The political situation

Emperor Frederick III had reigned over The Holy Roman Empire since 1440 and in the Duchy of Bavaria-Landshut Louis XI "the Rich" (Ludwig der Reiche) had been ruler since 1450. Louis was one of the most powerful members of the House of Wittelsbach.

In 1453 Constantinople was conquered by the Turks. This is probably why the Margrave of Brandenburg, as he greeted the bride, expressed his hope that the marriage "would be for the benefit of Christianity and the Empire". In 1471 Albrecht Dürer was born in Nuremberg. In 1473 Copernicus was born in Toruń and in 1475 Michelangelo was born in Caprese. In 1472 Duke Louis and his chancellor Dr. Martin Mair founded the University of Ingolstadt, and in 1476 Hans Böhm, a revolutionary who was also called the "Piper of Niklashausen", was executed. In the year 1483 Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, and in 1492 America was discovered. In the same year King Casimir IV of Poland died, who had been the founder and ruler of a great East European Empire. In 1493 emperor Frederick's son Maximilian, who was also called "the Last Knight", followed his father on the throne. In 1504 Maximilian was to put an end to the Duchy of Bavaria – Landshut. This change of generations signalled the end of the Middle Ages in Bavaria. The Gothic age made way for the era of Humanism and Reformation. Europe was ready to leave its shores and conquer "new worlds".

Although the wedding of 1475 took place at the very end of the Middle Ages, the celebration was already overshadowed by the tension and unrest of change. Thus the wedding was more than just a family celebration of European royalty as many people at that time were prone to believe. After the wedding the King of Poland, whose Empire reached from Lithuania to the Crimea, was able to strengthen his position, influence and power with a further four weddings. The Christian Occident moved closer together, and Poland was to become a bastion – despite the ongoing rivalry in the rest of eastern Europe, which was eventually decided in favour of the Habsburgs.