Hermann I of Celje

Hermann I (German: Hermann von Cilli, Slovene: Herman Celjski; around 1333 – 21 March 1385), Count of Celje, was a Styrian nobleman, who was head of the House of Celje between 1359 and 1385. In the first decade, he ruled together with his older brother Ulrich. After Ulrich's death, Hermann took over the custody of his nephew William and ruled as the de facto head of the family. Under his rule, the House of Celje began expanding its influence from its power base in present-day Slovenia and southern Carinthia to Central Europe and the Balkans. By marriage to the Bosnian princess Catherine, whose exact parentage is disputed, Hermann became the brother-in-law either of the Hungarian and Polish king Louis the Great, or of the Bosnian king Tvrtko I.[1] His son Hermann II further expanded the family's wealth and influence. By the time of his death, Hermann I was the largest landowner in the territory of present-day Slovenia, where his possessions significantly outnumbered those of his Habsburg liege lords.

Hermann I of Celje
Count of Celje
Reign1359/60 – 1385
PredecessorUlrich I
SuccessorHermann II
Noble familyHouse of Celje
Spouse(s)Catherine of Bosnia
IssueHermann II
FatherFrederick I
MotherDiemut of Walsee


Little is known of Hermann's early life. He was the second-born son of Frederick of Sanneck, first Count of Celje, and his wife Diemut from the noble Wallsee family. His father had inherited the Celje Castle and took possession of it in 1332, but it's unclear whether Hermann was born there or in the nearby Žovnek Castle, their ancestral home. After his father's death in 1359 or 1360, Hermann took over the family estates which were significantly enlarged during his father's tenure, and ruled them together with his older brother Ulrich I. This was in accordance with the family tradition which avoided splitting the inheritance among brothers, and instead opted for shared rule among them. After Ulrich's death in 1368, Hermann became the sole administrator of the Celje estates, ruling also in the name of his 7-year old nephew William.

Together with his son Hermann II and nephew William, Hermann took part in the crusade against Samogitians in 1377, as part of the entourage of Duke Albert III of Austria.

Hermann died in 1385, and was succeeded by his second-born son Hermann, as his first-born son Hans died already in 1372.

Marriage and childrenEdit

Hermann was married to Catherine of Bosnia, a princess from the ruling Kotromanić dynasty.[2] Their first born son John (Hans) died at the age of nine. Two children survived infancy:


Wladislaw of Poland
Frederick I of Celje
Casimir III of PolandUlrich I of CeljeHermann ICatherine of BosniaElizabeth of Poland
Anna of PolandWilliam of CeljeHermann II Elizabeth of BosniaLouis I of Hungary and Poland
Frederick II of CeljeBarbara of CeljeSigismund of Luxembourg
king of Bohemia, Germany
Mary of Hungary
Anna of CeljeWładysław II Jagiełło
of Poland
Jadwiga of Poland


  1. ^ Peter Štih & al. Slovenska zgodovina od prazgodovinskih kultur do začetka 21. stoletja (Ljubljana: 2016), p. 136.
  2. ^ Voje, Ignacij (1981). "Katarina Celjska - Kotromanićka in njen pečat" [Catherine of Cilli – Kotromanić and her Seal]. Celjski zbornik (in Slovenian).
  3. ^ Čepič et al. (1979): Zgodovina Slovencev. Ljubljana, Cankarjeva založba. Str. 216.