Lost Kingdoms: Kingdom of Bohemia

The Kingdom of Bohemia was founded in 1198 from the Duchy of Bohemia by Ottokar I of Bohemia. It was officially recognised in 1212 by the Golden Bull of Sicily. Ottokar was married to Adelheid of Meissen. They had four daughters and divorced in 1199. Adelheid was thus the first Queen consort of Bohemia but did not enjoy it for very long. He remarried to Constance of Hungary that same year, and they had nine children, though not all lived to adulthood.

Ottokar died in 1230 and was succeeded by his son from his second marriage, King Wenceslaus I. Wenceslaus’s sister Agnes, who was later canonised, refused to marry the Holy Roman Emperor and went on to establish the first military order in the Kingdom. Wenceslaus I had married Kunigunde of Swabia in 1224, and they went on to have five children, of which one did not live to adulthood. During this time, Bohemia was threatened by the Mongol invasions, which caused a lot of destruction. Wenceslaus also had to deal with a rebellion led by his own son. He was briefly known as King Ottokar II of Bohemia, but he was defeated and imprisoned by his father. Wenceslaus died in 1253 and was once more succeeded by his rebellious son.

Ottokar had been married to Margaret of Austria, who was 26 years his senior. This marriage ended with an annulment. In 1261, Ottokar married Kunigunda of Slavonia, and they had four children, but their eldest son died young. He defeated Hungary in the Battle of Kressenbrun, but he was defeated and killed in the Battle on the Marchfeld in 1278. He was succeeded by his 7-year-old son Wenceslaus II.

Elizabeth Richeza of Poland

Wenceslaus married Judith of Habsburg in 1285, and they had ten children together. Not all lived to adulthood, and Judith died shortly after giving birth to her 10th child. In 1303, he remarried to Elisabeth Richeza of Poland, who was the only surviving child of the King of Poland. Wenceslaus was crowned King of Poland, before even marrying her. In 1301, Andrew III of Hungary died and left just one daughter, Elizabeth of Töss. Elizabeth was engaged to Wenceslaus’s eldest son, also named Wenceslaus. The younger Wenceslaus was elected King of Hungary, but the marriage to Elizabeth happened. His election as King of Hungary was disputed.

Wenceslaus II died in 1305, probably of tuberculosis and he was succeeded by his 15-year-old son, now King of Bohemia, Hungary and Poland. Wenceslaus III realised he could not protect three Kingdoms and decided to renounce Hungary. In 1305, he married Viola of Teschen, but they had no children. Wenceslaus was murdered in 1306. Viola remarried in 1316 but died just a year later in 1317. Wenceslaus had no brothers and was succeeded in Bohemia by Henry of Carinthia, who was married to Wenceslaus’s sister Anne. In Poland, he was succeeded by Władysław I the Elbow-high.

King Albert I of Germany saw things differently and wished to install his eldest son Rudolf on the Bohemian throne. Prague was besieged, and Henry was deposed. However, Rudolf was never accepted as King and Henry was elected King of Bohemia again. By 1310, the new German King Henry VII had yet more plans with Bohemia. Henry married his eldest son John to Elisabeth, a younger sister of Anne and Wenceslaus. Henry was deposed for the second time, and Anne died not much later in 1313. They had had no children.

John and Elisabeth had seven children, though not all would live to adulthood. Elisabeth died in 1330 and John remarried Beatrice of Bourbon, and they had one son. John died in 1346 and was succeeded by his son Charles from his first marriage.

Charles married four times. His first wife was Blanche of Valois, and they had two daughters together. She died in 1248 and Charles remarried to Anne of Bavaria in 1349. She gave birth to a son and heir, but the boy died young. Anne died in 1353. Charles remarried to Anna of Schweidnitz that same year. Anna was 14, while Charles was 37. They had a son and a daughter, but Anna died in 1362 after giving birth to a son who also died. Charles’s fourth and final wife was Elizabeth of Pomerania, and they had eight children together, though not all would live to adulthood.

In 1355, Charles was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. He issued the Golden Bull of 1356, which defined and codified the process of the election to the Imperial throne. Charles died in 1378, and he was succeeded by his son Wenceslaus IV, from his third marriage. Wenceslaus IV married twice, first to Joanna of Bavaria and secondly to Sofia of Bavaria, but he had no children by either of them. Wenceslaus died of a heart attack in 1419 and was succeeded by his half-brother Sigismund, from his father’s fourth marriage to Elizabeth of Pomerania. Sigismund was also elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1433. Sigismund had grown up at the Hungarian court, and he married Mary, who succeeded her father as “King” of Hungary in 1382. Mary died in childbirth in 1395, and despite being challenged by her sister for the Hungarian crown, Sigismund managed to hold onto it. He remarried to Barbara of Cilli in 1405, and they had one daughter together, Elisabeth of Luxembourg. Elisabeth married King Albert II of Germany, and he was elected as Sigismund’s successor upon his death in 1437. They had two daughters and a son, who was known as Ladislaus the Posthumous as he was born four months after his father’s death in 1439. Ladislaus died at the age of 17 without having married.

In 1458, George of Poděbrady, the son of a Bohemian nobleman who had been one of the leaders of the Utraquists, the more moderate faction of the Hussites (a pre-Protestant Christian movement) was elected as King of Bohemia. His election was not recognised by any European monarch. He married twice, first to Kunigunde of Sternberg, with whom he had six children and secondly to Johana of Rožmitál, with whom he had four children. George died in 1471.

A Polish prince named Ladislaus Jagiellon was elected as King of Bohemia. He was a great-grandson of Sigismund, through the female line. He ruled Bohemia and also succeeded as King of Hungary in 1490. Vladislaus was married three times, first to Barbara of Brandenburg then bigamously to Beatrice of Naples. His marriage to Beatrice was declared illegal in 1500, and his marriage to Barbara of Brandenburg was dissolved. He remarried to Anne of Foix-Candale, and they had a daughter and a son together. She died in 1506 from complications from childbirth.

Anne of Foix-Candale

Vladislaus died in 1516 and was succeeded by his ten-year-old son, Louis. His daughter Anne had married Ferdinand of Austria in 1515. Ferdinand was a younger brother of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Louis married Charles and Ferdinand’s sister Mary that same year. They had no children together, and upon Louis’s death in the Battle of Mohács in 1526, he was succeeded by Anne’s husband, Ferdinand. This incorporated Bohemia into the Habsburg monarchy.

The Bohemian Kingdom was incorporated into the Austria Empire in 1806, when the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved. The Austrian Empire became Austria-Hungary in 1867 but was dissolved in 1918. The current Czech Republic consists of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia.

The claim to the Kingdom of Bohemia is held by Karl von Habsburg, the Head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

About Moniek 1204 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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