Sunday, 14 June 2015

Fun Facts About Henry the Lion

5 Fun Facts About Henry the Lion
 
1. Henry the Lion was born in 1129 in Ravensburg, Southern Germany. He is famed for founding the city of Munich, now Germany's 3rd largest city, and for being called Henry the Lion. Not many know why Henry was called Henry The Lion, but there's a lion somewhere in Africa who is really miffed at not having a head or skin.
 
2. Henry was one of the most powerful German princes back in the day. Until a rival dynasty, the Hohenstaufen (yep, say that five times after five pints of strong beer) took over and stripped him ... of his titles and dukedoms of Bavaria and Saxony, not of his clothes. Bunch of perverts.
 
3. Henry the Lion was a member of the Welf dynasty and a Duke of Saxony. He was also Henry III and Duke of Bavaria from 1142. He then skipped a few numbers, because counting wasn't a skill he learned at school, and became Henry XII from 1156.
 
4. Henry the Lion married Matilda, daughter of Henry II of England, in 1168. Way too many kings, Dukes, Emperors, ruling type people back then called Henry. It's really quite confusing.
 
Image result for tobogganing
When they married, Henry the Lion was at the height of his power. It went downhill fast. Like a greased-up bin bag with my grandmother inside tobogganing down Everest. Get out of the way, this thing isn't going to stop.
 
In 1174, Henry the Lion, seriously, can't get enough of writing that name and title, had a tiff with his cousin, the Emperor Frederick. It did not go well for Henry. Or Matilda. They were forced to flee Germany and take refuge at Matilda's dad's house in Normandy.
 
Sheesh, kids, you finally get them out the house and then they start a war, lose a war, get exiled from the country, are chased over the border, and end up back at home scrounging off you until they die.
 
5. Why was he really called Henry the Lion? Well, as it turns out, it wasn't because he skinned a lion and turned its hide into a duvet cover.

Henry took a pilgrimage to the Holy land, which was a popular holiday destination at the time. Whilst there, he encountered the Brunswick Lion.
 
The lion was apparently fighting with a dragon (as you do). Henry decided to join the lion (as you do) and helped defeat the dragon (what a load of codswallop).

The lion, grateful for Henry's assistance, accompanied him on his return voyage home. This didn't seem to raise any eyebrows at customs, and security just let them through the gates at the airport.
 
When Henry died, can't believe I'm even saying this, the Lion, ever faithful, and missing his master so much, refused all food, even the small children brought as sacrifices, and died of grief whilst crying on Henry's grave.
 
The people of Brunswick have even erected a statue in the Lion's honour.

2 comments:

REIN V WUERDE said...

His name was "Heinrich".

REIN V WUERDE said...

His name was "Heinrich".