Kunigunde of Bohemia

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Kunigunde of Bohemia
Duchess consort of Mazovia
Tenure 1291–1313
Born January 1265
Died 27 November 1321 (aged 56)
Monastery of St. George, Prague
Burial Prague
Spouse Boleslaus II of Masovia
Issue Wenceslaus of Plock
Euphrosyne, Duchess of Oświęcim
Bertha of Mazovia
House House of Přemyslid (by birth)
House of Piast (by marriage)
Father Ottokar II of Bohemia
Mother Kunigunda of Slavonia

Kunigunde of Bohemia (January 1265 – 27 November 1321) was the eldest daughter of Ottokar II of Bohemia and his second wife, Kunigunda of Slavonia. She was a member of the Přemyslid dynasty. She was Princess of Masovia by her marriage to Boleslaus II of Masovia and later became abbess of the St. George's Convent at Prague Castle.


Kunigunde was the second of four children born to her father from his second marriage. Ottokar had been married to Margaret, Duchess of Austria, but had had no children from this marriage.


Kunigunde was first betrothed to Hartmann of Germany in 1277,[1] a son of Rudolph I of Germany and his first wife Gertrude of Hohenburg. The marriage was to create peace between Germany and Bohemia. However the engagement ended within a year. No treaty was made by this marriage, however in 1285, Kunigunde's brother, Wenceslaus married Hertmann's sister, Judith of Habsburg. Kunigunde's sister Agnes married Rudolf II, Duke of Austria, brother of Hartmann.

With no other proposals of marriage, Kunigunde entered Order of Poor Ladies in Prague and became a nun. Kunignude remained there for a couple of years until her brother, King Wenceslaus took her out to be married to Boleslaus II of Masovia.[2] Wenceslaus wanted Kunigunde to marry Boleslaus for political reasons soon after the death of Leszek II the Black in Poland.


Wenceslaus had claimed the throne of Poland, this caused a civil war because other Polish nobles and citizens wished for Władysław I the Elbow-high to become King of Poland. Wenceslaus needed help to keep Poland so he decided to marry Kunigunde off to Boleslaus which would create an alliance to help Wenceslaus remain King of Poland.

Kunigunde and Boleslaus married in 1291. She was Boleslaus' second wife, after the death of his first wife Sophia of Lithuania in 1288. From Sophia, Boleslaus had had three children: Bolesław, Siemowit II and Anna.

The marriage had left Wenceslaus in a more comfortable position. During Władysław's siege on Sieradz, Wenceslaus and Boleslaus fought together against him.

Boleslaw and Kunigunde had two children:[2]

  1. Wenceslaus of Płock (ca. 1293 - 1336), became Duke of Plock[2]
  2. Euphrosyne (b. ca. 1292 - d. 26 December 1328/29),[2] married Władysław of Oświęcim and had issue

The alliance between Wenceslaus and Boleslaw did not last for the whole marriage. Boleslaw's brother Konrad had died without surviving children. He left some of his land to his younger brother but the rest went to King Wenceslaus. Boleslaw wanted the other lands which had been left to Wenceslaus. Wenceslaus broke his alliance with Boleslaw. Due to this, Boleslaw did not support Wenceslaus' rule in Poland and sent Kunigunde back to Prague, they were divorced in 1302.[2]

Later life[edit]

Kunigunde as a nun

When Kunigunde returned to Prague she returned to her religious life as a nun. She joined the monastery of St. George, later becoming abbess.[2]

Wencelaus had died in 1305 and his own son, Wenceslaus III of Bohemia became King of Bohemia and Poland. Wenceslaus II had married Elisabeth Richeza of Poland after the death of Judith of Habsburg, to create an alliance with some Polish nobles, so he could remain King. While on campaign in Poland, the sixteen-year-old Wenceslaus III was assassinated. Władysław I the Elbow-high became King of Poland (crowned in 1320).

Kunigunde fostered her niece, the orphaned Elisabeth of Bohemia, who went to live with her in the Monastery of St. George. Kunigunde acted as a big influence in Elisabeth's life. Elisabeth then went to live with her elder sister, Anna, Elisabeth Richeza and Wenceslaus III's widow Viola Elisabeth of Cieszyn.

On 20 April 1313, Boleslaw died and divided his estate amongst his three sons. Kunigunde's son, Wenceslaus received the County of Plock.

Elisabeth of Bohemia went on to marry John of Luxembourg and became Queen of Bohemia.

Kunigunde died 27 November 1321 aged fifty-six, she was outlived by her eldest two children: Wenceslaus and Euphrosyne.

Kunigunde was great-grandmother to Jadwiga of Żagań, wife of Casimir III of Poland. Jadwiga was mother of Anna of Poland, Countess of Celje.

As abbes Kunigunde commissioned a luxurious illuminated manuscript, which is known today as the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.



  1. ^ (DE)1308: Eine Topographie historischer Gleichzeitigkeit, ed. Andreas Speer, David Wirmer, (Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co., 2010), 775.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Alfred Thomas, Reading Women in Late Medieval Europe: Anne of Bohemia and Chaucer’s Female Audience, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 32.