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12. století

Vladislas II

Duke of Bohemia and later second King of Bohemia of the Premyslid dynasty
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He was the second King of Bohemia under the rule of the German Emperor and one of the few rulers who abdicated in favor of their son.
He was the younger son of Vladislas I and had thus almost no real chance to be next in the family’s line of succession. He soon left and went to Bavaria, where he lived as an adventurer and a mercenary.
He came back home in 1140, married to a German noblewoman and with a truly powerful brother-in-law: non other than the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire himself, Conrad III. In 1142, Vladislas withstood the enormous pressure for the election of the Duke of Bohemia with the help of his powerful brother-in-law.
Vladislas remained a loyal supporter of the German Emperors all through his reign: he of course supported Conrad III, but also his successor Frederick Barbarossa. In 1147 he participated to the 2nd crusade, but only reached Constantinople. In the late 1150’s he supported Frederick in Italy who endeavored to overcome the Italian opposition. He participated to the defeat of the powerful Milan, and he was granted the royal

title in 1158 in front of the city’s ramparts.
As for domestic affairs, Vladislas managed to subjugate the rebellious Moravia. In 1163 he undertook an expedition into Hungary and launched diplomatic relations with the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus, which resulted in the marriage of his daughter to Manuel’s son. By the end of Vladislas’ reign, the relations with the Empire had worsened, in particular following the king’s precipitate endeavor to ensure the royal title for his eldest son. In order to secure the title for his son, the king abdicated in 1172 and without consulting the noblemen nor the Emperor, he named his son Frederick as his successor. The latter was however deposed during Vladislas’ lifetime and the king thus experienced a great disappointment before his death on the family’s Bavarian estates.
His rule was marked by prosperity and unrelenting construction and colonial activity, among which we should mention the construction of the first stone bridge across the Vltava River, the Judith Bridge (named after his second wife).


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