Breslau ~ Duchy


BRESLAU ~Duchy.  

Market Square in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław...

Market Square in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland) ca. 1890-1900. View from the East. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The city, now WROCŁAW, is the largest in Silesia, and stands on the River Odra/Oder.

In 1251 the sons of Henry II, Prince of Poland and Duke of Lower Silesia, who had been killed resisting the Mongols in 1241, partitioned Lower Silesia among them, the second son, Henry III, receiving Breslau.   In 1290 his line died out with his son, Henry IV, when Schweidnitz, Münsterberg and Öls went to the Duke of Glogau and Breslau and Brieg to Henry V, Duke of Liegnitz.

In 1311 Breslau became a separate Duchy for Henry VI, Henry V’s second son, who had been an infant when his father had died in 1296.    He himself had no sons and in 1327 he ceded his Duchy to the King of Bohemia, keeping a life interest for himself.   When he died in 1335 Breslau became directly held by the King of Bohemia, the first such territory in a region where the King was actively asserting his overlordship.   It was temporarily Hungarian, 1474-90, became Prussian in 1740 and Polish in 1945.

The city of Wrocław is today the capital of the Polish voivodship of Śląsk (Silesia).

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