- Leopold VI, Duke of Austria
Leopold VI (1176 –
28 July 1230), called the Glorious, from the House of Babenberg, was Dukeof Austria from 1198 to 1230 and of Styria from 1194 to 1230.
Leopold was the younger son of Duke Leopold V. In contravention of the provisions of the
Georgenberg Pact, the Babenberg reign was divided after the death of Leopold V: Leopold's elder brother, Frederick I, was given the Duchy of Austria(corresponding roughly to modern Lower Austriaand eastern Upper Austria), while Leopold himself became Duke of Styria. Both duchies were reunified when Frederick died after only four years of rule.
Leopold VI participated in the
Reconquistain Spain and in two crusades, the Albigensian Crusadein 1212 and the failed Fifth Crusadefrom 1217 to 1221, and—like his predecessors—attempted to develop the land by founding monasteries. His most important foundation is Lilienfeldin the Lower Austrian valley of the Traisenriver, where he was buried after his death. Besides that, he supported the then highly modern Mendicant Orders of the Franciscansand Dominicans. He elevated Enns to the status of a cityin 1212, and Viennain 1221, the territory of which was nearly doubled.
Under Leopold's rule, the Gothic style began to reach Austria - the "Cappella Speciosa" in his temporary residence of
Klosterneuburgis known as the first building influenced by it in the Danubearea - a reconstruction of it can be seen today in the palace gardens of Laxenburg.
Babenbergian Austria reached the
zenithof its prestige under Leopold's rule. Evidence of this is given by his marriage to the Byzantine princess Theodora Angelinaand his attempt to mediate between Holy Roman EmperorFrederick II and Pope Gregory IX, which he was working on when he died in 1230 in Italy.
Leopold's court is known as a center of the
Minnesang, e.g., Walther von der Vogelweide, Neidhart von Reuentaland Ulrich von Liechtensteinwere active here. Also, the " Nibelungenlied" may have been written in his court.
Leopold died at San Germano in 1230.
Leopold and Theodora Angelina had seven children:
Margaret, Duchess of Austria( 1204- February 28, 1266). Married firstly with Henry, elder son and presumptive heir of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, and when he died, she married with the King Ottokar II of Bohemia.
# Agnes of Austria (
February 19, 1205- August 29, 1226). Married Albert II, Duke of Saxony.
# Leopold of Austria (1207-1216).
Henry of Austria( 1208- November 28, 1228), Duke of Mödling. Married Agnes of Thuringia; their only daughter, Gertrudis, was the general heiress of the House of Babenberg after the death of her uncle.
# Gertrude of Austria (1210-1241). Married
Henry IV Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia.
Frederick II, Duke of Austria( 25 April 1211- June 15, 1246).
# Constance of Austria (
April 6, 1212- June 5, 1243). Married Henry III, Margrave of Meissen.
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