Duchy of Ohlau

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The Duchy of Ohlau (Czech Olavské knížectví ; Polish Księstwo Oławskie ) was a part of the Duchy of Liegnitz that had existed since 1348/49 . It was ruled by the Silesian Piasts until 1675 , who at times also used it to care for their widows. Then it fell to the Crown of Bohemia as a settled fiefdom . The place of residence was the city of the same name Ohlau .


Ohlau Castle (approx. 1750–75)
Luisenbau (17th century, last fragment of the Ohlauer Schloss)

The area of ​​the later Duchy of Ohlau initially belonged to the Duchy of Wroclaw , after its division it came to the Duchy of Liegnitz and after a further division in 1311 to the Duchy of Brieg . With this together it fell in 1327 as a fiefdom to the crown of Bohemia .

In 1348/49 the Duchy of Ohlau was spun off from the Duchy of Brieg and acquired together with Lüben by Duke Ludwig I of Liegnitz († 1398). After his death, his grandson Heinrich IX inherited it in 1398 . von Liegnitz († 1419/20), to which Haynau and Lüben also belonged. He was followed in 1420 by his son Wenceslaus III. von Ohlau and Nimptsch , who in 1423 by his brother Ludwig III. was inherited. After his death in 1441, his widow Margaretha, who was a daughter of the Opole Duke Bolko IV , was assigned the city of Ohlau as a widow's seat . The Duchy of Ohlau and Lüben inherited his son Johann I. After his death in 1453 Ohlau ruled his widow Hedwig († 1471) until 1469. Under their son Friedrich I , the partial duchies of Liegnitz, Brieg and Ohlau were reunited. 1488–1503 was Frederick's widow Ludmilla von Podiebrad , a daughter of the Bohemian King Georg von Podiebrad , regent of Ohlau. After that Ohlau served to finance the younger sons of the Brieger dukes.

The last Duke of Ohlau was Christian , who also owned Liegnitz, Wohlau and Brieg. He took up residence in Ohlau, where he added the so-called Christian building to the castle. After his death in 1672 he was followed by his widow Luise von Anhalt-Dessau († 1680) as Duchess of Ohlau, who she held as Wittum until 1675. The duke of Liegnitz, Brieg and Wohlau became their son Georg Wilhelm I , who was born in Ohlau. With him, the line of the Silesian Piasts died out in 1675. The Duchy of Liegnitz with its partial duchies Brieg, Wohlau and Ohlau fell to Bohemia as a settled fiefdom .

In 1691, Emperor Leopold I, in his capacity as King of Bohemia, pledged the area of ​​Ohlau to his brother-in-law, the Polish Prince Jakob Louis Heinrich Sobieski . He was married to Hedwig Elisabeth Amelia von der Pfalz , a sister of the third wife of Emperor Leopold, and received Ohlau partly as a pawnbroker and partly as his wife's dowry . Although he had not been given the reign of Ohlau, he called himself Duke of Ohlau after the unsuccessful application for the Polish throne . He kept the pledge over Ohlau until his death in 1737.

After the First Silesian War in 1742, the Duchy of Ohlau, like almost all of Silesia, fell to Prussia .


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