Otto I, Duke of Merania

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.

Otto I
Duke of Merania
Otto I of Andechs, Hedwig Codex, 1353
Bornc. 1180
Died7 May 1234
Besançon, County of Burgundy
BuriedLangheim Abbey
Noble familyHouse of Andechs
Spouse(s)Beatrice II, Countess of Burgundy
FatherBerthold, Duke of Merania
MotherAgnes of Rochlitz


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.[1] At the wedding ceremony in Bamberg, the Hohenstaufen king Philip of Swabia was murdered,[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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 firstly married Beatrice of Hohenstaufen and produced the following children with her:

After Beatrice's death in 1231, Otto secondly married Sophia of Anhalt, daughter of Henry I, Count of Anhalt. There was no issue from this marriage.


  1. Kroonen et al. 2014, p. 243.
  2. Lechner 1974, p. 198.
  3. Lyon 2013, p. 171.


  • Kroonen, Guus; Langbroek, Erika; Quak, Arend; Roeleveld, Annelies, eds. (2014). Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik. Volume 72. Editions Rodopi.
  • Lechner, Karl (1976). Die Babenberger: Markgrafen und Herzoge von Österreich 976–1246. Vienna: Böhlau. ISBN 978-3205085089.
  • Lyon, Jonathan R. (2013). Princely Brothers and Sisters: The Sibling Bond in German Politics, 1100-1250. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801451300.
Otto I, Duke of Merania
Born: c. 1180 Died: 7 May 1234
Preceded by
Duke of Merania
Succeeded by
Otto II
Preceded by
Beatrice II
Count of Burgundy
with Beatrice II
Preceded by
Henry II
Margrave of Istria and Carniola

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