Johanna (Flanders)

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Countess Johanna I of Flanders and Hainaut with her second husband, Thomas of Savoy. (Detail of a miniature from the Chroniques de Hainaut by Jean Wauquelin, 15th century)

Johanna , also called Johanna of Constantinople (* 1200 ; † December 5, 1244 in Marquette-lez-Lille ) was a Countess of Flanders and Hainaut from 1205 . She was the elder of two daughters of Count Baldwin IX. of Flanders (Baldwin VI of Hainaut) and Marie of Champagne .


In 1198 Fulko von Neuilly had on behalf of Pope Innocent III. preached the crusade; Count Balduin IX. was one of the first to answer the call.

Johanna was born in 1200, followed by her sister Margarete in 1202 . In the summer of 1202, the Crusaders set out from Venice for the Fourth Crusade , including Joan's parents. Count Balduin had entrusted his two counties as well as his daughters to the care of his brother, Margrave Philip of Namur . Marie of Champagne died on August 9, 1204 in the Holy Land . Count Balduin, who became the first emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople in the same year , was taken prisoner by the Bulgarians on June 11, 1205 , in which he died. As his eldest child, Johanna inherited Flanders and Hainaut, which in the meantime continued to be ruled by Philip of Namur.

During a war with France, Philip of Namur was captured by King Philip II. August , from which he could only buy himself free by marrying Princess Maria in August 1210. Furthermore, he had to hand over his two nieces to the care of the French royal court, with which the government in Flanders and Hainaut was also taken over by the crown. On January 1, 1212 Johanna was married to the Portuguese Prince Ferdinand (Ferrand) , a son of King Sancho I of Portugal , at the request of the king . Ferdinand thus became Johanna's co-count in Flanders and Hainaut.


Joan of Flanders mourns the capture of her first husband, Ferrand of Portugal, after the battle of Bouvines. Illustration from the 14th century. Grandes Chroniques de France , Castres, Bibliothèque municipale.

On their way to Flanders, Johanna and Ferrand were captured by Crown Prince Ludwig , who wanted to force the handover of the inheritance of his mother, Isabella von Hainaut , one of Johanna's aunties. This inheritance included the county of Artois but was once forcibly retained by Joan's father after Isabella's death (1190). After Johanna and Ferdinand ceded the cities of Aire-sur-la-Lys and Saint-Omer to the prince, they were released. In return, however, they immediately joined Baldwin's old allies, the English King John Ohneland and the German King Otto IV , and stood in open rebellion against France. In 1213 King Philip II marched into Flanders and forced Ferrand to flee to England.

In 1214 Joan's husband returned to Flanders and joined the army of Emperor Otto IV, but on July 27, 1214 they were defeated in the Battle of Bouvines . Ferrand fell into French captivity, from which was only released more than 12 years later, in January 1227. Johanna now ruled Flanders and Hainaut alone.

Quarrel with Margarete

During these years she had an argument with Burkhard von Avesnes , who had married her sister Margarete. Since he had received spiritual ordination, this marriage was considered invalid. Since Johanna had no children of her own, the succession to her sister was endangered. In 1216 it reached Pope Innocent III. Burkhard's excommunication , whereupon Margarete separated from him in 1220. In 1225 a man appeared in Flanders who claimed that he was Count Baldwin, who had returned after 20 years of absence. With this claim he also found support in many circles. Only with the help of her cousin Ludwig, now King Louis VIII of France, was Johanna able to suppress an uprising in favor of the deceiver. Ferrand returned from captivity in 1227. In 1231 Johanna had a daughter who died in 1235, 2 years after Ferrand's death. In 1234 she bought the Burgraviate of Bruges from Johann von Nesle . On April 2, 1237, Johanna married Count Thomas II of Savoy , who from 1239 also had the title of Count of Flanders and Hainaut as her husband. Since Johanna died childless on December 5, 1244, the counties went to her sister Margarete, which also triggered the Flemish War of Succession due to her family problems .

Johanna was buried in the Cistercian abbey of Marquette.

Web links

Commons : Johanna  - collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Baldwin IX./VI. Countess of Flanders 1205–1244
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Margaret II
Baldwin IX./VI. Countess of Hainaut 1205–1244
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Margaret II