Veronika of Desenice

Veronika of Desenice (died 17 October 1425)[1] (Croatian: Veronika Desinićka; Slovene: Veronika Deseniška, Veronika z Desenic) was the second wife of Frederick II, Count of Celje.

Veronika of Desenice
Countess of Celje
Princess of the Holy Roman Empire
Veronika Deseniška.jpg
Veronika of Desenice (1817)
Died17 October 1425
Ojstrica Castle
Spouse(s)Frederick II, Count of Celje

Early lifeEdit

Little is known of her early life. It is believed the name Deseniška derives from the village of Desinić in Croatia, where Frederick also had extensive estates, and it appears in the forms Dessnitz, Dessenitz, Desnicze, Teschnitz, Teschenitz, and Dessewitz in various historical sources.

Marriage and persecutionEdit

Veronika was minor nobility and Frederick's father Hermann II was greatly opposed to the marriage. The chronicles of the Counts of Celje suggest he had his son arrested and, while holding him prisoner, initiated a trial against Veronika accusing her of witchcraft. She was acquitted by the court.


Despite the court's ruling, she was incarcerated in Ojstrica Castle near Tabor and murdered (supposedly on the orders of Hermann II) by being drowned in 1425. She was buried in Braslovče and a few years later Frederick arranged for her remains to be reburied at the Carthusian monastery at Jurklošter and in her memory also made an endowment to the monastery at Bistra.[2]

In cultureEdit

Veronika and Frederick's tragic love story, which also marked the beginning of the end of the House of Cilli, has been an inspiration for numerous literary creations.

Among others, she was the protagonist of Josipina Turnograjska's 1851 story Nedolžnost in sila (Innocence and Force), Josip Jurčič's 1880 play Veronika Deseniška, Oton Župančič's 1924 play Veronika Deseniška, Bratko Kreft's 1932 play Celjski Grofje (The Counts of Celje), Danilo Švara's 1946 opera Veronika Deseniška, Franček Rudolf's 1968 play Celjski grof na žrebcu (The Count of Celje on a Stallion) and 1974 play Veronika, and Dušan Čater's 1996 children's novel Veronika Deseniška. She has also inspired works in Croatian, German, Czech, and Italian.

The Veronika Poetry Award and the Veronika Festival are named after Veronika of Desenice.[3][4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Grafenauer, Bogo (2009). "Veronika Deseniška" [Veronika of Desenice]. In Vide Ogrin, Petra (ed.). Slovenski biografski leksikon (in Slovenian). ISBN 978-961-268-001-5.
  2. ^ "Slovenski biografski leksikon" [Slovene Biographical Lexicon] (in Slovenian). Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Archived from the original on 19 December 2009.
  3. ^ Veronika Award site
  4. ^ Veronika Award on Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia site