Bohemian Palatinate

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The Czech lands during the reign of Charles IV (Palatinate lower left)

Bohemian Palatinate (Czech: Česká Falc, German: Böhmische Oberpfalz), since the 19th century also called New Bohemia (Czech: Nové Čechy, German: Neuböhmen), is the historical area in the northeast of present-day Bavaria (Germany), which from 1353 onwards was incorporated into the Lands of the Bohemian Crown by Emperor Charles IV. Bohemian Palatinate lies at the greater part of the Upper Palatinate, its territory stretched up to Upper and Middle Franconia close to the Imperial City of Nuremberg.

History[edit]

Already in 1322, Emperor Louis IV had pawned the Egerland region to King John of Bohemia. John's son and successor, the Luxembourg emperor Charles IV rivalling with the noble houses of Habsburg and Wittelsbach, aimed at the aggrandizement of his hereditary lands, in order to win influence on the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire. Elected King of the Romans in 1346, he obtained the approval by the Prince-electors to affiliate the Imperial City of Eger (Cheb) with the Bohemian kingdom. In 1349 he married Anne of Bavaria, daughter of the Wittelsbach count palatine Rudolf II of the Rhine, who held the adjacent lands in the Bavarian Nordgau (the later "Upper Palatinate" region). However, Charles had to abandon his hope to be heir to his father-in-law's estates upon Anna's early death in 1353.

In 1353 Charles gained 24 Palatinate estates from Rupert I in compensation for his debts. To these he joined other territories and the whole region incorporated under Bohemian Kingdom in 1355. The center of this area was in Sulzbach-Rosenberg and Charles intensively supported the area through tax reliefs for craftsmen and traders, as well as other privileges for settlements and markets. On the way connecting Prague and Nuremberg he also built the Lauf Castle, inside survived 112 coats of arms of the Czech Kingdom. It is the most precious collection of Czech and Moravian heraldry.[1]

In 1373 Charles ceded the greater part of area back to Wittelsbachs in exchange for Brandenburg. Wenceslaus IV lost the rest in 1401.[2] However, some sites acknowledged the Bohemian King until the 19th century.

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