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Wenceslaus I, Duke of Luxembourg


Wenceslaus I, Duke of Luxembourg

Wenceslaus I
Wenceslaus I of Luxembourg
Count of Luxembourg, Arlon and Durbuy
Reign 1353-13 March 1354
Predecessor Emperor Charles IV
Duke of Luxembourg
Reign 13 March 1354-7 December 1383
Successor Wenceslaus IV
Duke of Brabant and Limburg
Reign 1355-1383 with Joanna
Predecessor John III
Successor Joanna
Born (1337-02-25)25 February 1337
Died 7 December 1383(1383-12-07) (aged 46)
Burial Abbaye d'Orval, Belgium
Spouse Joanna, Duchess of Brabant
House House of Luxembourg
Father John of Bohemia
Mother Beatrice of Bourbon

Wenceslaus I (also Wenceslas, Venceslas, Wenzel, or Václav, often called Wenceslaus of Bohemia in chronicles) (Prague, 25 February 1337 – Luxembourg, 7 December 1383) was the first Duke of Luxembourg from 1354. He was the son of John the Blind, King of Bohemia, and Beatrice of Bourbon.


In 1353 Charles IV King of Bohemia, Count of Luxembourg and elected Holy Roman King, entrusted the county, their father's inheritance, to his half-brother Wenceslaus. In 1354 when Charles raised Luxembourg to the status of a duchy. In 1352, Wenceslaus married Joanna (1322 – 1406), daughter of John III, Duke of Brabant and Limburg, and Marie d'Évreux. In 1355, Joanna inherited Brabant and Limburg. In order to guarantee the indivisibility of Brabant, Wenceslaus signed the Joyous Entry, but had to fight against his brother-in-law Louis II of Flanders, who asserted his share of the duchy. He failed to prevent the seizure of Brussels by the Flemings, but a certain Everard 't Serclaes succeeded by an audacious coup in driving them out of the city. Thereafter, Wenceslaus had to face primarily internal disorders. In 1371, he overestimated his military capacities and waged war with William II, Duke of Jülich, resulting in the humiliating defeat of Baesweiler, losing a part of his army, and several noblemen.[1] He was captured and suffered 11 months of captivity.[2]

Burial Place in Abbaye d'Orval, Belgium

He died in Luxembourg, leaving Joanna as sole ruler of Brabant, and was succeeded by Wenceslaus II as duke of Luxembourg. There are speculations that he might have died of leprosy (Joanna stayed in Brussels). His last wish was his heart to be displaced from his dead body and sent to his wife. He is buried in a crypt at the ruins of Abbaye d'Orval in Belgium.

Wenceslaus I of Luxembourg wrote troubadour poetry which was found by Auguste Longnon in Jean Froissart's Méliador in 1890s (Wenceslas was a maecenas of this chronicler). It comprises 79 poems (11 ballades, 16 virelais, 52 rondeaux).



  1. ^ Richard Vaughan, Philip the Bold, (The Boydell Press, 2009), 80.
  2. ^ Richard Vaughan, Philip the Bold, 80.
Wenceslaus I, Duke of Luxembourg
Born: 25 February 1337 Died: 7 December 1383
Preceded by
Duke of Luxembourg
Succeeded by
Wenceslaus II
Preceded by
John III
Duke of Brabant
with Joanna
Succeeded by
as sole ruler
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