Ludwig I (Hungary)

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Ludwig, King of Hungary and Poland

Ludwig the Great ( Hungarian Lajos I. Nagy - Ludwig the Great, Croatian Ljudevit Anžuvinski - Ludwig von Anjou, Polish Ludwik Węgierski (Andegaweński) - Ludwig the Hungarian or von Anjou; * March 5, 1326 in Visegrád ; † September 10, 1382 in Trnava ) was king of Hungary and Croatia from 1342 and also king of Poland from 1370 .

Ludwig as King of Hungary

Dominions of Ludwig (red) and vassal states (light red)
Ludwig I. Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber after a drawing by Moritz von Schwind around 1828

Ludwig I was the son of King Karl-Robert of Hungary from the House of Anjou and his wife Elisabeth born. Princess of Poland, sister of the last Piast , King Casimir the Great . After the death of his father, Ludwig succeeded him as king in 1342 and was crowned in Székesfehérvár (Stuhlweissenburg). Ludwig strove to expand Hungary's position as a major European power and to strengthen the royal power. Ludwig's younger brother Andreas was set up as the prince consort of Queen Joan of Naples according to the will of the Pope. Karl von Durazzo then became the leader of an opposition that murdered Andreas in Aversa in 1345. In order to avenge the death of his brother, King Ludwig I appeared in 1347 with an army in southern Italy. While Queen Johanna and her second husband, Louis von Taranto , fled to Provence, Charles von Durazzo stayed behind in Naples. He also paid homage to the Hungarian king as the new ruler of Naples, but he was identified by him as the main responsible for the murder of Andreas and executed.

In 1343 Ludwig I became overlord of Wallachia , in 1344/45 he took part in a campaign of the Teutonic Order and John of Bohemia against Lithuania . In two wars against the Republic of Venice (1356–58 and 1378–81) he won Dalmatia and the patronage of the Republic of Ragusa ( Dubrovnik ). The Peace of Zadar concluded on February 18, 1358 with the Venetians remained in force until 1409, when Ladislaus of Naples sold Dalmatia to Venice.

In 1351 Ludwig made his second brother Stephan regent of Croatia and Dalmatia, later also of Slavonia.

In his domestic policy, Ludwig I relied on the magnates who were dependent on the court and on the dignitaries of the church, but at the same time was careful to maintain the balance between the magnates and the mass of the small nobility. In 1351, for example, he renewed the Golden Bull granted by Andreas II , thereby confirming the rights of the small and middle nobility. Through administrative reforms he curtailed the role of the Reichstag and shifted the main emphasis to counties , which instead of military centers became organs of administration and the judiciary. In 1367 Ludwig founded the University of Fünfkirchen . The king's power was weakened throughout his dominion by the fact that he had no male heir.

Ludwig as King of Poland

Coat of arms of Ludwig

Since his uncle King Casimir III. had no male descendants from Poland, he had appointed Ludwig as heir to the Polish crown as early as 1351. After Kasimir's death in 1370, Ludwig was crowned King of Poland on November 17, 1370 in Cracow by Archbishop Jaroslaw I. Bogoria of Gniezno . Even before he came to power, Ludwig granted the Polish aristocracy the right to vote for kings in the privilege of Buda in 1355 , and he also waived the right to levy extraordinary taxes, free hospitality, and the war service of Polish nobles outside Poland without compensation. As a result, Ludwig was in a much weaker position than his predecessors after his coronation as King of Poland. He did not try hard to enforce rule in Poland, but withdrew to Hungary and passed the reign in Poland to his mother Elisabeth.

The Hungarian regime in Poland was supported by the Lesser Poland magnates, while the Greater Poland supporters of the Piast Ziemowit IV of Mazovia opposed the new ruler. At the same time, Ludwig tried to break individual peripheral provinces, such as the lands around Lemberg , out of the Polish state association and to integrate them into Hungary. In other areas, however, local princes exercised actual power.

Ludwig was only interested in the rest of Poland as far as he used it as a dowry for his second marriage from his second marriage in 1353 (his first wife Margarethe of Luxemburg died as a child) with Elisabeth (Jelisaveta), the daughter of the Banus of Bosnia, Stjepan II. , coming daughters Maria and Hedwig wanted to use. However, this contradicted the agreement concluded in 1339 that only male descendants should be entitled to inheritance in Poland. In 1374, Ludwig succeeded with the privilege of Kaschau (from Wladislaus II of Opole ) to obtain consent to female inheritance from the Polish nobility. The privilege significantly reduced the tax burden of the nobility, forbade the appointment of foreigners to administrative offices and obliged the king to maintain Poland as an independent kingdom and to campaign for the reclamation of lost territories. The privilege became the basis of later aristocratic democracy in Poland. Due to his constant absence and focus on dynastic plans, Ludwig remained unpopular in Poland, but he took care of the development of trade and cities.

Despite his concessions, Ludwig was ultimately unable to prevent a nobility revolt. Even before Ludwig came to power, the Wielkopolska nobility had tried several times to raise various members from piastic sidelines to the Polish throne, but were only successful in a few regions. After the looting by Lithuanians in 1376, against which Ludwig had hardly done anything, displeasure also grew in Lesser Poland. In December of that year there was an uprising in Krakow in which the Hungarian occupation was slain and the governor Elisabeth was expelled. Now Ludwig reacted and began to recapture the territories occupied by Lithuanians, but at the same time continued to detach Red Russia from the Polish Empire and integrate it into Hungary. As a result, open uprisings broke out in Greater Poland as well. Without having stopped them, Ludwig died in Nagyszombat in what was then Hungary (today Trnava in Slovakia ) in 1382 . He was buried in Székesfehérvár.


In 1345 Ludwig married Margarete (* 1335, † 1349), the eldest daughter of Emperor Charles IV and Blanca Margarete von Valois .

In his second marriage in 1353 he married Elisabeth of Bosnia (* 1340; † 1387), daughter of the Ban of Bosnia Stjepan II. Kotromanić and Elisabeth of Kujawien . He had four children with her:

  • Maria (* 1365; † 1366)
  • Katharina (* 1370; † 1378), betrothed to Louis of France (* 1372; † 1407) in 1374 , son of the French King Charles V and Joan of Bourbon
  • Maria (* 1371; † 1395), Queen of Hungary ⚭ 1385 Sigismund of Luxembourg (* 1368; † 1437), Roman Emperor, King of Germany, Bohemia etc.
  • Hedwig (* 1373; † 1399), Queen of Poland ⚭ 1386 Jogaila (* 1351; † 1434), Grand Duke of Lithuania


  • Peter von Pitschen (Piotr z Byczyny): Chronica principum Poloniæ. (1382-1385)


Web links

Commons : Ludwig I.  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
  • Lajos on Foundation for Medieval Genealogy (Genealogy of the Kings of Hungary; English)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Werner Paravicini : The Prussian journeys of the European nobility . Part 1 (=  supplements of the Francia . Volume 17/1 ). Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1989, ISBN 3-7995-7317-8 , pp. 147 ( digitized version ).
  2. ^ Paul W. Knoll: The rise of the Polish monarchy. Piast Poland in East Central Europe, 1320-1370. University of Chicago Press, 1972. ISBN 0-226-44826-6 , p. 197
predecessor Office successor
Charles I. King of Hungary 1342–1382
Armoiries Charles Robert Hongrie
Charles I. King of Croatia, Dalmatia and Rama 1342–1382
Coat of arms of Croatia
Casimir I. King of Poland
Hedwig I.