Bernhard von Sponheim, Herzog von Kärnten#
b. between 1176 and 1181, d. Voelkermarkt (Carinthia) (?), Jan. 4, 1256, Duke of Carinthia, member of the Sponheim family. As Duke he named himself sovereign of Carinthia (from 1202), initially loyal to Philipp of the House of Hohenstaufen he later sided with Otto IV, from 1213 allegiance to Friedrich II. Increased the power of his duchy by linking the three towns St. Veit, Klagenfurt and Voelkermarkt by trading routes, cemented his position by employing officers of state, promoted trade and improved transport routes; unsuccessful in his conflict with the Bishop of Bamberg; attempted the acquisition of Carniolan fiefs (founded Mariabrunn).