Berthold II. (Zähringen)

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Berthold II, baroque donor figure in the church of the St. Peter monastery

Berthold II of Zähringen (* around 1050 ; † April 12, 1111 ) was Duke of Swabia .


Like his father Berthold I, Berthold initially supported Rudolf von Rheinfelden , which is why both Zähringer and Rheinfeldener were relieved of their titles and possessions by the king in 1077 . When Berthold was his successor after the death of his father in 1078, he also had only a nominal claim to the Duchy of Swabia. The actual power in the duchy continued to be exercised by alternating nobles appointed by the Salian kings .

In 1079 Berthold II married Rudolf's daughter, Agnes von Rheinfelden . Disputes during the investiture controversy mainly occurred with other regional rulers, Duke Friedrich von Staufen , and the bishops of Basel and Strasbourg. Despite the at times polarized relationships between loyalists to the king and the pope in the south-west of the empire, there was a regional calm in between. So Berthold II appeared in 1087 as a witness to a land exchange in which the Basel bishop was involved.

Tensions arose again from 1090 onwards. In that year, Berthold von Rheinfelden, Rudolf's son, died. For his wife, the Zähringer was therefore not only able to claim his possessions in Burgundy (e.g. today's western Switzerland), but also strengthen his claim to the Duchy of Swabia.

Supported by the Guelphs and the Pope , he was elected Duke of Swabia in 1092 against the Staufer Friedrich. Around 1098 there was a settlement between Berthold II and Friedrich, in the course of which he renounced the duchy, but received the bailiwick over the important city of Zurich and was allowed to continue to use the title of duke. With this step, the relationship between the Zähringer and Heinrich IV improved . From 1105, Berthold was one of Heinrich V's closest allies .

In addition, he began to relocate his power center to the Breisgau from around 1090, so that the Zähringian sovereign territory visibly withdrew from the influence of the Swabian duke. As the first of the dynasty, Berthold is attested from 1100 as the "Duke of Zähringen".

Berthold II expanded his rule considerably by founding settlements and monasteries in the Black Forest , not least because he had a relatively small territory and, at least at the beginning of his rule, had no expansion opportunities. So in 1093 he founded the Benedictine monastery of St. Peter , which became the new burial place of the Zähringers . The foundations were mostly reform monasteries that were anti-imperial. The Black Forest, in particular, became a center of power for the Zähringers through Berthold's founding of monasteries and the displacement of the Counts of Haigerloch from the region. In 1091, in addition to his Zähringen castle , Berthold had a protective castle built for the nearby settlement of Freiburg im Breisgau . At the end of his life, Berthold II not only carried the title of duke, but had also enlarged his territory to such an extent that it met this claim.

Berthold II's successor was his son Berthold III in 1111 . who in turn was inherited by his brother Konrad after 11 years .

Marriage and offspring

Berthold married Agnes von Rheinfelden in 1079. From the marriage emerged


  • Berthold (* around 1080)
  • Rudolf II (around 1082 - 1111), Count of Rheinfelden
  • Berthold III. (* around 1085; † May 3, 1122 near Molsheim), as successor to Conrad I, Duke of Zähringen
  • Konrad I (around 1090; † January 8, 1152 in Konstanz), Duke of Zähringen, from 1127 rector of Burgundy


  • Agnes († after January 8, 1125), married William II. Count of Burgundy- Besançon
  • Liutgard (* around 1087, died early)
  • Petrissa (* around 1095; † around 1115 / before 1116), married Count Friedrich I. von Pfirt in 1111
  • Liutgard (* around 1098 - † March 25, 1131), married Gottfried I. Graf von Calw before 1129
  • Judith (* around 1100), married Ulrich II. Count von Gammertingen


Web links

Commons : Berthold II. (Zähringen)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Berthold of Rheinfelden Duke of Swabia (counter-duke)
Berthold III.
Berthold I as Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Verona Duke of Zähringen
Berthold III.