With the death of the last Hohenstaufen king, Conrad IV, in 1254 a time known as the Great Interregnum began. Though the Pope's cronies elected new kings, like Richard Earl of Cornwall, they had no real power and the empire fell into a state of anarchy. Only in 1273 was a new German King elected: Count Rudolf of Habsburg. He went to war against King Ottokar II of Bohemia, who refused to recognize Rudolf. After a brief period of peace they had another conflict. Ottokar was defeated and killed in the battle on the Marchfeld (1278) and Rudolf put his corpse on display in Vienna. Ottokar's son was allowed to become King of Bohemia, but Rudolf took the lands that form present-day Austria. From then on, Rudolf strongly enforced the peace inside the Holy Roman Empire, executing robber barons and destroying their castles. He died in Speyer, where he was buried in the cathedral.
This gravestone doesn't mark Rudolf's grave anymore. It's been set into a wall in the crypt. The part with the tombs (including Rudolf's) is directly behind this wall.
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