Heinrich Der Löwe


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Heinrich Der Löwe

 

Born 1129; died Aug. 6, 1195, in Braunschweig. Duke of Saxony (1142-80) and Bavaria (1156-80) from the Welf (Guelph) family.

Together with Albrecht der Bär, Heinrich led a crusade against the Slavs in 1147 that ended in failure. As a result of later campaigns beginning in 1160, he seized almost all of the lands of the Bodrichi tribe and became the owner of a huge territory to the east of the Elbe. Annihilating the Slavs and driving them to the east, Heinrich der Löwe settled German colonists on the seized lands. Heinrich’s growing strength gave rise to a conflict between him and Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. The latter used Heinrich’s refusal to participate in his Italian campaign as a reason to bring Heinrich to trial in 1180. Heinrich was then deprived of most of his possessions, so that only Braunschweig and Lüneburg remained in his hands.