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Otto I, Duke of Merania

Duke of Merania
The basics
Date of birth
Date of death May 07, 1234 Besançon, canton of Besançon-Est, arrondissement of Besançon, Doubs
Children: Otto III, Count of Burgundy Agnes of Merania (1215-1263) Beatrix of Andechs-Merania Adelaide, Countess of Burgundy Marguerite of Merania
Father: Berthold, Duke of Merania
Brother(s): Bertoldo de Merania Ekbert von Andechs-Meranien Henry II Margrave of Istria
Spouse: Beatrice II, Countess of Burgundy
Mother: Agnes of Rochlitz
Sister(s): Hedwig of Silesia Gertrude of Merania Agnes of Merania
Authority VIAF id
The details

Otto I (c. 1180 – 7 May 1234), a member of the House of Andechs, was Duke of Merania from 1204 until his death. He was also Count of Burgundy (as Otto II) from 1208 to 1231, by his marriage to Countess Beatrice II, and Margrave of Istria and Carniola from 1228 until his death.


He was born about 1180 the eldest son of Duke Berthold of Merania and his wife Agnes of Rochlitz. On the death of his father in 1204, he succeeded him as Duke of Merania, while the margravial titles in Istria and Carniola were inherited by his younger brother Henry II.

On 21 June 1208, Otto married Beatrice II, Countess of Burgundy of House Hohenstaufen, daughter of late Count Otto I of Burgundy. At the wedding ceremony in Bamberg, the Hohenstaufen king Philip of Swabia was murdered, whereafter Otto approached his Welf rival Otto IV. However, the position of the Andechs dynasty was significantly weakened. Otto's brother Henry II was accused of having been involved in Philip's assassination and his estates were seized by Duke Ludwig I of Bavaria.

Otto assumed the rule in the County of Burgundy, which was contested by the local Counts of Auxonne and in the long-time struggle, Otto even had to give the Burgundian lands in pawn to Count Theobald IV of Champagne.

In 1213 Otto had joined the Babenberg duke Leopold VI of Austria and his brother-in-law King Andrew II of Hungary in the Fifth Crusade. In 1222, he became embroiled in a dispute with Gerard I de Rougemont, the Archbishop of Besançon over the building of a castle where Otto I of Burgundy had vowed would never be built. When Otto II of Burgundy refused to destroy the castle or explain his actions at the archiepiscopal court, he was excommunicated and his lands placed under interdict. He immediately turned to his brother Ekbert, Bishop of Bamberg for help in Bamberg. There on 20 October 1223, he issued five charters in which he made lavish donations for the sake of his soul. In 1228 he inherited the Marches of Istria and Carniola, which his brother Henry II had regained shortly before.

On Beatrice's death in 1231, he ceased to be Count and was succeeded by his son as Otto III. On his own death in 1234, he was further succeeded by his son as Otto II, Duke of Merania.

Marriage and children

Otto's first marriage with Beatrice of Hohenstaufen produced the following children:

  • Otto II, (c. 1226 – 19 June 1248), succeeded his mother as Count of Burgundy (as Otto III) in 1231 and his father as Duke of Merania as well as Margrave of Istria and Carniola in 1234, married Elizabeth, daughter of Albert IV of Tyrol. With his death, the House of Andechs became extinct in the male line.
  • Agnes (d. 1260/63), married Duke Frederick II of Austria, divorced, married secondly Duke Ulrich III of Carinthia
  • Beatrix (d. after 1265), married Count Herman II of Weimar-Orlamünde
  • Margaret (d. 1271), married Přemysl of Moravia, a younger son of King Ottokar I of Bohemia, married secondly Count Frederick of Truhendingen
  • Adelaide (d. 1279), heiress of the County of Burgundy upon her brother's death in 1248, married Count Hugh of Salins, married secondly Philip I of Savoy
  • Elisabeth, married Burgrave Frederick III of Hohenzollern, Burgrave of Nuremberg from 1261

After Beatrice's death in 1231, Otto secondly married Sophia, daughter of Count Henry I of Anhalt. This marriage remained childless.

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