List of rulers of Bavaria

The following is a list of rulers during the history of Bavaria. Bavaria was ruled by several dukes and kings, partitioned and reunited, under several dynasties. Since 1949, Bavaria has been a democratic state in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Rulers of Bavaria

Ducal Bavaria (also known as the "Old Stem duchy")

Agilolfing Dynasty

Around 548 the kings of the Franks placed the border region of Bavaria under the administration of a duke — possibly Frankish or possibly chosen from amongst the local leading families — who was supposed to act as a regional governor for the Frankish king. The first duke we know of, and likely the first, was Gariwald, or Garibald I, a member of the powerful Agilolfing family. This was the beginning of a series of Agilolfing dukes that was to last until 788.

NameImageTitleStart termEnd termPartNote
Garibald IDuke of Bavaria555 (c.)591Some sources call him "King of the Bavarians".[1]
Tassilo IDuke of Bavaria591 (c.)610Named rex (king) at his ascension.
Garibald IIDuke of Bavaria610 (c.)630
TheodoDuke of Bavaria680 (c.)716 (?)By the time of Theodo, who died in 716 or 717, the Bavarian duchy had achieved complete independence from the Frankish kings. Theodo's sons divided the duchy, but by 719 the rule had returned to Grimoald.
TheodbertDuke702 (c.)719SalzburgSon of Theodo.
TheobaldDuke711 (c.)719Parts of BavariaSon of Theodo.
Tassilo IIDuke716 (c.)719PassauSon of Theodo.
GrimoaldDuke716 (c.)725FreisingSon of Theodo, later ruling all of Bavaria.
HugbertDuke725737Son of Theudbert. In 725(?), Charles Martel, ruler in fact though not in name of the Frankish realm, reasserted royal supremacy over Bavaria, defeating and killing Grimoald and annexing portions of Bavaria during the rule of Hugbert.
Odilo737748Son of Gotfrid.
Grifo748748Carolingian Usurper.
Tassilo IIIDuke of Bavaria748788In 757 Tassilo III recognized the suzerainty of the Frankish kings Pippin III and did homage to Charlemagne in 781, and again in 787, while pursued an independent policy. In 788, Charlemagne had Tassilo sentenced to death on a charge of treason. Tassilo, granted pardon, entered a monastery and formally renounced his duchy at Frankfurt am Main in 794.

Carolingian Dynasty and Dominion from the Holy Roman Empire

The Kings (later Emperors) of the Franks now assumed complete control, placing Bavaria under the rule of non-hereditary governors and civil servants. They were not Dukes but rather Kings of Bavaria. The Emperor Louis the Pious divided control of the Empire among his sons, and the divisions became permanent in the decades following his death in 840. The Frankish rulers controlled Bavaria as part of their possessions.

NameImageTitleStart termEnd termPartNote
CharlemagneEmperor788794
Gerold of VinzgouwPrefect of Bavaria794799UdalrichingUdalriching interregnum. Appointed Baioariæ præfectus by Charlemagne. Died in battle.
CharlemagneEmperor794814
Lothair IEmperor814817
Louis I the PiousEmperor817829In 817, Louis bestowed Bavaria upon his then-youngest son, Louis the German.
Louis II the GermanKing of Bavaria817865Louis was to rule as King of Bavaria, subordinate to his father, until the latter's death in 840. From 843, Bavaria was merged in Louis the German's Kingdom of East Francia. In 864, Louis the German gave control of Bavaria to his son Carloman, and died in 876. Louis' two younger sons, Louis and Charles — the latter of whom briefly recovered control of all the Frankish possessions — ruled Bavaria in succession after Carloman.
CarlomanKing of Bavaria864880Eldest son of Louis the German.
Louis III the YoungerKing of Bavaria880882Son of Louis the German.
Charles the FatKing of Bavaria882887Youngest son of Louis the German.

Carloman's bastard son, Arnulf of Carinthia, rebelled against Charles and took power in eastern Francia shortly before Charles' death.

Arnulf of CarinthiaKing of Bavaria887899Son of Carloman.
Louis IV the ChildKing of Bavaria899911Son of Arnulf of Carinthia.
EngeldeoMargrave of Bavaria890895Non-dynastic. Deprived of his title marchio Baioariorum and replaced by Luitpold.

Ducal Bavaria (also known as the "Younger Stem duchy")

Ruled by an array of dukes from an array of rivaling houses, individually appointed to office

Luitpolding dynasty, 911–947

  Luitpolding dynasty

Luitpold, founder of the Luitpolding dynasty, was not a Duke of Bavaria but a Margrave of Carinthia under the rule of Louis the Child. Frankish power had waned in the region due to Hungarian attacks, allowing the local rulers greater independence. Luitpold's son, Arnulf, claimed the title of Duke (implying full autonomy) in 911 and was recognized as such by the German King Henry the Fowler in 920.

German kings, 947–1070

  Ottonian dynasty   Salian dynasty

From 947 until the 11th century, the kings of Germany repeatedly transferred Bavaria into different hands (including their own), never allowing any one family to establish itself. Bavaria was ruled by a series of short-lasting, mostly unrelated dynasties.

Houses of Welf and Babenberg, 1070–1180

  Houses of Welf and Babenberg

In 1070, Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor deposed duke Otto, granting the duchy instead to Welf I, Duke of Bavaria, a member of the Italo-Bavarian family of Este. Welf I subsequently quarreled with King Henry and was deprived of his duchy for nineteen years, during which it was directly administered by the German crown. Welf I recovered the duchy in 1096, and was succeeded by his sons Welf II and Henry IX — the latter was succeeded by his son Henry X, who also became Duke of Saxony.

NameImageTitleStart termEnd termHousePartNote
LuitpoldMargrave of Bavaria895907Luitpolding
Arnulf the BadDuke of Bavaria907920LuitpoldingSon of Luitpold.

Arnulf the Bad claimed the title of Duke — implying full autonomy — in 911, and was recognized as such by the German King Henry the Fowler, in 920.

EberhardDuke of Bavaria937938Luitpolding
BertholdDuke of Bavaria938947LuitpoldingYounger son of Luitpold.

The German King Otto I reasserted central authority, banishing Arnulf's son Eberhard and re-granting the title to Berthold, a younger son of Luitpold.

Henry IDuke of Bavaria947955OttonianSon of Henry the Fowler.

On Berthold's death, Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, gave the duchy to his own brother Henry (I), who was also Arnulf the Bad's son-in-law.

Henry II the QuarrelsomeDuke of Bavaria955976OttonianHenry II made war upon his cousin, Emperor Otto II, and was deprived of his duchy in 976 in favor of his cousin Otto, Duke of Swabia (who now acquired two dukedoms).
Otto IDuke of Bavaria976982Ottonian
Henry III the YoungerDuke of Bavaria983985LuitpoldingBavaria was given to Berthold's son Henry III, briefly restoring the Luitpolding dynasty. Henry III exchanged Bavaria for Carinthia, and Henry II received Bavaria again.
Henry II the QuarrelsomeDuke of Bavaria985995OttonianRestored
Henry IVDuke of Bavaria9951004OttonianSon of Henry II the Quarrelsome.

Henry IV was elected as Holy Roman Emperor Henry II, who gave Bavaria to his brother-in-law Henry V, Count of Luxemburg in 1004.

Henry VDuke of Bavaria10041009LuxemburgSon of Siegfried of Luxembourg.
Henry IVDuke of Bavaria10091017OttonianHenry IV reasserted direct control.
Henry VDuke of Bavaria10171026LuxemburgSon of Siegfried of Luxembourg.

Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany, gave Bavaria to his son Henry VI after the death of Henry V in 1026.

Henry VI the BlackDuke of Bavaria10261042SalianSon of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Later Henry was elected as Holy Roman Emperor Henry III, and became King of Germany in 1039.

Henry VIIDuke of Bavaria10421047LuxemburgSon of Frederick of Luxembourg.

In 1042, Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, granted the duchy to Henry VII, Count of Luxemburg, nephew of Henry V.

Conrad I (Kuno)Duke of Bavaria10491053EzzonenSon of Liudolf of Lotharingia.

After Henry VII's death, the dukedom was vacant for a couple of years. Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, then gave the duchy to Kuno, Count of Zütphen, in 1049. Kuno was deposed in 1053.

Henry VIIIDuke of Bavaria10531054SalianSon of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor.

During his reign in Bavaria Henry VIII was a minor (born 1050). In 1056 he became King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor as Henry IV in 1084.

Conrad IIDuke of Bavaria10541055Salian(minor, born 1052, died 1055) Son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry VIIIDuke of Bavaria10551061Salian(minor: born 1050) Son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor. Henry VIII became King of Germany (1056) and Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor in 1084.
Otto IIDuke of Bavaria10611070NordheimIn 1061 Empress Agnes — the 11-year-old King Henry IV's mother and regent — entrusted the duchy to Otto of Nordheim.
Welf IDuke of Bavaria10701077WelfWelf I subsequently quarreled with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor and was deprived of his duchy for nineteen years, during which it was directly administered by the German crown.
Henry VIIIDuke of Bavaria10771096Salian(minor: born 1050) Son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor. Henry VIII became King of Germany (1056) and Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor in 1084.
Welf IDuke of Bavaria10961101WelfWelf I recovered the duchy in 1096.
Welf IIDuke of Bavaria11011120WelfSon of Welf I
Henry IX the BlackDuke of Bavaria11201126WelfSon of Welf I.

Abdicated.

Henry X the ProudDuke of Bavaria11261138WelfSon of Henry IX the Black.

In a power struggle with King Conrad III of Germany, Henry X lost his duchy to the King, who granted it to his follower Leopold Margrave of Austria.

Leopold IDuke of Bavaria11391141BabenbergWhen Leopold died, Conrad III of Germany resumed the duchy and granted it to Leopold's brother Henry XI.
Henry XI JasomirgottDuke of Bavaria11431156BabenbergBrother of Leopold.
Henry XII the LionDuke of Bavaria11561180WelfWhen Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, became king of Germany, he restored Bavaria to the Welf line in the person of Henry X's son, Henry XII the Lion, Duke of Saxony.

Ducal Bavaria (Hereditary dukes)

In 1180, Henry XII the Lion and Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, fell out. The emperor consequently dispossessed the duke and gave his territory to Otto I Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach. From now on, Bavaria remained in the possession of various branches of the family for 738 years until the end of the First World War.

First partition, 1253–1340

In 1253, on Otto II's death, Bavaria was divided between his sons. Henry became Duke of Lower Bavaria and Louis of Upper Bavaria. From this point until the beginning of the 16th century, the territories were frequently divided between brothers, making the Dukes difficult to list.

In Lower Bavaria, Henry XIII was succeeded by his three sons, Otto III, Louis III, and Stephen I ruling jointly. Otto III's successor in the joint dukedom was his son Henry XV. Stephen's successors were his sons Otto IV and Henry XIV. Henry XIV's son was John I.

In Upper Bavaria, Louis II was succeeded by his sons Rudolf I and Louis IV. The latter was elected King of Germany in 1314. After John I's death in 1340, Louis IV unified the Bavarian duchy.

The dukes of Upper Bavaria served also as Counts Palatinate of the Rhine. In 1329 Louis IV released the Palatinate of the Rhine including the Bavarian Upper Palatinate to the sons of Rudolf I. The Upper Palatinate would be reunited with Bavaria in 1623, the Lower Palatinate in 1777.

Second partition 1349–1503

From 1349 until 1503 the second partition of Bavaria took place. In 1349, the six sons of Louis IV partitioned Bavaria into Upper and Lower Bavaria again. In 1353, Lower Bavaria was partitioned into Bavaria-Landshut and Bavaria-Straubing. Upper Bavaria was partitioned between Bavaria-Straubing and Bavaria-Landshut in 1363. After the death of Stephan II in 1392, Bavaria-Landshut was broken into three duchies, John II gained Bavaria-Munich, Frederick, Duke of Bavaria-Landshut received a smaller Bavaria-Landshut, and in Bavaria-Ingolstadt ruled Stephen III, Duke of Bavaria.

Following the Landshut War (1503–1505), the Duke of Bavaria-Munich Albert IV the Wise became ruler of Bavaria. In 1506 Albert decreed that the duchy should pass according to the rules of primogeniture.

In 1623 Maximilian I was granted the title Prince-elector (German: Kurfürst) of the Rhenish Palatinate in 1623.

House of Wittelsbach

Partitions of Bavaria under Wittelsbach rule

Duchy of Bavaria
(1180-1253)
Lower Bavaria
(1st creation)
(1253-1340)
Upper Bavaria
(1st creation)
(1253-1340)
Duchy of Bavaria
(Upper line)
(1340-1349)
Lower Bavaria
(2nd creation)
(1349-1353)
Upper Bavaria
(2nd creation)
(1349-1363)
(divided among the other duchies)
Landshut
(1353-1503)
      
Straubing
(1353-1432)
(divided among the other duchies)
Munich
(1392-1503)
Ingolstadt
(1392-1445)
      
      
      
Dachau
(1467-1501)
             
             
Duchy of Bavaria
(Munich line)
(1503-1623)

Table of rulers

(Note: Here the numbering of the dukes is the same for all duchies, as all were titled Dukes of Bavaria, despite of the different parts of land and its particular numbering of the rulers. The dukes are numbered by the year of their succession.)

RulerBornReignDeathRuling partConsortNotes
Otto III the Redhead11171180-118311 July 1183BavariaAgnes of Loon
1169
eleven children
In 1180 Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor gave Bavaria to Otto I Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach.
Agnes of Loon
(regent)
11501183-11891191BavariaOtto III the Redhead
1169
eleven children
Regent on behalf of her son, Louis I. She managed to secure the inheritance of her son.
Louis I the Kelheimer23 December 11731189-123115 September 1231BavariaLudmilla of Bohemia
1204
one child
Son of Otto III. Louis obtained the Palatinate of the Rhine in 1214. So Louis I served also as Count Palatine of the Rhine. He was assassinated 1231.
Otto IV the Illustrious7 April 12061231-125329 November 1253BavariaAgnes of the Palatinate
1222
Worms
eleven children
Otto IV served also as Count Palatine of the Rhine. On Otto IV's death, Bavaria was divided between his sons. Henry became duke of Lower Bavaria, and Louis of Upper Bavaria. From this point until the beginning of the 16th century, the territories were frequently divided between brothers.
Henry XIII19 November 12351253-12903 February 1290Lower BavariaElizabeth of Hungary
1250
ten children
Son of Otto IV. After the partition of 1253, received Lower Bavaria.
Louis II the Strict13 April 12291253-12942 February 1294Upper BavariaMaria of Brabant
2 August 1254
(executed)
no children

Anna of Głogów
1260
two children

Matilda of Austria
24 October 1273
four children
Son of Otto IV. After the partition of 1253, received Upper Bavaria.
Otto V11 February 12611290-13129 November 1312Lower BavariaCatherine of Austria
January 1279
two children

Anna of Głogów
18 May 1309
two children
Sons of Henry XIII, ruled jointly. In 1305 Otto became also King of Hungary and Croatia, as grandson of Béla IV of Hungary.
Louis III9 October 12691290-12969 October 1296Lower BavariaIsabella of Lorraine
1287
no children
Stephen I14 March 12711290-131010 December 1310Lower BavariaJudith of Świdnica-Jawor
1299
eight children
Matilda of Austria (regent)12531294-129623 December 1304Upper BavariaLouis II the Strict
24 October 1273
four children
Widow of Louis II. Regent on behalf of her sons.
Rudolph I the Stammerer4 October 12741296-131712 August 1319Upper BavariaMatilda of Nassau
1 September 1294
Nuremberg
six children
Ruled jointly with his brother Louis IV. In 1317 Rudolph abdicated of his rights to his brother, who in 1328 was elected Holy Roman Emperor, and in 1340 reunited Bavaria.
Henry XIV the Elder29 September 13051312-13391 September 1339Lower BavariaMargaret of Bohemia
12 August 1328
two children
Sons of Stephen I (Henry XIV and Otto VI) and Otto V (Henry XV), ruled jointly.
Otto VI3 January 13071312-133414 December 1334Lower BavariaRichardis of Jülich
1330
one child
Henry XV the Natternberger28 August 13121312-133318 June 1333Lower BavariaAnna of Austria
between 1326 and 1328
no children
John I the Child29 November 13291339-134020 December 1340Lower BavariaAnna of Upper Bavaria
18 April 1339
Munich
no children
Left no male heirs, which allowed his cousin (and brother-in-law) Louis to reunite the Bavarian lands.
Louis IV the Bavarian 5 April 1282 1296-1340 11 October 1347 Upper Bavaria Beatrice of Świdnica-Jawor
14 October 1308
six children

Margaret II, Countess of Holland-Hainaut
26 February 1324
Cologne
ten children
Co-ruled with his brother Rudolf I until 1317 — then alone. Louis IV was elected King of Germany in 1314. In the Treaty of Pavia (1329) Louis IV released the Palatinate of the Rhine including the Bavarian Upper Palatinate to the sons of Rudolf I. After John I the Child's death in 1340, Louis IV unified the Bavarian duchy.
1340-1347Bavaria
Louis V the Brandenburger May 1315 1347-1349 18 September 1361 Bavaria Margaret of Denmark
1324
no children

Margaret, Countess of Tyrol
10 February 1342
Meran
four children
The six sons of Louis IV, ruled jointly until 1349, when they divided the land: Louis V, Louis VI and Otto VII kept Upper Bavaria; William, Albert and Stephen Lower Bavaria. In 1351 Louis VI and Otto gave up their inheritance in Bavaria, in excnhange of the Electoral dignity in Brandenburg. Having lost the Electorate of Brandenburg in 1373, Otto returned to Bavaria to claim new inheritance, and shared the part of Stephen II's sons (his nephews) in Landshut.

In Lower Bavaria, the three brothers divided the land again in 1353: Stephen kept Landshut, William and Albert shared Straubing, and from 1389 the two shared Straubing also with Albert I's son, Albert II.

1349-1361Upper Bavaria
Louis VI the Roman 7 May 1328 1347-1349 17 May 1365 Bavaria Cunigunde of Poland
before 1349
no children

Ingeborg of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
1360
no children
1349-1351Upper Bavaria
Otto VII the Lazy 1340/42 1347-1349 15 November 1379 Bavaria Catherine of Bohemia
19 March 1366
no children
1349-1351Upper Bavaria
1375-1379Bavaria-Landshut
Stephen II the Representative 1319 1347-1349 13 May 1375 Bavaria Elisabeth of Sicily
27 June 1328
four children

Margaret of Nuremberg
14 February 1359
three children
1349-1353Lower Bavaria
1353-1375Bavaria-Landshut
William I the Mad 12 May 1330 1347-1349 15 April 1389 Bavaria Matilda of England
1352
London
no children
1349-1353Lower Bavaria
1353-1389Bavaria-Straubing
Albert I 25 July 1336 1347-1349 13 December 1404 Bavaria Margaret of Brzeg
after 19 July 1353
Passau
no children

Margaret of Clèves
1394
Heusden
no children
1349-1353Lower Bavaria
1353-1404Bavaria-Straubing
Albert II13681389-139721 January 1397Bavaria-StraubingUnmarried
Meinhard I9 February 1344 1361-136313 January 1363Upper BavariaMargaret of Austria
4 September 1359
Passau
no children
Left no male descendants. After his death Upper Bavaria was divided between Bavaria-Landshut and Bavaria-Straubing.
Definitively annexed by Bavaria-Landshut (1/2) and Bavaria-Straubing (1/2)
Frederick I the Wise13391375-13934 December 1393Bavaria-LandshutAnna of Neuffen
1360
one child

Maddalena Visconti
2 September 1381
five children
Ruled jointly. Shared rule, until 1379, with their uncle Otto VII. In 1392 the brothers divided the land once more. Frederick retained Landshut, Stephen kept Ingolstadt and John received Munich.
Stephen III the Magnificent 1337 1375-1392 26 September 1413 Bavaria-Landshut Taddea Visconti
13 October 1364
two children

Anna of Neuffen
16 January 1401
Cologne
no children
1392-1413Bavaria-Landshut-Ingolstadt
John II 1341 1375-1392 14 June/1 July 1397 Bavaria-Landshut Catherine of Gorizia
1372
three children
1392-1397Bavaria-Landshut-Munich
Henry XVI the Rich13861393-145030 July 1450Bavaria-LandshutMargaret of Austria
25 November 1412
Landshut
six children
Annexed Ingolstadt in 1445.
Ernest13731397-143814 June/1 July 1397Bavaria-Landshut-MunichElisabetta Visconti
26 January 1395
Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm
four children
Ruled jointly.
William II13751397-143512 September 1435Bavaria-Landshut-MunichUnmarried
William III5 April 13651404-141731 May 1417Bavaria-StraubingMargaret of Burgundy
12 April 1385
Cambrai
one child
Eldest son of Albert I.
Louis VII the Bearded13681413-14431 May 1447Bavaria-Landshut-IngolstadtAnne de Bourbon-La Marche
1 October 1402
two children

Catherine of Alençon
1413
two children
Imprisoned by his son, who was allied with Henry XVI. Died in prison.
Jacqueline15 July 14011417-14328 October 1436Bavaria-StraubingJohn, Dauphin of France
6 August 1415
The Hague
no children

John IV, Duke of Brabant
10 March 1418
The Hague
(dubious annullment in 1422)
no children

Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
7 March 1423
Hadleigh
(secretly; dubious annullment in 1428)
no children

Frank van Borssele
1434
no children
Contested by her uncle, John III In 1432 abdicated of all her titles and lands. Straubing therefore was divided between its neighbours.
John III the Pitiless (opponent)13741417-14256 January 1425Bavaria-StraubingElizabeth I, Duchess of Luxembourg
11418
no children
Son of Albert I. Contested Jacqueline until his death 1425.
Definitively annexed by the remaining Bavarian duchies
Albert III27 March 14011438-146029 February 1460Bavaria-Landshut-MunichAgnes Bernauer
c.1432?
(morganatic)
no children

Anna of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
22 January 1437
Munich
ten children
Son of Ernest.
Louis VIII the Hunchback1 September 14031443-14457 April 1445Bavaria-Landshut-IngolstadtUnmarriedAfter his death Ingolstadt was annexed by Landshut.
Definitively annexed by Bavaria-Landshut
Louis IX the Rich23 February 14171450-147918 January 1479Bavaria-LandshutAmalia of Saxony
21 March 1452
Landshut
four children
John IV4 October 14371460-146318 November 1463Bavaria-Landshut-MunichUnmarried Son of Albert III, ruled jointly with his brothers Sigismund and Albert IV.
Sigismund 26 July 1439 1460-1467 1 February 1501 Bavaria-Landshut-Munich Unmarried In 1467, Sigismund created a smaller duchy with its center in Dachau, but left no descendants, and this duchy was merged again in Bavaria-Munich after his death.
1467-1501Bavaria-Landshut-Munich-Dachau
Definitively annexed by Bavaria-Munich
George I the Rich15 August 14551479-15031 December 1503Bavaria-LandshutHedwig of Poland
14 November 1475
Landshut
five children
Left no male descendants at his death. His duchy was annexed to Bavaria-Munich, which reunited the Bavarian duchy.
Albert IV the Wise 15 December 1447 1460-1503 18 March 1508 Bavaria-Landshut-Munich Kunigunde of Austria
3 January 1487
Munich
seven children
Co-ruled with his brothers John IV and Sigismund. Reunited the duchy in 1503. In 1506 Albert decreed that the duchy should pass according to the rules of primogeniture.
1503-1508Bavaria
William IV the Steadfast13 November 14931508-15507 March 1550BavariaJakobaea of Baden
5 October 1522
Munich
four children
Sons of Albert IV, the last Bavarian pair of brothers ruling together.
Louis X18 September 14951516-154522 April 1545BavariaUnmarried
Albert V the Magnanimous29 February 15281550-157924 October 1579BavariaAnna of Austria
4 July 1546
Regensburg
seven children
William V the Pious29 September 15481579-15977 February 1626BavariaRenata of Lorraine
22 February 1568
Munich
ten children
Maximilian I the Great17 April 15731597-162327 September 1651BavariaElisabeth of Lorraine
9 February 1595
Nancy
no children

Maria Anna of Austria
15 July 1635
Vienna
two children
Son of William V. Maximilian I, was an ally of Emperor Ferdinand II in the Thirty Years' War. When the Elector of the Palatinate, Frederick V, head of a senior branch of the Wittelsbachs, became involved in the war against the Emperor, he was stripped of his Imperial offices and the Prince-elector title. Maximilian I was granted the Electorate of the Palatinate in 1623.

Electorate of Bavaria

NameImageTitleStart termEnd termHouseNote
Maximilian IPrince-elector of Bavaria25 February 162327 September 1651WittelsbachIn 1648, Frederick of the Palatinate's heir was restored to his Rhenish territory — but not to the Oberpfalz ceded to Bavaria — together with a new Electorate; Maximilian retained the Electorate granted him in 1623.
Ferdinand MariaPrince-elector of Bavaria27 September 165126 May 1679WittelsbachSon of Maximilian I. 1651-1654 under regency of his uncle Albert VI of Bavaria.
Maximilian II EmanuelPrince-elector of Bavaria26 May 167926 February 1726WittelsbachSon of Ferdinand Maria and Princess Henriette Adelaide of Savoy.
Maximilian II took part in the War of the Spanish Succession on the side of France, against the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. He was accordingly forced to flee Bavaria following the Battle of Blenheim and deprived of his Electorate on 29 April 1706. He regained his Electorate in 1714 by the Peace of Baden and ruled until 1726.
Charles Albert
Karl Albrecht
Prince-elector of Bavaria26 February 172620 January 1745WittelsbachSon of Maximilian II Emanuel.

Charles Albert once again took on the House of Habsburg in the War of the Austrian Succession, again in combination with France, succeeding so far as to be elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1742 (as Charles VII). However, the Austrians occupied Bavaria (1742–1744), and the Emperor died shortly after returning to Munich.

Maximilian III JosephPrince-elector of Bavaria20 January 174530 December 1777WittelsbachSon of Charles Albert.
Maximilian III, who had no children, was the last of the direct Bavarian Wittelsbach line descended from Louis IV. He was succeeded by the Elector of the Palatinate, Charles Theodore, who thereby regained their old titles for the senior Wittelsbach line — descended from Louis IV's older brother Rudolf I.
Charles Theodore
Karl Theodor
Elector of the Palatinate30 December 177716 February 1799WittelsbachSon of John Christian, Count of Palatinate-Sulzbach and Marie Anne Henriëtte Leopoldine de La Tour d'Auvergne.
Distant cousin of Maximilian III; Elector Palatine from 1743.
Charles Theodore was also childless, and was succeeded by a distant cousin, the Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, Maximilian IV Joseph — later King Maximilian I.
Maximilian IV JosephElector of the Palatinate16 February 17996 August 1806WittelsbachSon of Count Palatine Frederick Michael of Zweibrücken.
Distant cousin of Charles Theodore; Count Palatine of Zweibrücken from 1795.

In the chaos of the wars of the French Revolution, the old order of the Holy Roman Empire collapsed. In the course of these events, Bavaria became once again the ally of France, and Maximilian IV Joseph became King Maximilian I of Bavaria — whilst remaining Prince-Elector and Arch-steward of the Holy Roman Empire until 6 August 1806, when the Holy Roman Empire was abolished.

Kingdom of Bavaria

In 1805 under the Peace of Pressburg between the Napoleonic France and the Holy Roman Empire several duchies were elevated to kingdoms. The Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria held the title King of Bavaria from 1806 until 1918. The prince-elector of Bavaria, Maximilian IV Joseph formally assumed the title King Maximilian I of Bavaria on 1 January 1806. The well-known so called Märchenkönig (Fairy tale king) Ludwig II constructed Neuschwanstein Castle, Herrenchiemsee, and Linderhof Palace during his reign (1864–1886), threatening not only to go bankrupt in person, but also to bankrupt the country in the process. In 1918 Ludwig III lost his throne in the German Revolution of 1918–1919.

NameImageTitleStart termEnd termHouseNote
Maximilian IKing of Bavaria1 January 180613 October 1825Wittelsbachsee above
Ludwig IKing of Bavaria13 October 182520 March 1848WittelsbachSon of Maximilian I Joseph.

Abdicated in the Revolutions of 1848

Maximilian IIKing of Bavaria20 March 184810 March 1864WittelsbachSon of Ludwig I
Ludwig IIKing of Bavaria10 March 186413 June 1886WittelsbachSon of Maximilian II

Ludwig II was called the Märchenkönig (Fairy tale king). He grudgingly acceded to Bavaria becoming a component of the German Empire in 1871, was declared insane in 1886.[2]

OttoKing of Bavaria13 June 18865 November 1913WittelsbachBrother of Ludwig II and son of Maximilian II.

From a mathematical, calendrical point of view, his marked the longest "reign" amongst the Kings of Bavaria. However, Otto was mentally ill since teenhood and throughout all of his later life, hence the royal functions had to be carried out by the following princes regent:

Ludwig IIIKing of Bavaria5 November 191313 November 1918WittelsbachCousin of Otto, son of Prince Luitpold and grandson of Ludwig I.

Prince regent from 1912 until 1913. Declared King of Bavaria following a controversial change of the constitution, discharging his cousin Otto from "office". Lost the throne in the German Revolution of 1918–1919 at the end of World War I. Marks the end of 738 years of uninterrupted Wittelsbach rule over Bavaria.

Post-monarchy

In 1918 — at the end of the First World War in the German Revolution of 1918–1919  Bavaria became a democratic republic within the Weimar Republic; the name for the period of Germany from 1919 to 1933. Since then the rulers of Bavaria are minister presidents.

References

  1. Paul the Deacon (1907), History of the Langobards (Historia Langobardorum), William Dudley Foulke, trans. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania), III, x, calls him "king of the Bavarians". The mid-thirteenth-century Series Ducum Bavariæ calls him Garibaldus rex, see FMG. Archived 24 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. King, Greg (1996), The Mad King: The Life and Times of Ludwig II of Bavaria., ISBN 978-1-55972-362-6

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