Joanna of Bavaria

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Joanna of Bavaria
Joanna of Bavaria.jpg
Queen consort of Germany
Tenure 1376–1386
Predecessor Elizabeth of Pomerania
Successor Sophia of Bavaria
Queen consort of Bohemia
Tenure 1378–1386
Predecessor Elizabeth of Pomerania
Successor Sophia of Bavaria
Born c. 1362
The Hague (?)
Died 31 December 1386 (aged 23–24)
Prague
Burial Prague Castle
Spouse Wenceslaus, King of the Romans
House House of Wittelsbach
Father Albert I, Duke of Bavaria
Mother Margaret of Brieg

Joanna of Bavaria (c. 1362 – 31 December 1386), a member of the House of Wittelsbach, was German queen from 1376 and Queen of Bohemia from 1378 until her death, by her marriage with the Luxembourg king Wenceslaus.

Life[edit]

Presumably born in The Hague, Joanna was the second child of Duke Albert I of Bavaria (1336–1404), by his first wife Margaret (1342–1386), a daughter of the Piast duke Louis I of Brzeg. Her siblings included Count William VI of Holland, Johanna Sophia of Bavaria and Margaret of Bavaria. Her paternal grandparents were Emperor Louis IV and his consort Countess Margaret II of Hainaut.

Joanna's itinerary to the Prague court, 1370

From August 1370 Joanna travelled to Prague, where she was married on 29 September 1370 to Wenceslaus, son and heir of Emperor Charles IV by his third wife, Anna of Swidnica. At the time of the wedding, Johanna was eight years' old, and Wenceslaus was nine. The emperor had to obtain a papal dispense due to the close relatedness of the couple. The marriage was not consummated until 1376.

The conjugal bond suited the Luxembourg ruler to strengthen ties with the Bavarian duke, who held extensive estates in the Low Countries; nevertheless, Joanna was not the first choice of a bride for Wenceslaus. Charles IV had initially planned for him to marry the Hohenzollern princess Elisabeth of Nuremberg, but the marriage never took place, since Elisabeth married Rupert of the Palatinate instead.

Charles had his son elected King of the Romans in 1376 and upon his death in 1378, Wenceslaus also inherited the Kingdom of Bohemia. With Wenceslaus' accession, Joanna became Queen of both Bohemia and Germany. She also became Electress of Brandenburg as successor to Wenceslaus' half-sister Catherine.

Death[edit]

The marriage lasted for sixteen years, however the couple had no children (it is said that Wenceslaus was infertile due to his alcoholism). Joanna died in 1386 at the age of twenty-three or twenty-four,[1] allegedly from the consequences of an attack by Wenceslaus' hunting dogs.

Wenceslaus gave Johanna a magnificent funeral, which took place at Žebrák castle. According to custom, Joanna's body was exposed for a few days in Prague churches and was later buried in Prague Castle.

Wenceslaus later married Joanna's cousin, Sofia of Bavaria, but this marriage also bore no issue. Wenceslaus was deposed from the throne of Germany in 1400 and was succeeded by Elisabeth of Nuremberg's husband, Rupert.

Ancestors[edit]

References and Sources[edit]

German royalty
Preceded by
Elizabeth of Pomerania
Queen consort of Germany
10 June 1376 – 31 December 1386
Vacant
Title next held by
Sofia of Bavaria
Queen consort of Bohemia
29 November 1378 – 31 December 1386
German nobility
Preceded by
Katharine of Bohemia
Electress consort of Brandenburg
2 October 1373 – 29 November 1378
Succeeded by
Mary of Hungary
Preceded by
Joanna of Brabant
Duchess consort of Luxembourg
29 November 1378 – 31 December 1386
Vacant
Title next held by
Agnes of Opole