Visconti, Virida (c. 1354–1414)

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Visconti, Virida (c. 1354–1414)

Archduchess of Austria . Name variations: Verde Visconti; Virda Visconti; Viridis Visconti. Born around 1354 (some sources cite 1350 and 1351) in Milan, Italy; died in 1414 in Sittich, Karnten; daughter of Bernabo Visconti, lord of Milan (r. 1354–1385), and Beatrice della Scala (1340–1384); sister of Catherine Visconti (c. 1360–1404), and Agnes Visconti ; married Leopold of Habsburg also known as Leopold III (1351–1386), archduke of Austria, Styria, and Carniola, co-emperor of Austria (r. 1365–1379), on February 23, 1365; children: Friedrich IV (b. 1368); William (b. 1369, who married Joanna II of Naples ); Margarethe (1370–c. 1400), margravine of Moravia; Leopold IV (1371–1411); Archduke Ernst or Ernest the Iron (1377–1424, who married Cimburca of Masovia ); Elisabeth (b. 1378); Katharine (b. 1380); Friedrich or Frederick IV (1382–1439), duke of Austria-Tyrol.

Born around 1354 into the ruling family of Milan, Virida Visconti was one of seven children of Bernabo Visconti and Beatrice della Scala . She became duchess of Austria on her marriage about age 14 to the Austrian prince Leopold von Habsburg (later Leopold III), also 14. He was duke and co-ruler of Austria with his brothers until 1379, when he gave up his claim to Austria proper and became duke of Styria and Tyrol. The couple made their court at Bruck-am-der-Mur, in the province of Steiermark, Austria. Duchess Virida had seven children between 1368 and 1380. After Leopold's death in 1386 while fighting the Swiss army at the battle of Sempach, her children became the wards of Leopold's brother Albert III. Virida, still young, retired from court but remained in Austria the rest of her long life. She outlived all but two of her children, dying at age 63, and was buried at Sittich, Karnten, Austria.


Muir, Dorothy. A History of Milan under the Visconti. London: Methuen, 1924.

Wheatcroft, Andrew. The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire. NY: Viking, 1995.

Laura York , M.A. in History, University of California, Riverside, California