Elisabetta Visconti

Elisabetta Visconti (1374 – 2 February 1432), also known as Elisabeth or Elizabeth, was a younger child of Bernabò Visconti and his wife, Beatrice Regina della Scala. Elisabetta was a member of the House of Visconti.

Elisabetta Visconti
Duchess consort of Bavaria-Munich
Milan, Italy
Died2 February 1432 (aged 5758)
Noble familyVisconti
Spouse(s)Ernest, Duke of Bavaria
Albert III, Duke of Bavaria
Beatrix, Countess of Cilli
Elisabeth, Duchess of Berg
FatherBernabò Visconti
MotherBeatrice Regina della Scala


Elisabetta was born in Milan and was one of the youngest of seventeen children, it is unknown what exact number she was of the seventeen children, her parents both state her in a different order. It is most likely that Elisabetta was the youngest child.[1]

Elisabetta's sister, Taddea Visconti married Stephen III, Duke of Bavaria and was mother of Isabeau of Bavaria, wife of Charles VI of France. Isabeau was the mother of Charles VII of France, Catherine, Queen of England, Isabella, Queen of England and Michelle, Duchess of Valois.

Elisabetta's maternal grandparents were Mastino II della Scala and his wife Taddea da Carrara. Her paternal grandparents were Stefano Visconti and his wife Valentina Doria.

Elisabetta's father, Bernabò, was a cruel and ruthless despot, and an implacable enemy of the Church. He seized the papal city of Bologna, rejected the Pope and his authority, confiscated ecclesiastical property, and forbade any of his subjects to have any dealings with the Curia. He was excommunicated as a heretic in 1363 by Pope Urban V, who preached crusade against him.[2] When Bernabò was in one of his frequent rages, only Beatrice Regina was able to approach him.[3]


Elisabetta was at first promised to Gian Galeazzo, the young son of Gian Galeazzo Visconti and his first wife Isabella of Valois. The marriage could not take place due to Gian Galeazzo the Younger's premature death. After his mother, Isabella died, Elisabetta's sister, Caterina Visconti married Gian Galeazzo the Elder.[4]

John II, Duke of Bavaria started marriage negotiations between his son, Ernest and Elisabetta.

The negotiations were successful. Elisabetta was married in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm 26 January 1395 to Ernest. Two years later, on John's death, the couple became Duke and Duchess of Bavaria-Munich. The couple had four children:

Before Elisabetta's death in 1432, her son Albert III married secretly the maid Agnes Bernauer; Ernest issued orders for her to be murdered. Agnes was accused of witchcraft and thrown into the River Danube and drowned. The civil war with his son finally ended with a reconciliation.

Elisabetta died 2 February 1432. She is buried with her husband in Munich.[5]



  1. Cawley, Charles, MILAN, Medieval Lands, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,
  2. Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, p.263
  3. Tuchman, p.254
  4. Italian Wikipedia with further references
  5. Cawley, Charles, MILAN, Medieval Lands, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,
Preceded by
Margaret of Cleves
Duchess of Bavaria-Munich
Succeeded by
Anna of Brunswick
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