Otto III. (Bavaria)

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Otto III. of Bavaria as Otto / Béla V. of Hungary
Otto III. from Bavaria. Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber after a drawing by Moritz von Schwind , ca.1828
Otto III. on Straubinger Pfennig

Otto III. von Bayern (born February 11, 1261 , † September 9, 1312 in Landshut ) came from the Wittelsbach family . From 1290 to 1312 he was Duke of Lower Bavaria and from 1305 to 1307, as Béla V, he was also King of Hungary .



Otto's father was Duke Heinrich XIII. , his grandfather, Duke Otto II of Bavaria . He was entitled to the Hungarian throne through his mother Elisabeth of Hungary (1236–1271).

Early years as Duke of Lower Bavaria

After an agreement brought about by his father Otto became the sole ruler of Lower Bavaria in 1290, and also as his brothers Ludwig III. and Stephan I co-ruled from 1294, they submitted to his command.

Otto was particularly interested in the acquisition of Styria . For this reason he pursued an anti- Habsburg policy and sided with Adolf von Nassau against the Habsburg Albrecht of Austria . In 1292 Otto supported the anti-Habsburg uprising of the Landsberger Bund in Styria, but remained unsuccessful.

In 1298, like his Upper Bavarian cousin Rudolf , he fought in vain for Adolf in the lost battle of Göllheim , who died here and was wounded himself. The new King Albrecht withdrew from him, among other things, the former Staufer estates Parkstein and Weiden , which he transferred to King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia .

King of Hungary

After Otto had been offered the Stephanskrone in 1301 after the Arpades died out , he initially turned it down because of the problematic domestic political situation in Hungary . Otto supported Wenceslaus against Albrecht, and when the Hungarian crown was offered to him again, he went to the Prague court in July 1305, where the new King Wenceslaus III gave him . ceded his claim to Hungarian territory. Since Albrecht blocked his way through Austria, he disguised himself as a merchant and arrived in Ofen on November 11, 1305 . The Hungarian Illustrated Chronicle writes the following about this trip:

When the holy crown was brought back to Hungary by the said Otto, he had it hidden in a barrel by a woodturner for fear of his enemies. When he was riding with his family in the quiet of the night on a country road where many passed, the strap with which the keg was tied to the saddle like a wine vessel happened to come loose. It fell down without anyone noticing. When they found out at dawn that the precious treasure was no longer there, they rode back in horror - as quickly as possible - the same way they had come. Then they found the crown lying on the ground between the many passers-by, on the open country road, and no one had found it before them.

Finding the lost crown (Hungarian Illustrated Chronicle)


That is truly a miracle that should not be concealed! Because how can I understand that he "lost the crown"? But probably so that that prince was not allowed to wear the crown until the end of his life and that he lost it from his head - the crown as well as his honor. - And what does it mean that it could only be found by those who wore it? That probably means that Pannonia can never lose its heavenly crown.

Finally, Otto was crowned King of Hungary as Béla V on December 6, 1305 in Stuhlweissenburg . He chose the name after his grandfather King Béla IV to underline his claim to power. The coronation ceremony was performed by Benedict III, Bishop of Veszprim and Antal I, Bishop of Csanád . The Archbishop of Gran , who as the Primate of Hungary alone would have been entitled to crown Hungarian rulers, refused to crown Otto because he was on the side of the Anjous .

Ultimately, however, both his Hungarian and his Austrian policy failed. From 1306 his rival Karl-Robert von Anjou conquered parts of Hungary. In June 1307 Otto was captured by the Voivoden of Transylvania, Ladislaus Kán, who recognized neither Otto nor Karl-Robert as king. In October 1307, however, Otto recognized Karl-Robert's Hungarian rule and soon after he was released. On the run from Hungary he stayed with his cousin Heinrich III. von Glogau , where he got engaged to his daughter Agnes .

Later years as Duke of Lower Bavaria

In February 1308 Otto returned to Landshut, where he married Agnes on May 18, 1309. During his absence, his brother Stephan had held the government in Lower Bavaria alone, which then died in 1310 during a new war against the Habsburgs. The protracted conflict with the Habsburgs, which led to the devastation of Burghausen in 1310 , only ended on February 2, 1311 with the Peace of Salzburg . His own ventures and the debts left behind by his brothers, who had since died, caused great financial problems for Otto. He had already increased taxes in 1295 and after his return from Hungary he levied a new emergency tax.

With the Ottonische Handfeste of 1311, in exchange for a one-time cattle tax, he left the lower jurisdiction to the nobility and the clergy against their purchase. Until then, this jurisdiction had only been granted to the sovereign. This marked the beginning of the actual development of the Bavarian estates in Otto's reign. The tax approval right of the estates, also guaranteed in the Ottonische Handfeste, together with the Schnaitbacher deed of the Upper Bavarian dukes of 1302, marks the beginning of parliamentarism in Bavaria.

Otto died in September 1312 and was buried in the Seligenthal monastery near Landshut. He was followed by his son Heinrich , who was born in the same year and who , like his two nephews, Stephen's sons, also underage, was initially under the guardianship of the Upper Bavarian dukes.



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Hungarian Picture Chronicle , p. 247 (see literature)
  2. ^ History of Silesia , Vol. 1, Sigmaringen, 1988, ISBN 3-7995-6341-5 , p. 147
predecessor Office successor
Ladislaus V. King of Hungary 1305–1307
Hungary Arms.svg
Charles I.
Henry XIII. Duke of Lower Bavaria 1290-1312
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Henry XV.