Wenceslaus II of Bohemia


Wenceslaus II of Bohemia

Wenceslaus II Premyslid ( _cs. Václav II.; _pl. Wacław II Czeski; September 27 [K. Charvátová, "Václav II. Král český a polský", Praha 2007, p. 18.] , 1271 – June 21, 1305) was King of Bohemia (1278 - 1305), Duke of Cracow (1291 - 1305) and crowned King of Poland (1300 - 1305) at Mainz.

He was the only son of King Ottokar II "the Great" of Bohemia and Ottokar's second wife Kunigunda. Kunigunda was the daughter of Rostislav, lord of Slavonia, son of a Grand Duke of Kiev and Anna of Hungary, daughter of Béla IV of Hungary. His great-grandfather was the German king Philip of Swabia. Wenceslaus's father died in battle August 26, 1278, shortly before Wenceslaus's seventh birthday.

Before Wenceslaus became of age, the government was handled by Otto IV Margrave of Brandenburg, who is said to have held Wenceslaus captive in several locations. Later his mother's secret husband, Záviš of Falkenštejn ruled for him.

On January 24, 1285, Wenceslaus married Judith of Habsburg, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf I, to whom he had been betrothed since 1276. In 1290 Wenceslaus had Záviš beheaded for alleged treason and began ruling independently.

In 1291 Przemysł II, High Duke of Poland, ceded the sovereign duchy of Krakow to Wenceslaus. Kraków was associated with the overlordship of Poland, but Przemysł held the other duchies and in 1295 was crowned King of Poland. After Przemysł's death in 1296 Wenceslaus became overlord of Poland and in 1300 was in Mainz crowned King of Poland by German King Albert I of the Holy Roman Empire. He was planning to invade Austria when he died in 1305. He was succeeded by his son, Wenceslaus III (Václav III.), last of the Přemyslid kings in male line.

In 1298 silver was discovered at "Hory Kutné" (Kutná Hora, Kuttenberg) in Central Bohemia. Wenceslaus took control of the mine by making silver production a royal monopoly, and issued the Prague groschen with became the most popular of the early Groschen-type coins. Kutná Hora was one of the richest European silver strikes ever: between 1300 and 1340, the mine may have produced as much as 20 tons of silver a year.

In 1301, Wenceslaus' kinsman Andrew III of Hungary died and with him the Árpád dynasty in male line. Wenceslaus was one of the relatives who claimed the throne, and he accepted it from a party of Hungarians on behalf of his young son in the same year. They never succeeded in having more than a portion of Hungary submitted under their rule.

Queen Judith had died in 1297. Wenceslaus's second wife was Elisabeth Richeza, daughter of Przemysł II, King of Poland 1295 - 1296. After Wenceslaus's death, she married Rudolph of Habsburg, duke of Austria, who also became king of Bohemia for a brief period in those unruly years.

Family

He was married twice:

In 1285 in Eger (Cheb), he married Judith of Habsburg (1271–1297), daughter of Rudolph I of Germany and his wife Gertrude of Hohenburg. She died shortly after their 10th child was born:
* Přemysl Otakar (May 6 1288 - November 19 1288)
* Wenceslaus III (October 6 1289 – August 4 1306); King of Bohemia, King of Hungary and King of Poland
* Agnes (October 10 1290 - after 1292)
* Anna I of Bohemia (Anna Přemyslovna) (October 10 1290September 3 1313), married in 1306 to Henry of Carinthia
* Elisabeth I of Bohemia (Eliška Přemyslovna) (January 20 1292 - September 28 1330), married in 1310 to John I of Bohemia
* Guta (March 3 1293 - August 3 1294)
* John (February 26 1294 - March 1 1295)
* John (February 21 1295 - December 6 1296)
* Margaret of Bohemia (Markéta Přemyslovna) (February 21 1296 - April 8 1322), married to Bolesłaus III Rozrzutny, Duke of Wrocław
* Guta (*†May 21 1297)

In 1300, he married Elisabeth Richeza (1286 – 1335), daughter of Przemysł II. They had one child:
* Agnes of Bohemia (Anežka Přemyslovna) (June 15 1305 - before January 4 1337), married to Jindřich Javorský

Wenceslaus has also numerous illegitimate children, including Jan Volek (?? - September 27 1351), bishop of Olomouc

3gen
SLF=Wenceslaus
FAT=Ottokar II of Bohemia
FAF=Wenceslaus I of Bohemia
FFF=Ottokar I of Bohemia
FFM=Constance of Hungary
FAM=Kunigunde of Hohenstaufen
FMF=Philip of Swabia
FMM=Irene Angelina
MOT=Kunigunda of Slavonia
MOF=Rostislav of Slavonia
MFF=Michael of Chernigov
MFM=Maria Romanovna
MOM=Anna of Hungary
MMF=Béla IV of Hungary
MMM=Maria Laskarina

References


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