Vladislaus II, Duke of Bohemia
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- For other monarchs with similar names, please see Ladislaus II (disambiguation)
|Duke of Bohemia|
|Reign||1140 – 1158|
|King of Bohemia|
|Reign||1158 – 1172|
|Died||18 January 1174
|Burial||Prague, Strahov Abbey|
|Spouse||Gertrude of Babenberg
Judith of Thuringia
|Issue||Frederick, Duke of Bohemia
Ottokar I, King of Bohemia
Vladislaus III, Duke of Bohemia
|Father||Vladislaus I, Duke of Bohemia|
|Mother||Richeza of Berg|
Vladislaus II or Vladislaus I (king) (Czech: Vladislav II./I., c.1110 – 18 January 1174) was the second King of Bohemia from 1158. Before that he had been Duke of Bohemia from 1140. When he abdicated in 1172, the royal title was not yet hereditary.
He was an adventurous youth and, having no possibility of reaching the throne during the reign of his uncle Soběslav I, he moved to Bavaria. He returned at the death of Soběslav in 1140 and, with the help of his brother-in-law, the king of Germany, Conrad III, he was elected prince of Bohemia.
At first, he had to contend with the claims of his cousin, the son of Sobeslav, also named Vladislav. By Soběslav's request, the Emperor Lothair II had recognised the rights of his son at the Diet of Bamberg in May 1138, then, in June, the nobility affirmed them at Sadská. Another diet at Bamberg confirmed the succession of the son of Vladislav, however, in April 1140. The local dukes, Conrad II of Znojmo, Vratislaus II of Brno, and Otto III of Olomouc, gave him trouble. They were excommunicated by Henry Zdik, bishop of Olomouc, who was then driven out of his diocese. The territorial dukes then defeated Vladislav through treason at Vysoká on 22 April 1142, but their siege of Prague failed. Vladislav kept his throne through the help of Conrad III of Germany, whose half-sister Gertrude of Babenberg he married.
The second king
In 1147, he accompanied the king on the Second Crusade, but halted his march at Constantinople. On his way back to Bohemia he passed through Kiev and Kraków. Thanks to his military support against free northern Italian cities (especially Milan) for Conrad's successor, the emperor Frederick Barbarossa, Vladislav was elected king of Bohemia on 11 January 1158, becoming the second Bohemian king to boast such an imperial title after Vratislaus II.
He was also invested with Upper Lusatia at Regensburg and his coronation was celebrated in a second ceremony at Milan on 8 September. Vladislav was a firm ally of Barbarossa. He duly accompanied him to Milan in 1158. During the Italian expeditions of 1161, 1162, and 1167, Vladislav entrusted the command of the Czech contingent to his brother Duke Děpold I of Jamnitz and his son Frederick.
After the revolt of the Moravian dukes, Vladislav gradually took control of the strongholds of Moravia: Brno with the death of Vratislaus II in 1156, Olomouc with the death of Otto III (in spite of the claims of Sobeslav, the son of Duke Sobeslav, who was imprisoned), and finally Znojmo with the death of Conrad II. Vladislav also intervened in Hungary in 1163 on behalf of the emperor. He married his second son, Sviatopluk, to a Hungarian princess and had diplomatic contact with Manuel I Comnenus. In 1164, he even married his six-year-old daughter Helena to Peter, son of Manuel.
In 1167, Daniel I, bishop of Prague since 1148 and Vladislav's greatest advisor, died. As a result, relations between the kings of Bohemia and Germany were strained. When his son (Vojtech) Adalbert III became archbishop of Salzburg in 1169, the emperor suspected him of supporting Pope Alexander III.
Eager to impose his son Frederick on the throne of the still-elective duchy of Bohemia, he abdicated without either the consensus of the Bohemian noblemen or the Emperor's permission. Frederick kept the throne for less than one year, before yielding the place to Soběslav II, the elder son of Soběslav I.
Vladislav lived in Thuringia in the lands of his second wife, where he died in January 1174. He was buried in the Cathedral of Meissen. His reign was marked by the founding of numerous Premonstratensian and Cistercian abbeys in Bohemia, as well as the construction of a stone bridge across Vltava in Prague: the construct was named Judith Bridge in honour of Vladislav's second wife.
Family and children
By his first wife, Gertrude of Babenberg (died 4 August 1150), he had the following issue:
- a daughter (Richeza?), married Yaroslav II of Kiev
- Frederick, successor
- Sviatopluk, married a daughter of Géza II of Hungary
- Vojtěch, Archbishop of Salzburg as Adalbert III of Bohemia
- Agnes (died 7 June 1228), abbess of St George of Prague
- Ottokar, later king of Bohemia, first of a hereditary line
- Vladislaus, later duke of Bohemia as Vladislaus III
- Richeza (died 19 April 1182), married Henry I, Duke of Mödling, son of Henry II, Duke of Austria and had one son, Henry the Younger
|Ancestors of Vladislaus II, Duke of Bohemia|
- František Palacký: Dějiny národa českého v Čechách i v Moravě, book XVII
|Duke of Bohemia
Title next held byFrederick
Title last held byVratislaus II
|King of Bohemia
Title next held byOttokar I