Maria Anna of Bavaria (1551–1608)

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Maria Anna of Bavaria
File:Jan Cornelisz. Vermeyen 005.jpg
Archduchess consort of Austria
Tenure 26 August 1571 – 10 July 1590
Born 21 March 1551
Munich, Germany
Died 29 April 1608 (aged 57)
Graz, Austria
Spouse Charles II of Austria
Issue Anna, Queen of Poland
Maria Christina, Princess of Transylvania
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
Margaret, Queen of Spain and Portugal
Leopold V, Archduke of Austria
Constance, Queen of Poland
Maria Magdalena, Grand Duchess of Tuscany
House House of Wittelsbach
Father Albert V, Duke of Bavaria
Mother Anne of Austria

Maria Anna of Bavaria (21 March 1551, Munich – 29 April 1608, Graz)[1] was the daughter of Albert V, Duke of Bavaria (1528–1579) and Anna of Austria (1528–1590), and the wife of Archduke Charles II of Austria.


Her paternal grandparents were William IV, Duke of Bavaria (1493–1550) and Maria Jacoba, Margravine of Baden (1507–1580). Her maternal grandparents were Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (1503–1564) and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary (1503–1547), daughter of King Ladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary and his wife Anne de Foix. King Louis XIV of France is her lineal descendant.[2]

Maria Anna was the fourth of seven siblings, only five of the children lived through to adulthood. Maria Anna's siblings included: William V, Duke of Bavaria, Ernest of Bavaria, Ferdinand of Bavaria and her unmarried sister, Maximiliana Maria of Bavaria (who once was appointed to marry king Sebastian of Portugal).

Marriage and children

On 26 August 1571 in Vienna Maria Anna married her maternal uncle, Charles II of Austria (1540–1590). At first the Duke was a suitor of Elizabeth I of England for almost a decade. However, despite long term negotiations the queen refused to marry Charles.

Within nineteen years of marriage, Charles and Maria Anna had fifteen children:

  • Ferdinand (b. Judenburg, 15 July 1572 – d. Judenburg, 3 August 1572).
  • Anne (b. Graz, 16 August 1573 – d. Warsaw, 10 February 1598), married on 31 May 1592 to Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Sweden.
  • Maria Christina (b. Graz, 10 November 1574 – d. Hall in Tirol, 6 April 1621), married on 6 August 1595 to Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania; they divorced in 1599.
  • Catherine Renata (b. Graz, 4 January 1576 – d. Graz, 29 June 1599).
  • Elisabeth (b. Graz, 13 March 1577 – d. Graz, 29 January 1586).
  • Ferdinand (b. Graz, 9 July 1578 – d. Vienna, 15 February 1637), Holy Roman Emperor as Ferdinand II in 1619.
  • Charles (b. Graz, 17 July 1579 – d. Graz, 17 May 1580).
  • Gregoria Maximiliana (b. Graz, 22 March 1581 – d. Graz, 20 September 1597).
  • Eleanor (b. Graz, 25 September 1582 – d. Hall in Tirol, 28 January 1620), a nun.
  • Maximilian Ernest (b. Graz, 17 November 1583 – d. Graz, 18 February 1616), Teutonic Knight.
  • Margaret (b. Graz, 25 December 1584 – d. El Escorial 3 October 1611), married on 18 April 1599 to Philip III, King of Spain.
  • Leopold (b. Graz, 9 October 1586 – d. Schwaz, 13 September 1632), Archduke of Further Austria and Count of Tirol.
  • Constance (b. Graz, 24 December 1588 – d. Warsaw, 10 July 1631), married on 11 December 1605 to Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Sweden (widower of her older sister).
  • Maria Magdalena (b. Graz, 7 October 1589 – d. Padua, 1 November 1631), married on 19 October 1608 Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
  • Charles the Posthumous (b. Graz, 7 August 1590 – d. Madrid, 28 December 1624), Bishop of Wroclaw and Brixen (1608–24), Grand Master of the Teutonic Order (1618–24).

Gallery of Family



  • HAMANN, Brigitte, Die Habsburger: Ein Biografisches Lexicon (Munich: Piper, 1988).
  • SÁNCHEZ, Magdalena, (2000) A Woman's Influence: Archduchess Maria of Bavaria and the Spanish Habsburgs. In C. Kent, T.K. Wolber, C.M.K. Hewitt (Eds.) The lion and the eagle: interdisciplinary essays on German-Spanish relations over the centuries (pp. 91–107). New York: Berghahn Books.