m. c. 1237
Facts and Events
Meinhard II (c. 1238 – end of October 1295) from the House of Meinhardin ruled the County of Görz (as Meinhard IV) from 1258 until 1271 and Count of Tyrol from 1258 until his death. In 1286 he also acquired the Duchy of Carinthia with the March of Carniola.
He was the son of Count Meinhard I of Gorizia-Tyrol and Countess Adelheid of Tyrol (died 1275/79). His younger son Henry VI succeeded him as Carinthian duke and in 1307 was elected King of Bohemia; his eldest daughter Elisabeth by marriage with Albert I of Habsburg became Queen of the Romans in 1298.
In 1259, young Meinhard emerged from the custody of the Archbishop of Salzburg to claim his heritage. When the inheritance rights to, and properties of, Gorizia and Tyrol were divided in 1271 between him and his younger brother Albert I, he received Tyrol, starting the Tyrolean line of the Meinhardiner dynasty. He struggled to acquire the lordship over the Bishoprics of Trento and Brixen and also acquired several territories in the Inn valley. He is therefore known as the creator of Tyrol as an independent territory. Meinhard also had roads built and coins minted, especially the silver coin "Zwainziger" (twenty). The type was copied elsewhere in Europe and became widely known as Groschen.
As a supporter of German king Rudolph of Habsburg in his conflict with King Ottokar II of Bohemia, he received Carinthia and Carniola as a pledge in 1276 and finally as a fief in 1286, thus becoming the first Duke of Carinthia in his dynasty. As far as can be ascertained, he had no ancestry in earlier Carinthian ducal families, whereas he was a distant descendant of some early Meranian lords of Istria and Carniola. His investiture of the duchy included a provision that in extinction of his male line, the Habsburgs would be its heirs. This materialized in 1335 upon the death of his son Henry.
Meinhard died in 1295 at Greifenburg, Carinthia.