Henry II (Poland)

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Color reconstruction of the high grave of Henry II in the St. Vincent Church in Breslau
The territorial development of the "Monarchy of the Heinrich Piast " in the years 1201 to 1241 within the boundaries of the Regnum Poloniae during the reigns of Henry I (1201–1238) and Henry II. (1238–1241)

. Henry II , (also: Henry the Pious , Henry of Silesia ; Polish: Henryk II the Pious * 1196 / 1207 ; † 9. April 1241 ) was from 1238 Duke of Silesia and Princeps of Poland .


Heinrich came from the Silesian line of the Piast dynasty . His parents were Duke Heinrich I of Silesia († 1238) and the later canonized Hedwig († 1243), daughter of Count Berthold IV of Andechs .

In 1216 Heinrich married Anna , daughter of the Bohemian King Ottokar I Přemysl and Constance of Hungary . The marriage had five daughters and five sons:

  • Gertrude (* 1218/1220; † around 1244/1247) ⚭ 1232 Boleslaw I of Mazovia , Duke of Dobrin († 1248), son of Conrad I of Mazovia
  • Konstanze (* 1221/1227; † around 1253/1257) ⚭ 1239 Casimir I , Duke of Kuyavian († 1267)
  • Boleslaw II. (* Around 1217; † 1278), Duke of Liegnitz
  • Mieszko von Lebus (* 1223/1227; † 1242), Duke of Lebus
  • Henry III. (* 1222/1230; † 1266), Duke of Silesia
  • Elisabeth (* 1224/1232; † 1265) ⚭ Przemysł I , Duke of Greater Poland († 1257)
  • Konrad II (* 1228/1231; † 1273/74), Duke of Silesia, from 1251 Duke of Glogau
  • Wladislaw von Schlesien (* 1237, † 1270), Duke of Silesia, elected bishop of Bamberg and Passau, archbishop of Salzburg and administrator of Breslau
  • Agnes (* 1230/1236; † after May 14, 1277), abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery in Trebnitz.
  • Hedwig (* 1238/1241; † April 3, 1318), abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery in Breslau ( Wrocław ).


Like his father, Henry II fought against the Baltic Prussian tribe in 1222/23 . In 1226 he was appointed co-regent by his father. After his death in 1238 he was his successor as Duke of Silesia-Breslau and Duke and Senior Duke of Poland.

Heinrich continued his father's policy and was on good terms with his brother-in-law, the Bohemian King Wenceslaus I. To secure his position as Duke and Senior Duke of Poland, he fought against Duke Barnim of Pomerania . He fended off an attack by the Margrave of Brandenburg and the Archbishop of Magdeburg at Lebus Castle . He succeeded in peacefully settling the dispute led by his father with the Archbishop of Gniezno and the Breslau Bishop Thomas I about the tithe benefits of the German new settlers.

In 1241 a Mongolian army of the generals Batu Khan and Subutai invaded Poland, overran large parts of Silesia and besieged Liegnitz . Henry II surrendered to the Mongols on April 9, 1241 in the Battle of Liegnitz , in which he suffered a devastating defeat and fell. The Mongols impaled his head and displayed it. Heinrich's body was buried in the St. Vincent Church in Breslau .

After Heinrich's death, the Silesian Piasts could no longer maintain their supremacy in Poland. Through the division of inheritance among his descendants and the associated fragmentation of the domain, Silesia was considerably weakened for centuries.


Web links

Commons : Heinrich II.  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Charles Cawley, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Medieval Lands Project, Silesia ( online ; Engl.)
  2. Joachim Telgenbüscher: Attack on Europe , PM History # 11/2018 , Hamburg 2018, pp. 44–50
predecessor Office successor
Henry I the Bearded Senior Duke of Poland
Conrad I of Mazovia