Prague Minos Guide

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13. - 14. století

John of Luxemburg

King of Bohemia nicknamed “the foreigner King” and “John the Blind”
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He was the first Luxemburgish king on the Bohemian throne and the father of Charles IV. He was a knightly king, a destroyer of tournament lances and a man of action.
John of Bohemia was an excellent knight and something of a dandy in his time. He dressed according to the latest Paris fashion. He was well liked among women (with the exception of his first wife), and he certainly didn’t let this popularity go to waste. It is said that he even had an affair with his daughter-in-law, Margaret of Tyrol, called the Ugly Duchess (she was in fact a relatively attractive and very passionate woman, the wife of his youngest son, John Henry). As son of the Holy Roman Emperor, he married in 1310 the daughter of Wenceslas II, Elisabeth, who was the heir to the royal Bohemian crown. He was raised in European courts and thus didn’t spend much time in Bohemia, especially when he had to face opposition

from the nobles. He was well-respected abroad and much less accepted “at home.” His arguments with his ambitious wife, Elisabeth, led to the internment of their young (though their eldest) son Wenceslas (later known as Emperor Charles IV) at the Krivoklat castle and the boy’s separation from his mother.
In international politics John was much more successful than at home. He was an active participant in the politics of the Holy Roman Empire as a prince elector. He established himself in Italy, and in 1335 he led the peace settlements with Poland. Through various agreements he also strengthened the alliance between the Luxemburgs and the French Capetians. He also played a role in the selection of his son Charles to be Roman King.
John suffered from a congenital eye defect, which didn’t prevent him from making a grandiose exit: he fell in battle at the Battle of Crecy in 1346.


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