20.12.

1192: King Richard the Lionheart Captured

1192: King Richard the Lionheart Captured

Richard the Lionheart and his four servants traveled disguised in modest clothing of pilgrims. Somewhere near Vienna they were captured by forces of Austrian Duke Leopold.

On this day the famous English king Richard the Lionheart was captured on his return from the Crusades. While returning to England from the Holy Land by sea, his ship had to stop in the Adriatic because of bad weather. He sailed along the Dalmatian coast and came to Aquileia on the part of the northern Adriatic. From there he continued by land to Saxony, which was ruled by his cousin. Richard the Lionheart and his four servants traveled disguised in modest clothing of pilgrims. Somewhere near Vienna they were captured by forces of Austrian Duke Leopold. They recognized him, either by the expensive ring he was wearing or for his insistence to eat fried chicken, which was at the time an aristocratic food.

Richard was imprisoned in Dürnstein Castle on the Danube. For him, the Austrians demanded from the English an enormous ransom of 150,000 marks of silver, which at the time was 2-3 times more than the entire annual income of the English Crown. Richard’s mother was able to raise the money by a massive tax increase, and after payment of the ransom Richard was released. Richard’s return to England became part of the stories of Robin Hood. Namely, in the absence of Richard, England was ruled by his brother John Lackland who, along with the Sheriff of Nottingham, was an enemy of Robin Hood.

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