Cymburgis of Masovia

Cymburgis of Masovia

Cymburgis on a posthumous portrait
Spouse(s) Ernest, Duke of Austria
Noble family House of Piast (by birth)
House of Habsburg (by marriage)
Father Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia
Mother Alexandra of Lithuania
Born 1394 or 1397
Warsaw, Duchy of Masovia
Died 28 September 1429(1429-09-28)
Buried Lilienfeld Abbey

Cymburgis (also Cimburgis, Zimburgis or Cimburga) of Masovia (Polish: Cymbarka mazowiecka; 1394 or 1397 – September 28, 1429), was a Polish princess member of the House of Piast in the Masovian branch.

She was the second daughter of Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia and Alexandra, a daughter of Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania and sister of King Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland.


Though his elder brother William's engagement with the Polish princess Jadwiga had mortifyingly failed, Ernest after the death of his first wife Margaret of Pomerania proceeded to Kraków to court Cymburgis. The wedding took place on 25 January 1412 in Buda (German: Ofen), at the residence of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor. At the time the Emperor mediated negotiations between her uncle Władysław II Jagiełło and the Teutonic Knights.[1] Though not approved by the Habsburg family, the marriage turned out to be a happy one. As the mother of the later Emperor Frederick III, Cymburgis, after Gertrude of Hohenburg, became the second female ancestor of all later Habsburgs, as only his branch of the family survived in the male line.

Although controversial, it has been claimed (since at least by Robert Burton in 1621[2]) that she brought the distinctive protruding lower lip (prognathism) into the family, a particular physical characteristic of most members of the family for many generations until the 18th century.[3] It can even be recognized in some of her distant descendants today (though not as markedly) as Alphonse XIII. Cymburgis' statue in the Innsbruck Hofkirche church however does not show this feature.[4] However, her husband's great-grandfather Albert I, Duke of Austria is presented in one portrait with it.[5]

Tradition has it that she was also known for her exceptional strength, which, for example, she showed by driving nails into the wall with her bare hands and cracking nuts between her fingers.[6] Strength also distinguished one of her descendants, Augustus II the Strong, who used to break horseshoes with his bare hands. Cymburgis outlived her husband and died at Türnitz in present-day Lower Austria. She is buried at Lilienfeld Abbey.


During her marriage, Cymburgis bore her husband nine children, of whom only four survive infancy:[7][8][9][10]



  1. Urban, William (2003). Tannenberg and After. Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center. p. 191. ISBN 0-929700-25-2.
  2. Manfred Draudt, Société Française Shakespeare
  3. London Science Museum
  4. Hofkirche website
  5. Genealogy
  6. Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich(German)
  7. Complete Genealogy of the House of Habsburg [retrieved 18 June 2014].
  8. Genealogical Database by Herbert Stoyan [retrieved 18 June 2014].
  9. [retrieved 18 June 2014].
  10. AUSTRIA in Charles Crawley: Medieval Lands [retrieved 18 June 2014].

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 7/13/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.