Anne of Bohemia, Duchess of Silesia

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Anna of Bohemia
Anna Ceska.jpg
High Duchess consort of Poland
Reign 1238–1241
Born 1203[1]/1204[citation needed]
Died 26 June 1265 (aged 60–61)
Spouse Henry II the Pious
Issue Gertrude, Duchess of Masovia
Constance, Duchess of Kuyavia
Bolesław II the Bald
Mieszko, Duke of Lubusz
Henry III the White
Konrad I, Duke of Silesia-Glogau
Elisabeth, Duchess of Greater Poland
Ladislaus of Salzburg
House Premyslid Dynasty (by birth)
House of Piast (by marriage)
Father Ottokar I of Bohemia
Mother Constance of Hungary

Anna of Bohemia (Czech: Anna Lehnická, Polish: Anna Przemyślidka) (1603[1]/1204 – 26 June 1265) was the Duchess of Silesia.[2] She was celebrated by the community of Franciscan nuns at St Clara of Prague Abbey in Wrocław (Breslau) as their founder and patron.


Anna was born in Prague. She was the daughter of Ottokar I, King of Bohemia, and his second wife, Constance of Hungary. Her maternal grandparents were Béla III of Hungary and his first wife, Agnes of Antioch. Her paternal grandparents were Vladislaus II, Duke of Bohemia, and Judith of Thuringia. Around the age of twelve she was married (1216) to Henry II the Pious, Duke of Silesia.[3] She was the sister of the Franciscan nun Agnes of Bohemia. She was widowed in 1241,[1] as her husband died at the Battle of Legnica. The following years were mainly marked by her occupation as a regent for her sons.[4]

Anna was a generous benefactor of the Franciscan nuns in Wrocław. In 1256, Pope Alexander IV wrote to the Bishops of Wrocław and Lubiąż, explaining that Anna had proposed the construction of a monastery that would house a community of Franciscan nuns, fulfilling her desire, and her dead husband’s desire, to build such an institution. In 1257, the construction of the monastery began.[4] Anna donated many goods to the monastery, but made sure that her donations did not violate the vow of voluntary poverty that the nuns had taken; in 1263, a papal bull issued by Pope Urban IV to the nuns at Wrocław states that Anna wanted the nuns to use the property that she had given them only in times of need. The Notæ Monialium Sanctæ Claræ Wratislaviensium names Anna as the founder of the monastery of St Clare at Wrocław. Her vita, written in the first half of the fourteenth century, links her closely with her mother-in-law Hedwig of Silesia, who is portrayed as the main influence on Anna's religious life.

According to a text known as the Notæ Monialium Sanctæ Claræ Wratislaviensium,[5] a chronicle written by the Franciscan nuns at Wrocław, she died in 1265 and was buried in the nuns' choir at the Chapel of St Hedwig, a chapel in St Clara of Prague Abbey in Wrocław (Breslau).

According historian Gábor Klaniczay, she was venerated as a saint in Poland, but would never be canonised.[1]


Anna and Henry had ten[4] children:

  1. Gertrude (ca. 1218/20 – 23/30 April 1247), married by 1232 to Bolesław I of Masovia.
  2. Constance (ca. 1221 – ca. 21 February 1257), married by 1239 to Casimir I of Kuyavia.
  3. Bolesław II the Bald (ca. 1220/25 – 25/31 December 1278).
  4. Mieszko (ca. 1223/27 – 1242).
  5. Henry III the White (1227/30 – 3 December 1266).
  6. Konrad (1228/31 – 6 August ca. 1274).
  7. Elizabeth (ca. 1232 – 16 January 1265), married in 1244 to Przemysł I of Greater Poland.
  8. Agnes of Trebnitz[6] (ca. 1236 – 14 May aft. 1277), left by her mother with the Franciscans at St. Clare in Wrocław.
  9. Władysław (1237 – 27 April 1270), Chancellor of Bohemia (1256), Bishop of Passau (1265) and Archbishop of Salzburg (1265–70).
  10. Hedwig (ca. 1238/41 – 3 April 1318), Abbess of St Clara in Wrocław.

Anna's younger sons included Henry III, duke of Silesia-Breslau, Conrad I, duke of Glogau, and Vladislav (1237–1270), who became Bishop of Bamberg (1257) and elector of Passau and Salzburg. Of her daughters, Gertrude (1219–1246) became the first wife of Boleslav I, duke of Masovia, whilst Hedwig (c. 1240-1318) served as abbess of the monastery of St Clare at Wrocław.



  1. ^ a b c d Klaniczay 2002, p. 204.
  2. ^ It is important to note that Anna was still styled as a duchess after her husband's death in 1241. See Sébastien Rossignol 'The Authority and Charter Usage of Female Rulers in Medieval Silesia, c. 1200-c. 1330' in The Journal of Medieval History
  3. ^ Klaniczay 2002, pp. 204-205.
  4. ^ a b c Klaniczay 2002, p. 205.
  5. ^ Notæ Monialium Sanctæ Claræ Wratislaviensium in the Monumenta Germania Historica, Scriptores, XIX, p. 534
  6. ^ Jordan, McNab & Ruiz 2015, p. 37.


Anne of Bohemia, Duchess of Silesia
Born: 1204 Died: 26 June 1265
Royal titles
Preceded by
Hedwig of Andechs
High Duchess consort of Poland
Succeeded by
Agafia of Rus