The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Leopold VI of Austria

Leopold VI, the Glorious (born 1176; died July 28, 1230 in San Germano ), from the House of Babenberg, was Duke of Austria from 1198 to 1230 and of Styria from 1194 to 1230.

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

Leopold VI participated in two crusades (the Albigensian Crusade in 1212 and the failed Fifth Crusade from 1217 to 1221) and, as his predecessors, attempted to develop the land by founding monastaries. 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.

Unter Leopold's rule, the Gothic style began to reach Austria - the Capella Speciosa in his temporary residence of Klosterneuburg is known as the first building influenced by it in the Danube area - a recunstraction 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 to this is given by his marriage to the byzantine princess Theodora Angeloi and his attempt to mediate between Emperor Frederick II and the Pope, which he was working on when he died in 1230 in Italy. His daughter was Constantia of Austria .

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.

Preceded by:
Frederick I
Duke of Austria Succeeded by:
Frederick II
Preceded by:
Leopold V
Duke of Styria
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04