Adelaide of Vohburg

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Adelaide of Vohburg
Queen consort of Germany
Tenure 1152–1153
Predecessor Gertrude of Sulzbach
Successor Beatrice of Burgundy
Duchess of Swabia
Tenure 1147–1152
Predecessor Agnes of Saarbrücken
Successor Gertrude of Bavaria
Born c. 1125
Died 25 May after 1187
Weissenau Abbey, Swabia
Spouse Frederick I of Germany
Father Diepold III, Margrave of Vohburg

Adelaide of Vohburg (German: Adela or Adelheid; c. 1125 – 25 May after 1187) was Duchess of Swabia from 1147 and German queen from 1152 until 1153, as the first wife of the Hohenstaufen king Frederick Barbarossa, the later Holy Roman Emperor.


Adelaide was a daughter of the Bavarian margrave Diepold III of Vohburg (c. 1079 – 1146), probably from his first marriage with Adelaide (Adelajda; c. 1091 – 1127), a daughter of the Polish duke Władysław I Herman and Judith of Swabia.[1] Since the days of Emperor Henry IV, her father's ancestors ruled over the Egerland territory in the Bavarian March of the Nordgau, which, however, was seized by King Conrad III of Germany upon the margrave's death in 1146.

In turn, King Conrad married his nephew Frederick of Hohenstaufen to late Diepold's daughter Adelaide before 2 March 1147 in the city of Eger.[1] The young man had just returned from the Second Crusade; he succeeded his father Frederick the One-Eyed as Duke of Swabia one month later and added his wife's extended dowry to his estates. However, the marriage was not a happy one, according to the historian Friedrich von Raumer (1781–1873) probably due to adultery committed by Adelaide. She rarely made public appearances and was not even present, when Frederick managed to be elected as the successor of his paternal uncle on 4 March 1152 and was crowned King of Germany at Aachen Cathedral five days later.

Nevertheless, Adelaide became queen, though she remained childless and Frederick petitioned Pope Eugene III for an annulment. The separation was granted and confirmed by the Bishop of Constance in March 1153; the justification given on grounds of consanguinity, while the contemporary chronicles by Otto of Sankt Blasien already indicated "fornication". Frederick immediately began to court the Byzantine princess Maria Komnene, though to no avail.

No longer a queen, Adelaide, apparently unhampered by her former husband, soonafter entered into a morganatic marriage with Dietho of Ravensburg, a ministerialis in the service of Duke Welf VI. The marriage produced several children. Dietho died about 1187; Adelaide survived him and died shortly afterwards at the Premonstratensian abbey of Weissenau near Ravensburg.


  1. ^ a b "Adelaide of Vohburg (fl. 1140s)". Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Gale Research Inc. Retrieved 8 January 2013. (subscription required)

External links[edit]

Adelaide of Vohburg
Born: c. 1125 Died: 25 May after 1187
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Agnes of Saarbrücken
Duchess of Swabia
Succeeded by
Gertrude of Bavaria
Royal titles
Preceded by
Gertrude of Sulzbach
Queen consort of Germany
Succeeded by
Beatrice of Burgundy