He was educated at Magdeburg.
In 981 was ordained to the priesthood by Dietmar, first bishop of Prague. On Feb. 19, 982, he succeeded Dietmar to the bishopric of Prague. He was consecrated by the archbishop of Mainz, Willigis, and invested by Emperor Otto II. His real name had been Wojtech, but he chose instead to adopt the name of Archbishop Adalbert, his teacher at Magdeburg, whom he admired greatly. He attemped unsuccessfully to uproot such heathen customs and practices as witchcraft and polygamy, which were prevalent among his people. Discouraged, he decided to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but after reaching Monte Cassino he abandoned the plan, and in 990 entered the monastery of St. Boniface, where he led a life of seclusion, devoted to study. In 992 the pope requested that he return to Prague, where he was received with joy by his people, but he was soon compelled to leave again. He became a missionary to the heathens of Hungary, and it was he who probably baptized King Stephen, who was later to become the first saint of Hungary. When Adalbert returned to Italy, he again was asked by the pope to return to Prague, with permission to go on missions to the heathens should he fail there. Adalbert found Bohemia in a state of civil war; members of his family were accused of treason, and some were even put to death. There was little he could do; therefore he went to Poland and from there undertook a mission to the heathen Prussians. Adalbert was murdered by a pagan priest in Prussia, Apr. 23, 997. The duke of Poland paid a heavy ransom to recover his body, which was buried at Gniezno. Later it was said that the body was transferred to Prague. He became the object of popular worship both at Gniezno and Prague. Biographies of Adalbert were written by Canaparius and Bruno. His feast day is April 23.