Judith of Hohenstaufen

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Judith of Hohenstaufen
Grave stone of Judith of Hohenstaufen
Spouse(s) Louis II, Landgrave of Thuringia
Noble family House of Hohenstaufen
Father Frederick II, Duke of Swabia
Mother Agnes of Saarbrücken
Born c. 1133/1134
Died 7 July 1191(1191-07-07)
Buried Reinhardsbrunn

Landgravine Jutta Claricia of Thuringia, also known as Judith of Hohenstaufen or Judith of Swabia (c. 1133/1134 – 7 July 1191) was a daughter of Duke Frederick II of Swabia and a half-sister of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. She was baptized as Judith, but was commonly called Jutta or Guta. Sometimes the Latinate form Clementia was used, or Claritia or Claricia.


In 1150, Judith married Landgrave Louis II of Thuringia. This marriage was intended to cement the relationship between the Ludowingians dynasty and the House of Hohenzollern and help Emperor Barbarossa in his conflict with Duke Henry the Lion of the House of Guelph.

In 1168, Judith began the construction of Runneburg Castle in Weißensee. The neighbouring Counts of Biechlingen objected, and protested to Emperor Barbarossa. However, the emperor sided with his half-sister and rejected the protests. Runneburg Castle was situated halfway between Wartburg Castle and Neuenburg Castle and became the residence of the Landgraves of Thuringia. Later during the conflicts between Germany's most powerful dynasties, the strategically located Runneburg Castle became one of the most important castles in the area.

Judith survived her husband and her eldest son Louis III. She died on 7 July 1191 and was buried in Reinhardsbrunn monastery next to her husband.

Her name is still omnipresent in Weißensee, which shows how highly she was regarded during her lifetime.

Grave stone[edit]

Judith's grave stone [1] was moved from Reinhardsbrunn to the choir of the St. George church in Eisenach. It was created in the 14th century, well after her death. It must have been installed after the fire of 1292.

The Landgravine is depicted holding a lap dog in her left arm, while her right hand holds a scepter. A wide cantilevered canopy, held up by two angels, is extended over her head. The angels appear to sit on a pillow behind her head. The inscription reads S. SOROR FRIDERICI INPERATORIS ("the sister of Emperor Frederick").

Due to the canopy, this grave stone was larger than those of the other Landgraves of Thuringia (which are also on display in the St. George church in Eisenach). It must have made her grave very visible, even when the grave stone was part of the church floor. The presence of the Emperor's sister in the family tree introduced additional honor, which is why her family background was emphasized in the inscription.

Marriage and issue[edit]

In 1150, Judith married Louis II, Landgrave of Thuringia. They had the following children:


  • Helga Wäß: Grabplatte der Landgräfin Jutta, in: Form und Wahrnehmung mitteldeutscher Gedächtnisskulptur im 14. Jahrhundert. Ein Beitrag zu mittelalterlichen Grabmonumenten, Epitaphen und Kuriosa in Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Thüringen, Nord-Hessen, Ost-Westfalen und Südniedersachsen, vol. 2: Katalog ausgewählter Objekte vom Hohen Mittelalter bis zum Anfang des 15. Jahrhunderts, Tenea Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-86504-159-0, catalogue item #794. The grave plates of the Landgraves of Thuringia are on pp. 531–542.

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