Judith of Habsburg

Judith of Habsburg
Queen consort of Bohemia
Tenure 1285–1297
Queen consort of Poland
Tenure 1291–1297
Born (1271-03-13)13 March 1271
Died 21 May 1297(1297-05-21) (aged 26)
Prague, Bohemia
Burial Royal Crypt in St. Vitus Cathedral
Spouse Wenceslaus II of Bohemia
Issue Wenceslaus III of Bohemia
Anne, Queen of Bohemia
Elisabeth, Queen of Bohemia
Margaret, Duchess of Brieg
House Habsburg
Father Rudolph I of Germany
Mother Gertrude of Hohenburg

Judith of Habsburg (13 March 1271 – 21 May 1297) was the youngest daughter of Rudolph I of Germany and his wife Gertrude of Hohenburg.[1] Judith was a member of the Habsburg family.


When Judith was five, she became the object of her father's political plans. Her father signed the Vienna peace treaty with Premysl Otakar II of Bohemia, and they decided that Judith should marry Wenceslaus, son and heir of Premysl Otakar.

Judith's sisters also married powerful kings and dukes; her sister Klementia married Charles Martel of Anjou, son of Charles II of Naples, and her sister Matilda married Louis II, Duke of Bavaria.

The formal marriage (engagement) was in 1279 in Jihlava, the second marriage took place in early 1285 in Cheb,[1] and the bride was given a dowry "from the Duchy of Austria, Moravian border to the border of Danube". The wedding in Cheb was followed by a "festive" wedding night, but soon after, Rudolph took Judith back to Germany, since she was still of a young age.

Wenceslaus' coronation had to be canceled because Judith was not present. She did eventually leave her family in Germany and came to Prague to be with her husband. Like her father, Judith hated Zavish, Lord of Falkenstejn, stepfather of her husband. He had acted as regent with the Dowager Queen, Kunigunda of Slavonia, whom he secretly married. Judith helped bring Zavish to trial and he was eventually executed in 1290, five years after the death of Queen Kunigunda.

Judith tried to reconcile her husband and Albert I of Germany, her brother. She also brought German influences to the Prague court, like the introduction of knights at court. She made Prague a cultural centre[2]

They were crowned King and Queen of Bohemia in 1297. Judith was not in good health during the time of the coronation having just given birth to her tenth child. She died weeks later.

According to the family chronicles, Judith was described as beautiful, noble and virtuous.[3] She supported her husband's claim on Poland.[4]

Judith died 21 May 1297 in Prague, aged only twenty six. She was having constant pregnancies over the twelve years of marriage, almost one child per year. Worn out by childbirth, Judith died weeks after giving birth to her youngest child and namesake, Judith.

Her husband went on to marry Elisabeth Richeza of Poland who bore him a daughter, Agnes.

All of the Habsburg rulers of Bohemia from 1526 onward were descended from Judith through her daughter Elizabeth.


Judith's tombstone in the Convent of Saint Agnes of Bohemia in Prague

Wenceslaus and Judith had ten children:

  1. Přemysl Otakar ( 6 May 1288 19 November 1288).
  2. Wenceslaus III ( 6 October 1289 4 August 1306); King of Bohemia, King of Hungary and King of Poland.
  3. Agnes ( 6 October 1289 - after 1292 before 1306), twin of Wenceslaus, betrothed to Rupert, son of Adolf, King of Germany but died young.
  4. Anna ( 10 October 1290 – 3 September 1313), married in 1306 to Henry of Carinthia.
  5. Elisabeth ( 20 January 1292 28 September 1330), married in 1310 to John I of Bohemia
  6. Judith ( 3 March 1293 3 August 1294).
  7. John ( 26 February 1294 1 March 1295).
  8. John ( 21 February 1295 6 December 1296).
  9. Margareta ( 21 February 1296 8 April 1322), married to Bolesław III the Generous, Duke of Wrocław.
  10. Judith (born and died 21 May 1297).

Of the ten children only four lived to adulthood.

Family legacy

Wenceslaus and then Anna and Elisabeth succeeded their father as rulers of Bohemia. Elisabeth was the mother of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, his son was Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor.

Judith is also an ancestor of Anne of Denmark, who married James I of England. Among Anne's children were Charles I of England and Elizabeth of Bohemia; Elizabeth is one of Judith's successors as Queen of Bohemia.

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  1. 1 2 "Bella gerant alii" Laodamia's Sisters, Habsburg Brides: Leaving Home for the Sake of the House, Joseph F. Patrouch, Early Modern Habsburg Women: Transnational Contexts, Cultural Conflicts, Dynastic Continuities, ed. Anne J. Cruz, Maria Galli Stampino, (Routledge, 2013), 30.
  2. Women in power, scroll down to 1287-97 Politically Influential Queen Guta von Habsburg of Bohemia (Czech Republic)
  3. Translation from Czech Wikipedia with further sources
  4. Guta Habsburg, Index of Persons, Translation from Czech

Judith of Habsburg
Born: 1271 Died: 1297
Royal titles
Preceded by
Kunigunda of Slavonia
Queen consort of Bohemia
Succeeded by
Elisabeth Richeza of Poland
Preceded by
Margaret of Brandenburg
Queen consort of Poland

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