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Agnes of Merania (1215-1263)

Agnes of Merania (1215-1263)

The basics
Quick Facts
Gender female
Mother: Beatrice IICountess of Burgundy
Father: Otto IDuke of Merania
Siblings: Beatrix of Andechs-MeraniaAdelaideCountess of BurgundyMarguerite of Merania
Spouse: Frederick IIDuke of Austria
The details

See also Agnes of Merania.

Agnes of Merania (c. 1215 – 7 January 1263), a member of the House of Andechs was an Austrian royal consort. By her two marriages she was Duchess of Austria from 1230 until 1243 and Duchess of Carinthia from 1256 until her death.


Seal of Agnes, Duchess of Austria

Agnes was a daughter of Duke Otto I of Merania and Countess Beatrice II of Burgundy, a member of the Imperial House of Hohenstaufen. By her father, she was also a granddaughter of Agnes of Wettin and niece of Agnes Maria of Andechs-Merania, Queen consort of France; by her mother she was a great-grandchild of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

Her brother Otto II (d. 1248) succeeded their father as Duke of Merania and Count of Burgundy, while her sister Beatrix (d. 1271) married the Ascanian count Herman II of Weimar-Orlamünde. Her younger sister Adelaide (d. 1279) married Count Hugh III of Chalon and succeeded her brother Otto as Countess of Burgundy.


In 1229 she married Frederick of Babenberg, son and heir of Duke Leopold VI of Austria. Her husband, who was known as "the Quarrelsome", had just divorced his first wife Eudokia Laskarina ("Sophia"), a daughter of the Byzantine emperor Theodore I Laskaris, due to childlessness. He succeeded his father as Austrian duke in 1230. Based on the dowry of his wife including large Andechs estates in the March of Carniola and the Windic March, he also began to call himself a "Lord of Carniola" from 1232.

However, Frederick II also divorced Agnes due to childlessness in 1243. The haughty Austrian ruler hurled himself into a fierce border conflict with King Béla IV of Hungary and was killed in the 1246 Battle of the Leitha River. As he left no surviving children, the male line of the Babenberg dynasty became extinct with him. The inheritance fell to his sister Margaret and his niece Gertrude.

From 1250 Agnes is documented as consort of Ulrich of Sponheim, son of Duke Bernhard of Carinthia. Ulrich could succeed Agnes' late husband as Lord in Carniola and became Carinthian duke upon his father's death in 1256. The couple had two children, who nevertheless died young. Agnes died in 1263 and was buried at Stična Abbey in the Windic March (later Lower Carniola). After her second husband's death in 1269, her dowry passed to King Ottokar II of Bohemia.

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