Elisabeth of Bavaria, Queen of Germany

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For other people named Elisabeth of Bavaria, see Elisabeth of Bavaria (disambiguation).
Elisabeth of Bavaria
Elisabeth von Bayern (1227–1273).jpg
Seal of Elisabeth of Bavaria.
Queen consort of Germany
Queen consort of Jerusalem
Tenure 1 September 1246 – 21 May 1254
Queen consort of Sicily
Tenure 13 December 1250 – 21 May 1254
Born c. 1227
Trausnitz Castle, Landshut, Bavaria
Died 9 October 1273 (aged 45–46)
Goyen Castle, Schenna, Tyrol
Burial Stams Abbey
Spouse Conrad IV of Germany
Meinhard, Duke of Carinthia
Issue Conradin
Elizabeth of Carinthia, Queen of Germany
Otto III, Duke of Carinthia
Henry of Bohemia
House House of Wittelsbach
Father Otto II, Duke of Bavaria
Mother Agnes of the Palatinate
Religion Roman Catholicism

Elisabeth of Bavaria (c. 1227 – 9 October 1273), a member of the House of Wittelsbach, was Queen consort of Germany from 1246 to 1254 by her marriage to King Conrad IV of Germany.


She was born at Trausnitz Castle in Landshut, the eldest daughter of Otto II Wittelsbach and his wife Agnes of the Palatinate, herself a daughter of the Welf count palatine Henry V and Agnes of Hohenstaufen.

Otto II succeeded his father Louis I as Bavarian duke and as Count palatine in 1231. In the conflict between the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II and the Roman Curia, he initially sided with the pope, but became a supporter of Frederick in 1241. Otto II had initially betrothed Elisabeth to Duke Frederick II of Austria, however, the new political alliance would lead to the marriage of the elder daughter of the Wittelsbach and the elder son of the Hohenstaufen, Conrad IV. The wedding ceremony took place on 1 September 1246, probably at Vohburg in Bavaria, against fierce protests by the papal legate Albert von Behaim.

Conrad IV had inherited the title of a King of Jerusalem from his mother Yolande of Brienne. Appointed Duke of Swabia in 1235, he was elected King of the Romans in 1237 to represent his father in his German dominions. Upon Frederick's death on 13 December 1250, still involved in a war against Pope Innocent IV and his allies, he also succeeded him as King of Sicily. He would continue the war and left for Sicily in 1251, leaving his wife behind, who gave birth to their only child Conradin in March next year. On 21 May 1254 Conrad IV died of malaria at his army camp in Lavello, Basilicata, without ever having seen his son.

During the interregnum after the death of Emperor Frederick II, Elisabeth tried to secure the rights of her minor son Conradin, backed by her brothers, the Bavarian dukes Henry XIII and Louis II. In 1256 Elisabeth had to witness the execution of Louis' wife Maria of Brabant, whereafter she gave Conradin to the Bishop of Constance for care and education. Beset by intriguing Pope Alexander VI, she agreed to appoint Conradin's uncle Manfred, an illegitimate son of Frederick, regent in the Kingdom of Sicily on her son's behalf. However, she could not prevent the election of Richard of Cornwall as King of the Romans in 1256/57.

Elisabeth remained a widow for five years. On 6 October 1259 in Munich, she married her second husband Count Meinhard II of Gorizia–Tyrol, a member of the Meinhardiner dynasty, who became Duke of Carinthia in 1286. Her second husband, just released from custody by Archbishop Philip of Salzburg, was of inferior status and about ten years younger than her, nevertheless his Tyrolean domains comprised the strategically important mountain passes across the Alps to Italy. The couple was blessed with six surviving children.

Statues of Meinhard und Elisabeth, Stams Abbey

Elisabeth's relationship to her firstborn son Conradin remained a reserved one. When Charles of Anjou defeated Manfred of Sicily in the 1266 Battle of Benevento, her brother Louis and her husband Meinhard encouraged Conradin's decision to go on camapaign. In August 1267, mother and son met for a last time at Hohenschwangau Castle before Conradin left for Italy, together with his uncle and his stepfather, who however deserted him in Verona. After Elisabeth heard of his defeat and execution in 1268, she had the Santa Maria del Carmine Church erected in Naples in his memory. In 1272 she founded the Cistercian abbey of Stams in Tyrol, together with her husband Meinhard, where she is also buried.

Marriages and children[edit]

Elisabeth and Conrad would only have one son:

  • Conradin (25 March 1252 – 29 October 1268).

Elisabeth and her second husband Meinhard had six children:


External links[edit]

Elisabeth of Bavaria
Born: circa 1227 Died: 9 October 1273
Royal titles
Title last held by
Maria Komnene
Queen consort of Jerusalem
1 September 1246 – 21 May 1254
Title next held by
Isabella of Ibelin
Title last held by
Isabella of England
Queen consort of Germany
(formally Queen of the Romans)

1 September 1246 – 21 May 1254
Title next held by
Gertrude of Hohenburg
Queen consort of Sicily
13 December 1250 – 21 May 1254
Title next held by
Helena Angelina Doukaina