Duke Albert II Habsburg of Austria
- Born: 12 Dec 1298, Habsburg, Brugg, Aargau, Switzerland
- Marriage: Countesse Johanna of Pfirt on 15 Feb 1324
- Died: 16 Aug 1358, Wien, Wien, Austria at age 59
Albert II of Austria, known as the Wise or the Lame) was Duke of Austria.
Albert II was born at Habsburg, the son of Albert I of Germany, Rex Romanorum, and Elisabeth of Tirol. He became the joint ruler of all Habsburg lands with his younger brother, Otto the Merry in 1330, while increasing his possessions by the inheritance of his wife Joan, which was made up of the County of Pfirt and several cities.
Furthermore, Albert succeeded in establishing his claims on Carinthia and Carniola against John of Bohemia. Reflecting his high reputation among the secular and Church leaders of Europe, in 1335 Pope Benedict XII asked him to mediate in the church's conflict with Emperor Louis the Bavarian. Two years later, King Philip VI of France 1337 asked him for help against Emperor Louis and King Edward III of England. Nevertheless, Albert remained faithful to the Emperor until Louis' death.
He established the "Albertinian House Rule" (Albertinische Hausordnung) to predetermine the rules of succession in the Austrian lands, although the rule was disregarded after his death until renewed by Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. Adopted as part of the Pragmatic Sanction, the Albertinian House Rule effectively remained one of the basic laws of Austria until 1918. Styria owes him its (former) constitution, the so-called "Mountain Book" (Bergbüchel); the same is true for Carinthia.
Albert began the construction of the Gothic Choir in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, known as the Albertinian Choir. It has been speculated that he had temporal paralysis (explaining his nickname "Albert the Lame") caused by polyarthritis. If so, however, it did not prevent him from fathering four children: Rudolf, who succeeded him as duke, Frederick (2nd Duke), Albert III (3rd Duke), and Leopold (3rd co-Duke).
Albert died at Vienna in 1358.
Family and children
He married 15 February 1324 to Countesse Johanna of Pfirt, daughter of Count Ulrich III of Pfirt and had the following children:
1. Rudolf IV of Austria November 1, 1339, Vienna \endash July 27, 1365, Milan). Married but line extincted.
2. Frederick III of Austria (1347, Vienna \endash 1362, Vienna). Died unmarried.
3. Albert III of Austria (September 9, 1349, Vienna \endash August 29, 1395, Castle Laxenburg).
4. Leopold III (November 1, 1351, Vienna \endash July 9, 1386, Sempach).
5. Katharina (1342, Vienna \endash 10 January 1381, Vienna), Abbess of St.Klara in Vienna.
6. Margarete (1346, Vienna \endash 14 January 1366, Brno), married to:
1. in Passau 4 September 1359 to Count Meinhard III of Gorizia-Tyrol;
2. in Vienna 1364 to Margrave Johann Heinrich of Moravia.
Albert married Countesse Johanna of Pfirt on 15 Feb 1324. (Countesse Johanna of Pfirt was born about 1302.)