Rudolf I, Duke of Bavaria

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Rudolf I of Bavaria (German: Rudolf I., Herzog von Bayern, Pfalzgraf bei Rhein; October 4, 1274 – August 12, 1319), a member of the Wittelsbach dynasty, was Duke of Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine (1294–1317). Rudolf was the son of Louis II, Duke of Upper Bavaria, and Matilda, a daughter of King Rudolph I.


Rudolf was born in Basel.

He succeeded his father in 1294 and supported his father-in-law king Adolf of Nassau-Weilburg against his uncle, the Habsburg Albert of Austria. After Adolf’s death Rudolf joined Albert’s party but the strong dynastic policy of the new king caused a new conflict. Since Albert put pressure on Rudolf he had to accept his younger brother Louis IV as co-regent in 1301. After Albert’s assassination in 1308 Rudolf voted for Henry of Luxemburg and then accompanied the new king to Italy.

A civil war against his brother Louis IV due to new disputes on the partition of their lands was ended in 1313, when peace was made at Munich. Louis IV was elected German king in 1314 but Rudolf had voted for his opponent Frederick of Austria. In 1317 after another long controversy with Louis IV he lost the Palatinate and it was agreed that Rudolf gave up his rule until the conflict of Louis with Habsburg was ended. But then Rudolf died in 1319, presumably in England.

But by the Treaty of Pavia in 1329, Louis granted the Palatinate to Rudolf’s sons Rudolf II the Blind and Rupert I and Rudolf’s grandson Rupert II, a son of Adolf. This way finally Rudolf I and his grandson Rupert II became the ancestors of the older (Palatinate) line of the Wittelsbach dynasty, which returned to power also in Bavaria in 1777 after the extinction of the younger (Bavarian) line, the descendants of Louis IV.

Family and children[edit]

He was married in Nuremberg 1 September 1294 to Mechtild of Nassau, daughter of king Adolf of Nassau-Weilburg and had the following children:

  1. Ludwig (1297 – before 5 April 1311).
  2. Adolf, Count Palatine of the Rhine (27 September 1300, Wolfratshausen – 29 January 1327).
  3. Rudolf II the Blind (8 August 1306, Wolfratshausen – 4 October 1353, Neustadt).
  4. Rupert I the Red (9 June 1309, Wolfratshausen – 16 February 1390).
  5. Mathilde (1312 – 25 November 1375), married 1330/1 to Count John III of Sponheim.
  6. Anna (1318–1319).


Rudolf I, Duke of Bavaria
Born: 1274 Died: 1319
German royalty
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Louis II
Duke of Upper Bavaria
Succeeded by
Louis IV
Count Palatine of the Rhine