Leopold VI. (Austria)

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Duke Leopold VI. (the glorious). Excerpt from the Babenberger family tree , Klosterneuburg Abbey.
Duchess Theodora, wife of Leopold VI, granddaughter of the Byzantine emperor Isaak Angelos II (excerpt from the Babenberger family tree, Klosterneuburg Abbey)
Leopold's cenotaph in front of the high altar of the collegiate church in Lilienfeld

Leopold VI. , the Glorious (* October 15, 1176 , † July 28, 1230 in San Germano ) came from the Babenberg family . He was Duke of Austria (1198-1230) and Styria (1194-1230).


Leopold was the younger son of Duke Leopold V.

Contrary to the regulations of the Georgenberger Handfeste from the year 1186 the rule was divided after the death of Leopold V in 1194: Leopold's older brother Friedrich I received Austria (in today's parlance Lower and Upper Austria or parts of today's federal states Lower Austria and Upper Austria of the Republic of Austria ), while Leopold himself took over Styria . When Friedrich died unexpectedly after only four years, Leopold also became Duke of Austria.

Leopold VI. participated in two crusades (1212 in the Albigensian Crusade and 1217 to 1219 in the Crusade of Damiette ). He raised claims on Cyprus against Richard the Lionheart (because of his maternal relationship with Isaak Komnenos , the last Greek ruler of the island). However, he was unable to enforce this because Richard had meanwhile sold Cyprus to Guido von Lusignan .

Like his predecessors, Leopold tried to open up the country by founding new monasteries. His best-known foundation is Lilienfeld in the Lower Austrian valley of the Traisen , where he is also buried. In addition, he also favored the then highly modern mendicant orders ( Franciscans , Dominicans ). The founding of new cities (e.g. Freistadt after 1220) and the granting of city ​​rights (1212 Enns , 1221 Vienna , which under him also experienced a significant expansion and more than doubled its area) go in the same direction .

Under Leopold, the first Gothic influences began to reach Austria - the Capella Speciosa in its temporary residence Klosterneuburg is considered the first Gothic-influenced building in the Danube region - after its demolition in 1799, parts of it were used for the Franzensburg chapel in the Laxenburg castle park .

Under him, the Babenberg Austria reached the zenith of its reputation, his marriage to the Byzantine princess Theodora Angeloi testifies to it, as well as his mediation attempt between the Emperor Frederick II and the Pope , during which he died in Italy in 1230.

Leopold VI. had seven children, including daughters Margarete von Babenberg , Gertrud von Babenberg and Constantia von Österreich . His only living son, however, was Friedrich II , who also succeeded him.

His court is known as the center of minnesong , among others Walther von der Vogelweide , Neidhart von Reuental and Ulrich von Liechtenstein worked here . The Nibelungenlied may also have been written here.

Under Duke Leopold VI. persecution of heretics found its way into Austria around 1210. In an exchange of letters (1207) with Pope Innocent III. , in which he called for the establishment of a second diocese next to Passau, he cited above all the plague of heretical depravity, which could quickly spread in the large diocese. At that time the diocese of Passau covered around 42,000 km² and was the largest in the Holy Roman Empire . Leopold's plan, which was primarily aimed at creating a balance with the Passau bishop, failed, however. In the further course of events, however, the first documented persecution of heretics in Austria took place in 1210. This is mentioned both in the annals of Klosterneuburg and in the Wälschen Gast of Thomasîn von Zerclaere .

Marriages and offspring

Leopold was married to Theodora Angeloi , daughter of the Byzantine emperor Isaac II . They had four daughters and three sons:


The Laxenburg window in the Steyr parish church contains a depiction of Leopold from around 1300 with a church model at his feet and the inscription Dux Leupoldus . This double pane comes from the Capella speciosa together with the neighboring pane with the rising Christ and Margravine Agnes .

There is a monument to Leopold VI on Vienna's Rathausplatz . by Johann Preleuthner . A memorial plaque for him was placed in the Walhalla near Regensburg .


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Rudolf Koch: Historical Art. A Gothic architectural monument in Austria - the parish church in Steyr Published in: Zeitschrift Oberösterreich 29th Jg., 4/1979, pp. 45–54.

Web links

Commons : Leopold VI. (Austria)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Friedrich I. Duke of Austria 1198–1230
Coat of arms of the archduchy of Austria.svg
Friedrich II.
Leopold V. Duke of Styria 1194–1230
Blason Ducs de Styrie.svg
Friedrich II.