The Expansion of Bohemia under Ottokar II 1250–69

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Map Code: Ax02262

Ottokar I established the hereditary royal Přemyslid dynasty of Bohemia in 1198, and they would go on to become the prime power brokers in the Holy Roman Empire. His grandson, Ottokar II, rebelled against his father Wenceslas, and was both imprisoned and excommunicated before ascending to the throne in 1253. Béla of Hungary immediately challenged the young king, but Ottokar repulsed his invasion, and by the Treaty of Pressburg (1254) gained Austria, while Béla kept Styria. Discontented with Hungarian rule, the Styrians rebelled, requesting Ottokar’s support. More than happy to oblige, Ottokar defeated the Hungarians at Kressenbrunn (1260) and subsequently annexed a grateful Styria. He then cemented his success by marrying the Hungarian king’s granddaughter. Earning the sobriquet ‘Iron and Golden King’, Ottokar then crowned his military acquisitions with a shrewd inheritance deal (1268), which enabled him to secure Carinthia and Carniola painlessly the following year on the death of Duke Ulrich.

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