Wiprecht von Groitzsch

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Cenotaph from Count Wiprecht von Groitzsch's time around 1230 in the Pegau city ​​church

Margrave Wiprecht von Groitzsch , called the Elder (* around 1050; † May 22, 1124 in Pegau ) was, as Wiprecht II , Gaugraf in Balsamgau , from 1070 Count von Groitzsch and from 1123 as Wiprecht ( I. ) Margrave of Meißen and the Lausitz . He came from a noble family from the Altmark . After the death of his father, Gaugraf Wiprecht I. vom Balsamgau, Wiprecht grew up in 1060 in the house of the Margrave of the North Mark , Lothar Udo II. , In Stade . After the death of Gaugraf Wiprecht I, his mother Sigena von Leinungen was married to Friedrich I von Pettendorf for the second time and after his death, at the instigation of her son, became the third abbess of the Vitzenburg monastery .

Live and act

In 1070 Wiprecht exchanged his inherited rule Balsamgau with Udo II for the Groitzsch Castle in the Osterland . At first he could not assert himself in the Groitzsch area and went with a following of 100 sticks to Bohemia to Duke Vratislav II and became his advisor. Wiprecht, who was a favorite of King Henry IV , supported Vratislav II in his attainment of the royal dignity. In 1080 he returned to Groitzsch Castle. Around 1085 he married Judith, the daughter of Duke Vratislav and Swatawa of Poland ; As a dowry she brought the area in Gau Nisani and the area of ​​today's Upper Lusatia around Bautzen into the marriage. In 1087 their son Wiprecht III came. to the world.

Wiprecht fought alongside Henry IV in 1080 against the rival king Rudolf von Rheinfelden (Rudolf of Swabia) and in 1084 moved with Heinrich against Pope Gregory VII to Rome .

Against his opponents he undertook a vengeance in Zeitz . There he killed Vicelin von Profen and 17 faithful. Since Hageno von Tubichin had withdrawn to the Jacobskirche in Zeitz, Wiprecht II set it on fire , forcing his opponent to come out. Since he could not kill him because of the church asylum, he put out his eyes. He then made a pilgrimage to Rome and Santiago de Compostela in 1090 and founded the Benedictine monastery of St. Jacob near Pegau in 1091 , which was consecrated in 1096. From here colonization was advanced towards the Mulde . Wiprecht II brought the first settlers from Franconia.

After the death of his wife Judith in 1108, he entered into a second marriage in 1110 with Kunigunde, the widow of Count Kuno von Beichlingen and daughter of Margrave Otto I. von Meißen . The celebration became a double wedding because his son Wiprecht III. was married at the same time with Kunigundes daughter Kunigunde von Beichlingen.

Wiprecht took part in the campaigns of Emperor Heinrich V , who had succeeded his father Heinrich IV on the throne in 1106.

As Wiprecht III. 1110 tried to reinstate his uncle Bořivoj II as a Bohemian duke, but Wiprecht himself fell out of favor with Henry V. Wiprecht III. was arrested together with Bořivoj II at the Hammerstein Castle . Against the return of the Gaue Nisani and Bautzen, as well as the Lordship of Leisnig and Morungen , Wiprecht bought his son free.

In 1113, Wiprecht concluded an alliance against the emperor with Count Ludwig the Springer of Thuringia and the Rhineland Count Palatine Siegfried von Ballenstedt . They were attacked by Hoyer von Mansfeld near Warnstedt at the Teufelsmauer. The death penalty imposed on Wiprecht was lifted against surrender of all his property, and he was imprisoned in the Trifels Imperial Castle until 1117 .

His son Wiprecht III, who on February 11, 1115 fought victoriously against Heinrich V in the Battle of Welfesholz on the side of the later Emperor Lothar von Supplinburg (Hoyer von Mansfeld fell in the battle), died in 1116.

Wiprecht, who had also got back the confiscated goods after his release in 1118, was appointed burgrave of Magdeburg . In 1123 he purchased at Emperor Henry V his investiture with the margravates Meissen and Lausitz . On the other hand, under the leadership of Duke Lothar von Supplinburg, the Saxon nobles rose up and expelled Wiprecht. Duke Lothar ignored the imperial bestowal of the margravate to Wiprecht and at that time illegally enfeoffed Konrad von Wettin with the Mark Meissen and Albrecht the Bear with the Lausitz.

In 1124 Wiprecht suffered severe burns in a fire on his property in Halle . He died of his injuries in the St. Jacob monastery in Pegau . Wiprecht's cenotaph made of sandstone can be viewed today in the Pegau Church of St. Laurentius .

Captivity at Trifels Castle

On the background of his imprisonment at Reichsburg Trifels , Sprater and Stein give the following information : In the battles between Emperor Heinrich IV. Against the rival king Rudolf of Swabia , Wiprecht von Groitzsch sided with the emperor and was therefore banned from the church by the anti-imperial Pope Gregor VII (see: Rudolf von Rheinfelden # Recognition of Rudolf by the Pope ). When the emperor's son, Heinrich the V , intrigued against his father, Wiprecht supported the son. In 1112 Wiprecht supported the opponent of the new emperor Heinrich V, Duke Lothar von Sachsen (Lothar von Süpplingenburg). He was taken prisoner by Emperor therefore faithful and in the spring of 1113 at the Reichstag in Würzburg with the outlawed occupied. His property was confiscated and he was taken prisoner to Trifels Castle in 1113 . After his release in 1116, he served the new Emperor Heinrich V faithfully until his death in 1124.

Marriages and offspring

Wiprecht II was married twice.

  • His daughter Bertha came from his first marriage to Judith († 1109) . She outlived her husband, the Margrave of Niederlausitz, Dedo IV , and inherited the rule of Groitzsch. Wiprecht's younger son Heinrich von Groitzsch followed his father as Burgrave of Magdeburg and Margrave of Lusatia. He was unable to enforce his claim to the Margraviate of Meissen. Wiprecht's oldest son Wiprecht III. died in 1116. He was married to Kunigunde the Younger von Beichlingen, daughter of Count Kuno von Beichlingen and Kunigunde von Orlamünde.
  • His second marriage to Kunigunde von Orlamünde , the youngest daughter of Margrave Otto von Meißen and Count of Weimar-Orlamünde and a two-time widow ( Jaropolk Isjaslawitsch von Kiev and Kuno von Beichlingen ), remained childless. Since Wiprecht wanted to secure the inheritance of Kunigunde his house, he married his eldest son Wiprecht III. with Kunigunde's daughter Kunigunde the Younger.


An entire area in the permanent archaeological exhibition in the State Museum of Archeology in Chemnitz is devoted to four important stages in the life of Wiprecht von Groitzsch.


  • Ernst BernheimGroitsch, Wiprecht von, the elder . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 9, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1879, pp. 711-713.
  • Alexander Blöthner: Wiprecht von Groitzsch and Emperor Heinrich IV. The rise of a knight in the 11th century; Investigation of the formation of allegiances at the time of the investiture dispute; Study on the formation of the nobility in the 11th / 12th centuries Century. Self-published, Plothen 2004.
  • Lutz Fenske: Nobility opposition and church reform movement in eastern Saxony. Origin and effect of the Saxon resistance against the Salian kingship during the investiture dispute (= publications of the Max Planck Institute for History. 47). Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1977, ISBN 3-525-35356-1 (also: Frankfurt am Main, University, dissertation, 1969).
  • Theodor Flathe : Wiprecht von Groitzsch. In: Archives for Saxon History . Vol. 3, Issue 1, 1864, pp. 82-127 .
  • Herbert HelbigGroitzsch, Wiprecht from. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 7, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1966, ISBN 3-428-00188-5 , p. 121 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Siegfried Hoyer : Wiprecht von Groitzsch and the start of state development in the Mulde-Elster area. In: Heinz A. Knorr (Ed.): Problems of the early Middle Ages from an archaeological and historical perspective (= conference of the Pre- and Early History Section of the German Historians' Society. 3, 1964, ZDB -ID 13135-0 ). Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1966, pp. 119–129.
  • Marco Innocenti:  Wiprecht von Groitzsch. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 22, Bautz, Nordhausen 2003, ISBN 3-88309-133-2 , Sp. 1551-1556.
  • Wiprecht. Contributions to the history of the Easter country in the High Middle Ages. Sax-Verlag, Beucha 1998, ISBN 3-930076-63-2 .
  • Thomas Vogtherr : Wiprecht von Groitzsch and the Jakobspatrozinium of the Pegau monastery. A contribution to the criticism of the Pegauer Annalen. In: New archive for Saxon history. Vol. 72, 2001, pp. 35-53.
  • Thomas Vogtherr: Wiprecht von Groitzsch. Comments on the figure of the social climber in the high Middle Ages. In: Manfred Hettling (Ed.): Figures and structures. Historical essays for Hartmut Zwahr on his 65th birthday. KG Saur, Munich 2002, pp. 157–169.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Sources of corrections:
    • Christian Schöttgen : History of the famous hero Count Wiprechts zu Gröitzsch, Marggraves in Lausitz and Burgraves of Magdeburg. Like the monastery in Pegau, which he founded. Seiffart, Regensburg 1749.
    • Heimatverein des Bornaer Landes eV - Project group 900 years of St. Jacobs Monastery (Ed.): Wiprecht von Groitzsch. His life according to the yearbooks of the Pegau monastery (= Heimatblätter des Bornaer Land. Sonderh., ZDB -ID 1220389-0 ). Heimatverein des Bornaer Landes eV, Rötha 1994.
  2. ^ Friedrich Sprater, Günter Stein: Der Trifels, self-published by the Historisches Museum der Pfalz in Speyer, 7th edition, FRG, 1976, chapter: The Trifels as a state prison, p. 56
predecessor Office successor
Henry II Margrave of Meissen
Hermann I.
Henry II Margrave of Lusatia
Albrecht I.