Kunigunde von Halitsch

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Kunigunde von Halitsch, illustration from the Chronicon Aulae Regiae , 14th century

Kunigunde von Halitsch , also Kunigunde von Machow , Kunigunde von Hungary , Kunigunde von Kiev (Czech Kunhuta Haličská ) (* around 1245 , † September 9, 1285 in Krummau ) was the wife of Přemysl Ottokar II. Queen of Bohemia and Duchess of Austria , Styria , Carinthia and Carniola . As a widow, she entered into an improper relationship with the Wittigonen Zawisch von Falkenstein , which she legitimized through a marriage - an unusual occurrence for the 13th century, which caused political conflicts in Bohemia and a stir abroad.

Parentage and childhood

On her mother's side, she descended from the Hungarian royal house of the Arpad . Her mother Anna was the daughter of King Bélas IV . Her father Rostislaw Michailowitsch belonged to a sideline of the Ryurikids from Halych-Volhynia . Around 1240 he had to flee from the Mongols to Hungary. He entered the service of Béla and eventually became his son-in-law and Ban in the Slavonian principality of Mačva . Kunigunde spent her childhood there.

Marriage to Přemysl Ottokar II.

At the age of 15, Kunigunde became a figure on the political chessboard. After Béla was defeated by Přemysl Ottokar II in the battle of Kressenbrunn , a wedding was supposed to consolidate the peace between Bohemia and Hungary . Přemysl Ottokar II divorced his first wife Margarethe , who was thirty years his senior . At the end of October 1261, the wedding took place in Pozsony Castle (now Bratislava ). Two months later, sixteen-year-old Kunigunde was crowned in Prague , a great event for all of Central Europe at the time .

The young woman likely gave birth to six children within the next ten years. Her first-born daughter Kunigunde was a nun from the Poor Clares , entered into a politically motivated marriage with Duke Boleslaw of Mazovia in 1291 and after her divorce in 1302 became abbess of St. George's Monastery in Prague . Agnes was married to Rudolf II . There is only uncertain evidence of two sons and another daughter of Kunigunde who died in childhood. The long-awaited heir Wenceslaus II was only born towards the end of September 1271.

At this time, the rule of the Přemyslids already extended to the Adriatic Sea and the Bohemian king also grabbed the German crown, albeit against the resistance of the German dukes, who preferred the dwindling power of the German king to the autocratic and decisive kind of Ottokar II. In 1273 the Habsburg Rudolf I was elected German king, whom the Bohemian king did not recognize. In 1278 Ottokar fell fighting Rudolf in the Battle of Marchfeld .


Crown Prince Wenceslas II. Was in 1279 by his guardian, the Margrave Otto IV. Of Brandenburg , on the Bezděz detained. Kunigunde stayed with her son for a few months, but then fled to Moravia and later to Troppau , where she ran her own farm. Here the 35-year-old queen made contact with the influential South Bohemian nobleman Zawisch von Falkenstein from the Witigonen family , with whom she had an affair. Their actions were generally rated as a scandal, especially when the relationship in 1281 gave birth to their son Jan / Ješek († 1337). In the same year Kunigunde and Zawisch Troppau had to give up and flee to Moravia.

Marriage to Falkenstein

When eleven-year-old Wenceslaus II returned to Prague from captivity in 1283, Kunigunde was still in Moravia. Her son initially only had his mother brought to his court, but Zawisch soon followed and gained great influence over the young king. In May 1285 Kunigunde and Zawisch made up for the solemn public wedding. The South Bohemian nobleman received the office of court master and, as the de facto regent, had great political influence in Bohemia. In the same year Kunigunde accompanied her son to Eger , where Wenceslas and King Rudolf's daughter Guta were married. Shortly afterwards she became seriously ill and died on September 9, 1285.

Five years after her death, King Wenzel II had Zawisch von Falkenstein executed.


  • Charvátová, Kateřina: Václav II - Král český a polský. Nakladatelství Vyšehrad, Prague 2007, ISBN 978-80-7021-841-9

Web links

Commons : Kunigunde von Halitsch  - collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office Successor
Margarete von Babenberg Queen of Bohemia
Guta von Habsburg