Prague Minos Guide

Web encyclopedia of GPS Digital Guide available in mobile devices around Prague for hire or for download during your visit.

CS | EN | FR | DE
12. - 13. století

Premyslid Ottokar I of Bohemia

The first King of Bohemia with a hereditary title
Significant photo
Info text

Ottokar was the younger son of king Vladislas II. After his father’s death, multiple quarrels about the succession to the king ensued within the then numerous Premyslid family, and although Vladislas had pushed his elder son Frederick forward, the rest of the family wasn’t much in favor of this choice. The first mention of Ottokar dates back to the period of his exile in Meissen in the 1170’s. There he married his first wife Adelheid. In the late 1270’s, Ottokar returned to Bohemia and gave his support to his stepbrother the Duke Frederick. In 1185 he even led an expedition in his name against another Premyslid, Conrad Otto, in the rebellious Moravia. But four years later, Frederick died and the circus around the succession started anew.
The afore mentioned Conrad Otto received the title of Duke, but he too soon died and was replaced by Wenceslas II. Even he didn’t last long, gradually loosing all support he soon passed away. Thanks to the doings of a cousin, bishop Henry Bretislas, Ottokar was bestowed the title of duke in 1192. During his reign, Ottokar would act so confidently that he made an enemy not only of the German Emperor Henry VI, but even of bishop Henry. He wasn’t able to withstand the pressure and lost his position, he was replaced on the throne by non other than Bishop Henry. The latter however died in 1197, soon to be followed by the emperor Henry VI, thus opening a path to the throne for Ottokar. The latter made an agreement with his brother Vladislas Henry and became Duke of Bohemia.
After his ascent to the throne, Ottokar was able to

maneuver in a masterly manner in the quarrel between Philip of Swabia and Otto IV of Brunswick, two candidates for the imperial crown. He gave his support by turns to both of them and obtained exceptional privileges from both, which included the confirmation of the royal title for himself and the promise that no-one would ever interfere in the choice of a ruler for Bohemia. He was admonished by the Pope for his pragmatic crossing from one side to the other, but Ottokar dealt with this issue in a clever manner too. The Pope had also to deal with the fact that Ottokar had repudiated his wife Adelheid of Meissen and had married Constance of Hungary (hence becoming the brother-in-law of the King of Hungary). Ottokar soothed him with his temporary support to the Pope’s favorite, Otto of Brunswick. Philip of Swabia was later murdered and Ottokar eventually decided to support the young Frederick II. The latter bestowed him three charters in 1212 in Basel, among which the most significant was the Golden Bull of Sicily, which secured the royal title for Ottokar’s descendants. This guaranteed the integrity of the kingdom. The following era in Ottokar’s reign was marked by his conflict with Bishop Andrew, which ended with the defeat of the bishop and his death in exile in Rome (the issue was a conflict of power between the spiritual and the temporal powers).
Premyslid Ottokar I was a great ruler and a capable politician, who managed to get the country out of the crisis and to mightily strengthen it. He died leaving a stabilized country, strong from the inside.


Certifikovaný partner
Running project in Prague
Android Android Objednat průvodce
© 2009 - all contents