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13. století

The death of Zavish of Falkenstein 1

The legend about the execution of the most powerful Witigonen near Hluboka
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This is a story that became the subject of numerous romantic ballads, filled many Chronicles and led countless historians to various theories – the relationship between Zavish and Kunigunda Queen of Bohemia, and his execution. Zavish was in conflict against his king and former role model, Premyslid Ottokar II, and his rebellion drove him to the Habsburg camp. After the death of Ottokar in battle in Moravia, Zavish progressively abandoned the Habsburgs (he was never a great devotee, he had chosen to side with them because of necessity and for survival reasons). In 1281 he appeared for the first time in front of the widow Queen Kunigunda and intervened in the chaotic state of affairs in the country, plundered by marauders, under the bloodsucking rule of the Brandenburgs from Otto’s margrave. He soon became very close to the queen and turned into a sort of guardian for young Wenceslas II, Ottokar’s son, the child king. This brought him countless enemies among the Czech nobility, rightfully worried about the Witigonen, even more so after his relation with the queen became public. One of his implacable enemies was the bishop of Prague Tobias of Bechyne, as well as Nicholas of Troppau, the illegitimate son of the Premyslids.
But young Wenceslas worshipped Zavish, an excellent knight and charismatic man. The opposition against Zavish continued to grow stronger and when in 1285 he married Kunigunda – it was too much. Kunigunda

died that same year and young Wenceslas married Judith of Habsburg, daughter of the Roman Emperor. These two events marked the first rupture in the relationship between Wenceslas and his powerful father-in-law. At the same time, rumor-mongering started to grow in the royal court. Judith was strongly opposed to Zavish, for she was scared of the powerful Witigonen’s deceptive influence and charisma. Wenceslas’s relationship to Zavish progressively transformed from admiration to careful assessment of each of his actions (he was naturally inclined to this behavior due to his long imprisonment when he couldn’t control his own destiny), and concern about his megalomaniac plans.
Wenceslas and Zavish were like day and night. Both were very clever, they were much alike in this regard, but that was all they had in common. Zavish was a heart-breaker, an eminent jousting knight and a great warrior. He was a daring man of action with audacious plans and the heart of an adventurer. Wenceslas for his part was a gentle and timid boy with a soft figure, who grew up to be a very cautious and suspicious man. He had various phobias – he was scared to death of cats and storms, he wasn’t a man to transfix the others through his example. One of the reasons he loved Zavish might have been because of the latter’s qualities that he didn’t have, apart from the fact that both loved the same woman (Kunigunda – one’s wife, the other’s mother).


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