Vladislav II.

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Vladislav II. (* Around 1110; † January 18, 1174 in predium Mer ( Meerane )) was a Bohemian duke who secured the title of king for himself and his empire.


Election to duke

The eldest son of Vladislav I and Richinza von Berg experienced an adventurous youth. Under the rule of his uncle Soběslav I , he left Bohemia in 1133 and went to relatives in Bavaria . In 1133 he was supposed to build up a small army, which the Bohemian duke wanted to make available to the emperor. He took the money and disappeared to Hungary . After the death of his uncle in 1140, the estates appointed him duke , although they themselves had elected Soběslav's son two years earlier. The emperor confirmed the choice and Vladislav returned to Prague .

In 1142 a group of Moravian nobles tried to overthrow Vladislav. Konrad II of Znojmo raised an army with which he marched into Bohemia . In the battle at the hill Vysoká ( 49.94 °  N , 15.19 °  O coordinates: 49 ° 57 '  N , 15 ° 11'  O ) wherein Kuttenberg initially won Vladislav, but by betraying in his army he finally had to withdraw . When he arrived in Prague , he left the defense of the city to his representative Děpold and rode to King Conrad III. to Würzburg to ask for help there. Prince Theobald ( Děpold , Dippold) successfully defended Prague and after the arrival of the royal army, the Moravians were defeated. Vladislav used this victory to force Moravia, which had repeatedly been a source of resistance against the Bohemian princes in the previous decades, under the rule of Prague until 1144. An important tool for this was the collaboration with the Bishop of Olomouc , Heinrich Zdik . Ecclesiastical goods and subjects were completely withdrawn from the rule of secular princes. This weakened the Moravian nobility, but to a lesser extent also the Prague princes.

Under Vladislav, Bohemia bound itself more closely to the empire . The Bohemian prince joined the king's army on the Second Crusade to Palestine in 1147. During this time the papal legate Guido ruled in Bohemia. However, Vladislav only completed part of the way. He came to Agram , where he met the Byzantine emperor Manuel I , and continued his crusade against pagan Slavs via Kiev and Krakow .

Vladislav becomes king

File: Wladislaus II of Bohemia 1158 to 1173, Brakteat Bautzen or Görlitz, CoinArchives.jpg
Upper Lusatia, sovereignty, Vladislav II. (Wladislaus II.) Of Bohemia (1158–1173). Bracteate, Bautzen or Görlitz.

After Frederick Barbarossa's accession to the throne, relations initially cooled off, as the new emperor favored the descendants of Soběslav. Soon, however, Vladislav demonstrated his loyalty to the new emperor and was accepted into the grace of Barbarossa. His participation in campaigns to Italy and Poland brought him in 1158 as the second of the Přemyslid dynasty after Vratislav II, who died in 1092, the royal crown for Bohemia. On January 11, 1158 he was elected ruler. In addition, Barbarossa awarded him Bautzen , which allowed the Bohemian rulers north of the Ore Mountains to play an important role again. In addition, the emperor confirmed Poland's obligation to pay tribute to Silesia and supported Vladislav in expanding into the tribal area of ​​the Wilzen . Even in the controversy over the succession to the throne of the Kievan Rus , Vladislav was active without being able to exercise much influence.

In the 1960s, Vladislav II excelled in disputes with Hungary . In times of his absence it was always Theobald who ran the affairs of state. After he died of the plague in 1167 , relations with the emperor deteriorated again, especially when Vladislav's son, Adalbert III. was appointed Archbishop of Salzburg .

The Bohemian land flourished during the long reign. His relations with other countries brought many new influences, especially in the cultural field. Even under his predecessors, but increasingly under his rule, reform orders came to Bohemia, such as the Premonstratensians , Cistercians and later also the Johanniter . A number of monasteries founded, including Strahov Monastery , Monastery Plasy , Monastery Želiv and monastery Doksany . Around 1160 he had a stone bridge built in Prague .

Late phase of rule

The rule of Vladislav marks the final end of a more than hundred years long crisis phase in Bohemia. The country stabilized as a closed rulership. Although Moravia remained an independent margravate, the margrave was usually a Prague Přemyslid from this time on . In addition, the influence of the nobility and the empire had grown in the troubled decades before, so that Bohemia under Vladislav II and his successors became a stable and powerful part of the empire with a strong aristocratic class. This development found its expression not least in the award of the royal dignity to Vladislav II.

During his reign, the social status of the sovereigns also changed, which was later referred to as the territorial nobility. The former benefit, in this case the temporary transfer of a part of the country to perform its tasks and services, has now been transformed in such a way that it was left entirely and largely inheritable to the nobles. The first Romanesque churches of their own were built in the villages, the construction of which was mostly commissioned by the sovereigns. Around these churches were settlements with small festivals. The rulers then usually referred to themselves after the place names (the oldest proven families were Marquart de Dubraua [1146] and Bleh de Trebusen [1169]). Especially in previously undeveloped, wooded areas, the crown left the land to the respective leaders for colonization. This is how the first small, but often rapidly growing, old Bohemian aristocratic families such as B. the Hrabischitzer , Rosenberger , Bavor von Strakonitz and others.

Towards the end of his life, Vladislav tried to inherit the throne to his son Friedrich (Bedřich) without the choice and approval of the emperor. In 1172 he resigned his offices and appointed Bedřich duke. This finally disrupted the good relations with the emperor, especially since the Moravian aristocratic opposition also strengthened again in the context of the dispute over the succession. Barbarossa did not recognize the action and Bedřich had to resign. When Soběslav's son Oldřich refused the fief offered by the emperor because he had no support from the Bohemian nobility, only Soběslav II remained , who became duke.

The old king had to leave Bohemia. He went to Thuringia on the property of his second wife. He died in Meerane in 1174 . His remains were buried in Strahov Monastery .

Wives and offspring

Vladislav II was married twice. His first wife was Gertrud von Babenberg, daughter of Margrave Leopold III in 1140 . from Austria. She died on April 8, 1150, leaving behind the children Bedřich , Anežka, Svatopluk and Vojtěch. The second time Vladislav married Judith in 1153 , daughter of Landgrave Ludwig I of Thuringia, with whom he had the children Ottokar I , Vladislav Heinrich and Richsa . The latter daughter married Heinrich the Elder von Mödling from the Babenberg family .


  1. ^ Josef Žemlička : Čechy v době knížecí. (1034-1198). Lidové Noviny, Praha 1997, ISBN 80-7106-196-4 ( Česká Historie 2).
  2. Tomáš Velímský : Trans montes, ad fontes! K roli újezdů při středověké kolonizaci středních a vyšších poloh na území severozápadních Čech. Ústav Archeologické Památkové Péče Severozápadních Čech, Most 1998, ISBN 80-901828-3-6 .
  3. Only the Dresden archaeologist Reinhard Spehr spoke out in favor of equating Mer with Melaune in Upper Lusatia; ders .: Christianization and earliest church organization in the Mark Meissen. One try. In: Judith Oexle (ed.): Early churches in Saxony. Results of archaeological and architectural studies. Theiss, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-8062-1094-2 , pp. 8–63, here p. 29 ( Publications of the State Office for Archeology and State Museum for Prehistory. 23). In general, Mer is equated with Meerane. This is what v. a. the findings based on names ( Meerane. In: Ernst Eichler , Hans Walther (Hrsg.): Historisches Ortnamesbuch von Sachsen. Volume 2: M - Z. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-05-003728-8 , p. 21 and Melaune . In: Ibid., P. 28.). See also: Gerhard Billig : Errweg und Stagnation. Thoughts on the sources and effects of the new publications by Reinhard Spehr on the early history of Dresden and Upper Lusatia. 2 parts. In: Castle research from Saxony. Vol. 14, 2001, ZDB -ID 1130530-7 , pp. 121-131 and Vol. 15/16, 2003, pp. 178-197.
predecessor Office successor
Sobeslav I. Duke of Bohemia
from 1158, King