Rudolf I: marriages and offspring

Gertrud (Anna) of Hohenberg, statue, second half of 16th century

With Rudolf’s rise to power higher-ranking circles for marriage opened up to his offspring and descendants: now the marriage partners of the Habsburgs came from the ruling houses of the Holy Roman Empire rather than neighbouring families of counts.

Gertrud (Anna) of Hohenberg, statue, second half of 16th century

Rudolf’s marriage to Gertrude of Hohenberg resulted in three sons and six daughters who survived into adulthood.

Their eldest son Albrecht (1255-1308) was married to Elizabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol, whose family was among the allies of the Habsburgs in the Alpine region. Albrecht further consolidated the position of the emerging dynasty.

Hartmann (1263–1281), whom his father had also chosen for a dynastic alliance, died in a shipping accident on the Rhine before he could be married.

The marriages of Rudolf II (1270–1290) and Guta (1271–1297), who were betrothed while still children to Agnes and Wenceslas II, the children of King Ottokar II Přemysl who had been killed in the Battle on the Marchfeld, served to reconcile the two ruling dynasties. 

Mathilda (c. 1251–1304) and Catherine (d. 1282) married into the Bavarian Wittelsbach dynasty. The elder of the two, Mathilda, was the mother of the later emperor Louis IV the Bavarian, the rival Rudolf’s grandson Frederick for the Roman-German crown.

Hedwig (d. 1286) married Margrave Otto of Brandenburg, who was a nephew of Ottokar II Přemysl on his mother’s side.

Agnes (c. 1257–1322) was married to another of her father’s supporters, Duke Albrecht II of Saxony.

Clementia (d. 1293) was married to Charles Martell, who was from the Angevin dynasty ruling over the kingdom of Naples and descended on his mother’s side from the Hungarian royal dynasty. After the turmoil ensuing from the extinction of the Arpads he sought to claim succession to the Hungarian throne. However, it was to be his son Charles Robert who would finally win the Hungarian crown.

After the death of Gertrude Rudolf remarried in 1284 at the age of sixty-six. His bride was the fourteen-year-old Agnes of Burgundy (1270–1323). The couple’s marriage remained childless.

Martin Mutschlechner