Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria

Albert IV
Duke of Bavaria

Albert IV of Bavaria (portrait by Barthel Beham)
Reign 1465 (Bavaria-Munich) / 1503 (Bavaria-Landshut) 18 March 1508
co-regents Duke Sigismund
Duke Wolfgang
Duke Christoph
Predecessor John IV (Bavaria-Munich)
George (Bavaria-Landshut)
Successor William IV
Born (1447-12-15)December 15, 1447
Died March 18, 1508(1508-03-18)
Spouse Kunigunde of Austria (1465-1520)
Issue Sidonie
William IV, Duke of Bavaria
Louis X, Duke of Bavaria
Ernest of Bavaria
House House of Wittelsbach
Father Albert III
Mother Anna of Brunswick-Grubenhagen-Einbeck

Duke Albert IV of Bavaria-Munich (15 December 1447, Munich 18 March 1508, Munich), (German: Albrecht IV., der Weise, Herzog von Bayern), from 1467 Duke of Bavaria-Munich, from 1503 Duke of the reunited Bavaria.


Glass window „Duke Albert IV. and St. John“ from Prüll abbey, today in Bavarian National Museum

Albert was a son of Albert III, Duke of Bavaria and Anna of Brunswick-Grubenhagen-Einbeck. After the death of his older brother John IV, Duke of Bavaria he gave up his spiritual career and returned from Pavia to Munich. When his brothers Christoph and Wolfgang had resigned Albert became sole duke, but a new duchy Bavaria-Dachau was created from Bavaria-Munich for his brother Duke Sigismund in 1467. After Sigismund's death in 1501, it reverted to Bavaria-Munich.

The marriage of Kunigunde of Austria to Albert IV, was a result of intrigues and deception, but must be counted as a defeat for emperor Frederick III. Albert illegally took control of some imperial fiefs and then asked to marry Kunigunde (who lived in Innsbruck, far from her father), offering to give her the fiefs as a dowry. Frederick agreed at first, but after Albert took over yet another fief, Regensburg, Frederick withdrew his consent. On January 2, 1487, however, before Frederick's change of heart could be communicated to his daughter, Kunigunde married Albert. A war was prevented only by intermediation by the Emperor's son, Maximilian. For Albert's wedding the Grünwald castle was extended in 1486/87 by Jörg von Weikertshausen. Albert finally decided to return territorial acquisitions in Swabia in 1492 to avoid a war with the Habsburg and the Swabian League. He then also had to release Regensburg which had been reunited with Bavaria in 1486 and had to renounce Further Austria when Sigismund, Archduke of Austria tried to make it over to Albert.

After the death of the last duke of Bavaria-Landshut George in 1503, Albert managed to reunite the whole of Bavaria in a dreadful war against George's heirs, the Palatinate line of his Wittelsbach family but had to transfer the most southern districts of Bavaria-Landshut to his brother-in-law Emperor Maximilian as compensation for his support: Kufstein, Kitzbühel and Rattenberg passed to Maximilian in 1506 and were united with Tyrol. For the Palatinate branch a new duchy of Palatinate-Neuburg was created.

To avoid any future division of Bavaria, Albert decreed the everlasting succession of the firstborn prince in 1506. Nevertheless, his oldest son and successor William IV, Duke of Bavaria had to share his power from 1516 onwards with his younger brother Louis X, Duke of Bavaria. After the death of Louis in 1545, the edict became effective until the end of Bavarian monarchy in 1918.

Albert is buried in the Frauenkirche in Munich.

Family and children

On 3 January 1487 he married to Archiduchess Kunigunde of Austria, daughter of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and his wife Eleonore of Portugal.

Kunigunde of Austria

They had eight children:

  1. Sidonie (1 May 1488 27 March 1505)
  2. Sibylle (16 June 1489 18 April 1519), married in 1511 to Louis V, Elector Palatine
  3. Sabina (24 April 1492 30 April 1564), married in 1511 to Duke Ulrich I of Württemberg
  4. William IV, Duke of Bavaria (13 November 1493 7 March 1550)[1]
  5. Louis X, Duke of Bavaria (18 September 1495 22 April 1545)[1]
  6. Susanne (1499 1500)
  7. Ernest of Bavaria (13 June 1500 1560), an eclassiastical official in Passau (1517–40), Cologne, Archbishop in Salzburg (1540–54) and Eichstädt, also administrator and owner of the County of Kladsko (1549–1560)[1]
  8. Susanne (2 April 1502 23 April 1543), married:
    1. in 1518 to Casimir, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
    2. in 1529 to Otto Henry, Elector Palatine


Albert's ancestors in three generations
Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria Father:
Albert III, Duke of Bavaria
Paternal Grandfather:
Ernest, Duke of Bavaria
Paternal Great-grandfather:
John II, Duke of Bavaria
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Catherine of Gorizia
Paternal Grandmother:
Elisabetta Visconti
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Bernabò Visconti
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Beatrice della Scala
Anna of Brunswick-Grubenhagen-Einbeck
Maternal Grandfather:
Eric I, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Albert I, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Agnes of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Maternal Grandmother:
Elisabeth of Brunswick-Göttingen
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Otto I, Duke of Brunswick-Göttingen
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Margareta of Berg


  1. 1 2 3 Peter G. Bietenholz and Thomas Brian Deutscher, Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation:Volumes 1-3, (University of Toronto Press, 1995), 101-103.
Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria
Born: 15 December 1447 Died: 18 March 1508
Regnal titles
Preceded by
John IV and Sigismund
Duke of Bavaria-Munich
Succeeded by
William IV
Preceded by
George the Rich
Duke of Bavaria-Landshut
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