Bonstetten (noble family)

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Coat of arms of those of Bonstetten

The barons of Bonstetten are a Swiss nobility family . The family's ancestral seat is in the municipality of Bonstetten near Zurich . Branches of the sex persist to this day.


The family was first mentioned in 1122 with Henricus de Bonstadin as nobilis vir . Relatives were noblemen in high social and political offices. The site of a small castle in Bonstetten was examined more closely in 1989, presumably the headquarters. In 1155 Heinricus de Boumstedin, nobilis vir and Conradus contributed to a donation to the St. Martin monastery (Zurich) .

In the 13th century they provided the imperial bailiffs of Zurich in three generations and from the 13th to the 14th centuries also district judges of Thurgau with several relatives . In the 14th century they appointed bailiffs in the Habsburg bailiffs in Aargau , Sundgau and Upper Alsace . Hermann von Bonstetten was prince abbot of the St. Gallen monastery from 1333 to 1360 .

Uster Castle , owned by the family from 1267 to 1534

The family was wealthy, mainly in the possessions of the Habsburgs , with whom they were related by marriage. The main seat was Uster Castle from 1267 to 1534 . Kaspar von Bonstetten married Elisabeth Freiin von Sax-Hohensax , who inherited the Hohensax Castle , the Frischenberg Castle and the towns of Sax and Gams SG from her brother Albrecht I of Hohensax (1439–1463) . Since Kaspar von Bonstetten was a citizen of Zurich, the Appenzell people burned down his castles Hohensax and Frischenberg in 1446 during the Old Zurich War and annexed part of the Hohensax rule. Only Gams and the ruins of Hohensax Castle were returned to the Bonstetten in 1461. In 1497 they sold the rulership rights to Schwyz and Glarus.

In the course of time, the family lost the noble lordship and now belonged to the lower landed nobility, but in 1499 received a diploma-based confirmation of the baron title from the later Emperor Maximilian I. During this time, members of the family already had citizenship of Zurich and Bern . A short time later they relocated their headquarters to these cities and became part of the patrician city ​​nobility.

The Zurich line was extinguished as early as 1606. The Bern line, which was one of the most important families of the Bern patriciate , was able to greatly expand its land holdings in the area around the city and produced a number of statesmen and officers. In 1584 she acquired the Jegenstorf Castle , which soon passed to the von Wattenwyl family by inheritance . In 1599 Vaumarcus Castle came into the family through the marriage of Baron Johann-Ulrich von Bonstetten (1548–1607) with Countess Anne von Neuenburg -Vaumarcus (1564–1625); In the church of Jegenstorf there is a coat of arms of the couple; Vaumarcus fell to the von Büren by marriage in 1675 . Also lock Kehrsatz in the 17th century belonged to the family, the house Bonstetten in Valeyres-sous-Rances from 1707 to 1945, in the first half of the 18th century, the Campagne Diemerswil , in 18/19. Century Sinneringen Castle and from 1898 to 1960 the Bellerive country estate in Thun .

Albrecht von Bonstetten (* around 1445; † around 1505) also came from the Bern line . He was the dean of the monastery in Einsiedeln and an important humanist . This line still exists today. In Bern Cathedral is a chapel of the families Ringoltingen and Bonstetten.

coat of arms

Blazon : In black with a golden edge of the shield , three adjoining polished silver diamonds by bars. Crest : "On a gold-crowned, gold-rimmed, slanted silver spangenhelm with gold clasps and gold medallion on a gold necklace with a silver-black helmet cover, a flying silver swan."


Bern branch

  • Ulrich von Bonstetten (1548–1607), Herr zu Jegenstorf, Colonel in French service
  • Karl von Bonstetten (1594–1675), Lord of Jegenstorf, Baron of Vaumarcus, Governor of Sumiswald, envoy to Savoy
  • Karl Viktor von Bonstetten (1745–1832), Swiss writer
  • August von Bonstetten (1796–1879), Swiss officer and painter
  • Gustav von Bonstetten (1816–1892), Swiss archaeologist
  • Walter von Bonstetten (1867–1949), one of the first and most important leaders of the Swiss scout movement


Web links

Commons : House von Bonstetten  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Anne-Marie Dubler : Bonstetten, from. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .