Lordship of Rapperswil

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rapperswil Castle with town church and harbor from the south

The rule of Rapperswil came into being at the end of the late Middle Ages when the barons of Rapperswil founded in the area of ​​medieval Zurichgau . After the sale of the extensive estates, from the middle of the 14th century until 1798 (→ Patronage / Protectorate) the rulership comprised the town of Rapperswil with the three remaining farms Jona - Busskirch , Kempraten -Lenggis, Wagen and the Wurmsbach monastery .


Lordship of "Alt-Rapperswil"

Rapperswil and the surrounding area on Jos Murer's canton map (excerpt) from 1566
The area around the upper Lake Zurich in a map from 1796
Main article: Rapperswiler

The Rapperswilers were an aristocratic family from eastern Switzerland whose genealogy and the related Habsburg-Laufenburg and Hombergers are controversial in research and cannot be completely reconstructed. In the 11th and 12th centuries the people of Rapperswil were wealthy in today's March , around the Greifensee , around Uster , Wetzikon and Hinwil . Alt – Rapperswil Castle in Altendorf was built around 1040. The Rapperswil patrons of Einsiedeln Monastery were probably already around 1100 and played an important role as patrons of Einsiedeln in the so-called Marchenstreit (around 1100–1350) between the monastery and the residents of the Schwyz valley .

Between approx. 1192 and 1210 there seems to have been a crisis in the Rapperswil family. After the death of Bailiff Rudolf II of Rapperswil († after 1192), according to the view of modern research, there was no direct inheritance, as no Rapperswilers can be found in the documents for the time in question and it is assumed that the Lords of Rapperswil already At the end of the 12th century it died out for the first time and a feud with the Toggenburgers was fought over the inheritance . In the literature, therefore, a distinction is sometimes made between " Alt-Rapperswil " (before 1200) and "Neu-Rapperswil". After the feud was settled, the lords of Neu-Rapperswil were able to assert themselves as the main heirs of the Alt-Rapperswil estates from 1210 onwards. Under the Neu-Rapperswilern Rudolf II. And Rudolf III. the change of dynasty also manifested itself through the relocation of the seat of power and the establishment of «Neu-Rapperswil».

County of "Neu-Rapperswil"

The original seat of Rapperswil on the left bank of Lake Zurich benefited from the important trade route along the left bank of Lake Zurich , the Zurich over the mountain passes to the Lombardy and Venice combined. The opening of the Schöllenen Gorge around the year 1200 opened a direct north – south trade route. Together with the important pilgrimage route ( Schwabenweg ) and the escalation of the march dispute around the year 1214, this should have led to the construction of the castle and the fortified city of Rapperswil (Neu-Rapperswil) on the right bank of Lake Zurich (founded in 1229). After the establishment of the new headquarters under Rudolf II. And Rudolf III. The focus of the holdings was now in the area around the upper Lake Zurich , in the March , in the rule Greifensee and in Uri , with free float in the Linth Plain , in Aargau and in Zurichgau .

Around 1232/33 the Rapperswilern succeeded with Rudolf III. as a supporter of the Hohenstaufen the rise to the count class . Part of their possessions were separated from the Landgraviate of Zürichgau and now formed their own county: March with the Wägital , Rapperswil as the administrative center, Jona, Kempraten and Wagen, as well as the Pfäffikon , Wollerau and Bäch farms as fiefs from Einsiedeln Monastery. The area of ​​the collectively named Höfe possessions was sold in 1342 by the Einsiedeln Monastery to Jakob Brun, the brother of Zurich Mayor Rudolf Brun , and Count Johann II pledged the Höfner Vogtei to him. In 1240 the Rapperswilers received from the Hohenstaufen the Kastvogtei over Einsiedeln, the monastery Disentis and the Reichsvogtei over the Urserental - and thus access to the strategically important passes over Gotthard , Furka and Oberalp .

The male line of the Rapperswil family - whose possessions were concentrated around 1283 in the Wettingen area, in Uri, Winterthur , in the Zürcher Oberland and on the upper Lake of Zurich - ended in 1283 with the death of the underage Rudolf V (* around 1265 - † January 15 1283). After the death of Rudolf V, King Rudolf I of Habsburg took over the imperial fiefs of the Rapperswilers and gave the fiefs that were reverting to the St. Gallen monastery to his sons. With this, Rudolf I of Habsburg came into the possession of the imperial bailiwick over the Urserental - and the strategically important Gotthard pass as well as the bailiwick over Einsiedeln.

The Zürichgau in the Stumpf'schen Chronik of 1547/48
«... The Counts of Rapperswil also threatened to die out. Abbot Anselm had a good relationship with the then Count Rudolf [IV]; because he appears several times as a witness in the Count's documents, for example when the church of Rapperswil [Count Rudolf III] was separated from the one in Wurmsbach, at the foundation of the Wurmsbach monastery and on the occasion of a donation to this monastery. Since he did not have a male heir, the count wanted the bailiwick, which he held as a fief over the estates outside the Etzel, to go to his wife Mechtild [von Neifen] first as a personal property, but then to his daughter Elisabeth. Abbot Anselm admitted this on January 10, 1261. But since Rudolf [IV.] Had a son after his death on July 27, 1262, the contract lapsed ... »
"... According to a report by Abbot Johannes I, [Peter I. von Schwanden] transferred the bailiffs to the later son [Rudolf V] of Count Rudolf [IV] von Rapperswil that would otherwise have fallen to his sister Elisabeth ..."
«... Of great importance for the further history of the monastery [Einsiedeln monastery] was that under this abbot [Heinrich II. Von Güttingen ] the bailiwick passed over the church to the Habsburgs ... But when Count Ludwig von Homberg died on April 27, 1289 was, the king transferred the farms of Stäfa , Erlenbach , Pfäffikon and Wollerau to his widow Elisabeth [von Rapperswil] at her request , as well as the Pfäfer farms in Männedorf and Tuggen . The other courts and the bailiwick remained with the dukes of Austria. 'This transfer of the bailiwick to the Habsburgs had the most far-reaching consequences for the monastery; for when the fairytale quarrel revived around this time , it took on completely new forms. If in its earlier course it had been an economic struggle in which the rapidly growing people of Schwyz had to look for new areas, it now took on a purely political character. In the monastery, the Schwyz wanted to meet the bailiffs, the Habsburgs. Apparently, however, the dispute broke out before 1283, because we have a bull by Pope Martin IV from June 1, 1282 ... Countess Elisabeth von Homberg-Rapperswil raised claims to the farms in Brütten and Finstersee , but waived November 20 1293 on their claims ... »

Countess Elisabeth von Rapperswil (* around 1251/61; † 1309), the sister of Rudolf V von Rapperswil, continued the line of the Counts of Rapperswil and secured the extensive possessions of the Rapperswilers in Zurichgau for the branch line Habsburg-Laufenburg . Elisabeth sold the rest of the Rapperswil property in Uri in 1290 and pledged the Greifensee estate around 1300 . After the Hombergs died out, their part also fell to Habsburg-Laufenburg in 1330, but as a fief of the Habsburg family . Around 1303 it divided the county in such a way that the property on the left bank of Lake Zurich fell to the descendants of Ludwig von Homberg, while the property on the right bank remained with the Habsburg-Laufenburg family.

Count Johann I von Habsburg-Laufenburg , as the patron of the council members (→ Constaffel ) who were banished from the city of Zurich in 1336, got into a feud with the city of Zurich and was killed in the battle of Grynau in 1137. The exiles of the government in exile, the so-called “Äusseren Zürich”, were also able to win over his son Johann II to fight against the guild regime of Mayor Rudolf Brun . Johann II von Habsburg-Laufenburg took part in the → Murder Night in Zurich and remained incarcerated in Zurich for two years. Mayor Rudolf Brun had the castle and town of Rapperswil (→ pillage of Rapperswil ) as well as the Alt-Rapperswil castle destroyed in 1350 and the remaining possessions of the Rapperswilers in the lower March , on the left bank of Lake Zurich, occupied.

After his release, Johann II, Elisabeth's grandson, could not afford the high costs of rebuilding the destroyed city and the Rapperswil fortresses and around 1354 sold the goods on the upper Lake Zurich with the city and castle of Rapperswil to Duke Albrecht of Austria . From then on, bailiffs appointed by Austria sat in Rapperswil. In 1358 Johann II also sold the right bank property and the hermit fiefs to Albrecht, with the result that the county completely passed into the possession of the Habsburgs.

Habsburg Austria (1358-1458)

As the new owner, Duke Albrecht II of Habsburg Austria had the castle and town expanded into a militarily well-secured base against the expanding Eight Old Towns as early as 1352 . Under the rule of Habsburg Austria, the former county of Rapperswil only comprised the castle and town as well as the Rapperswil subject area with the courts of Busskirch / Jona, Kempraten and Wagen.

Rapperswil and Habsburg coats of arms, Endingerhorn town fortifications
« Juliusbanner » with golden roses, which was presented by Cardinal Schiner on July 24th, 1512 in recognition of services under Pope Julius II in the so-called Pavier campaign ( Italian wars ).
View of the city of Rapperswil in the Topographia Helvetiae, Rhaetiae, et Valesiae by Matthäus Merian , 1642
The confessional situation in the Confederation in 1530
Political structure of the Swiss Confederation around 1530
The denomination distribution in 1536 at the height of the Reformation
The denomination distribution after the end of the Counter-Reformation
The "Old Order" in Eastern Switzerland until 1798
The cantons of Linth and Säntis of the Helvetic Republic, 1798
Map of Rapperswil-Jona (1804), illustration from Jona, Die Geschichte

In 1358 Rudolf IV (Rudolf the Spiritual) of Habsburg-Austria initiated the construction of the wooden bridge Rapperswil-Hurden , with which the rule flourished despite the small remaining territory and gained enormous strategic importance for the territorially competing powers (→ Swiss Habsburg Wars ) .

The rule enjoyed great autonomy under the Habsburgs: Duke Albrecht gave it market rights , a separate jurisdiction, was able to appoint the castle bailiff from among its own ranks, and during the Appenzell Wars , on May 27, 1403, after the Austrian defeat in battle at Vögelinsegg , the profitable sea ​​and land customs . After the Battle of the Stoss , in which numerous Rapperswil citizens lost their lives on the side of Habsburg Austria, Rapperswil was given the right to freely choose the mayor in 1406 and to use court fines for the structural maintenance of the city. Despite a short-term pledge of the castle and city to Zurich, Rapperswil remained Habsburg.

After the outlawing of Duke Frederick IV. In 1415 ordered Emperor Sigismund turning away from Frederick and gave the city the imperial immediacy and direct rule over the three Hofgemeinden Jona / Busskirch, Kempraten and wagons as well as the guardianship over the Cistercian convent Wurmsbach .

During the → Old Zurich War , Rapperswil returned under Austrian rule on September 24, 1442 and at the same time entered into an alliance with Zurich. After the battle of St. Jakob an der Sihl on July 23, 1443, the federal army, which was not equipped for a siege of the city of Zurich, moved on to Rapperswil, which was not captured because of its good fortifications, as did Winterthur in the following weeks . Following the unsuccessful peace negotiations in Baden , the Central Swiss Army of the Eight Old Places invaded the Zurich hinterland ( Landvogteien Grüningen and Greifensee ). Bypassing Rapperswil, they reached the small town of Greifensee on May 1st, 1444 , which they dragged after a four-week siege and the crew (→ Blood Night of Greifensee ) executed in a fast-track process. Meanwhile, Zurich troops set fire to the free offices . However, neither party was able to take decisive action.

With the Einsiedeln arbitration on July 13, 1450, the formal end of the Old Zurich War, the rulers remained heavily in debt and hoped in vain for financial support from Habsburg Austria. Therefore, some citizens under the leadership of the town clerk Johannes Hettlinger saw their future under the federal umbrella and started an uprising in the late summer of 1456. According to the Zurich court of arbitration on December 21, 1457, the unrest ended with the oath of allegiance, but there could be no question of a real return under the Habsburg umbrella.

Patronage of the Catholic Places (1458-1712)

When the federal troops from Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden returned from Constance on September 20, 1458 after the so-called Plappart War, they demanded entry and brought about the victory of the pro-federal party.

On September 20, 1460, the citizens of Unterwalden and Rapperswil had the letter of rejection sent to Duke Sigismund and participated with the seven federal towns of Zurich , Lucerne , Uri , Schwyz , Unterwalden, Zug and Glarus in the conquest of the Austrian Thurgau (Landgraviate Thurgau).

On January 10, 1464, shortly after the death of Duke Albrecht VI. and the assumption of power by his cousin Duke Sigmund, Johannes Hettlinger wrote the umbrella letter (→ Schirmvogtei ) with Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden and Glarus. Rapperswil and its subject areas were a protectorate of the Old Confederation until 1798 - a castle bailiff acted as a connection to the umbrella locations.

During the turmoil of the Reformation , Huldrich Zwingli's teachings also won enthusiastic followers in Rapperswil, and the Catholic umbrella locations had cannons transported to Rapperswil and the castle garrison reinforced. Incited by the city of Zurich's grain ban and predicant policy , new believers stormed the Rapperswil town hall in July 1531, drove out the council, even elected Zurich's Stapfer as mayor and appointed a Protestant pastor. The iconoclasm and arson destroyed the city churches in Busskirch , Kempraten, Jona and Wagen. The Battle of the Gubel in the Second Kappel War finally made the decision in favor of the Catholic towns, and with the Second Kappel Peace on November 20, 1531, the further spread of the Reformation in German-speaking Switzerland was ended.

Rapperswil returned to the 'old faith', the deposed mayor and those who had converted to the Reformed faith left the town. The four umbrella sites confiscated the property of the subversive, banned further gatherings and punished the leaders of the Protestant party with pillory , tongue slits and executions.

The rule was monitored by an occupation from Central Switzerland and lost some of the rights granted by Habsburg in the letter of grace of 1532.

The rulers, now again Catholic, attempted “to consolidate the town internally in the old faith and to protect it against the influences of the nearby Zwingli city” , and the Council of Trent (1545–1563) initiated the “longed-for revival of religious life” . The idea of ​​a Capuchin establishment was presented in February 1596 by Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden to the Provincial in Lucerne and the Order's leadership in Rome, and it was accepted by the Capuchin Province and the newly elected Order General. Nuncio Giovanni della Torre managed to get the council to take the building decision on September 2nd, 1602 "to increase and reveal the holy, Christian Roman-Catholic faith" and to motivate private and ecclesiastical patrons to donate the necessary funds four fathers and three brothers the Capuchin monastery in Rapperswil .

In the next Swiss religious war, the First Villmerger War, the Zurich general Hans Rudolf Werdmüller besieged the Catholic stronghold of Rapperswil from January 7th to February 10th 1656 unsuccessfully and devastated the territory under the rule ( → Siege of Rapperswil ).

The Villmerger or "Third Land Peace" of March 7, 1656 secured the agreements reached by the Second Kappel Land Peace of 1531 and the Catholic supremacy over the Rapperswil rule.

Protectorate of the Reformed Places (1712–1798)

In the Toggenburg War, also known as the "War of the Twelve" or the Second Villmerger War, of 1712, Rapperswil offered no resistance to the Reformed troops. With the Peace of Aarau , the fourth country peace in the history of the Confederation, the Reformed cantons secured supremacy in the common rulers on August 11, 1712 .

This ended the hegemony (patronage) of the old places in the administration of the County of Baden , the lower free offices and Rapperswils , which had existed since 1458 and 1531 respectively . The Reformed towns of Bern, Glarus and Zurich were the new umbrella sites from 1712 to 1798.

Helveticism, mediation and restoration (1798–1830)

With the arrival of the French revolutionary troops under General Nouvion (→ Helvetic Republic ) on May 1, 1798 the main square of the city of roses, a liberty tree erected and welcomed France as liberators. Two separate municipal communities were formed from Rapperswil and Jona , and the residents (courtiers), in the subject areas of the city roughly in the area of ​​the municipality of Jona, which was independent until 2006, fought for the same rights as the city citizens.

With the Helvetic Republic, Rapperswil became the capital of the newly created canton of Linth on May 4, 1798 after the canton of Säntis was separated . The Rapperswil district had 29 electors and 11,800 inhabitants. As early as 1803, the canton of Linth was dissolved again by Napoleon's mediation act , with which Switzerland received a new constitution . Its area was divided into the new cantons of Schwyz (Höfe, March, Einsiedeln), Glarus and St. Gallen (Rapperswil, Uznach, Gaster, Sargans, Werdenberg, Sax, Obertoggenburg).

With the mediation constitution, Rapperswil and Jona were now definitely incorporated as independent communities in the canton of St. Gallen. Jonah claimed "as far as its parishes extend" as a parish area and had to buy away from the former taxes and basic interest. In 1804 the government council finally set the municipal boundaries. Rapperswil was limited to the area of ​​the late medieval city, and the entire surrounding area now belonged to the municipality of Jona, which was independent until 2006 .

The canton of St. Gallen was divided into 8 districts and 44 districts: Rapperswil and Jona formed the lake district with seven other municipalities until 2003 .

Organization, Administration and Jurisdiction (1358–1798)

Organization and administration

Until 1358, depending on the individual fiefs, the rulership was mainly under the Count of Rapperswil .

From 1358 to 1415 a Habsburg- Austrian bailiff resided at Rapperswil Castle.

In 1415, Rapperswil was granted imperial directness , but was again under Habsburg rule from 1442 during the Old Zurich War .

From 1458 to 1712 Rapperswil was administered as the patronage (protectorate) of the Old Confederation , until 1712 by the Catholic towns of Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, and from 1712 to 1798 by the Reformed towns of Bern, Glarus and Zurich.

Rapperswil Castle was the seat and residence of the bailiffs appointed by the respective umbrella locations from 1358 to 1798.

In 1798 the rule of Rapperswil - one of the smallest protectorates of the Old Confederation in terms of area - bordered the city of Zurich rule Grüningen , the bailiwick of Uznach jointly administered by Glarus and Schwyz and the Schwyzer March .


The three village cooperatives Busskirch / Jona, Kempraten and Wagen together with the Cistercian monastery Wurmsbach formed the subject area of ​​the city of Rapperswil around the end of the 14th century.

The first legal sources come from the 13th century 1798, including constitutions, laws, ordinances, statutes, statutes as well as applied customary law and the court luge of Jona (SG) .

coat of arms

The emblem of the rule or of the government seat Rapperswil broadly in the coat of arms until 2006 independent city Rapperswil (SG) , pointing to a silver background two red roses with gold slugs and also red, contrary geasteten stems. It is based on the three rose coat of arms of the Rapperswil counts with three roses. The coat of arms of the subject areas (from 1358) with the courts of Busskirch / Jona, Kempraten and Wagen showed a single rose based on the Rapperswil coat of arms.

See also


  • Pascale Sutter (processing): Legal sources of the city and rule of Rapperswil (with the farms Busskirch / Jona, Kempraten and Wagen) , Verlag Schwabe, Basel 2007, ISBN 978-3-7965-2297-0
  • Beat Glaus: Der Kanton Linth der Helvetik , Schwyz 2005, ISBN 3-033-00438-5
  • State Archives of the Canton of Zurich (Ed.). Brief Zurich Constitutional History 1218–2000 . Published on behalf of the Directorate of Justice and the Interior on the day the Zurich Constitutional Council was constituted on September 13, 2000. Chronos, Zurich, 2000, ISBN 3-905314-03-7
  • Markus Brühlmann / Michael Tomaschett: Johanniterkommende Bubikon “Cross and Cross” , Museum Guide Ritterhausgesellschaft Bubikon, Bubikon 2000, ISBN 3-9522014-0-5
  • Erwin Eugster: Noble Territorial Policy in Eastern Switzerland. Church foundations in the field of tension of earlier sovereign displacement politics. Chronos: Zurich 1991. ISBN 3-905278-68-5
  • Norbert Domeisen: Swiss Constitutional History, Philosophy of History and Ideology , Bern 1978
  • Georg Boner: "The Count House of Rapperswil in the last century of its history". In: St. Gallen Linth area. 1983 yearbook . Gasser, Rapperswil SG 1983, pp. 10-20.
  • Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon der Schweiz , Vol. 5, Neuchâtel 1929, pp. 536f.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Eugster, Adlige Territorialpolitik, pp. 230-256.
  2. ^ Website of the canton of Schwyz, municipality of Altendorf : According to a document from 697, Alt-Rapperswil Castle should go back to a knight Raprecht as the progenitor of St. Johann Castle
  3. The St. Johann chapel near Altendorf still marks the location of the castle that was destroyed in 1350 by troops from the city of Zurich under Mayor Brun.
  4. Einsiedeln monastery archive, Book of professions abbots, 11. Wernher I.
  5. Kaspar Michel: Fairy tale dispute. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  6. Einsiedeln monastery archives, Book of professions abbots, 16. Konrad I.
  7. ^ Chronicle of Dominik Rothenfluh, original in the Rapperswil City Archives , copies in the Zurich Central Library.
  8. In a deed of donation to the Rüti monastery , written in Latin , cives de Rathpendetswiler (citizen of Rapperswil) are named as witnesses for the first time : « Vogt Rudolf von Rapperswil donated the church Bollingen, including tithes and members, to the Rüti monastery because of the insubordination of his closest relative . So that this donation cannot be challenged by his heirs in the future, the present document will be drawn up and given Rudolf's seal ». Numerous knights appear among the witnesses, e. B. Diethelm von Toggenburg , Ulrich von Landenberg and almost all cives ( citizens , patricians) from Rapperswil. Publicly set up in the house of the bailiff Peter. This document dated 1229 as the 'official' founding date of the city of Rapperswil. The history is taken from the information boards in the Rapperswil City Museum .
  9. ^ Website of the community of Freienbach , history
  10. a b Einsiedeln monastery archive, professorship book abbots, 20th Heinrich II. Von Güttingen
  11. Einsiedeln monastery archives Professbuch: Abbots, 17. Anselm von Schwanden
  12. Einsiedeln monastery archives Professbuch: Abbots, 19th Peter I. von Schwanden
  13. Other, Kunstdenkmäler des Kantons St. Gallen, p. 368f.
  14. a b Website Kapuzinerkloster Rapperswil, history
  15. "Hotel Schwanen" website, history ( memento of the original from March 13, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.schwanen.ch
  16. Website Rapperswil-Jona  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Dominion and subject area, Rapperswil and Jona@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / rapperswil-jona.ch  
  17. Legal sources of the city and rule of Rapperswil (with the farms Busskirch / Jona, Kempraten and Wagen)

Coordinates: 47 ° 13 ′ 36 "  N , 8 ° 49 ′ 6"  E ; CH1903:  seven hundred and four thousand four hundred and eighty-seven  /  231556