Ruprecht II (Palatinate)

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Ruprecht II and his wife Beatrix of Sicily-Aragon
Seal of the University of Heidelberg from 1386. Ruprecht I kneels to the right of St. Petrus, with the Palatinate lion coat of arms, the co-regent Ruprecht II on the left with the diamond coat of arms

Ruprecht II , the tough or the serious (* May 12, 1325 in Amberg ; † January 6, 1398 ibid) was Count Palatine and Elector of the Palatinate (1390-1398).


Ruprecht von der Pfalz's parents were Count Palatine Adolf the Redliche and Princess Irmengard von Oettingen . Ruprecht's father Adolf died in 1327 in a vain fight for his inheritance. His uncle Ludwig the Bavarian occupied the Rhine Palatinate at that time. The young prince grew up under the tutelage of his Austrian-minded uncle, Count Johann I von Nassau-Weilburg . In 1329, in the house contract of Pavia, a settlement between Ludwig the Bavarian and Adolf's brothers Rudolf II. And Ruprecht I. In place of his late father, Count Palatine Adolf, the four-year-old Ruprecht II entered the inheritance.

In 1334 Ruprecht I reached an agreement with his underage nephew Ruprecht II that, in the event of a division with Rudolf II, they would jointly own and manage the pieces that came to them. This happened in February 1338, when they were assigned the largest part of the Rhine Palatinate with Heidelberg and part of the Upper Palatinate together in the first division of the Palatinate . They ruled these areas together until the end of 1353 when, after the death of Rudolf II, the country was divided again. Here Ruprecht I received the main part of the entire territory, including Rudolf's former area, Ruprecht II only a smaller part, including the more important places Lindenfels , Alzey , Stromberg (Hunsrück) and Stahleck Castle . In 1355 Ruprecht II became the successor of his uncle Ruprecht I, if he were to remain without a male heir. This agreement was confirmed again in 1357; In 1368 both agreed on the future indivisibility of most of the territories and the nephew rose to become co-regent. In this capacity, he participated in the founding of the University of Heidelberg by his uncle Ruprecht I and is depicted with him on the historic university seal from 1386.

In the city ​​war of 1387-1389 he proceeded with great severity. In 1390, after the death of his uncle, Ruprecht II succeeded him as Count Palatine of the entire state and in 1394, with King Wenzel's consent , also declared himself elector. He only had 7 years left to govern alone.

In 1391 Ruprecht expelled Jews and heretics from the Palatinate, confiscated the entire property and bequeathed it to the University of Heidelberg . In 1395 he issued the so-called Rupertine Constitution , which was supposed to secure the cohesion of the parts of the Palatinate. As a result, the former free imperial city of Neckargemünd was incorporated into the Electoral Palatinate.

Ruprecht II is buried in the Cistercian monastery at Schönau near Heidelberg . His will reveals an attitude of humility, as Werner Rösener records in his book “Tradition and Remembrance in Aristocracy and Peasant Society” (2003). As a sign of penance, the Wittelsbacher wanted to be buried in a simple linen robe with a stone or lump of earth under his head, in a grave that was not raised above the ground and covered by a simple plate with the sign of the cross and at the foot of his father's grave Adolf should be.

In the collegiate church (Neustadt an der Weinstrasse) , founded as a memoria by the House of Wittelsbach, there is an eternal mass memory for Elector Ruprecht II and his wife Beatrix of Sicily-Aragon .

The historian Jakob Wille assesses the prince as follows

Without a doubt, Ruprecht II, like his uncle, was a man of great energy, purposeful striving and a clever calculating mind; well trained in political matters in a long joint government with the experienced old Ruprecht, active in the kingdom as well as in the administration of his own state, to which he knew how to preserve what he had acquired and how to acquire new property. He lacked the gentleness and forgiveness that were peculiar to his uncle. He gives the impression of a cold, imperious nature and the nickname "the tough", which history has secured for him, best describes his nature. "

- Jakob Wille, General German Biography, Volume 29

Marriage and offspring

Elector Ruprecht II of the Palatinate married Beatrix of Sicily-Aragon (1326-1365) in 1345 , the daughter of King Peter II of Sicily from the House of Aragon and his wife Elisabeth of Carinthia. The marriage had seven children:

Ruprecht II was widowed for over 30 years and no longer married. From this time he had an illegitimate daughter named Else von Stromberg , who had lived as a Dominican in the Liebenau monastery in Worms since 1392 .

All Wittelsbachers living today are descended from Ruprecht.



  1. ^ Werner Rösener : Tradition and memory in aristocratic rule and peasant society. Göttingen 2003, p. 95 (online here)
  2. Website on the grave inscription for Prince Adolf, in the Liebenau monastery
  3. Andreas Tacke: "... we want to give space to love". Cohabiting ecclesiastical and secular princes around 1500. Göttingen 2006, p. 63 (online here)
predecessor Office successor
Ruprecht I. Elector Palatinate
Ruprecht III.
Eberhard Count of Zweibrücken
Ruprecht III.