Judith of Thuringia

Judith of Thuringia
Queen consort of Bohemia
Tenure 1158-1172
Predecessor Świętosława of Poland
Successor Adelaide of Meissen
Duchess consort of Bohemia
Tenure 1153-1158
Predecessor Gertrude of Babenberg
Successor Elizabeth of Hungary
Born c.1135
Wartburg Castle
Died 9 September after 1174
Burial Teplice Abbey
Spouse Vladislaus II of Bohemia
Issue Ottokar I of Bohemia
Vladislaus III, Duke of Bohemia
House Ludovingians (by birth)
Přemyslid dynasty (by marriage)
Father Louis I, Landgrave of Thuringia
Mother Hedwig of Gudensberg

Judith of Thuringia (Czech: Judita Durynská; c.1135 – 9 September after 1174), a member of the Ludovingian dynasty, was Queen consort of Bohemia from 1158 until 1172 as the second wife of King Vladislaus II. She was the second Queen of Bohemia after Świętosława of Poland, wife of King Vratislaus II, had received the title in 1085.


Judith was the daughter of Landgrave Louis I of Thuringia (d. 1140) and his wife Hedwig of Gudensberg. She was raised at the Thuringian court at Wartburg Castle. In 1153 she was married to Duke Vladislaus II of Bohemia, three years after the death of his first wife Gertrude of Babenberg. The main reason for the marriage was that Judith, by her brother Landgrave Louis II and his wife Judith of Hohenstaufen, was related to the new German King Frederick Barbarossa. Vladislaus' bride was about eighteen years old; he was 15–20 years her senior.

Probably in 1155, two years after the wedding, Judith gave birth to the first son. In medieval times the names for babies were chosen mostly by mothers, so it was probably Judith's idea to name the son Přemysl after the legendary founder of the Přemyslid dynasty.[1]

Queen Judith

Judith Tower (left), Charles Bridge

A chronicler wrote about Judith that she was of great beauty and mind, educated in Latin and politics. It is said that she often deputized for Vladislaus in his absence. When he obtained the royal title from Emperor Frederick and was crowned King of Bohemia in 1158, Judith became Queen consort. Her coronation is not actually documented, but chronicles write about Queen Judith.

During Vladislaus' rule a new bridge across the Vltava river in Prague was built from about 1160, where the famous Charles Bridge stands today. It was the first stone bridge in central Europe and in honour of the queen it was called Judith Bridge. Drawn away by a 1342 flood, remnants of some pillars and arches are still visible, as well as the preserved bridge tower (Juditina věž) on the Malá Strana bank.

In the ongoing struggle around the Prague throne, Judith backed the inheritance claims of her son Přemysl Ottokar, however, Duke Vladislaus named his stepbrother Frederick his successor. When her husband finally abdicated in 1172, his wife followed him to exile in Thuringia. Vladislaus died two years later at Meerane Castle.

It is not known where Judith died, but her remains were found in the former Benedictine monastery of Teplice, which she had founded about 1160. According to the historian Emanuel Vlček she died about 1210 at the age of 75, living to see the successful reign of her eldest son Přemysl.[2]





  1. KAREŠOVÁ, Z.; PRAŽÁK, J. Královny a kněžny české. Prague : X-Egem, 1996.
  2. VLČEK, E. Judita Durynská – paní znamenité krásy a ducha neobyčejného. O čem vypovídá lebka manželky krále Vladislava II. Vesmír 81, říjen 2002
Judith of Thuringia
Born: c. 1135 Died: 9 September after 1174
Royal titles
Preceded by
Gertrude of Babenberg
Duchess consort of Bohemia
Succeeded by
Elisabeth of Hungary
Preceded by
Świętosława of Poland
Queen consort of Bohemia
Succeeded by
Adelheid of Meissen
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