Albert II, Duke of Austria

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For other people named Albert of Austria, see Albert of Austria (disambiguation).
Albert II, Duke of Austria
Albrecht Zweite Österreich.jpg
Duke Albert II of Austria
Duke of Austria
Predecessor Frederick the Fair
Successor Rudolf IV the Founder
Spouse(s) Johanna of Pfirt
Noble family House of Habsburg
Father Albert I of Germany
Mother Elisabeth of Tirol
Born (1298-12-12)12 December 1298
Habsburg Castle in Habsburg
Died 16 August 1358(1358-08-16) (aged 59)

Albert II of Austria (12 December 1298 – 16 August 1358), known as the Wise or the Lame, was Duke of Austria.


Albert II was born at Habsburg Castle in Habsburg, the son of Albert I of Germany, Rex Romanorum, and Elisabeth of Tirol. He became the joint ruler of all Habsburg lands with his younger brother, Otto the Merry in 1330, while increasing his possessions by the inheritance of his wife Joan, which was made up of the County of Pfirt and several cities.

Furthermore, Albert succeeded in establishing his claims on Carinthia and Carniola against John of Bohemia. Reflecting his high reputation among the secular and Church leaders of Europe, in 1335 Pope Benedict XII asked him to mediate in the church's conflict with Emperor Louis the Bavarian. Two years later, King Philip VI of France 1337 asked him for help against Emperor Louis and King Edward III of England. Nevertheless, Albert remained faithful to the Emperor until Louis' death.

He established the "Albertinian House Rule" (Albertinische Hausordnung) to predetermine the rules of succession in the Austrian lands, although the rule was disregarded after his death until renewed by Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. Adopted as part of the Pragmatic Sanction, the Albertinian House Rule effectively remained one of the basic laws of Austria until 1918. Styria owes him its (former) constitution, the so-called "Mountain Book" (Bergbüchel); the same is true for Carinthia.

Albert began the construction of the Gothic Choir in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, known as the Albertinian Choir. It has been speculated that he had temporal paralysis (explaining his nickname "Albert the Lame") caused by polyarthritis. If so, however, it did not prevent him from fathering four children: Rudolf, who succeeded him as duke, Frederick (2nd Duke), Albert III (3rd Duke), and Leopold (3rd co-Duke).

Albert died at Vienna in 1358 and was buried in a monastery of his own foundation, Gaming Charterhouse in Lower Austria.

Family and children[edit]

He married 15 February 1324 Countess Johanna of Pfirt, daughter of Count Ulrich III of Pfirt and had the following children:

  1. Rudolf IV of Austria 1 November 1339, Vienna – 27 July 1365, Milan). Married but line extinct.
  2. Catherine (1342, Vienna – 10 January 1381, Vienna), Abbess of St. Klara in Vienna.
  3. Margaret (1346, Vienna – 14 January 1366, Brno), married:
    1. in Passau 4 September 1359 Count Meinhard III of Gorizia-Tyrol;
    2. in Vienna 1364 Margrave Johann Heinrich of Moravia.
  4. Frederick III of Austria (1347, Vienna – 1362, Vienna). Died unmarried.
  5. Albert III of Austria (9 September 1349, Vienna – 29 August 1395, Castle Laxenburg).
  6. Leopold III (1 November 1351, Vienna – 9 July 1386, Sempach).



  • Gabrielle Caerr-Stamm: Johanna von Pfirt, Gattin des Habsburgers Albrecht II. Herzog von Österreich oder das europäische Schicksal einer Elsässerin ("wife of Habsburg Albert II Duke of Austria or the European Fate of an Alsatian"). Sundgaugeschichtsverein, Riedisheim 1996, ISBN 2-908498-06-5.
  • Franz Kurz: Österreich unter Herzog Albrecht dem Lahmen ("Austria under Duke Albert the Lame"), Haslinger, Linz 1819.
Albert II, Duke of Austria
Born: 12 December 1298 Died: 16 August 1358
Preceded by
Frederick III the Handsome
Duke of Austria and Duke of Styria
With: Otto the Merry 1330–1339
Succeeded by
Rudolf IV
Preceded by
Henry V
Duke of Carinthia
Originally co-ruler to
Otto the Merry