Vsevolodivna Eupraxia-Adelheid

XII pageKyivan RusPrincely times Kings and Queens

Eupraxia-Adelheid Vsevolodivna (ca 1071–09.07.1109) – daughter of Grand Prince of Kyiv Vsevolod Yaroslavych and probably a Polovtsian princess.

In 1083 was betrothed to Heinrich von Stade (1055–1087), son of Markgraf of Southern Saxony. Until 1086 she lived in the convent of Quedlinburg, adopted Roman Catholicism. A year later the marriage, Markgraf Heinrich the Long died. In 1088, Heinrich IV (1050–1106), Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, became engaged to her, and in 1089 they were married in the city of Cologne. Eupraxia was crowned Empress. Upon her coronation she assumed the name of Adelheid.

She accompanied her husband to Bamberg and in the Italian campaign of 1090–1092. Heinrich IV wanted to use the noble birth of his wife with a view to strengthen his positions in Europe. Furthermore, he turned out to be cruel – he taunted his wife and kept her sequestered at Verona (Italy). Heinrich’s enemy Bavarian Duke Welf II helped the Empress to escape. In March 1094, her complaint against her husband was considered by the church diet at Konstanz (Germany). Pope Urban II urged the Empress to make a public confession before the church council at Piacenza (March 1095). The Emperor was once again blamed by the papal verdict and deposed of kingdom, and Eupraxia was exempt from penance. However, in 1097 Henry IV became reconciled with Welf, and Eupraxia returned to Kyiv. On December 6, 1106, she took the veil at the Pereyaslav convent where she remained to herdeath.

Portrait (imaginary) of Eupraxia-Adelheid Vsevolodivna.

By K. Chepiha. Oil on canvas. 90×70. 2008