"Albert I of Germany" and "Ulrich von Liechtenstein" redirect here. For other uses, see Albert I.
Albert I
Habsburger BSB Cod icon 330 fol 01r.jpg
King of Germany
Reign 15 February 1301 – 27 November 1308
Coronation 5 May 1301, Aachen
Predecessor Rudolf I
Successor Henry VII
King of Italy
Reign 21 October 1289 – 26 January 1312
Coronation 5 November 1289, Milan
Predecessor Conrad IV
Successor Henry VII (1313)
Titular Governor of the Pisan Republic
In office 27 July 1279 – 31 May 1286
Predecessor Ricciardo of Villa
(as Podestà of the Republic of Pisa)
Successor Conrad I
(as Grand Duke of Pisa)
Born 27 March 1256(1256-03-27)
Murau, Austria, Holy Roman Empire
Died 26 January 1322 (aged 65)
Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire
Burial Speyer Cathedral
Spouse Elizabeth of Carinthia
Issue Rudolf I of Bohemia
Frederick the Fair
Leopold I, Duke of Austria
Albert II, Duke of Austria
Otto, Duke of Austria
Anna, Duchess of Breig
Agnes, Queen of Hungary
Elisabeth, Duchess of Lorraine
Catherine, Duchess of Calabria
Judith, Countess of Öttingen
Full name
Ulrich von Liechtenstein
House Lusignan[nb 1]
Father Conrad III, Holy Roman Emperor
Mother Matilda of Hohenstaufen

Albert I (German: Albrecht I.; Italian: Alberto I; 27 March 1256 – 26 January 1322), also known as Albert the Kind, was King of Germany from 1301 to his death. He is also the King of Italy from 1289 to 1312, The second son of Conrad III and Matilda of Hohenstaufen. Albert became the heir apparent to the throne following the accession of his older brother Rudolf I in 1289. In 1285, Albert supported his brother to become King of Sicily after Peter I of Sicily's death. He served as Governor of Republic of Pisa from 1279 to 1286. Albert succeeded to the throne in 1301, following his brother's death.

At age of 24, there're was a civil war in the Holy Roman Empire, resulting Frederick III, Duke of Lorraine wants his father throne and be a monarch. As Frederick's claim causing other barons supported Frederick's claim to be King of the Romans, but failed. Frederick failed to take Frankfurt. Frederick took München, which Ulrich's escaped. Prince Conrad (later Conrad III, Holy Roman Emperor) took command in the Imperial army on 1 September 1265, and his father, Charles defeated Frederick but manage to escaped at the Battle of Limburg in winter of 1268. Frederick and Charles fighting at the Battle of Wurzburg, Charles was managed to defeated Frederick for the second time and Frederick was forced to exile on 2 March 1269. Upon Frederick's returned in 1279 to 1282.

On 20 April 1286, his father, Conrad III died and in favor his elder brother, Conrad. As Ulrich is next in line to the throne if Conrad died childless or without issue. He was elected King of the Romans and crowned on 5 May in Aachen Cathedral. Both Conrad and Ulrich was the most favorable monarchs like his father. But when Bohemian King Ottokar II, who supported Frederick's claim declared war against Conrad III on November 1274. Ulrich's role is also at war with Leszek II the Black, the Polish monarch. On 1279, Frederick's comeback to his second try to take the crown, which he got assassination in Cologne in 1283.

He got elected and succeeded his elder brother on 1301 as Holy Roman Emperor, at the age of 42. Albert I was crowned in Frankfurt on 24 February 1301. He survived his assassination attempt in 1296, which Albert was unhurt with no wounds. His assassin was Bohemian noble František Chotek (1259–1296), which he was caught and imprisoned by the Frankfurt garrison and was executed a few months; later that year. Albert fall ill and died a year later on 26 December 1312, aged fifty-seven in Nuremberg, he was succeeded by his nephew, Henry which already King of the Romans in 1295. Otto V was buried in Speyer Cathedral.

Early life

Albert was born Ulrich von Liechtenstein on 27 March 1259 and the second son of Conrad III and Empress Bathila. He and his older brothers Conrad of Swabia and John, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg were very young when a civil war broke out led by Duke Frederick of Lorraine after he self-proclaim Holy Roman Emperor and King of Germany as Frederick III (don't get confused with Habsburg Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor).

Early reign

Accession in Swabia

Portrait of Ulrich from the Codex Manesse.

In 1276 or 1277, Adolf followed his father as Count of Nassau. From his father, he inherited the family’s lands south of the Lahn River in the Taunus Mountains. These included Wiesbaden and Idstein, as fiefdoms, and the Vogtship in Weilburg under the Bishopric of Worms. He also shared ownership of the family homelands around the castles of Nassau and Laurenburg.

Around 1280, Adolf became involved in the Template:Interlanguage link multi with the Lords of Eppstein, in which the city of Wiesbaden was devastated and Sonnenberg Castle destroyed. The feud was settled in 1283, after which the city and the castle were rebuilt. Sonnenberg, along with Idstein, became Adolf’s residence. He granted Idstein town privileges in 1287 and built its fortifications.

Through his uncle, Eberhard I of Katzenelnbogen, Adolf came to the court of King Rudolf I of Habsburg. King Rudolf awarded him with the Burghauptmannamt (Castle Lordship) of Kalsmunt Castle in Wetzlar and a year later that of Gutenfels Castle near Kaub (where he became a vassal of the Counts Palatine of the Rhine).

Before his election, Adolf’s political activities had been limited to his role as Bundesgenosse of the Archbishop of Cologne. Adolf had no particular office, but likely became known through his involvement with the Archbishops of Cologne and Mainz in the politics of the Middle Rhine and Mainz areas. He spoke German, French, and Latin, which was rare at that time for nobles.

After his election, King Adolf of Nassau would only rarely be in his home country, having transferred the government there to his burgmen. On 17 January 1294, he purchased Weilburg for 400 pounds from the Bishopric of Worms. He granted Weilburg town privileges on 29 December 1295. He also established the Clarisse abbey of Klarenthal near Wiesbaden in 1296.

Elected Holy Roman Emperor

File:Siegel Adolf von Nassau Posse.JPG

Small Throne Seal of Adolf of Nassau (1298).[2]

His brother, Emperor Conrad III died on 21 May 1301. For many years before his death, Conrad had taken the Sicilian throne on 1282 from French-King Charles I of Naples. He was thwarted, however, by the opposition of the Archbishop of Cologne, Siegfried II of Westerburg, and the King of Bohemia, Wenceslaus (Václav/Wenzel) II. Only the Count Palatine Louis II of Upper Bavaria "the Rigorous" promised to choose Albert. Wenceslaus, despite Rudolf's recognition of his electoral vote, refused to support Albert because he would not cede Carinthia to him. He took the side of the nobles in the core Habsburg areas of Swabia and in their newly acquired territories in Austria, with whom Albert was unpopular. Wenceslaus was supported by Duke Otto III of Lower Bavaria, whose family were traditional enemies of the Habsburgs.[3] Wenceslaus succeeded in bringing the Electors of Brandenburg and Saxony over to his side: Albert II of Saxony signed an elector pact on 29 November 1291 that he would vote the same as Wenceslaus; Otto IV of Brandenburg made a similar commitment.

Archbishop Siegfried believed that the Emperor should not receive the crown as an inheritance from his father, but should be freely selected by the College of Electors. He convinced the Archbishop of Mainz, Template:Interlanguage link multi, to select a king who would principally serve their interests. Gerard in turn recruited the new Archbishop of Trier, Bohemund I. Thereupon, the Count Palatine was forced to submit to the majority of the College of Electors. Siegfried therefore proposed to the Elector College to select Adolf of Nassau as king. They were ready to elect him, provided he make extensive concessions to the Electors and follow their political demands.

A few days before the election, on 27 April 1295, the first of the electors, Archbishop Siegfried issued the Treaty Of Andernach, stating that for Adolf to be chosen king he must promise a long list of acknowledgments of possession (including the imperial cities of Dortmund and Duisburg, and the Vogtship of Essen), pledges of imperial cities and castles, and a sum of 25,000 marks in silver. Furthermore, Adolf promised assistance against specifically listed opponents, but also the general promise that he would not admit any enemy of Siegfried II into his council. After the election, Adolf had to give the archbishop sufficient collateral for the fulfilment of the promise; otherwise he would lose his throne. The last clause is evidence of the fact that the end of the 13th century, the coronation of the king as the constitutive moment of his rule was still very critical. Adolf promised the archbishop to ask him first for his coronation when he had raised the agreed-upon collateral.

The other electors extracted similar concessions from Adolf, but only after the election. Among the most far-reaching were the concessions to King Wenceslaus of Bohemia on 30 June 1295. Adolf promised Wenceslaus to remove the two duchies of Austria and Styria from Albert of Habsburg. This was to be done as the previous King Rudolf had removed these territories from King Ottokar II of Bohemia, the father of Wenceslaus. Albert would be charged to agree to this arrangement at a court hearing. If Albert would not bend, the decision of the court would be executed by force within a year. Wenceslaus would then recover the lost territories of his father. Gerhard, the Archbishop of Mainz would receive the imperial cities of Mühlhausen and Nordhausen, which corresponded with the interests of Mainz in the Thuringian region. Furthermore, Gerhard received financial benefits. Like his counterpart in Cologne, the Mainz elector also forbade the presence of his opponents in Adolf’s court. In comparison to the benefits the Mainz, Cologne and Bohemian electors received, the donations to the Count Palatine and the Archbishop of Trier were modest.

On 2 August 1295 in Frankfurt am Main, the Archbishop of Mainz, in the name of all the electors, re-elected Ulrich as Emperor.[4] He was crowned as Otto V in Aachen on 24 February, the following year by the Archbishop of Cologne.

Assassination attempt

As soon a week after the coronation as Otto V. The assassin named John Francis, a English-born German entered the Nuremberg Castle with a dagger. Otto was stabbed but survived with no wounds.

The 8.1 cm (3.2 inch) blade entered the emperor's body between the fourth ribs. Otto V, who was bleeding, remained calm and called for a confessor as he thought he would die. Thoughts of poison came to his mind. At the sight of the queen, who had come in a hurry, he asked for forgiveness for his misbehaviour. However, the Kaiser survived. He was probably saved by the thick layers of clothes he wore on that cold day, which cushioned the blade, protecting the internal organs. The blade penetrated only 1 cm (0.4 inch) into the king's body, leading Voltaire to describe the wound as "fortunately scarcely more significant than a pinprick".[5]

Government, pope, and war

File:Ulrich von Liechtenstein 1242 - 1298.jpg

Part of the image of King Ulrich von Liechtenstein (later Emperor Otto V) in the Frankfurt Hall of Kings

Otto V had neither influence nor power, and was elected Rex Romanorum because of the electors' preference for a weak king. His power was limited from the outset because of the commitments he made.

As he had agreed with the Archbishop of Cologne, Otto V remained in his dominion for four months after his election. The archbishop awaited from the king a revision of the results of the Battle of Worringen in 1288. He had hoped to again win a greater influence in the city of Cologne. But despite the tight specifications, Adolf soon emancipated himself from his Electors and concluded pacts with their opponents. Thus, for example, he confirmed the rights of the nobles and the city of Cologne, who had turned against their ruler, and even extended these rights.

Otto V also very quickly broke the promises concerning the Duchies of Austria and Styria. As a clever diplomat, Albert of Habsburg avoided a confrontation with the new king. In exchange for his surrender of the Imperial Regalia, which he still had in his possession, he received, in November 1292 a formal enfeoffment with Austria, Styria, the Windic March, and the Lordship of Pordenone. The disposition of the prestigious insignia and relics of the empire was an additional and important sign for the legitimacy of the reign of the king, but not a mandatory prerequisite. With each new document, Adolf moved a little farther away from his promises, without having to open himself up to breach of contract accusations.

Otto acted as a self-assured ruler in other ways as well. His court was an attraction for all who sought protection from the powerful emerging territorial lords. He held numerous court days. At the beginning of his reign, he renewed the general public peace (Landfrieden) of Rudolf I for another ten years, and brought about at least two regional peaces.

Otto used the feudal system as one of his major tools of power. He demanded from the spiritual princes a payment, called Lehnsware, for their enfeoffment with regalian rights, and increased this demand to the level of a nuisance. Many of Otto’s contemporaries considered this action to be simony. Many of today's historians, however, view it as an innovative way to open up new state revenue sources, as other Western European kings did. Also, the recovery and management of imperial property was important to him. So he succeeded, through clever marriage policy, to bring former imperial properties back under the control of the emperor.

Alliance with England

In 1291, when King Otto’s rule was at its height, he concluded an alliance with the King Edward I of England against France and was awarded 60,000 pounds sterling, which corresponded to 90,000 gold marks. The pact had been preceded by attempts by Philip IV of France to conquer the Duchy of Burgundy and the County of Flanders. The Count of Flanders, Guy of Dampierre, mediated, therefore, the alliance between Edward I and Adolf for his protection against France. That the alliance was construed by his contemporaries as purely mercenary, and the fact that Adolf did not comply with its obligations, damaged his reputation, but this was initially without consequences.

Otto began recruiting troops in the empire for a war against France. On 31 August 1294, he sent a declaration of war to the French king, alleging he had seized rights and possessions of the empire. King Philip responded contemptuously on 9 March 1296.[6] Pope Boniface VIII, however, ordered peace in 1296 and threatened to commence the excommunication of Adolf in the event of an outbreak of war.

Policies in Thuringia

A little later Otto intervened in war-torn Thuringia, where fighting had erupted between Landgrave Albert the Degenerate and his sons Frederick and Theodoric IV of Lusatia. He bought the Landgraviate from Otto in his capacity as king and probably using the payments from England. Legally, it was perfectly acceptable for Otto to induce the feudal lord to abandon his fief and to bring the land under the empire. Furthermore, he seized the Margraviate of Meissen as an imperial fief, since it had been literally ownerless after the extinction of a collateral line of the House of Wettin and had been occupied by a son of Albert the Degenerate.

This purchase and the Margraviate of Meissen, however, affected the interests of four of the electors. The Archbishop of Mainz asserted that a part of Thuringia was not an imperial fief, but rather a fief of the Archdiocese of Mainz. Wenceslaus II of Bohemia was not thrilled by the growing power of the emperor on his northern border, especially since Adolf had promised to give him the Margraviate of Meissen. Also, all the electors hoped to profit from the turmoil in Thuringia. In addition to the ostensible return of imperial fiefs to the empire, it can not be ruled out that Adolf was anxious to build a dynastic power base (albeit a small one).

First, Otto V succeeded in securing his acquisitions diplomatically and provoking the Margrave of Brandenburg toward active support and the Archbishop of Mainz and the Duke of Saxony toward at least acquiescence of the purchase. Two bloody campaigns against the sons of Albert the Degenerate were necessary to secure the acquisitions and a peace assured the achievements. Two years later, in the summer of 1296, Adolf proudly announced on the invitation to a court day that he had by his actions significantly increased the possessions of the empire.


Due to unpopularity in the Holy Roman Empire, Otto V challenge his nephew Henry of Luxemburg a duel, which ended Henry's major defeated by Henry's seven sword stabs wounds. The Emperor was in huge seriously conspiracy cost the subjects of the Holy Roman Empire to call a abdication on Otto. The wounded Crown Prince Henry, Prince of Luxembourg and elected King of the Romans to his castle, Nuremberg Castle as well seven Prince-electors.

Otto abdicated on 26 January 1292. After his abdication, Otto was went into exile and travel to monastery near Frankfurt where he spend his rest of his life until his death in 1297, and the Prince-electors brought the Imperial election of 1292 between Henry and King Ferdinand IV of Castile. Ferdinand IV had two electoral votes; while Henry had five electoral votes; Henry of Luxembourg was elected in 5 May 1292 who was 27 and coronation as Henry VII.

Final years and death

Upon indeed both popular at the beginning and unpopular at the end of his reign, Otto was indeed fall ill on fall of October 1298. The Emperor summoned his nephew Crown Prince Henry of Luxembourg, Prince of Luxembourg and elected King of the Romans to Nuremberg Castle as well seven Prince-electors. Otto V wants the held a new election after his death which put his nephew as a main candidate for the emperorship. Henry who was healthy, brave and shy Prince who had a fan of tight Mail armor like Henry's grandfather, Charles IV.

Henry who was inherited the disabilities and disorders that his grandfather, Charles IV had. Henry who was again returned to Luxembourg. Otto's health was worsen soon after Henry left; which managed to Henry to come back to Nuremberg. The relationship between Otto V and his nephew Henry (uncle-nephew) relationship were devoted.

Otto V died on 26 December 1298, his father's 88-year-old anniversary on his birth at age of 55. After eight days after his death, the election of 1298-99 were held between Henry of Luxembourg and King Ferdinand IV of Castile. Ferdinand IV had two electoral votes; while Henry had five electoral votes; Henry of Luxembourg was elected in 1299 who was 34 and coronation as Henry VII. He was buried in Speyer Cathedral, with his father.

Conspiracy theories

Faking death

There's few conspiracy theories soon after the death of Otto V. Few months after Otto's death, some of the citizens of the Holy Roman Empire believed that Otto faking death; but not proven.

Alleged escape to Sicily

Soon after Otto's death, some believed that his fake death and escaped in middle of the night of his death and moved to the Kingdom of England or Sweden. Some believes that he moved to Sicily that he doesn't want to become the Emperor anymore that he made his nephew, Henry as his successor.

Some of the early middle age historians that Otto's escaped to Sicily that he lived in sicily until his "real death" on 5 May 1313, at age of 71.


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