* round 1110, †1174

Czech Prince Vladislav II (1140–58) and King Vladislav I. (1158–73) of the Premyslides, husband of Judith of Thüringen. He was installed on the prince’s throne against the right of his cousin Vladislav († after 1165); in 1142 he successfully faced, with help of German King Konrad III (1093–1152), the revolt of lords and most Premyslides. In 1147 he attended the Second Crusade, in 1158 he was crowned king in Regensburg by German Emperor Friedrich I. Barbarossa (1122–1190) in return for his promise of help during the campaign to Italy; the Czech army actually took part in the beleaguerment of Milano. It was in Regensburg and during the Italian campaign when Vladislav I saw stone bridges, the state-of-the-arts of that time; after he returned to Prague, he used his Milano capture to build the first stone bridge over the river Vltava, called Judith Bridge. Vladislav I abdicated in 1172 in favour of his son Bedřich († 1189) and left for Thüringen to his wife’s estates. The long reign of Vladislav brought unprecedented prosperity to the Czech Lands; the Western cultural influence increased, the Premonstratensians, Cistercian monks, and Johannites settled down in Bohemia, and numerous monasteries, the centres of culture of that time, were founded (Strahov, Plasy, Pomuk, Želiv, Doksany). The construction of the admired bridge of Prague, one of the first bridges of its kind in transalpine Europe, reflected the growth of the Czech Kingdom.


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