Viola of Teschen

Not to be confused with Elisabeth of Cieszyn.
Viola of Teschen
Queen consort of Bohemia and Poland
Tenure 1305–1306
Born ca. 1291
Died 21 September 1317 (aged 26)?
Bohemia, Czech Republic
Burial Vyšší Brod Monastery
Spouse Wenceslaus III of Bohemia
Peter I of Rosenberg
House House of Piast
Father Mieszko I, Duke of Teschen
Mother Grzymisława?

Viola of Teschen, later known as Elizabeth (Polish: Wiola Elżbieta cieszyńska, Czech: Viola Alžběta Těšínská) (ca. 1291 – 21 September 1317), was a Polish princess member of the House of Piast in the Cieszyn branch and by marriage Queen of Bohemia and Poland.

She was the third child and only daughter of Mieszko I, Duke of Teschen, by his unknown wife, probably called Grzymisława.[1] She was named after her paternal great-grandmother Viola, wife of Duke Casimir I of Opole.


Queen of Bohemia and Poland

Viola married with young King Wenceslaus III of Bohemia and Poland on 5 October 1305 in Brno. The reasons for marriage are not too obvious: although later chroniclers describe how beautiful Viola was, her father Duke Mieszko I was only one of the vassals of King Wenceslaus III, and in consequence, this was an unequal union. The main reason wasn't her beauty but maybe the strategic position of Cieszyn between the Kingdoms of Bohemia and Poland. Four days after the wedding (9 October), Wenceslaus III annulled his long-time engagement to Elizabeth, daughter of King Andrew III of Hungary and with this renounced to all his claims over the Hungarian crown.[2]

After her marriage, Viola took the name Elizabeth, but her union with the King wasn't completely happy because her husband's free lifestyle and the strong opposition of the Bohemian nobility, who had to prevent this "lower" union. Ten months later, on 4 August 1306, King Wenceslaus III was murdered in Olomouc under mysterious circumstances, leaving Viola as a fifteen-year-old widow. Maybe because of their youth, the union failed to produce an heir.

With little money and nowhere to go, Viola probably stayed with her sisters-in-law, Anna and Elisabeth in one of the nunneries. Both princesses were fighting for the throne of Bohemia, but Viola stayed away. Later, she mainly resided in Moravia, where she had her dowry towns.

Second Marriage. Death

After the arrest of Henry of Lipá (Jindřich z Lipé), the now Queen Elisabeth of Bohemia and her husband John of Luxembourg tried to gain to their side the powerful nobleman Peter I of Rosenberg (Petr I. z Rožmberka), who at that time was engaged with Henry of Lipá's daughter. Soon Peter I of Rosenberg cancelled his betrothal and entered in an alliance with the Bohemian King and Queen; in order to reinforce his bonds with his new ally, King John gave him the hand of the Dowager Queen Viola. The marriage took place in 1316 but was childless and short-lived: Viola died only one year after, on 21 September 1317, and was buried in the vault of the House of Rosenberg in the Vyšší Brod Monastery.




Viola of Teschen
Born: ca. 1291 Died: 21 September 1317
Royal titles
Preceded by
Agnes of Austria
Queen consort of Hungary
Succeeded by
Maria of Bytom
Preceded by
Elisabeth Richeza of Poland
Queen consort of Bohemia
Succeeded by
Anna of Bohemia
Queen consort of Poland
Succeeded by
Jadwiga of Greater Poland
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