Meinhard II is said to have been among the most impressive politicians of the 13th century. He was a visionary and prudent ruler as well as ruthlessly ambitious.
Step by step, Meinhard managed to make his dream come true during his 36 years of reign (a surprisingly long period at the time): he was skilled enough to politically unite the area against the will of the Tyrolean nobility and the bishops of both Trento and Bressanone.
He was born around 1238 in Görz as the eldest son of Meinhard I, Duke of Görz and Adelheid, daughter to Albert III, Count of Tyrol. He died in 1295.
He spent six years of his adolescence as a hostage to the Archbishop of Salzburg on Burg Hohenwerfen together with his brother due to political rioting in Austria. This is said to have been the most influential event of his life.
After the death of their grandfather and father, Meinhard and his brother inherited large parts of Tyrol and Görz, and soon conquered the rest of it along with Trento and Bressanone. Meinhard was also called „the father of Tyrol“.
The unification of administration and common law (which benefited the peasants) are among his most impressive accomplishments.
In 1258, he married Elisabeth of Bavaria. Meinhard and his wife are said to have founded the Abbey of Stams as a monument to her son, Konradin, who was executed as a 16-year-old.
Literaturhinweis: WIBMER-PEDIT, Fanny: Meinhard II. – Der Einiger Tirols, Tyrolia Verlag 1995