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Duke Louis I of Bavaria
Personal details
Born (1173-12-23)23 December 1173
Died 15 September 1231(1231-09-15) (aged 57)
Spouse(s) Ludmilla of Bohemia

Duke Louis I of Bavaria (German language: Ludwig I der Kelheimer, Herzog von Bayern, Pfalzgraf bei Rhein) (Kelheim, 23 December 1173 – 15 September 1231 in Kelheim) was the Duke of Bavaria in 1183 and Count Palatine of the Rhine in 1214. He was a son of Otto I and his wife Agnes of Loon. Louis was married to Ludmilla, a daughter of Duke Frederick of Bohemia.


Louis extended the duchy of Bavaria and founded many cities. Among the cities he founded were Landshut in 1204, Straubing in 1218 and Landau an der Isar in 1224. He supported the Welf Emperor Otto IV, who therefore confirmed the everlasting reign of the Wittelsbach family in Bavaria. But in 1211 Louis joined the Hohenstaufen party; Emperor Frederick II rewarded him with the Palatinate of the Rhine in 1214: His son Otto was married to Agnes of the Palatinate, a granddaughter of Duke Henry the Lion and Conrad of Hohenstaufen. With this marriage, the Wittelsbach inherited the Palatinate and kept it as a Wittelsbach possession until 1918. Since that time also the lion has become a heraldic symbol in the coat of arms for Bavaria and the Palatinate.

In 1221 Louis participated in the Fifth Crusade and was imprisoned in Egypt by Al-Kamil but later released. In 1225 Louis took over the guardianship for the young king Henry.

Louis was murdered in 1231 on a bridge in Kelheim. The crime was never cleared up since the murderer was immediately lynched. Due to the following aversion of the Wittelsbach family the city of Kelheim lost its status as one of the ducal residences. Louis was buried in the crypt of Scheyern Abbey.

Louis I, Duke of Bavaria
House of Wittelsbach
Born: 1173 Died: 1231
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Otto I
Duke of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Otto II
Preceded by
Henry VI
Count Palatine of the Rhine

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