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  • Capture of Richard Löwenherz
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    Stop 14 - Dürnstein ruins

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    Capture of Richard Löwenherz

    On his return trip after a shipwreck, Richard was forced to take the land route across the Roman-German Empire. Because he feared retribution from his intimate enemy Duke Leopold V of Austria, he traveled in disguise and with only a few companions. Count Meinhard von Görz became aware of the tour group at the beginning of December 1192 and recognized the king, but at first he was able to escape. His escape ended a few days before Christmas 1192 in the territory of Duke Leopold. Richard was disguised as a simple pilgrim and was laughed out loud by Leopold when he was able to capture him in a shabby dwelling in Erdberg near Vienna.

    Richard Löwenherz had to pay 100,000 Mark silver for his release. He also had to provide 50 ships and 200 knights for one year. The request for personal participation in the emperor's Sicily campaign was dropped. In the Worms Agreement, the ransom was increased to 150,000 silver marks, which corresponded to approximately 23.4 tons of silver.

    Providing the ransom equivalent to three times the crown's annual income was an immense challenge. A special department, the scaccarium redemptionis, was set up in the royal treasury, the exchequer, to collect ransom taxes.

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