Adelheid of Savoy (Maurienne)

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Adelheid von Savoyen ( French Adélaïde de Savoie ; * around 1092; † November 18, 1154 in Montmartre , today Paris ), also called Alix or Adelheid von Maurienne , was by her marriage in 1115 with Louis VI. Queen of France until his death in 1137.


Adelheid was born around 1092 as the daughter of Humbert II ( French Humbert II de Savoie ), Count of Savoy and Maurienne, and his wife Gisela von Burgund ( French Gisèle de Bourgogne ). Through her mother she was a niece of the future Pope Calixt II. She thus belonged to the French aristocracy and was an ideal candidate for marriage for King Ludwig VI., Who eight years earlier had broken the engagement to Lucienne von Rochefort . In 1115 Adelheid and Ludwig were married in Paris. Their 22-year marriage gave birth to nine children, seven of whom reached adulthood:

  • Philip (born August 29, 1116 - † October 13, 1131), co-king from 1130, died as a result of falling from a horse
  • Louis VII (* 1120; † 18 or 19 September 1180), co-king from 1131, king of France from 1137
  • Heinrich (* between 1121 and 1123; † November 13, 1175), Bishop of Beauvais (1149–1161), then Archbishop of Reims (1161–1175)
  • Hugo (* probably 1122; † young)
  • Robert (* between 1124 and 1126; † between October 10 and 12, 1188) Count von Dreux (1137–1184), Count von Perche etc.
  • Peter (* probably 1126; † between March 10, 1180 and April 10, 1183), from 1161 Lord of Courtenay , ⚭ around 1152 Élisabeth de Courtenay (* around 1135; † 1206)
  • Konstanze (* probably 1128; † August 16 after 1177)
⚭ 1) 1140 Eustachius IV. († August 10, 1153), 1137–1144 Duke of Normandy , 1152 King of England
⚭ 2) 1154, Raymond V , Count of Toulouse

Adelheid's half-sister Johanna von Montferrat married Wilhelm Clito , titular Duke of Normandy, at the beginning of 1127 , who was influenced by his royal sister-in-law after the death of Charles the Good by Louis VI. was appointed Count of Flanders and was thus able to prevail in the question of succession against other pretenders such as Charles' nephew Arnulf or Baldwin IV , Count of Hainaut .

After the death of her husband, Adelheid entered into a second marriage with Mathieu I. de Montmorency , the Connétable of France .


Since documents about Adelheid's early life are not yet known, historiography only knows about her from her marriage to the 34-year-old King Ludwig VI., Known as the fat one. The two were married by Archbishop Daimbert von Sens between March 25th and 30th 1115 in the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral . Probably on the same day or only a short time later, Adelheid received her ordination as Queen of France through Daimbert. Already in 1113/1114 there was for Ludwig VI. first marriage plans, but the king took plenty of time to make a definitive decision. Archbishop Ivo of Chartres therefore urged him to make a swift decision, after all it was a matter of donating an heir to the throne to the royal family and thus securing the dynasty. In Ivo's eyes, Adelheid had all the advantages of a future queen with her honorable character, her parentage and, last but not least, sexual maturity and praised these qualities in a letter to the king.

Although Adelheid was a lot younger than her husband, she seems to have had a not inconsiderable influence on him and his government. Especially after the disempowerment of Chancellor and Seneschal Stephan von Garlande , for whose overthrow in the second half of 1127 she was largely responsible, she was intensively involved in the government business of Ludwig VI. involved.

When the royal couple bought their church and their martyrs chapel on Montmartre from the monks of Saint-Martin-des-Champs and in return gave them the Paris church of Saint-Denis de la Châtre, the foundation of the Montmartre Abbey by Benedictine nuns was made possible in October 1134 . Adelheid remained particularly closely connected to this monastery throughout her life and supported it with generous donations, although around 1150 she initiated another monastery foundation with the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Jean-aux-Bois in what is now the Oise department .

After the death of her husband in 1137 and the accession of her son Louis VII to the throne , she stayed at the court for a while, but then withdrew to her Wittum in 1137/1138 . In the summer of 1138 at the earliest, but probably in 1141, Adelheid married Mathieu I de Montmorency , Connétable of France, for the second time . With his consent, she retired shortly before her death, probably in 1153, to the Montmartre monastery, which she helped found, and became a nun . Adelheid of Savoy died there on November 18, 1154 at the age of 62 and was buried in front of the large altar in the abbey church of St-Pierre de Montmartre . Her tomb was one of the first in France to have a tombstone depicting the deceased. In 1643, Adelheid's grave was moved to the choir under Abbess Marie de Beauvilliers and was later repaired under Abbess Françoise-Renée de Lorraine. The grave slab can still be seen in the church today.


  • Christian Bouyer: Dictionnaire des Reines de France . Perrin, Paris 1992, ISBN 2-262-00789-6 , pp. 142-143.
  • Jean-François Dreux du Radier: Mémoires historiques, critiques, et anecdotes des reines et régentes de France . Volume 2. Mame, Paris 1808, pp. 195-201 ( online ).
  • Gerd Hit: The French queens. From Bertrada to Marie Antoinette (8th – 18th centuries) . VMA, Wiesbaden 2001, ISBN 3-928127-80-2 , pp. 90-94.
  • Carsten Woll: The queens of high medieval France 987–1237 / 38 (= historical research . Volume 24.). Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-515-08113-5 , pp. 163-227.

Web links

Commons : Adelheid von Savoyen  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ François Xavier de Feller: Biographie universelle, ou dictionnare historique… . Volume 1. Onthenin-Chalandre, Besançon 1838, p. 45 ( online ).
  2. Information on Ludwig VI. on the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy website , accessed February 25, 2013.
  3. Patrick van Kerrebrouck: Les capétiens . (= Nouvelle histoire généalogique de l'auguste maison de France . Volume 2). Patrick van Kerrebrouck, Villeneuve-d'Ascq 2000, ISBN 2-9501509-4-2 , p. 83.
  4. a b C. Woll: The queens of high medieval France 987–1237 / 38 , p. 169.
  5. C. Woll: The queens of high medieval France 987–1237 / 38 , p. 165.
  6. G. Hit: The French Queens , p. 92.
  7. C. Woll: The queens of high medieval France 987–1237 / 38 , p. 214.
  8. C. Woll: The queens of high medieval France 987–1237 / 38 , p. 212.
  9. C. Woll: The queens of high medieval France 987–1237 / 38 , p. 221.
  10. J.-F. Dreux du Radier: Mémoires historiques, critiques, et anecdotes des reines et régentes de France , p. 199.
  11. C. Woll: The queens of high medieval France 987–1237 / 38 , p. 226.
  12. J.-F. Dreux du Radier: Mémoires historiques, critiques, et anecdotes des reines et régentes de France , pp. 199–200.
predecessor Office Successor
Bertrada of Montfort Queen of France
Eleanor of Aquitaine