Leopold VI, Duke of Austria

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Leopold VI
Duke of Austria, Duke of Styria
Herzog Leopold VI. Babenberg.jpg
Leopold the Glorious as mediator for Pope and Emperor, Babenberger Stammbaum, Klosterneuburg Monastery, 1489–1492
Duke1194–1230 (Styria)
1198–1230 (Austria)
PredecessorFrederick I
SuccessorFrederick II
Born15 October 1176
Died(1230-07-28)28 July 1230
San Germano
BuriedLilienfeld Abbey
FamilyHouse of Babenberg
SpouseTheodora Angelina
FatherLeopold V
MotherHelena of Hungary

Leopold VI (German: Luitpold VI. von Österreich, 15 October 1176 – 28 July 1230[1]), known as Leopold the Glorious (German: Luitpold der Glorreiche), was the Duke of Styria from 1194 and the Duke of Austria from 1198 to his death in 1230. He was a member of the House of Babenberg. Like his predecessors, he attempted to develop the land by founding monasteries. His most important foundation is Lilienfeld in the Lower Austrian valley of the Traisen river, where he was buried after his death. Besides that, he supported the then highly modern Mendicant Orders of the Franciscans and Dominicans.


Leopold VI was the younger son of Duke Leopold V and his wife, Helena of Hungary (daughter of Géza II of Hungary and Euphrosyne of Kiev). He was betrothed to the Damsel of Cyprus in 1194, but the marriage never took place.

In contravention of the provisions of the Georgenberg Pact, the Babenberg reign was divided after the death of Leopold V: Leopold VI's elder brother, Frederick I, was given the Duchy of Austria (corresponding roughly to modern Lower Austria and eastern Upper Austria), while Leopold VI himself became Duke of Styria. Both duchies were reunified under Leopold VI when Frederick died after only four years of rule.

Leopold VI participated in the Reconquista in Spain and in two crusades, the Albigensian Crusade in 1212 and the failed Fifth Crusade from 1217 to 1221, and—like his predecessors—attempted to develop the land by founding monasteries. His most important foundation is Lilienfeld in the Lower Austrian valley of the Traisen river, where he was buried after his death. Besides that, he supported the then highly modern Mendicant Orders of the Franciscans and Dominicans. He elevated Enns to the status of a city in 1212, and Vienna in 1221, the territory of which was nearly doubled.

Under Leopold's rule, the Gothic style began to reach Austria - the Cappella Speciosa in his temporary residence of Klosterneuburg is known as the first building influenced by it in the Danube area - a reconstruction of it can be seen today in the palace gardens of Laxenburg.

Babenbergian Austria reached the zenith of its prestige under Leopold's rule. Evidence of this is given by his marriage to the Byzantine princess Theodora Angelina and his attempt to mediate between Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX, which he was working on when he died in 1230 in Italy.

Leopold's court is known as a center of the Minnesang, e.g., Walther von der Vogelweide, Neidhart von Reuental and Ulrich von Liechtenstein were active here. Also, the Nibelungenlied may have been written in his court.

Leopold died at San Germano in 1230.


Leopold and Theodora Angelina had seven children:

  1. Margaret, Duchess of Austria (1204 – 28 February 1266), married Henry, elder son and presumptive heir of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, then after he died, married King Ottokar II of Bohemia.
  2. Agnes of Austria (19 February 1205 – 29 August 1226), married Albert I, Duke of Saxony
  3. Leopold of Austria (1207–1216) died when he climbed a tree and fell at Klosterneuburg
  4. Henry II, Duke of Mödling (1208 – 28 November 1228), married Agnes of Thuringia; their only daughter, Gertrudis, was the general heiress of the House of Babenberg after the death of her uncle
  5. Gertrude of Austria (1210–1241), married Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia
  6. Frederick II, Duke of Austria (25 April 1211 – 15 June 1246)
  7. Constantia of Austria (6 April 1212 – 5 June 1243), married Henry III, Margrave of Meissen


See also


  1. ^ Beller 2007, pp. 23.
  • Beller, Steven (2007). A Concise History of Austria. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521478861.
  • Brooke, Z. N. (1938). A History of Europe: From 911 to 1198. London: Methuen & Company Ltd. ISBN 978-1443740708.
  • Dopsch, Heinz (1999). Österreichische Geschichte 1122-1278. Vienna: Ueberreuter. ISBN 3-8000-3973-7.
  • Juritsch, Georg (1894). Geschichte der Babenberger und ihrer Länder, 976-1246. Innsbruck: Wagnerschen Universitätsbuchhandlung.
  • Lechner, Karl (1976). Die Babenberger: Markgrafen und Herzoge von Österreich 976–1246. Vienna: Böhlau. ISBN 978-3205085089.
  • Leeper, Alexander W. (1941). History of Medieval Austria. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0404153472.
  • von Liechtenstein, Ulrich (2004). The Service of Ladies: An Autobiography (First Person Singular). United Kingdom: Boydell & Brewer Ltd. ISBN 1-84383-095-7. Translated by: J.W. Thomas
  • Lingelbach, William E. (1913). The History of Nations: Austria-Hungary. New York: P. F. Collier & Son Company. ASIN B000L3E368.
  • O'Callaghan, Joseph F. (2004). Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain (The Middle Ages Series). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-1889-2.
  • Peters, Edward (1971). Christian Society and the Crusades 1198-1229 Sources in Translation including The Capture of Damietta by Oliver of Paderborn. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-1024-8.
  • Powell, James M. (1986). Anatomy of a Crusade 1213-1221. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-1323-8.
  • Pohl, Walter (1995). Die Welt der Babenberger. Graz: Verlag Styria. ISBN 978-3222123344.
  • Previté-Orton, C. W. (1937). A History of Europe: From 1198 to 1378. London: Methuen & Company Ltd. ISBN 978-0416435207.
  • Rennhofer, Gottfried (1999). Monastery of Klosterneuburg. Vienna: Kellner Verlagsgesellschaft.
  • Rickett, Richard (1985). A Brief Survey of Austrian History. Vienna: Prachner. ISBN 978-3853670019.
  • VC: Sibly, W. A. and M. D., translators (1998). The history of the Albigensian Crusade: Peter of les Vaux-de-Cernay's Historia Albigensis. Woodbridge: Boydell. ISBN 0-85115-807-2.

External links

Leopold VI, Duke of Austria
Born: 1176 Died: 1230
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Frederick I
Duke of Austria
Succeeded by
Frederick II
Preceded by
Leopold I
Duke of Styria

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