Vratislav II.

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Silver denarius, King Vratislav, Prague

Vratislav II (around 1035 - 14 January 1092 , buried in Vyšehrad ) was prince from 1061 and from 1085 as Vratislav I King of Bohemia and between 1076 and 1081 Margrave of Lusatia , from the noble family of the Přemyslids .


He was the son of Břetislav I. born. His mother Judith von Schweinfurt came as the daughter of Heinrich von Schweinfurt from the Babenberg family .

After his father's death (1055), Vratislav II was to rule as part of the prince in Moravia ( Olomouc ). However, he had to flee to Hungary because of a conflict with his older brother, Spytihněv II . With Hungarian help, he became Duke of Moravia-Olomouc again.

After his reconciliation with his brother and after his death (1061), Vratislav II ascended the Bohemian prince's seat in Prague . Almost the entire reign of Vratislav II was marked by quarrels with the younger brothers. Vratislav urged his brother Jaromír into the office of Bishop of Prague in 1068 and immediately began to weaken this position; mainly through the renewal of the Olomouc bishopric (1063). However, Jaromír found numerous supporters in the Bohemian nobility, who formed a constant opposition during the entire reign of Vratislav.

Vratislav II paid special attention to Moravia . He divided the country into two halves, which he left to the younger brothers Konrad I and Otto I as partial principalities. The elevation of Olomouc to a diocese also had the purpose of strengthening Moravia.

Vratislav II - Fresco in the St. Catherine Chapel in Znojmo , 1134

Vratislav II moved his residence from Prague Castle to Vyšehrad , where he founded the famous collegiate chapter of St. Peter and Paul (1070). In order to consolidate his internal power, he sought external support, and in doing so he made use of marriage policy. His first wife was the Hungarian princess Adelheid. Her death enabled the attempt to improve the traditionally bad Bohemian-Polish relations by marrying the Polish Princess Swatawa . The attempt was unsuccessful. In 1070 and 1071 there were several incidents in the border area between the two empires. Since both Bohemia and Poland were vassals of the German king, Henry IV cited Vratislav and Boleslaw II from Poland to Meissen in the autumn of 1071 to force them to conclude a peace agreement. However, this did not last. Presumably, Boleslaw soon undertook a raid to Bohemia, which Heinrich wanted to answer with a military campaign in 1072, but was unable to do so because of disputes in the empire and with the pope.

Nevertheless, Vratislav was closely tied to Heinrich IV. He was one of the most important supporters of Heinrich in the fight against the Saxon nobility . The Bohemian troops took part in the battles near Homburg (1075) and Flarchheim (1080), in military expeditions against insurgent German nobility and also entered Italy . During this time, Bohemia brought constant conditions similar to civil war. There were also border wars against Poland over Silesia . After Heinrich's victory against the Saxons, the Bohemian prince received the Lausitz mark in 1076 . However, shortly thereafter, Heinrich gave both territories elsewhere and left Vratislav to the margravate Austria, which still belonged to Bavaria, as compensation . Vratislav tried in vain to carry out the imperial execution in this area, although he was victorious on May 12, 1082 at Mailberg against Margrave Leopold II .

In 1085 the Bohemian prince also had to give up Austria again, but received from Heinrich at the imperial assembly in Mainz the royal dignity of Bohemia ad personam as the first Bohemian king of the Premyslids (extinct on his death in 1092, as not yet hereditary) and Poland. However, there was never any serious thought to enforce the Polish royal dignity. After all, the title Silesia tied more firmly to Bohemia in the future and represented a considerable gain in prestige. On June 15, 1086 Vratislav II was solemnly crowned as the first Bohemian ruler in Prague by Archbishop Egilbert of Trier . For his coronation the Codex Vyšehradensis was probably made in the monastery of St. Emmeram .

Miniature : Vratislav II in Codex Vyšehradensis

In the last years of his reign, Vratislav II consolidated his authority in both Bohemia and Moravia. This led to sharp confrontations with Konrad von Brno and especially with the eldest son Vratislav II, Břetislav II. Vratislav's successor had to be content with the title of prince again.


He died in 1092 after falling from his horse in a hunting accident. Her first marriage to Adelheid of Hungary (1040-1061), daughter of the Hungarian King András I , had four children, including:

- Břetislav II. † 1100, 1092 Prince of Bohemia as the successor to his uncle Konrad I + 1092; married Liutgard von Bogen (or Windberg) in 1094; Son Bretislav II + 1130

- Judith + 1086, married Wladyslaw I Herman of Poland, son of Casimir I of Poland

From his second marriage in 1062 to Swatawa of Poland , he left four sons who immediately began to fight for the succession after the death of their father, and a daughter, probably in this order:

- Boleslav born around 1063

- Bořivoj II. Born around 1064, + 1124, Duke of Bohemia 1100-1107 and 1117-1120 (successor to Svatopluk, son of his uncle Otto I + 1087)

- Vladislav I. +1 125, 1109-1117 and 1120-1125 Prince of Bohemia, married (1) Richenza NN, descendants thereof; married (2) Rixa / Richenza von Berg, daughter of the Swabian Count Heinrich von Berg, without descendants

- Soběslav I. +1 140, 1125-1140 Duke of Bohemia, married Adleyta, daughter of the "Almusch" of Hungary; progeny

- Judith + 1108, married Wiprecht von Groitzsch


predecessor Office successor
Spytihněv II. Duke of Bohemia
Konrad I.
Dedo II Margrave of Lausitz
Heinrich I.