List of rulers of Bavaria
The following is a list of rulers during the history of Bavaria. Bavaria was ruled by several dukes and kings, partitioned and reunited, under several dynasties. Since 1949, Bavaria has been a democratic state in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Rulers of Bavaria
Ducal Bavaria (also known as the "Old Stem duchy")
Around 548 the kings of the Franks placed the border region of Bavaria under the administration of a duke — possibly Frankish or possibly chosen from amongst the local leading families — who was supposed to act as a regional governor for the Frankish king. The first duke we know of, and likely the first, was Gariwald, or Garibald I, a member of the powerful Agilolfing family. This was the beginning of a series of Agilolfing dukes that was to last until 788.
|Name||Image||Title||Start term||End term||Part||Note|
|Garibald I||Duke of Bavaria||555 (c.)||591||Some sources call him "King of the Bavarians".|
|Tassilo I||Duke of Bavaria||591 (c.)||610||Named rex (king) at his ascension.|
|Garibald II||Duke of Bavaria||610 (c.)||630|
|Theodo||Duke of Bavaria||680 (c.)||716 (?)||By the time of Theodo, who died in 716 or 717, the Bavarian duchy had achieved complete independence from the Frankish kings. Theodo's sons divided the duchy, but by 719 the rule had returned to Grimoald.|
|Theodbert||Duke||702 (c.)||719||Salzburg||Son of Theodo.|
|Theobald||Duke||711 (c.)||719||Parts of Bavaria||Son of Theodo.|
|Tassilo II||Duke||716 (c.)||719||Passau||Son of Theodo.|
|Grimoald||Duke||716 (c.)||725||Freising||Son of Theodo, later ruling all of Bavaria.|
|Hugbert||Duke||725||737||Son of Theudbert. In 725(?), Charles Martel, ruler in fact though not in name of the Frankish realm, reasserted royal supremacy over Bavaria, defeating and killing Grimoald and annexing portions of Bavaria during the rule of Hugbert.|
|Odilo||737||748||Son of Gotfrid.|
|Tassilo III||Duke of Bavaria||748||788||In 757 Tassilo III recognized the suzerainty of the Frankish kings Pippin III and did homage to Charlemagne in 781, and again in 787, while pursued an independent policy. In 788, Charlemagne had Tassilo sentenced to death on a charge of treason. Tassilo, granted pardon, entered a monastery and formally renounced his duchy at Frankfurt am Main in 794.|
Carolingian Dynasty and Dominion from the Holy Roman Empire
The Kings (later Emperors) of the Franks now assumed complete control, placing Bavaria under the rule of non-hereditary governors and civil servants. They were not Dukes but rather Kings of Bavaria. The Emperor Louis the Pious divided control of the Empire among his sons, and the divisions became permanent in the decades following his death in 840. The Frankish rulers controlled Bavaria as part of their possessions.
|Name||Image||Title||Start term||End term||Part||Note|
|Gerold of Vinzgouw||Prefect of Bavaria||794||799||Udalriching||Udalriching interregnum. Appointed Baioariæ præfectus by Charlemagne. Died in battle.|
|Louis I the Pious||Emperor||817||829||In 817, Louis bestowed Bavaria upon his then-youngest son, Louis the German.|
|Louis II the German||King of Bavaria||817||865||Louis was to rule as King of Bavaria, subordinate to his father, until the latter's death in 840. From 843, Bavaria was merged in Louis the German's Kingdom of East Francia. In 864, Louis the German gave control of Bavaria to his son Carloman, and died in 876. Louis' two younger sons, Louis and Charles — the latter of whom briefly recovered control of all the Frankish possessions — ruled Bavaria in succession after Carloman.|
|Carloman||King of Bavaria||864||880||Eldest son of Louis the German.|
|Louis III the Younger||King of Bavaria||880||882||Son of Louis the German.|
|Charles the Fat||King of Bavaria||882||887||Youngest son of Louis the German.|
|Arnulf of Carinthia||King of Bavaria||887||899||Son of Carloman.|
|Louis IV the Child||King of Bavaria||899||911||Son of Arnulf of Carinthia.|
|Engeldeo||Margrave of Bavaria||890||895||Non-dynastic. Deprived of his title marchio Baioariorum and replaced by Luitpold.|
Ducal Bavaria (also known as the "Younger Stem duchy")
Ruled by an array of dukes from an array of rivaling houses, individually appointed to office
Luitpolding dynasty, 911–947
Luitpold, founder of the Luitpolding dynasty, was not a Duke of Bavaria but a Margrave of Carinthia under the rule of Louis the Child. Frankish power had waned in the region due to Hungarian attacks, allowing the local rulers greater independence. Luitpold's son, Arnulf, claimed the title of Duke (implying full autonomy) in 911 and was recognized as such by the German King Henry the Fowler in 920.
German kings, 947–1070
From 947 until the 11th century, the kings of Germany repeatedly transferred Bavaria into different hands (including their own), never allowing any one family to establish itself. Bavaria was ruled by a series of short-lasting, mostly unrelated dynasties.
Houses of Welf and Babenberg, 1070–1180
In 1070, Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor deposed duke Otto, granting the duchy instead to Welf I, Duke of Bavaria, a member of the Italo-Bavarian family of Este. Welf I subsequently quarreled with King Henry and was deprived of his duchy for nineteen years, during which it was directly administered by the German crown. Welf I recovered the duchy in 1096, and was succeeded by his sons Welf II and Henry IX — the latter was succeeded by his son Henry X, who also became Duke of Saxony.
|Name||Image||Title||Start term||End term||House||Part||Note|
|Luitpold||Margrave of Bavaria||895||907||Luitpolding|
|Arnulf the Bad||Duke of Bavaria||907||920||Luitpolding||Son of Luitpold.
Arnulf the Bad claimed the title of Duke — implying full autonomy — in 911, and was recognized as such by the German King Henry the Fowler, in 920.
|Eberhard||Duke of Bavaria||937||938||Luitpolding|
|Berthold||Duke of Bavaria||938||947||Luitpolding||Younger son of Luitpold.
The German King Otto I reasserted central authority, banishing Arnulf's son Eberhard and re-granting the title to Berthold, a younger son of Luitpold.
|Henry I||Duke of Bavaria||947||955||Ottonian||Son of Henry the Fowler.
On Berthold's death, Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, gave the duchy to his own brother Henry (I), who was also Arnulf the Bad's son-in-law.
|Henry II the Quarrelsome||Duke of Bavaria||955||976||Ottonian||Henry II made war upon his cousin, Emperor Otto II, and was deprived of his duchy in 976 in favor of his cousin Otto, Duke of Swabia (who now acquired two dukedoms).|
|Otto I||Duke of Bavaria||976||982||Ottonian|
|Henry III the Younger||Duke of Bavaria||983||985||Luitpolding||Bavaria was given to Berthold's son Henry III, briefly restoring the Luitpolding dynasty. Henry III exchanged Bavaria for Carinthia, and Henry II received Bavaria again.|
|Henry II the Quarrelsome||Duke of Bavaria||985||995||Ottonian||Restored|
|Henry IV||Duke of Bavaria||995||1004||Ottonian||Son of Henry II the Quarrelsome.|
|Henry V||Duke of Bavaria||1004||1009||Luxemburg||Son of Siegfried of Luxembourg.|
|Henry IV||Duke of Bavaria||1009||1017||Ottonian||Henry IV reasserted direct control.|
|Henry V||Duke of Bavaria||1017||1026||Luxemburg||Son of Siegfried of Luxembourg.
Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany, gave Bavaria to his son Henry VI after the death of Henry V in 1026.
|Henry VI the Black||Duke of Bavaria||1026||1042||Salian||Son of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Later Henry was elected as Holy Roman Emperor Henry III, and became King of Germany in 1039.
|Henry VII||Duke of Bavaria||1042||1047||Luxemburg||Son of Frederick of Luxembourg.
In 1042, Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, granted the duchy to Henry VII, Count of Luxemburg, nephew of Henry V.
|Conrad I (Kuno)||Duke of Bavaria||1049||1053||Ezzonen||Son of Liudolf of Lotharingia.
After Henry VII's death, the dukedom was vacant for a couple of years. Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, then gave the duchy to Kuno, Count of Zütphen, in 1049. Kuno was deposed in 1053.
|Henry VIII||Duke of Bavaria||1053||1054||Salian||Son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor.
During his reign in Bavaria Henry VIII was a minor (born 1050). In 1056 he became King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor as Henry IV in 1084.
|Conrad II||Duke of Bavaria||1054||1055||Salian||(minor, born 1052, died 1055) Son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Henry VIII||Duke of Bavaria||1055||1061||Salian||(minor: born 1050) Son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor. Henry VIII became King of Germany (1056) and Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor in 1084.|
|Otto II||Duke of Bavaria||1061||1070||Nordheim||In 1061 Empress Agnes — the 11-year-old King Henry IV's mother and regent — entrusted the duchy to Otto of Nordheim.|
|Welf I||Duke of Bavaria||1070||1077||Welf||Welf I subsequently quarreled with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor and was deprived of his duchy for nineteen years, during which it was directly administered by the German crown.|
|Henry VIII||Duke of Bavaria||1077||1096||Salian||(minor: born 1050) Son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor. Henry VIII became King of Germany (1056) and Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor in 1084.|
|Welf I||Duke of Bavaria||1096||1101||Welf||Welf I recovered the duchy in 1096.|
|Welf II||Duke of Bavaria||1101||1120||Welf||Son of Welf I|
|Henry IX the Black||Duke of Bavaria||1120||1126||Welf||Son of Welf I.
|Henry X the Proud||Duke of Bavaria||1126||1138||Welf||Son of Henry IX the Black.|
|Leopold I||Duke of Bavaria||1139||1141||Babenberg||When Leopold died, Conrad III of Germany resumed the duchy and granted it to Leopold's brother Henry XI.|
|Henry XI Jasomirgott||Duke of Bavaria||1143||1156||Babenberg||Brother of Leopold.|
|Henry XII the Lion||Duke of Bavaria||1156||1180||Welf||When Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, became king of Germany, he restored Bavaria to the Welf line in the person of Henry X's son, Henry XII the Lion, Duke of Saxony.|
Ducal Bavaria (Hereditary dukes)
In 1180, Henry XII the Lion and Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, fell out. The emperor consequently dispossessed the duke and gave his territory to Otto I Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach. From now on, Bavaria remained in the possession of various branches of the family for 738 years until the end of the First World War.
First partition, 1253–1340
In 1253, on Otto II's death, Bavaria was divided between his sons. Henry became Duke of Lower Bavaria and Louis of Upper Bavaria. From this point until the beginning of the 16th century, the territories were frequently divided between brothers, making the Dukes difficult to list.
In Lower Bavaria, Henry XIII was succeeded by his three sons, Otto III, Louis III, and Stephen I ruling jointly. Otto III's successor in the joint dukedom was his son Henry XV. Stephen's successors were his sons Otto IV and Henry XIV. Henry XIV's son was John I.
In Upper Bavaria, Louis II was succeeded by his sons Rudolf I and Louis IV. The latter was elected King of Germany in 1314. After John I's death in 1340, Louis IV unified the Bavarian duchy.
The dukes of Upper Bavaria served also as Counts Palatinate of the Rhine. In 1329 Louis IV released the Palatinate of the Rhine including the Bavarian Upper Palatinate to the sons of Rudolf I. The Upper Palatinate would be reunited with Bavaria in 1623, the Lower Palatinate in 1777.
Second partition 1349–1503
From 1349 until 1503 the second partition of Bavaria took place. In 1349, the six sons of Louis IV partitioned Bavaria into Upper and Lower Bavaria again. In 1353, Lower Bavaria was partitioned into Bavaria-Landshut and Bavaria-Straubing. Upper Bavaria was partitioned between Bavaria-Straubing and Bavaria-Landshut in 1363. After the death of Stephan II in 1392, Bavaria-Landshut was broken into three duchies, John II gained Bavaria-Munich, Frederick, Duke of Bavaria-Landshut received a smaller Bavaria-Landshut, and in Bavaria-Ingolstadt ruled Stephen III, Duke of Bavaria.
Following the Landshut War (1503–1505), the Duke of Bavaria-Munich Albert IV the Wise became ruler of Bavaria. In 1506 Albert decreed that the duchy should pass according to the rules of primogeniture.
House of Wittelsbach
Partitions of Bavaria under Wittelsbach rule
|Duchy of Bavaria|
|Duchy of Bavaria|
(divided among the other duchies)
(divided among the other duchies)
|Duchy of Bavaria|
Table of rulers
(Note: Here the numbering of the dukes is the same for all duchies, as all were titled Dukes of Bavaria, despite of the different parts of land and its particular numbering of the rulers. The dukes are numbered by the year of their succession.)
|Otto III the Redhead||1117||1180–1183||11 July 1183||Bavaria||Agnes of Loon
|In 1180 Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor gave Bavaria to Otto I Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach.|
|Agnes of Loon
|1150||1183–1189||1191||Bavaria||Otto III the Redhead
|Regent on behalf of her son, Louis I. She managed to secure the inheritance of her son.|
|Louis I the Kelheimer||23 December 1173||1189–1231||15 September 1231||Bavaria||Ludmilla of Bohemia
|Son of Otto III. Louis obtained the Palatinate of the Rhine in 1214. So Louis I served also as Count Palatine of the Rhine. He was assassinated 1231.|
|Otto IV the Illustrious||7 April 1206||1231–1253||29 November 1253||Bavaria||Agnes of the Palatinate
|Otto IV served also as Count Palatine of the Rhine. On Otto IV's death, Bavaria was divided between his sons. Henry became duke of Lower Bavaria, and Louis of Upper Bavaria. From this point until the beginning of the 16th century, the territories were frequently divided between brothers.|
|Henry XIII||19 November 1235||1253–1290||3 February 1290||Lower Bavaria||Elizabeth of Hungary
|Son of Otto IV. After the partition of 1253, received Lower Bavaria.|
|Louis II the Strict||13 April 1229||1253–1294||2 February 1294||Upper Bavaria||Maria of Brabant
2 August 1254
Anna of Głogów
Matilda of Austria
24 October 1273
|Son of Otto IV. After the partition of 1253, received Upper Bavaria.|
|Otto V||11 February 1261||1290–1312||9 November 1312||Lower Bavaria||Catherine of Austria
Anna of Głogów
18 May 1309
|Sons of Henry XIII, ruled jointly. In 1305 Otto became also King of Hungary and Croatia, as grandson of Béla IV of Hungary.|
|Louis III||9 October 1269||1290–1296||9 October 1296||Lower Bavaria||Isabella of Lorraine|
|Stephen I||14 March 1271||1290–1310||10 December 1310||Lower Bavaria||Judith of Świdnica-Jawor|
|Matilda of Austria (regent)||1253||1294–1296||23 December 1304||Upper Bavaria||Louis II the Strict
24 October 1273
|Widow of Louis II. Regent on behalf of her sons.|
|Rudolph I the Stammerer||4 October 1274||1296–1317||12 August 1319||Upper Bavaria||Matilda of Nassau
1 September 1294
|Ruled jointly with his brother Louis IV. In 1317 Rudolph abdicated of his rights to his brother, who in 1328 was elected Holy Roman Emperor, and in 1340 reunited Bavaria.|
|Henry XIV the Elder||29 September 1305||1312–1339||1 September 1339||Lower Bavaria||Margaret of Bohemia
12 August 1328
|Sons of Stephen I (Henry XIV and Otto VI) and Otto V (Henry XV), ruled jointly.|
|Otto VI||3 January 1307||1312–1334||14 December 1334||Lower Bavaria||Richardis of Jülich|
|Henry XV the Natternberger||28 August 1312||1312–1333||18 June 1333||Lower Bavaria||Anna of Austria|
between 1326 and 1328
|John I the Child||29 November 1329||1339–1340||20 December 1340||Lower Bavaria||Anna of Upper Bavaria
18 April 1339
|Left no male heirs, which allowed his cousin (and brother-in-law) Louis to reunite the Bavarian lands.|
|Louis IV the Bavarian||5 April 1282||1296–1340||11 October 1347||Upper Bavaria||Beatrice of Świdnica-Jawor
14 October 1308
Margaret II, Countess of Holland-Hainaut
26 February 1324
|Co-ruled with his brother Rudolf I until 1317 — then alone. Louis IV was elected King of Germany in 1314. In the Treaty of Pavia (1329) Louis IV released the Palatinate of the Rhine including the Bavarian Upper Palatinate to the sons of Rudolf I. After John I the Child's death in 1340, Louis IV unified the Bavarian duchy.|
|Louis V the Brandenburger||May 1315||1347–1349||18 September 1361||Bavaria||Margaret of Denmark
Margaret, Countess of Tyrol
10 February 1342
|The six sons of Louis IV, ruled jointly until 1349, when they divided the land: Louis V, Louis VI and Otto VII kept Upper Bavaria; William, Albert and Stephen Lower Bavaria. In 1351 Louis VI and Otto gave up their inheritance in Bavaria, in exchange of the Electoral dignity in Brandenburg. Having lost the Electorate of Brandenburg in 1373, Otto returned to Bavaria to claim new inheritance, and shared the part of Stephen II's sons (his nephews) in Landshut.
In Lower Bavaria, the three brothers divided the land again in 1353: Stephen kept Landshut, William and Albert shared Straubing, and from 1389 the two shared Straubing also with Albert I's son, Albert II.
|Louis VI the Roman||7 May 1328||1347–1349||17 May 1365||Bavaria||Cunigunde of Poland|
Ingeborg of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
|Otto VII the Lazy||1340/42||1347–1349||15 November 1379||Bavaria||Catherine of Bohemia|
19 March 1366
|Stephen II the Representative||1319||1347–1349||13 May 1375||Bavaria||Elisabeth of Sicily|
27 June 1328
Margaret of Nuremberg
14 February 1359
|William I the Mad||12 May 1330||1347–1349||15 April 1389||Bavaria||Matilda of England|
|Albert I||25 July 1336||1347–1349||13 December 1404||Bavaria||Margaret of Brzeg|
after 19 July 1353
Margaret of Clèves
|Albert II||1368||1389–1397||21 January 1397||Bavaria-Straubing||Unmarried|
|Meinhard I||9 February 1344||1361–1363||13 January 1363||Upper Bavaria||Margaret of Austria
4 September 1359
|Left no male descendants. After his death Upper Bavaria was divided between Bavaria-Landshut and Bavaria-Straubing.|
|Definitively annexed by Bavaria-Landshut (1/2) and Bavaria-Straubing (1/2)|
|Frederick I the Wise||1339||1375–1393||4 December 1393||Bavaria-Landshut||Anna of Neuffen
2 September 1381
|Ruled jointly. Shared rule, until 1379, with their uncle Otto VII. In 1392 the brothers divided the land once more. Frederick retained Landshut, Stephen kept Ingolstadt and John received Munich.|
|Stephen III the Magnificent||1337||1375–1392||26 September 1413||Bavaria-Landshut||Taddea Visconti|
13 October 1364
Anna of Neuffen
16 January 1401
|John II||1341||1375–1392||14 June/1 July 1397||Bavaria-Landshut||Catherine of Gorizia|
|Henry XVI the Rich||1386||1393–1450||30 July 1450||Bavaria-Landshut||Margaret of Austria
25 November 1412
|Annexed Ingolstadt in 1445.|
|Ernest||1373||1397–1438||14 June/1 July 1397||Bavaria-Landshut-Munich||Elisabetta Visconti
26 January 1395
Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm
|William III||1375||1397–1435||12 September 1435||Bavaria-Landshut-Munich||Margaret of Cleves
|William II||5 April 1365||1404–1417||31 May 1417||Bavaria-Straubing||Margaret of Burgundy
12 April 1385
|Eldest son of Albert I.|
|Louis VII the Bearded||1368||1413–1443||1 May 1447||Bavaria-Landshut-Ingolstadt||Anne de Bourbon-La Marche
1 October 1402
Catherine of Alençon
|Imprisoned by his son, who was allied with Henry XVI. Died in prison.|
|Jacqueline||15 July 1401||1417–1432||8 October 1436||Bavaria-Straubing||John, Dauphin of France
6 August 1415
John IV, Duke of Brabant
10 March 1418
(dubious annullment in 1422)
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
7 March 1423
(secretly; dubious annullment in 1428)
Frank van Borssele
|Contested by her uncle, John III In 1432 abdicated of all her titles and lands. Straubing therefore was divided between its neighbours.|
|John III the Pitiless (opponent)||1374||1417–1425||6 January 1425||Bavaria-Straubing||Elizabeth I, Duchess of Luxembourg
|Son of Albert I. Contested Jacqueline until his death 1425.|
|Definitively annexed by the remaining Bavarian duchies|
|Albert III||27 March 1401||1438–1460||29 February 1460||Bavaria-Landshut-Munich||Agnes Bernauer
Anna of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
22 January 1437
|Son of Ernest.|
|Louis VIII the Hunchback||1 September 1403||1443–1445||7 April 1445||Bavaria-Landshut-Ingolstadt||Unmarried||After his death Ingolstadt was annexed by Landshut.|
|Definitively annexed by Bavaria-Landshut|
|Louis IX the Rich||23 February 1417||1450–1479||18 January 1479||Bavaria-Landshut||Amalia of Saxony
21 March 1452
|John IV||4 October 1437||1460–1463||18 November 1463||Bavaria-Landshut-Munich||Unmarried||Son of Albert III, ruled jointly with his brothers Sigismund and Albert IV.|
|Sigismund||26 July 1439||1460–1467||1 February 1501||Bavaria-Landshut-Munich||Unmarried||In 1467, Sigismund created a smaller duchy with its center in Dachau, but left no descendants, and this duchy was merged again in Bavaria-Munich after his death.|
|Definitively annexed by Bavaria-Munich|
|George I the Rich||15 August 1455||1479–1503||1 December 1503||Bavaria-Landshut||Hedwig of Poland
14 November 1475
|Left no male descendants at his death. His duchy was annexed to Bavaria-Munich, which reunited the Bavarian duchy.|
|Albert IV the Wise||15 December 1447||1460–1503||18 March 1508||Bavaria-Landshut-Munich||Kunigunde of Austria
3 January 1487
|Co-ruled with his brothers John IV and Sigismund. Reunited the duchy in 1503. In 1506 Albert decreed that the duchy should pass according to the rules of primogeniture.|
|William IV the Steadfast||13 November 1493||1508–1550||7 March 1550||Bavaria||Jakobaea of Baden
5 October 1522
|Sons of Albert IV, the last Bavarian pair of brothers ruling together.|
|Louis X||18 September 1495||1516–1545||22 April 1545||Bavaria||Unmarried|
|Albert V the Magnanimous||29 February 1528||1550–1579||24 October 1579||Bavaria||Anna of Austria
4 July 1546
|William V the Pious||29 September 1548||1579–1597||7 February 1626||Bavaria||Renata of Lorraine
22 February 1568
|Maximilian I the Great||17 April 1573||1597–1623||27 September 1651||Bavaria||Elisabeth of Lorraine
9 February 1595
Maria Anna of Austria
15 July 1635
|Son of William V. Maximilian I, was an ally of Emperor Ferdinand II in the Thirty Years' War. When the Elector of the Palatinate, Frederick V, head of a senior branch of the Wittelsbachs, became involved in the war against the Emperor, he was stripped of his Imperial offices and the Prince-elector title. Maximilian I was granted the Electorate of the Palatinate in 1623.|
Electorate of Bavaria
|Name||Image||Title||Start term||End term||House||Note|
|Maximilian I||Prince-elector of Bavaria||25 February 1623||27 September 1651||Wittelsbach||In 1648, Frederick of the Palatinate's heir was restored to his Rhenish territory — but not to the Oberpfalz ceded to Bavaria — together with a new Electorate; Maximilian retained the Electorate granted him in 1623.|
|Ferdinand Maria||Prince-elector of Bavaria||27 September 1651||26 May 1679||Wittelsbach||Son of Maximilian I. 1651–1654 under regency of his uncle Albert VI of Bavaria.|
|Maximilian II Emanuel||Prince-elector of Bavaria||26 May 1679||26 February 1726||Wittelsbach||Son of Ferdinand Maria and Princess Henriette Adelaide of Savoy.|
Maximilian II took part in the War of the Spanish Succession on the side of France, against the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. He was accordingly forced to flee Bavaria following the Battle of Blenheim and deprived of his Electorate on 29 April 1706. He regained his Electorate in 1714 by the Peace of Baden and ruled until 1726.
|Prince-elector of Bavaria||26 February 1726||20 January 1745||Wittelsbach||Son of Maximilian II Emanuel.|
Charles Albert once again took on the House of Habsburg in the War of the Austrian Succession, again in combination with France, succeeding so far as to be elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1742 (as Charles VII). However, the Austrians occupied Bavaria (1742–1744), and the Emperor died shortly after returning to Munich.
|Maximilian III Joseph||Prince-elector of Bavaria||20 January 1745||30 December 1777||Wittelsbach||Son of Charles Albert.|
Maximilian III, who had no children, was the last of the direct Bavarian Wittelsbach line descended from Louis IV. He was succeeded by the Elector of the Palatinate, Charles Theodore, who thereby regained their old titles for the senior Wittelsbach line — descended from Louis IV's older brother Rudolf I.
|Elector of the Palatinate||30 December 1777||16 February 1799||Wittelsbach||Son of John Christian, Count of Palatinate-Sulzbach and Marie Anne Henriëtte Leopoldine de La Tour d'Auvergne.|
Distant cousin of Maximilian III; Elector Palatine from 1743.
Charles Theodore was also childless, and was succeeded by a distant cousin, the Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, Maximilian IV Joseph — later King Maximilian I.
|Maximilian IV Joseph||Elector of the Palatinate||16 February 1799||6 August 1806||Wittelsbach||Son of Count Palatine Frederick Michael of Zweibrücken.|
Distant cousin of Charles Theodore; Count Palatine of Zweibrücken from 1795.
In the chaos of the wars of the French Revolution, the old order of the Holy Roman Empire collapsed. In the course of these events, Bavaria became once again the ally of France, and Maximilian IV Joseph became King Maximilian I of Bavaria — whilst remaining Prince-Elector and Arch-steward of the Holy Roman Empire until 6 August 1806, when the Holy Roman Empire was abolished.
Kingdom of Bavaria
In 1805 under the Peace of Pressburg between the Napoleonic France and the Holy Roman Empire several duchies were elevated to kingdoms. The Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria held the title King of Bavaria from 1806 until 1918. The prince-elector of Bavaria, Maximilian IV Joseph formally assumed the title King Maximilian I of Bavaria on 1 January 1806. The well-known so called Märchenkönig (Fairy tale king) Ludwig II constructed Neuschwanstein Castle, Herrenchiemsee, and Linderhof Palace during his reign (1864–1886), threatening not only to go bankrupt in person, but also to bankrupt the country in the process. In 1918 Ludwig III lost his throne in the German Revolution of 1918–1919.
|Name||Image||Title||Start term||End term||House||Note|
|Maximilian I||King of Bavaria||1 January 1806||13 October 1825||Wittelsbach||see above|
|Ludwig I||King of Bavaria||13 October 1825||20 March 1848||Wittelsbach||Son of Maximilian I Joseph.
Abdicated in the Revolutions of 1848
|Maximilian II||King of Bavaria||20 March 1848||10 March 1864||Wittelsbach||Son of Ludwig I|
|Ludwig II||King of Bavaria||10 March 1864||13 June 1886||Wittelsbach||Son of Maximilian II|
|Otto||King of Bavaria||13 June 1886||5 November 1913||Wittelsbach||Brother of Ludwig II and son of Maximilian II.
From a mathematical, calendrical point of view, his marked the longest "reign" amongst the Kings of Bavaria. However, Otto was mentally ill since teenhood and throughout all of his later life, hence the royal functions had to be carried out by the following princes regent:
|Ludwig III||King of Bavaria||5 November 1913||13 November 1918||Wittelsbach||Cousin of Otto, son of Prince Luitpold and grandson of Ludwig I.
Prince regent from 1912 until 1913. Declared King of Bavaria following a controversial change of the constitution, discharging his cousin Otto from "office". Lost the throne in the German Revolution of 1918–1919 at the end of World War I. Marks the end of 738 years of uninterrupted Wittelsbach rule over Bavaria.
In 1918 — at the end of the First World War in the German Revolution of 1918–1919 Bavaria became a democratic republic within the Weimar Republic; the name for the period of Germany from 1919 to 1933. Since then the rulers of Bavaria are minister presidents.
Note that Dukes called Louis are usually numbered from Louis the Kelheimer (r. 1189–1231), although four Dukes of Bavaria had been called Louis before that. The same applies to Dukes called Otto, who are sumetimes renumbered starting with Otto III, the first Wittelsbach Duke of Bavaria. The highest number has been used in this chart to minimise confusion, with one exception: Ludwig is the German for Louis, but Kings Ludwig I, II and III are not numbered XV, XVI and XVII.
The colours denote the Dukes, Electors and Kings over the following regions of Bavaria and under the following circumstances:
– Dukes of Bavaria
– Regents and pretenders to the Bavarian throne
– Dukes of Lower Bavaria
– Dukes of Upper Bavaria
– Dukes of Bavaria-Lanshut
– Dukes of Bavaria-Ingolstadt
– Dukes of Bavaria-Munich
– Dukes of Bavaria-Munich-Dachau
– Dukes of Bavaria-Straubing
– Dukes of Bavaria-Straubing, disputed
- Paul the Deacon (1907), History of the Langobards (Historia Langobardorum) Archived 24 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine, William Dudley Foulke, trans. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania), III, x Archived 25 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine, calls him "king of the Bavarians". The mid-thirteenth-century Series Ducum Bavariæ calls him Garibaldus rex, see FMG.
- King, Greg (1996), The Mad King: The Life and Times of Ludwig II of Bavaria., ISBN 978-1-55972-362-6
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- Media related to Kings of Bavaria at Wikimedia Commons