Gisela of Swabia

Gisela of Swabia, and Gisela von Limburg, ( born November 11, 989, November 13, 990 or 999; † February 15, 1043 in Goslar ) was since September 21, 1024 German queen ( the coronation took place in Cologne ) and since the March 26, 1027 ( in Rome) German Empress as the wife of king and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Conrad II She is the mother of the Emperor Henry III. Prior to her marriage to Konrad Gisela was married and widowed twice.

Gisela was considered beautiful and clever, but a little arrogant woman but after Wipo Gesta Chuonradi II imperatoris her husband a necessary companion with great influence should have been.


Her father was the Swabian Duke Hermann II of Swabia, the second husband of her mother Gerberga of Burgundy, daughter of Conrad III. the peacemakers ( Pacificus ) of Burgundy from the Guelph dynasty. About both parents she was in the eighth or ninth generation descendant of the Carolingians. According to another view her father was the first husband of Gerberga should, however, have been, Count Hermann I von Werl. This thesis is likely to be refuted today.

Her first marriage to Gisela graduated in 1002 with a Count Brun (probably Earl of Braunschweig ), who died in 1012 or 1014. Order in 1014 she married the Babenberg Ernst I, who already in 1012 as the successor of his later brother- Hermann III. with the duchy of Swabia had been invested and continue legitimized by marriage with Gisela, but already on 31 March ( or 31st May) in 1015, died in a hunting accident. The ( third ) at the end of 1016 or at the latest closed in January 1017 marriage to Conrad was considered uncanonical, because Gisela was the base of the future Emperor.

She was not only the heir to the Duchy of Swabia, but gained by her mother after the death of her uncle Rudolf III. ( 1032) also make a claim to the Kingdom of Burgundy. This could be one of the reasons for the connection between Conrad and Gisela be because Gisela wanted to back up these claims and those of their three or four children from the first two marriages. Although a kidnapping Gisela before marriage is not impossible, is by historians but considered very unlikely, because to do so are very few sources that are also temporally far removed from these events. So reports Thietmar of Merseburg (VII. 63) on marriage only because of the illegitimacy due to large relational proximity and does not mention any other special events.

From the marriage with the son of Brun Liudolf, the Margrave of Friesland was taken from. From her second marriage Gisela had two sons, the Dukes Ernst II (c. 1014-1030 ) and Hermann IV (around 1015-1038 ) of Swabia, of which especially the elder by his rebellion and the minstrel poetry " Herzog Ernst " is known. For him, Gisela resulted in Swabia until their third marriage formally the regency - in fact, the Duchy but was ruled at that time by her third husband, which was one of the reasons for the uprising of the young duke, in addition to the successful attempts, he and his brother to wrest the Burgundian inheritance in favor of the younger Henry: successor of Rudolf was born on March 2, 1033 Konrad and not his stepson Hermann, whose sons in 1038 then the Duchy of Swabia was withheld in favor of Henry.

In her third marriage Gisela had three children

  • The future Emperor Henry III.
  • Beatrix ( † September 26, 1036 )
  • Mathilde († 1034), buried in the cathedral of Worms, 1033 betrothed to Henry I King of France.

Gisela died on 14 or 15 February 1043 at the Ruhr. She was buried in the cathedral of Speyer. The samples taken at the grave opening of the Empress hair clearly demonstrated by analysis that there is a pre-menopausal woman. Consequently, the reported on her grave leaded head plate 999 Year of birth appears to be correct.

Strands of Conrad II and Gisela's in the Cathedral Treasury of Speyer Cathedral

Epitaph Gisela in Speyer Cathedral

Grave slab of 1043


  • Wipo: deeds Emperor Conrad the Second, newly transferred from Werner Trillmich sources in the 9th and 11th centuries, the history of the Hamburg Church and the Empire. ISBN 3-534-00602- X