Jean 1st of Luxembourg, known as “the Blind”, was born on 10 August 1296 in Altmünster castle in Luxembourg. He was the son of Henri VII, count of Luxembourg and Holy Roman Emperor, and of Marguerite of Brabant (1276-1311). In 1310 he married Elisabeth Premyslovna (1292-1330), sister of Venceslas III, the last king of the Premyslid dynasty of Bohemia. As a result of this marriage, Jean of Luxembourg became king of Bohemia in 1310 and, because of this title, a prince elector of the Holy Roman Empire. At the time of the death of his father in 1313, he did not succeed him as emperor because of his young age (17 years).
Half French by his education (his maternal grandmother was Marguerite, a daughter of Saint Louis), Jean of Luxembourg was caught up in the struggle for empire between the Habs burgs and the Wittelsbachs, siding with the latter.
The foreign policy of Jean of Luxembourg, little understood at the time, was, without doubt, a modern and dynamic policy. Because of him, and especially because of his son Charles IV, French and Italian culture was brought to Bohemia. One must also credit Jean of Luxembourg for the improvement of relations with France, his fondness for this country beginning a long history of amicable Czech-French relations.
Charles IV, King of Bohemia and head of the House of Luxembourg, played an important role. He drew his power and his resources from his great territorial possessions.
In fact, he favoured Bohemia: It was in Prague that the first German university was opened in 1347; numerous monuments were built there; it became a great European capital. Charles then seized Brandenburg in 1373, the upper Palatinate around Ratisbonne, and Lusace and reunited them with Bohemia. The House of Luxembourg ruled the Kingdom of Bohemia from 1310 to 1347 through Jean of Luxembourg, Charles IV, Venceslas IV and Sigismond.
Title: 700th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Bohemia
Date of Issue: 16 June 2010
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