Historical Figures

Wenceslaus II (1271-1305)

Wenceslaus II

Wenceslaus II (1271-1305) - King of Bohemia and Poland from the Přemyslid dynasty. Father, Přemysl Otakar II, died when Wenceslaus was only eight years old. Initially, a regent appointed by the ruler of Germany ruled on his behalf. Then the boy's mother, Kunegunda Halicka, and her lover (and later her new husband) Zawisza of Falkenštejn captured the rudder of the nave. The regency officially ended in 1285, although Wenceslaus II was not crowned until two years later.

He was the main competitor of Władysław Łokietek for power over Poland, plunged in fratricidal fights and weakened by a long division into districts. In 1299, he took most of the country, and a year later he was crowned Polish king in the Gniezno cathedral. In 1303 he married the daughter of the former, very briefly reigning Polish monarch, Przemysł II, Ryksa Elizabeth. The marriage was to strengthen his rights to the new throne. At the same time, he made an attempt to gain power in Hungary for his son, Wenceslaus III.

Excessive ambitions led him to a sharp conflict not only with the Roman king Albrecht Habsburg, but also with the papal curia of Boniface VIII. In the last years of his life, he was seriously ill with tuberculosis. He died of it in June 1305, when the rebellion led by Władysław Łokietek against his rule was already underway in Poland.

In Polish tradition, he is treated as an invader and occupant, not a restorer of the kingdom. According to contemporary historians, this is not a true picture, and the rule of Wenceslas II brought benefits also on the Vistula, and not only in his Czech homeland. The administrative reforms carried out by the king are especially highly appreciated.