Head high, Rudolph of Habsburg led his army to the plain of Marchfeld, where his ally, the king of Hungary, Ladislas IV, must catch up with its own troops. After an interregnum of more than twenty years during which the Holy Empire has been that of the emperors ghosts, feudataires have elected the landgrave of Alsace and count of Zurich, king of the Romans in 1273. Rudolph, whose family has always been on the side of the ghibellines, did not consider it necessary to go to Rome to be crowned, but it is recognized by all as emperor legitimate, even by the pope.

One of his vassals, Ottokar II of Bohemia, had challenged his election, and then neglected to come to make allegiance. Asked to give the possessions of the Babenberg, in which he was improperly seized after the death of Frederic the Warrior, who died without progeny, he refused to comply. In 1276, for the force to restore the duchy of Austria, Styria and Carinthia, and Rudolf I had to put the seat in front of Vienna, where the king of the dynasty of slave of Premyslides was cut off. Ottokar ended, but he never gave up to take its revenge.

Backhand winner Rodolphe I er of Habsbourg,a bronze statue of the cenotaph of emperor Maximilian I, er, 1516-1517 (Innsbruck, Hofkirche). First the Habsburgs called to the imperial throne in 1273, he undertook to conquer the territories (including the duchy of Austria) unduly captured by the king of Bohemia, Ottokar II. akg-images / Erich Lessing

for two years, he forged new alliances and raised an army said to number more than twenty-five thousand men. Ottokar leads to Marchfeld also determined that Rudolph of Habsburg. To legitimize his hold on the inheritance of the Babenberg, the king of Bohemia had not hesitated to marry the sister of the duke deceased, much older than him. Since then, it has obtained the annulment of this marriage sterile, and relegated Margaret in a convent. His second marriage, he married Cunegonde of Slavonia, who gave him a son. Wenceslas goes on his seven years. When Ottokar succeeded to gird the crown of the Romans, he will make him the duke of Austria.

The dawn rises on the plain of Marchfeld when Rodolphe Ier happens at the same time that Ladislas IV, near the village of Dürnkrut. The emperor mark carefully places. Rodolphe has very quickly understood the advantage he could get a cavalry reinforcement concealed behind the wood. He will engage in the battle when the opponent show the first signs of fatigue. This maneuver is contrary to the rules of chivalry but Ottokar is being put under the ban of the Holy roman Empire is considered to be felon, and no longer a preux to whom one owes loyalty.

Soon the army of the Premyslide face the imperial troops. They talk, size each other up and hurl themselves one against the other. For three long hours the battle raged, but its outcome remains unclear. When the steed of Rodolphe fell causing his fall, Ottokar was believed that victory was within his reach. But the king of the Romans, the striking size and thrusting, managed to get clear.

At noon, feeling that the Bohemians and Moravians are exhausted, he gives the order to the cavalry, austro-Hungarian, kept in reserve, to charge the opponent. Surprised to setbacks, the enemy fails to support the assault. The men débandent and eventually ask thank you. Shortly after, Rodolph I, king Ladislas IV come to learn that the lifeless body of the king of Bohemia was found under a heap of corpses.

On the way back to Vienna, Rudolf of Habsburg currency with the count of Tyrol, Meinhard of Gorizia, who has taken up the cause for him from the beginning of the dispute. In order to seal their alliance, they have married their children. At the wedding of Albert of Habsburg and Elizabeth, they drank strength wine in Grinzing, in which the emperor is infatuated. It is also under the charm of the city danube, Hofburg palace, its churches, its chapels and its fortifications.

In two centuries, the Babenberg, had made the ancient Vindobona, the headquarters of a legion on the limes, where marcus Aurelius died in 180, a prosperous town. Their court was one of the most brilliant of the Germania. Poets courteous and knights flocked to the jousting, feasts and tournaments. Having obtained the privilege to step, Vienna has also become a place market a must for trade with Hungary. The emperor has decided to make it his principal residence. He promises to the count of Tyrol to come souventes time in his castle of Méran for hunting chamois, capercaillie and the ibex.


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