Friedrich (Bavaria)

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Friedrich the Wise (* around 1339; † December 4, 1393 in Budweis ) from the House of Wittelsbach was Duke of Bavaria from 1375 to 1392 and Duke of Bavaria-Landshut from 1392 until his death, and from 1374 he was the imperial governor of Upper Swabia for many years .


The four Bavarian partial duchies after the division of the country in 1392


Friedrich was born around 1339 as the second son of the future Duke Stephan II and his wife Elisabeth of Sicily . In 1360 he married Anna von Neuffen, and their daughter Elisabeth was born the following year . After 1367 Elisabeth married Marco Visconti , the son of the Milanese city lord Bernabò Visconti . Her marriage property was 45,000 guilders.

In 1362 Friedrich was connected to a noble party under the influence of his young cousin Meinhard III. von Oberbayern-Tirol stood, but Stephan II put an end to their bustle in the same year. In 1368 Friedrich was with Emperor Karl IV during his second Italian campaign. In 1371/72 Friedrich undertook with his older brother Stephan III. a trip to Prussia . As a pilgrim to Jerusalem, Friedrich was knighted from the holy grave around 1375.

Friedrich was from his several years younger uncle Otto V as successor in the Mark Brandenburg provided, but in 1373 with the Treaty of Fürstenwalde appropriated Emperor Charles IV.. The dukes of Bavaria received compensation of 500,000 guilders, as well as Brandenburg's electoral vote. In addition, the Reichslandvogteien in Alsace and Upper Swabia were part of the compensation that the Wittelsbachers received for the transfer of the Mark Brandenburg to Emperor Karl IV. He wanted to secure their support for the election of his son Wenzel as king. Friedrich and his brother Stephan became Vogt. On top of that, Friedrich was compensated with the Reichslandvogtstelle of Augsburg in 1375. Friedrich was able to maintain the possession of the Landvogtei until 1382/83.


Despite the Wittelsbach territorial losses, the dukes' financial starting position was favorable: Bavaria had received the enormous sum of around half a million guilders in cash and in bonds for the cession of Tyrol (1369) and Brandenburg (1373), most of which went to Stephan II . was omitted, which now inherits a self-contained area. As a result, a number of the former possessions of the Counts of Abensberg, Ortenburg, Hals and Schauenburg, the Hochstift Regensburg, the Lords of Laaber and the Landgraves of Leuchtenberg, especially in Lower Bavaria and in the Nordgau, which still interrupted the regional context, could from to be acquired by the dukes.

After the death of his father in 1375, Friedrich ruled together with Otto V and his brothers Johann II and Stephan III. the Duchy of Bavaria. Friedrich managed - initially together with Otto, after his death in 1379 alone - the rich Lower Bavaria with its capital Landshut . With the division of the country in 1376 , the four dukes agreed that Upper Bavaria would initially be administered by Stephan and Johann and Lower Bavaria by Friedrich and Otto. So that neither party was disadvantaged, the government areas should change every two years. However, this unusual arrangement was not implemented. Instead, Friedrich paid his brothers, who lived in Upper Bavaria, 4,000 guilders a year as compensation.

Frederick's reign was particularly determined by a political event, the outbreak of the dispute between the Kaiser and the cities that were increasingly striving for independence. Because Charles IV was in need of greater financial resources, such as those that arose for the payment of compensation payments for Brandenburg or on the occasion of the election of his son Wenzel as a king , which he tried to compensate through high special taxes in the cities, even repeating to achieve his political goals Pledged imperial cities to third parties against their will. The growing resentment of the cities had the consequence that on July 4, 1376 fourteen Swabian cities united under the leadership of Ulm to form the Swabian League of Cities against the Emperor. In their function as Swabian provincial bailiffs, the Bavarian dukes Stephan and Friedrich remained neutral at the beginning of the conflict and tried to mediate, but soon afterwards there were long fighting. After the Nuremberg Diet of 1379, King Wenzel gave Duke Leopold III. of Austria the two bailiffs in Swabia as a pledge, because he used it for the support of Pope Urban VI. wanted to win. Bailiff in Upper Swabia was until then the Bavarian Duke Frederick and Lower Swabia Count Eberhard II. The Association of Cities disapproved mortgage lending. This led to a controversial dispute with the associations of princes and knights, whose opinion leader was Count Eberhard II, until Wenzel gave in when the Bavarian dukes approached the association of cities in 1379. After the death of his first wife Anna, Friedrich married Maddalena Visconti , a sister of his son-in-law Marco, in 1381 . The marriage resulted in five children, including the daughter Elisabeth and the son Heinrich , who later succeeded his father as Duke.

In 1383 Frederick fought on the French side in Flanders against the English. He visited the court of his uncle Albrecht I of Straubing-Holland in Le Quesnoy and took part in the siege of Bourbourg . On November 1st he entered the service of King Charles VI in Paris for an annual pension of 4,000 francs . , whose marriage to his niece Elisabeth he was instrumental in. In the summer of 1385 he accompanied Elisabeth - later called Isabeau de Bavière - to Amiens to her wedding with the king. In 1388 Friedrich also succeeded in arranging the wedding of his niece Sophie to the widowed Wenceslaus, who thereby rose to become Queen of Bohemia the following year.

In the city ​​war in 1387 Friedrich captured Salzburg's Archbishop Pilgrim and demanded that his contract with the Swabian Association of Cities be terminated in order to be released . This had previously led to a conflict with the Pope and an imperial war against Friedrich and his brothers. He also took part in the battle of Döffingen in 1388 and helped Ruprecht von Berg in the Passau collegiate feud.

When the state was divided on November 19, 1392, he managed to keep Lower Bavaria with Landshut as a reduced Duchy of Bavaria-Landshut , while Johann II. Bavaria-Munich and Stephan III. Bayern-Ingolstadt took over. For a long time Friedrich was King Wenceslas' advisor on legal issues and was considered the most promising successor to the feeble king. Since June 1387 rumors have been circulating that the princes want to depose the weak Wenzel and entrust the diplomatically knowledgeable Friedrich with government business. However, his sudden death while on duty prevented him from succeeding his grandfather Ludwig the Bavarian to the royal throne. He was buried in the Seligenthal monastery in Landshut.


On May 16, 1360 he married Anna von Neuffen, a daughter of Count Berthold VII von Neuffen. From the marriage a daughter emerged:

When Anna died in 1380, Friedrich married Maddalena Visconti , a daughter of Bernabò Visconti, on September 2, 1381 . He had five children with her:



  1. ^ Theodor Straub : The Milanese marriage of Duke Stephen III. of the Kneißels and The real year of birth of Duke Louis the Bearded and his sister Isabeau de Bavière . In: Collection sheet of the historical association Ingolstadt . tape 77 , 1968, pp. 5–12 , especially 6–8 ( digitized version ).
  2. ^ Werner Paravicini: The Prussian journeys of the European nobility . Part 1 (=  supplements of the Francia . Volume 17/1 ). Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1989, ISBN 3-7995-7317-8 , pp. 149 ( digitized version ).
  3. Dieter J. Weiss : Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. In: Historical Lexicon of Bavaria . April 5, 2017, accessed January 6, 2019 .
  4. ^ Theodor Straub: Bavaria under the sign of the divisions and partial duchies . In: Max Spindler, Andreas Kraus (Hrsg.): Handbook of Bavarian History . 2nd Edition. tape II . Munich 1988, p. 215 f .
  5. Zander, Florian. Life and political work of Duke Stefan III., Seminar paper, 2000
  6. On the background of the marriage:
    • Theodor Straub: Duke Ludwig the Bearded of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and his relations with France in the period from 1391 to 1415 . Lassleben, Kallmünz 1965, p. 1-5 .
    • Tracy Adams: The life and afterlife of Isabeau of Bavaria . Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 2010, ISBN 978-0-8018-9625-5 , pp. 2-6 .
  7. On Friedrich's death and burial of Helga Czerny: The death of the Bavarian dukes in the late Middle Ages and in the early modern period 1347–1579. Preparations - dying - funeral ceremonies - burial - memoria (=  series of publications on Bavarian national history . Volume 146 ). CH Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-10742-7 , p. 138–139 (also dissertation, University of Munich 2004).
predecessor Office successor
Stephan II Duke of Bavaria (-Landshut)
1375 / 1392-1393
Henry XVI.