Otto III, count palatine of Bavaria

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Otto von Wittelsbach

German: Otto von Wittelsbach, Pfalzgraf von Bayern
Also Known As: "Otto VI von Wittelsbach"
Birthdate: (59)
Birthplace: Germany
Death: August 18, 1189 (55-63)
Immediate Family:

Son of Otto I, count palatine of Bavaria and Helika von Pettendorf
Husband of Benedikte von Moosburg
Father of Heilika von Wittelsbach; Agnes von Wittelsbach; Otto VIII (V) von Wittelsbach, Pfalzgraf; Udalschalk Ottoson von Wittelsbach and Euphemia von Wittelsbach
Brother of Friedrich Friedrich I of von Wittelsbach; Otto I 'der Rotkopf', Herzog von Bayern-Wittelsbach; Ulrich Ottoson von Wittelsbach; Konrad von Wittelsbach; Hedwig von Wittelsbach, Erbin von Neuburg and 3 others

Occupation: Pfalsgraf von Wittelsbach, Pfalzgraf von Bayern 1180-1189
Managed by: Remi Trygve Pedersen
Last Updated:

About Otto III, count palatine of Bavaria

Otto I (1117 – 11 July 1183), called the Redhead (German: der Rotkopf), was Duke of Bavaria from 1180 until his death. He was also called Otto VI as Count Palatine of Bavaria from 1156 to 1180. He was the first Bavarian ruler from the House of Wittelsbach, a dynasty which reigned until the abdication of King Ludwig III of Bavaria in the German Revolution of 1918.


Duke Otto I was probably born at Kelheim, the son of Count Palatine Otto IV of Wittelsbach and Heilika of Pettendorf-Lengenfeld, a granddaughter of the Hohenstaufen duke Frederick I of Swabia. He was the brother of Archbishop Conrad I of Mainz and Salzburg. Upon the death of his father in 1156, he succeeded him as Count palatine of the Bavarian duchy, then under the rule of Henry the Lion, a scion of the Welf dynasty.

As one of the best knights in the employ of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1155 he had prevented a defeat of the Emperor near Verona, where the army caravan was ambushed on the way back to Germany after the coronation at Rome. In the Dominium mundi conflict between emperor and pope culminating at the 1157 Reichstag of Besançon (Bisanz), fiery Otto could only be kept from smiting the papal legate Cardinal Rolando Bandinelli with his battleaxe by the personal intervention of Frederick.

He was finally rewarded with the duchy of Bavaria on 16 September 1180, after the deposition of Duke Henry the Lion. However, with the separation of Styria under Duke Ottokar IV in the same year, Bavaria lost the last of her southeastern territories. With the support of the emperor and his brother Conrad, Otto was able to secure the rule of his dynasty from the wary Bavarian nobility. His descendants ruled Bavaria for the next 738 years.

In 1183 Otto accompanied Emperor Frederick to sign the Peace of Constance with the Lombard League and died suddenly on the way back at Pfullendorf in Swabia. He was succeeded by his only surviving son Louis. Otto's mortal remains are buried in the crypt of Scheyern Abbey.


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Otto III, count palatine of Bavaria's Timeline

Age 28
Age 30
Age 35
Age 50
Kelheim, Niederbayern, Tyskland
Age 52
August 18, 1189
Age 59