Hohenberg (Swabian noble family)

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Hohenberg coat of arms in the Zurich coat of arms roll, approx. 1340
Equestrian seal of Count Burkhard II von Hohenberg

The Counts of Hohenberg were a Swabian noble family .

In the middle of the 12th century, the Zollern-Hohenberg line split off from the Hohenzollern House as a whole . The Hohenbergers developed into an independent sex and took a separate development from the Hohenzollern. In the 13th century they were among the most important families in southwest Germany , but Count Rudolf III sold them as early as 1381. - indebted and without male heirs - the majority of the property to the Habsburgs ; a good hundred years later the last sidelines died out.

The name was revived for the archducal offspring and descendants of Gertrud von Hohenberg , the Margrave Karl von Burgau, Landgrave von Nellenburg and Count von Hohenberg (1560–1618; also called Karl von Österreich ), or with the title of baron for his illegitimate children.

Was revived for the second time the name in 1900, when the morganatic wife of the Austria-Hungarian throne, whose ancestors Counts of Hohenberg count for the marriage only the title of Duchess of Hohenberg , later a Duchess of Hohenberg received. They both became the first parents of the new generation of the Austrian dukes and princes of Hohenberg .


The Counts of Hohenberg are first mentioned in a document from Friedrich Barbarossa in 1170 , in which Burkhard (III.) Von Zollern-Hohenberg is named as a witness. It is therefore assumed that the Hohenbergers split off from the Counts of Zollern around the middle of the 12th century , although the possibility of an independent sex cannot be completely ruled out. Burkhard II († around 1154) founded the Hohenberg line. He was the son of Friedrich I. von Zollern , called Maute. His brother Friedrich II became the owner of the County of Zollern , the ancestral home of the Hohenzollern. The two lines finally separated a little later. Friedrich III. von Zollern continued the Zollern line , which has continued to this day.

The family seat was on the Oberhohenberg ( Oberhohenberg Castle ), on the Albtrauf between Spaichingen and Schömberg . The area around the Oberhohenberg, part of the Alemannic-Franconian Scherragrafschaft , formed the starting point for further territorial development.

As a result of acquisitions from the Counts in Sülchgau and inheritance from the Counts of Haigerloch , interests shifted northwards in the course of the 12th century. Successful marriage policy brought additional expansions of the territory, to a large extent at the expense of the Palatinate Tübingen . Burkhard III, grandson of Burkhard I, married Mechthild von Tübingen and was able to acquire the area around Nagold , his son Burkhard IV gained the town of Horb am Neckar and the surrounding area by marrying Luitgard von Tübingen . In the on Burkhard III. The next generation, the Hohenbergers reached their peak in political importance and territorial expansion. At the same time, with the division of the house into a Rottenburger (main) and a Nagold-Wildberger line in 1260, the foundation stone for the later decline was also laid.

Eldest daughter of Burkhard III. was Gertrud von Hohenberg (* around 1225, † February 16, 1281). Around 1245 she married Count Rudolf von Habsburg , who was elected German king in 1273 . As queen, Gertrud took the name Anna.

Count Albert II von Hohenberg in the Codex Manesse

Burkhards III. Elder son Albert (also Albrecht) II was part of his brother-in-law and benefited from the political rise of the Habsburgs . As a close advisor to King Rudolf, he was commissioned by him to regain lost imperial property as bailiff in the newly created bailiwick of Lower Swabia. Rudolf's plan to revive the Duchy of Swabia and to take it over for the Habsburgs failed, however. On his own account, Albert founded the town of Rotenburg (today's Rottenburg am Neckar ) near an existing castle around 1280 as the new administrative center of the county - a result of the constant expansion of the Hohenberger's territory towards the Neckar valley . In addition to his political work, Albert had also made a certain name for himself as a minstrel . After all, there is a miniature in the Manessische Liederhandschrift on sheet 42r that shows him (under the title Count Albrecht von Haigerloch ) as a knight in a battle. The back of the sheet contains a two trophy canzone , the only one that has survived from him. Albert fell in 1298 in the battle of the Kreuzwiesen near Leinstetten .

Albert's younger brother Burkhard IV. Founded in 1260, the Nagold-Wildberger line of Hohenberger, which in 1300 I. among his sons Otto († before 14 July 1307 ∞ Maria of stomach Haim) and Burkhard V. again in a Nagolder and Wildberger line split has been. The Wildberger line was divided again in 1355 into an Altensteiger and a Bulacher part.

Due to the repeated divisions of the inheritance, severance payments from heir daughters and the expense of keeping court appropriate to the ambitious count, the Hohenbergers increasingly found themselves in economic hardship in the 14th century. The county was in debt, towns and villages repeatedly had to be mortgaged or even sold. Otto II von Nagold sold his share to Count Eberhard the Greiner von Württemberg in 1363. Burkhart VII also sold Wildberg-Bulach in 1363, half of it to Count Palatine Ruprecht, who also acquired the other half in 1377. The Rottenburger Rudolf III. was able to acquire the rule of Oberndorf in 1374 , but on October 26, 1381 he sold his entire property for 66,000 gold guilders to Duke Leopold III. of Austria . Froben Christoph von Zimmer wrote about this in his chronicle in the middle of the 16th century :

“Four half hundred years ago, the graves of Hochenberg were at the mechtigist and people, and from jar 1200 onwards, ir verthon and üelhausen started, and the great place that they celebrated didn’t spoil them, but them large foundations and idol gifts, which they continuously donate to the foundations, monasteries, spitl, fountain and in other ways; then, as the saying goes, "if you give vil, you will stay less", that is the pious counts who, without a doubt, in that world received iren lon about it, also met; Then from this great devotion and foundations they gradually came to the armuet, which ultimately landed and people had to attack and give the house of Austria to buy half of the large debts and quietly. "

Council meeting of the Württemberg Count Eberhard der Milde around 1400 - under No. 39, Count von Hohenberg

According to the purchase agreement, the county comprised at the time of the sale: Hohenberg Castle with the associated town, castle and town of Rottenburg and Haigerloch (upper and lower town), the towns of Schömberg , Nusplingen , Fridingen , Oberndorf , Horb , Binsdorf , the town of Au ( Obernau near Rottenburg) and the castles Kallenberg , Werenwag , Deilingen , Neckarburg , Waseneck (near Oberndorf), Wehrstein , Isenburg (near Horb), Urnburg (near Horb) and Rottenburg (the castle outside the city). The cities of Ebingen , Dornstetten and Waldenbuch , which are also listed in the contract , as well as the tower at Altensteig were pledged to Württemberg when the contract was signed and were not released later.

Rudolf III. died in 1389 as the last male member of the Rottenburg main line. His daughter Margaretha was married to Margrave Bernhard I of Baden for the first time , but this marriage remained childless (although he had numerous children in his second marriage), she then married Count Hermann von Sulz , with whom she had children. → Count of Sulz

The Wildberger and Nagold relatives gradually sold their property to the Counts of Württemberg . The last ruling count was Sigmund († 1486), with him the Wildberger sideline was the last to die out.

coat of arms

The Hohenbergers used a shield divided by silver and red as their main coat of arms .

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Jänichen:  Hohenberg, Count of. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 9, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1972, ISBN 3-428-00190-7 , p. 477 f. ( Digitized version ).
  2. Stammliste Haus Habsburg

Literature and Sources

Seal of Rudolf von Hohenberg
  • L. SchmidAlbert II. In: General German Biography (ADB). Volume 12, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1880, pp. 659-669.
  • Hans Jänichen:  Hohenberg, Count of. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 9, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1972, ISBN 3-428-00190-7 , p. 477 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Bernhard Rüth u. Andreas Zekorn (Ed. By the Rottweil district ud Zollernalbkreises): "Count Albrecht II. And the County of Hohenberg" , bibliotheca academica Verlag, Tübingen 2001, ISBN 3-928471-44-9
  • Eugen Stemmler: The county of Hohenberg . In: Friedrich Metz (Ed.): Vorderösterreich. A historical geography . 4th revised and expanded edition. Rombach, Freiburg i. Br. 2000, pp. 349-360, ISBN 3-7930-9237-2 .
  • Karlheinz Geppert: The acquisition of the county of Hohenberg by the Habsburgs in 1381 . In: Volker Himmelein, Franz Quarthal (ed.): Vorderösterreich, Nur die Schwanzfeder des Kaiseradlers? The Habsburgs in the German southwest . Süddeutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, Ulm 1999, pp. 120–127, ISBN 3-88294-277-0 (catalog of the state exhibition).
  • Bernhard Theil (arr.): Rottenburg and the Austrian county of Hohenberg 1381 to 1981 . Stuttgart 1981 (catalog for the exhibition of the main state archive in Stuttgart and the major district town of Rottenburg am Neckar).
  • Karl Joseph Hagen: The development of the territory of the Counts of Hohenberg 1170–1482 (representations from the history of Württemberg 15) Stuttgart 1914. (not viewed)
  • Ludwig Schmid : History of the counts of Zollern-Hohenberg and their county according to mostly unprinted sources. A contribution to the history of the Swabian and German Empire , Scheitlin, Stuttgart 1862 ( digitized in the Google book search)
  • Ludwig Schmid : Monumenta Hohenbergica. Document book on the history of the Counts of Zollern-Hohenberg and their county . Scheitlin, Stuttgart 1862 ( digitized in the Google book search)
  • Karl August Barack (Ed.): Zimmerische Chronik . 2nd edition, Vol. 2, Mohr, Freiburg 1881, p. 282 ( full text in Wikisource )

Web links

Commons : Hohenberg (Adelsfamilie)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files