Hedwig of Habsburg

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Hedwig of Habsburg
Otto VI Hedwig Habsburg.jpg
Portrait of Otto VI and Hedwig in the Ambras collections (c. 1500)
Margravine of Brandenburg
Tenure 1279–1285/1286
Predecessor Matilda of Denmark
Successor Anne of Austria
Born c. 1260
Rheinfelden, Swabia
Died 1303
Margraviate of Brandenburg(?)
Burial Lehnin Abbey
Spouse Otto VI, Margrave of Brandenburg-Salzwedel
House House of Habsburg
Father Rudolf I of Germany
Mother Gertrude of Hohenberg

Hedwig (or Heilwig; c. 1260 – 1303), a member of the royal House of Habsburg, was Margravine of Brandenburg from 1279 until 1285/1286, by her marriage with the Ascanian margrave Otto VI of Brandenburg-Salzwedel.

Family[edit]

Hedwig was born in Rheinfelden, Swabia, a younger daughter of Count Rudolf IV of Habsburg and his first wife, Gertrude of Hohenberg. It is unknown when Hedwig was born, but it was probably between 1258 and 1261 from the evidence of the births of her two closest siblings.[1] The Habsburgs did not play much of a role in history until the time of Hedwig's father, Count Rudolf, was elected King of the Romans in 1273, whereafter the family rose to one of the most powerful ruling dynasties in the Holy Roman Empire.

Hedwig was the seventh of nine children borne to her father's wife Gertrude. Hedwig's surviving brothers were Albert, who succeeded his father as German king, and Duke Rudolf II of Austria. Hedwig and all of her sisters lived to adulthood and were married to powerful monarchs: Matilda, Duchess of Bavaria, Katharina, Agnes, Electress of Saxony, Klementia, Queen of Hungary, and Judith, Queen of Bohemia.[2]

Three years after Hedwig's mother Gertrude died in 1281, Rudolph remarried to Isabella of Burgundy. The new queen consort was younger than Hedwig and all her siblings, apart from Judith.

Marriage[edit]

After the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld, King Rudolf wished to make peace with the Bohemian kings, and to do this he needed to marry at least one of his daughters into the royal Premyslid dynasty. Hedwig's younger sister Judith was married to King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia, son of the late King Ottokar II, and Hedwig herself was married to Margrave Otto VI (called "the Small") of Brandenburg, whose elder brother Otto V ("the Tall") acted as King Wenceslaus' guardian. Hedwig and Otto VI were married in 1279 at the Habsburg residence in Vienna, Austria.

The couple may have had a child who died young. In 1285 or 1286, her husband renounced all claims to the Margraviate of Brandenburg in favour of his brother and joined the Knights Templar. Hedwig died about 1303; she was buried at the Cistercian abbey of Lehnin[3]

German nobility
Vacant
Title last held by
Matilda of Denmark
Margravine of Brandenburg-Salzwedel
1279–1285/1286
Vacant
Title next held by
Anne of Austria

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]