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Bernhard von Spanheim statue in Klagenfurt

Bernhard von Spanheim (or Sponheim) (1176 or 1181 – 4 January 1256 in Völkermarktmarker) was the duke of Carinthia from 1202 until his death.


He was a member of the Rhenish Spanheim noble family. His father was Herman II, Duke of Carinthia (reigned 1161-1181). His mother was Agnes of Austria. Agnes was previously married to Stephen III of Hungary.

His paternal grandparents were Engelbert III of Istria and Matilda of Sulzbach. Matilda was a daughter of Berengar II, Count of Sulzbach (d.3 December 1125) and Adelheid von Wolfratshausen. Her sisters included Gertrude von Sulzbach and Bertha of Sulzbach, respectively the wives of Conrad III of Germany and Manuel I Komnenos, Byzantine Emperor.


Bernhard was a younger brother of Ulrich II, Duke of Carinthia who succeeded their father on 4 October 1181. Ulrich reigned for two decades but died childless on 10 August 1202. Bernhard succeeded him.

In the conflict between the rivaling House of Hohenstaufen and the Welfs he originally supported Philipp of Swabia but turned to Otto IV after Philipp's assassination in 1208. In 1213, Bernhard again switched sides to Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.

He is credited as founding the Kostanjevicamarker (Mariabrunn) Cistercian Abbey in the March of Carniola about 1234 as well as the city of Klagenfurtmarker, that he had transferred to its present location in 1246. Bernhard is buried at the St. Paul's Abbey in the Lavanttalmarker.

Marriage and children

In 1213, Bernhard married Judith of Bohemia. She was a daughter of Ottokar I of Bohemia and his second Queen consort, Constance of Hungary. They had four known children:

See also


  1. Profile of Herman II of Carinthia and his wife in "Medieval Lands" by Charles Cawley
  2. Profile of Engelbert III of Istria and his wife in "Medieval Lands" by Charles Cawley
  3. Profile of Berengar of Sulzbach, his wife and chieldren in "Medieval Lands" by Charles Cawley
  4. Profile of Bernhard of Carinthia, his wife and children in "Medieval Lands" by Charles Cawley

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