The (second) Battle of Bornhöved took place on 22 July 1227 near Bornhöved in Holstein. Count Adolf IV of Schauenburg and Holstein - leading an army consisting of troops from the cities of Lübeck and Hamburg, about 1000 Dithmarsians and combined troops of Holstein next to various north German nobles - defeated King Valdemar II of Denmark.


Valdemar and his predecessor King Canute VI of Denmark had previously conquered Holstein, Mecklenburg, Hamburg, Lübeck (1202), Ratzeburg and the coast of Pommerania including the island of Rügen.

The battle

The contest was maintained with great firmness on both sides, and continued for an unusual length of time, and the carnage was so great, that they fought, it is said, knee deep in blood. The King of Denmark had one of his eyes shot out, and had several horses killed under him, but his troops and their allies fought with so much bravery, that the victory would have been theirs, had not the contingent of Dithmar deserted their colors. At the most critical moment of the action these troops passed over to the enemy, and the Danes were obliged to give way. In the confusion which followed Otto I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and the Bishop of Ribe were taken prisoners. Otto was sent to Rostock, the capital of Schwerin, where he was shut up in a fortress. But the King of Denmark, who escaped from the field, busied himself in repairing this disaster, by forming a fresh army, with which he kept the enemy in check.


As a result of the battle, the Danish border with the Holy Roman Empire was moved north again from river Elbe to the Eider River, the southern border of the Duchy of Schleswig. This was in effect until 1806. So the victor Adolf IV of Schauenburg regained his County of Holstein and his fellow victor Albert I, Duke of Saxony reasserted himself as liege lord of the Counts of Schauenburg and Holstein. The Principality of Rügen was the only possession in the Holy Roman Empire left to Valdemar after the battle.


 FatherMotherDeath dateAge at death
Hermann II. zur Lippe (1175-1229)Bernhard II. zur Lippe (c1140-1224)Heilwig von Are-Hochstaden (1150-1196)1229 JL54
Battle of Bornhöved (1227) military event 1

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