Gertrud von Andechs

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gertrud von Andechs (~ 1185 - 1213)

Gertrude von Andechs , also Gertrude von Andechs-Meranien (* around 1185 in Andechs ; † September 28, 1213 in the Pilis forest ) was Countess of Andechs-Meranien and Queen of Hungary . Her husband was Andrew II (Hungary) .



Gertrud von Andechs-Meranien was born around 1185 as the daughter of Duke Berthold IV of Andechs-Meranien and his second wife Agnes von Rochlitz in Andechs.

Berthold IV of Andechs-Meranien was Count of Andechs and Duke of Meranien. Andechs was a castle and an area near the Ammersee in Bavaria . Merania is on the Adriatic coast near Fiume ( Rijeka ). Berthold was a direct vassal of the emperor and thus independent of the great duchies in Germany. His son, also Berthold , was made Archbishop of Kalocsa in Hungary and in 1218 Patriarch of Aquileia .

Agnes von Rochlitz was the daughter of Count Dedo V von Rochlitz (Margrave Dedi V, the Feiste, of the Ostmark from the House of Wettin ) and his wife Mathilde von Heinsberg , daughter of Count Goswin II von Heinsberg. Dedo V. von Rochlitz and his wife Mathilde left behind six children: Konrad, who succeeded his father in the margrave dignity, Dietrich, the later Count von Groitzsch, Philipp, who was provost of the monastery of St. Viktor in Xanten before 1190 , Heinrich, Goswin and Agnes.

Agnes became the wife of the Duke of Merania and gave birth to four sons, namely Otto VII Duke of Merania , Heinrich , Margrave of Istria, Ekbert , Bishop of Bamberg and Berthold V, Patriarch of Aquileja, as well as four daughters: Mechthild, Abbess in the monastery Kitzingen , Agnes, (third) wife of the French King Philip II. Augustus, Hedwig, wife of the Duke Heinrich I of Silesia , and Gertrud, wife of King Andreas II of Hungary. (cf. Alois Schütz. The Andechs-Meranians in the European High Middle Ages. In: Dukes and Saints. The Andechs-Meranians in the European High Middle Ages, Regensburg 1993, pp. 22–187.)

Queen of Hungary

Andreas II of Hungary and his wife Gertrud von Andechs-Meranien (miniature in the Landgrave psalter, around 1211-1213)

The daughters Hedwig , Gertrud and Agnes were married by their father to members of the most important noble families. Gertrud married Andreas, the younger brother of King Emmerich of Hungary, around 1203. With this marriage, Andreas took the political side of the German King Philip while his brother, King Emmerich of Hungary, supported Otto IV . Andreas rebelled against his brother, King Emmerich of Hungary, in 1203. He was captured and Gertrud was sent back to her father. When King Emmerich died in 1204, he released his brother beforehand and appointed him to be the guardian of his young son. Gertrud returned to Hungary. However, Andreas was not satisfied with a reign. Emmerich's widow fled to Austria with her son. When he died the following year, the throne was vacant for Andrew. Her husband's coronation as King of Hungary at Whitsun in 1205 finally gave her the opportunity to exert decisive influence on the shaping of Hungarian politics over the years. After Andreas came to power, Gertrud ran government business due to the frequent absence of her husband. She was characterized by strong ambition and a sense of family and is described by Dietrich von Apolda with the following words: "She was filled with a masculine spirit and carried out the affairs of state herself". The role of the queen is mostly judged negatively in the Hungarian chronicles. She was particularly accused of preferring the Germans living in her vicinity, primarily that of her brother Berthold V.

Assassination in the Pilis Forest

In 1213, when King Andreas was on a campaign to Halitsch in Galicia , Gertrud was murdered by Hungarian nobles during a court hunt in the Pilis forest . The reason for this was the outrage of the Hungarian nobility against the lavish allotment of royal lands to foreign nobles from Gertrude's circle of favorites. In 1206 Andreas had installed Gertrud's brother Berthold as Archbishop of Kalocsa , contrary to church law . In 1212 Berthold was even appointed voivod of Transylvania and the king's deputy. In the following year, the nobility took advantage of Andreas' absence, who was on a campaign in Halitsch, to attack the queen's entourage, which was just in honor of Duke Leopold VI. from Austria organized a hunt. Most of the foreign nobles were slain. The Queen was downright dismembered by Ban Simon of Bihar and Ban Peter of Peterwardein . Berthold and Leopold were able to save themselves with injuries. When the king returned from the campaign, his underage children, whom the murderers had spared, were handed over to him. Andrew II punished the murderers, but spared Bank bán.

According to other confessions, Gertrud was attacked in her castle. She was buried in the Cistercian Abbey of Pilisszentkereszt . Fragments of her tomb in French High Gothic were excavated between 1967 and 1980.


  • Maria (* 1204; † 1237), married since 1221 to Iwan Assen II , Tsar of Bulgaria (around 1190–1241)
  • Béla IV (* 1206; † 1270), King of Hungary
  • Elisabeth (* 1207; † 1231) married to Ludwig IV , Landgrave of Thuringia
  • Koloman (* 1208; † 1241), Prince of Halitsch
  • Andreas (* unknown; † 1234), Prince von Halitsch -Przemysl, married since 1221 to Maria (Helena) of Novgorod, daughter of Prince Mstislav


The murder of Gertrud von Andech was popular literary material in the 19th century, the age of the “national revivals”. Franz Grillparzer was already concerned with this topic and in 1826 encouraged him to write the play A loyal servant of his master . The Hungarian writer József Katona dealt with the material between 1815 and 1819, which he published as a drama under the name Bank bán . Essentially, the struggle of the Magyars against foreign infiltration and the pursuit of independence and freedom is glorified here. In 1861 Ferenc Erkel composed his opera Bank bán based on a libretto by Béni Egressy , which became the 'Hungarian National Opera'.

Up to the present day Gertrud does not enjoy a good reputation in Hungary. She is portrayed negatively in Katona's drama and Erkel's opera. The eponymous hero is the historically documented Banus ( ung. Bán) Bank, who, as a loyal servant of his master, freed the country from the 'evil' woman. On top of that, Gertrude is portrayed as a steward for one of her brothers, who approaches the wife of Bank Bán immorally.


Web links

Commons : Gertrud von Andechs  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

supporting documents

  1. a b c d e f g h i j source collection of Gertrud von Andechs-Meranien. at Genealogy Middle Ages.
  2. Banus (ung. Bán) Bank (*?, † after 1228) comes from the Bár-Kalán family and held various high political offices at the court of Andreas II (including Banus of Slavonia , Obergespan von Pressburg etc.). In 1228 he was expropriated by Bela IV for participating in the murder of his mother and removed from all offices. (Vienna Pictorial Chronicle 1358)
predecessor Office Successor
Constance of Aragon Queen of Hungary
Jolante by Courtenay