Cymburgis of Masovia

Cymburgis of Masovia bigraphy, stories - Archduchess by marriage of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola

Cymburgis of Masovia : biography

1394 or 1397 – 1429-9-28

Cymburgis (also Cimburgis, Zimburgis or Cimburga) of Masovia ( 1394 or 1397 – September 28, 1429) in January 1412 became the second wife of the Habsburg Duke Ernest the Iron of Austria (since 1414 Archduke) and thus a Duchess/Archduchess of the Inner Austrian line in Styria, Carinthia and Carniola.

Cimburgis was born at Warsaw in the Duchy of Masovia to Duke Siemovit IV of the Masovian Piast dynasty and his wife Alexandra of Lithuania, daughter of Grand Duke Algirdas, a scion of the Gediminid dynasty, and sister of Władysław II Jagiełło, King of Poland.

Though his elder brother William’s engagement with the Polish princess Jadwiga had mortifyingly failed, Ernest after the death of his first wife Margaret of Pomerania proceeded to Kraków to court Cymburgis. The wedding took place in 1412 in Buda (), at the residence of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor. At the time the Emperor mediated negotiations between her uncle Władysław II Jagiełło and the Teutonic Knights. Though not approved by the Habsburg family, the marriage turned out to be a happy one. As the mother of the later Emperor Frederick III, Cymburgis, after Gertrude of Hohenburg, became the second female ancestor of all later Habsburgs, as only his branch of the family survived in the male line.

Although controversial, it has been claimed (since at least by Robert Burton in 1621) that she brought the distinctive protruding lower lip (prognathism) into the family, a particular physical characteristic of most members of the family for many generations until the 18th century. It can even be recognized in some of her distant descendants today (though not as markedly) as Alphonse XIII. Cymburgis’ statue in the Innsbruck Hofkirche church however does not show this feature. However, her husband’s great-grandfather Albert I, Duke of Austria is presented in one portrait with it.

Tradition has it that she was also known for her exceptional strength, which, for example, she showed by driving nails into the wall with her bare hands and cracking nuts between her fingers.(German) Strength also distinguished one of her descendants, Augustus II the Strong, who used to break horseshoes with his bare hands. Cymburgis outlived her husband and died at Türnitz in present-day Lower Austria. She is buried at Lilienfeld Abbey.


Category:1394 births Category:1429 deaths Category:15th-century women Category:People from Warsaw Category:Nobility of the Holy Roman Empire Category:15th-century German people Category:15th-century Polish people Category:House of Piast Category:House of Habsburg Category:German duchesses Category:Austrian royal consorts Category:Polish people of Lithuanian descent Category:Polish people of Russian descent Category:Polish people of German descent



  • 5 children died at young age
  • Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (1415–1493)
  • Margaret (1416–1486), wife of Frederick II, Elector of Saxony
  • Albert VI, Archduke of Austria (1418–1463)
  • Catherine (1420–1493), wife of Charles I, Margrave of Baden-Baden