Louis II the Severe (German: Ludwig II. der Strenge) (13 April 1229 - 2 February 1294) was the co-Duke of Bavaria from 1253 until 1255, the Duke of Upper Bavaria from 1255 until 1294, and the Count Palatine of the Palatinate from 1253 until 1294.
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Louis was born in Heidelberg in 1229 as the elder son of Duke Otto II. In 1246 he gained war experience in the service of King Conrad IV against Henry Raspe of Thuringia, and again in 1251 against Albert I of Pitenau, the Bishop of Regensburg. Otto died in 1253 and Louis and his younger brother Henry succeeded him as co-Dukes. In 1255 they partitioned the lands; Louis received Upper Bavaria and the Palatinate, and Henry received Lower Bavaria. The partition was illegal which angered the bishops of Bavaria. In 1257 they allied with King Ottokar II of Bohemia against the often quarrelling brothers but were defeated.
In 1256 Louis had his first wife Maria of Brabant (1226 - 1256) executed after falsely accusing her of adultery, an act which earned Louis the title "the Severe". In penance he donated the Abbey of Fürstenfeld in 1263. His second wife was Anne of Silesia-Glogau (c. 1240 - 1270).
Louis and his brother Henry were also united in their support of their nephew Conradin of Hohenstaufen, and helped him secure his Duchy of Swabia. In 1267 Louis accompanied Conradin on his Italian campaign as far as Verona, and so was not entangled in Conradin's execution in Naples in 1268. After Conradin's death without any heirs Louis inherited from him his territories in the Upper Palatinate, Sulzbach, southwestern Bavaria, and Bavarian Swabia. In 1273 he helped elect Rudolph of Habsburg king, and was rewarded with confirmation of the inheritance of the territories and the hand of Rudolph's daughter Matilda.
Due to this connection he became a partisan of the Habsburgs, and supported Rudolph on his campaign against Ottokar of Bohemia. He was present at the Battle of Marchfeld in 1278 in which Ottokar was defeated. In 1289 the electoral dignity of Bavaria was passed to the Palatinate, which also held claim to the Electoral dignity of Franconia. In 1291 after the death of Rudolph he could not obtain the election of his brother-in-law Albert against Adolph of Nassau, who soon became the father-in-law of his son Rudolph. Louis died in Heidelberg in 1294.
His first marriage to Maria of Brabant was childless.
- Maria (c. 1261 - ?)
- Agnes (1262 - 1269)
- Louis (13 September 1267 - 23 November 1290)
- Rudolph (4 October 1274 - 12 August 1319)
- Matilda (1275 - 28 March 1319)
- Agnes (c. 1276 - 1345)
- Louis (1 April 1282 - 11 October 1347)
|Otto II||Duke of Bavaria|
1253 - 1255
with... Henry XIII
1253 - 1255
|Duke of Upper Bavaria|
1255 - 1294
|Count Palatine of the Rhine|
1253 - 1289
1289 - 1294