Louis V, Duke of Bavaria

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Louis V, Duke of Bavaria
LudwigI Wittelsbach Siegesallee.JPG
Louis V, Duke of Bavaria, statue by Ernst Herter, 1899, former Siegesallee, Berlin
Spouse(s) Margrete of Denmark
Margarete Maultasch
Noble family House of Wittelsbach
Father Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Mother Beatrix of Świdnica
Born May 1315
Died 18 September 1361(1361-09-18)

Louis V, Duke of Bavaria, called the Brandenburger (May 1315 – 18 September 1361) was Duke of Bavaria and as Louis I also Margrave of Brandenburg and Count of Tyrol. Louis V was the eldest son of Emperor Louis IV and his first wife Beatrix of Świdnica. He was a member of the Wittelsbach dynasty.


Louis V was Margrave of Brandenburg from 1323 when he received the territory as a fiefdom from his father. As such, Louis contributed to the Declaration at Rhense in 1338. Wittelsbach rule in Brandenburg never earned much popular support. As a consequence of the murder of Provost Nikolaus von Bernau by Berlin citizens in 1325, the town was punished with a papal interdict. From 1328 onwards Louis was in war against the Duchy of Pomerania, which he claimed as a fiefdom. The conflict did not end before 1333, when he gave up his claims.

In order to acquire Tyrol for the Wittelsbach family, Louis V married Margarete Maultasch in 1342 before she was divorced from her previous husband, John Henry of Luxembourg. John Henry was a son of John the Blind, who had deposed Margarete's father, Henry of Gorizia-Tyrol as King of Bohemia in 1310. William of Ockham and Marsilius of Padua defended this first "civil marriage" in the Middle Ages. The Pope, however, excommunicated the couple and the scandal was known across Europe. Tyrol was punished with a papal interdict.

When his father died in 1347, Louis succeeded him as Duke of Bavaria and Count of Holland and Hainaut together with his five brothers. In 1349, Bavaria and the Wittelsbach possessions in the Netherlands were partitioned; he and his younger brothers Louis VI the Roman and Otto V the Bavarian received Upper Bavaria. His brothers Stephen II, William I and Albert I received Lower Bavaria, Holland and Hainaut.

The banned Louis could not apply for the German crown and his party tried to move Frederick II, Margrave of Meissen, to the acceptance of the German crown, however, he mistrusted the inconstancy of his voters and rejected the request. Louis then negotiated with his father's ally Edward III of England to compete against the new German king Charles IV, a brother of John Henry of Luxembourg. Edward was elected 10 January 1348 at Lahnstein, but resigned just four months later. Finally the Wittelsbach party elected Günther von Schwarzburg as anti-king in 1349. Louis V successfully resisted Charles IV even though Günther von Schwarzburg's kingship failed. He managed to keep all possessions for the Wittelsbach dynasty until his death.

First Louis successfully repulsed an attack of Charles IV against Tyrol in 1347. In alliance with Denmark and Pomerania, he then drove back a revolt in 1348 - 1350 caused by the "False Waldemar," an imposter who claimed Brandenburg and got support from several cities and Charles IV. The civil war caused a huge devastation in Brandenburg. With the Treaty of Bautzen Louis finally came to terms with Charles IV and the conflict ended (16 February 1350).

In 1349 and 1351 Louis issued two decrees to relieve the consequences of the plague.

Louis released Brandenburg in December 1351 to his brothers Louis VI the Roman and Otto V the Bavarian in exchange for the sole rule of Upper Bavaria. Louis then combined the administration of Upper Bavaria and Tyrol. With the Golden Bull of 1356 only the Palatinate branch of the Wittelsbach family and Louis VI the Roman as Margrave of Brandenburg were invested with the electoral dignity, which caused a new conflict between Louis and Charles IV.

Louis had good relations with his Habsburg relatives and helped arbitrate conflicts of Albert II, Duke of Austria, with Switzerland. With the support of the Habsburg family, Louis and his consort Margarete were absolved from their excommunication in 1359. Louis suddenly died in September 1361 in Zorneding near Munich during a ride from Tyrol to Munich and was succeeded by his son Meinhard. He is buried at the Frauenkirche in Munich.

Family and children

He was married two times.

  1. 1324: Margrete of Denmark (1305–1340), daughter of King Christopher II of Denmark
    1. Elisabeth of Bavaria (1326?-1345?)
  2. 1342: Margarete Maultasch (1318–1369), daughter of Henry I of Bohemia
    1. Hermann of Bavaria (Mar 1343-1360)
    2. Meinhard III (9 February 1344 in Landshut-13 January 1363 Castle Tyrol), married 1359 with Margarete of Habsburg (1346–1366), daughter of Duke Albert II of Austria
    3. daughter
    4. daughter



Louis V, Duke of Bavaria
Born: 1315 Died: 1361
German royalty
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Louis IV
Margrave of Brandenburg
Succeeded by
Louis VI the Roman
Preceded by
Louis IV
Duke of Bavaria
with Stephen II, Louis VI, William I, Albert I and Otto V
Succeeded by
partitioned into Upper and Lower Bavaria
Preceded by
created from Bavaria
Duke of Upper Bavaria
with Louis VI and Otto V 1349–1351
Succeeded by
Meinhard III
Preceded by
Margarete Maultasch
Count of Tyrol
co-ruler of Margarete Maultasch