In 1254, he engaged with other nobles of the Staufen party against Bishop of Basle; when night fell, he burnt down the local nunnery.
Pope Innocent IV excommunicated him and all parties involved. As penance, he took up the cross and joined Ottokar II, King of Bohemia in the Prussian Crusade of 1254. Whilst there, he oversaw the founding of the city of Königsberg, named in memory of King Ottokar; the disorder in Germany during the interregnum after the fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty afforded an opportunity for Count Rudolf to increase his possessions. His wife was a Hohenberg heiress. Successful feuds with the Bishops of Strasbourg and Basel further augmented his wealth and reputation, including rights over various tracts of land that he purchased from abbots and others; these various sources of wealth and influence rendered Rudolf the most powerful prince and noble in southwestern Germany. In the autumn of 1273, the prince-electors met to choose a king after Richard of Cornwall had died in England in April 1272. Rudolf's election in Frankfurt on 1 October 1273, when he was 55 years old, was due to the efforts of his brother-in-law, the Hohenzollern burgrave Frederick III of Nuremberg.
The support of Duke Albert II of Saxony and Elector Palatine Louis II had been purchased by betrothing them to two of Rudolf's daughters. As a result, within the electoral college, King Ottokar II of Bohemia, himself a candidate for the throne and related to the late Hohenstaufen king Philip of Swabia, was alone in opposing Rudolf. Other candidates were Prince Siegfried I of Anhalt and Margrave Frederick I of Meissen, a young grandson of the excommunicated Emperor Frederick II, who did not yet have a principality of his own as his father was still alive. By the admission of Duke Henry XIII of Lower Bavaria instead of the King of Bohemia as the seventh Elector, Rudolf gained all seven votes. Rudolf was crowned in Aachen Cathedral on 24 October 1273. To win the approbation of the Pope, Rudolf renounced all imperial rights in Rome, the papal territory, Sicily, promised to lead a new crusade. Pope Gregory X, despite the protests of Ottokar II of Bohemia, not only recognised Rudolf himself, but persuaded King Alfonso X of Castile, chosen German
Ottokar II of Bohemia
Ottokar II, the Iron and Golden King, was a member of the Přemyslid dynasty who reigned as King of Bohemia from 1253 until his death in 1278. He held the titles of Margrave of Moravia from 1247, Duke of Austria from 1251, Duke of Styria from 1260, as well as Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Carniola from 1269. With Ottokar's rule, the Přemyslids reached the peak of their power in the Holy Roman Empire, his expectations of the imperial crown, were never fulfilled. Ottokar was the second son of King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia. Through his mother, daughter of Philip of Swabia, he was related to the Holy Roman Emperors of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, which became extinct in the male line upon the execution of King Conradin of Sicily in 1268. Named after his grandfather King Přemysl Ottokar I, he was educated for the role of an ecclesiastical administrator, while his elder brother Vladislaus was designated heir of the Bohemian kingdom, he was educated by the Bohemian chancellor Philip of Spanheim, who would become a rival for the rule of the Duchy of Carinthia.
When his brother Vladislaus died in 1247, Ottokar became the heir to the Bohemian throne. According to popular oral tradition, he was profoundly shocked by his brother's death and did not involve himself in politics, becoming focused on hunting and drinking, his father appointed the new heir as Margrave of Moravia, Ottokar took up residence in Brno, where he was occupied with the reconstruction of the Moravian lands devastated by Mongol raids of 1242. In 1248 some discontented nobles enticed him into leading a rebellion against his father King Wenceslaus. During this rebellion he was elected "the younger King" on 31 July 1248 and temporarily expelled his father from Prague Castle. Přemysl Ottokar II held the title of King of Bohemia until November 1249. However, Pope Innocent IV excommunicated Ottokar, whereafter Wenceslaus managed to defeat the rebels and imprisoned his son at Přimda Castle. Father and son reconciled to assist the king's aim of acquiring the neighbouring Duchy of Austria, where the last Babenberg duke, Frederick II had been killed in the 1246 Battle of the Leitha River.
King Wenceslaus had attempted to acquire Austria by marrying his heir, Vladislaus, to the last duke's niece Gertrude of Babenberg. That marriage came to an end after half a year with Vladislaus's death in January 1247, in 1248 Gertrude married the Zähringen margrave Herman VI of Baden. Herman, rejected by the Austrian nobility, could not establish his rule. Wenceslaus used this as pretext to invade Austria when Herman died in 1250 — according to some sources, the estates called upon him to restore order. Wenceslaus released Přemysl Ottokar soon and in 1251 again made him Margrave of Moravia and installed him, with the approval of the Austrian nobles, as governor of Austria; the same year Ottokar entered Austria. To legitimize his position, Přemysl Ottokar married the late Duke Frederick II's sister Margaret of Babenberg, his senior by 30 years and the widow of the Hohenstaufen king Henry of Germany, their marriage took place on 11 February 1252 at Hainburg. In 1253 King Wenceslaus died and Přemysl Ottokar succeeded his father as King of Bohemia.
After the death of the German King Konrad IV in 1254 while his son Conradin was still a minor, Ottokar hoped to obtain the Imperial dignity - as King of the Romans - for himself. However, his election bid was unsuccessful and Count William II of Holland, the German anti-king since 1247, was recognised. Feeling threatened by Ottokar's growing regional power beyond the Leitha River, his cousin King Béla IV of Hungary challenged the young king. Béla formed a loose alliance with the Wittelsbach duke Otto II of Bavaria and tried to install his own son Stephen as Duke of Styria, which since 1192 had been ruled in personal union with Austria under the terms of the Georgenberg Pact of 1186. Papal mediation settled the conflict: the parties agreed that Ottokar would yield large parts of Styria to Béla in exchange for recognition of his right to the remainder of Austria. Subsequently King Ottokar II led the two crusade expeditions against the pagan Old Prussians. Königsberg, founded in 1255 by the Teutonic Order, was named in his honour and became the capital of the Duchy of Prussia.
After a few years of peace the conflict with Hungary resumed: Ottokar defeated the Hungarians in July 1260 at the Battle of Kressenbrunn, ending years of disputes over Styria with Béla IV. Béla now ceded Styria back to Ottokar, his claim to those territories was formally recognized by Richard of Cornwall king of Germany and nominal ruler of all the German lands; this peace agreement was sealed by a royal marriage. Ottokar ended his marriage to Margaret and married Béla's young granddaughter Kunigunda of Halych, who became the mother of his children; the youngest of them became his only legitimate son, Wenceslaus II. During the Imperial Imperial interregnum of 1250 to 1273, Ottokar could increase his personal influence while Richard of Cornwall and Alfonso of Castile jostled to attain the Imperial dignity. In 1266 he occupied the Egerland in north-west Bohemia, in 1268 he signed an inheritance treaty with the Sponheim duke Ulrich III of Carinthia, succeeding him in Carinthia and the Windic March the next year.
In 1272 he acquired Friuli. His rule was once again contested by the Hungarians on the field of battle. After another victory, Ottokar became the most powerful king within the Empire. After Richard of Cornwall died in April 1272 and Pope Gregory X rejected the claims raised by Alfonso of Ca