Lenzburg (noble family)

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Castle and town of Lenzburg 1642
The power and domain of the Lenzburger in the 11./12. century
The Lenzburg today

The Counts of Lenzburg were a Swiss noble family who can be assigned to the high nobility . The focus of their possessions was in what is now eastern Switzerland and in Aargau . Their headquarters was the Lenzburg in today's canton of Aargau. The origin of the gender is largely unclear. The family and their seat are first mentioned in a document in 1077. It probably descends from Count Hunfrid of Raetia through the stewards of the Schänis monastery . 1173 dies out with Ulrich IV. In the male line.


The origin of the Lenzburger lies in what is now eastern Switzerland. The family's oldest possessions were in Churrätien , where they probably had Allod in the valley of the Hinterrhein and in the Gasterland . A Vogt Ulrich von Schänis is the first Lenzburger to be listed in the family tree († before 972). His son Arnold expanded his influence into what was then Zurichgau and is mentioned in a document in 976 as the governor of the Schänis , Grossmünster and Fraumünster monasteries . His influence extended over the estates of these monasteries from the Linth area to the present day cantons of Aargau, Uri and Zurich. In the first half of the 11th century, the Lenzburgers also acquired the bailiwick of the Beromünster canon monastery , which owned extensive goods and rights in Aargau and central Switzerland.

Ulrich I († 1045-1050) got the title through the marriage of his son Ulrich II with Richenza von Habsburg (* around 1020 † on May 27, 1080), daughter of Werner I von Habsburg , in the family of the Counts of Aargau a count and moved its seat to the Lenzburg in Aargau, where the new focus of the family's possessions was. After the investiture dispute , the Lenzburgers received the county in Zürichgau for their support of the German king Heinrich IV. Later came the county over the Frickgau , the bailiwick over the monasteries Säckingen and Rheinau and the imperial bailiwick over Zurich. The transfer of the county via the Zürichgau by Heinrich IV. On the Fürstentag of Ulm in 1077 from the Nellenburgers , who were loyal to the Pope , to the Lenzburgers was probably the reward for the fact that Ulrich II. Captured the papal legate , Abbot Bernhard of Marseille, in the Lenzburg for six months held because he had operated the election of Rudolf von Rheinfelden as the opposing king. The sphere of influence of the Lenzburger thus extended over the eastern Central Plateau and Central Switzerland to Graubünden and Valais. Members of the family were installed as bishops in Lausanne and Geneva .

After Ulrich II's death in 1077, the Lenzburg family split into two lines. The Counts of Lenzburg, who descended from Rudolf I, took over the possessions in southern Aargau and Central Switzerland, while the Counts of Baden, who were descended from Arnold II, took over the possessions in Zurichgau. Their headquarters were Stein Castle in Baden . The Baden branch of the family was closely related to the Hohenstaufen . In the course of the Italian policy of Emperor Friedrich I , they received the counties over the valleys Blenio and Leventina in addition to the county of Zürichgau .

After the line of the Counts of Baden with Arnold IV died out in the male line in 1172, the allodies of this sideline went to Hartmann III. von Kyburg , husband of Arnold's daughter Richenza. The fiefs , however, passed to the Lenzburg branch of the family, which at that time was also about to expire with the childless Ulrich IV. Ulrich IV bequeathed his property in a will to Emperor Friedrich I, who gave part of the imperial fiefs to Albrecht III. von Habsburg passed on. The landgraves came to the Habsburgs via Aargau and Zürichgau west of the Limmat, and the bailiwick via the Säckingen monastery , Lucerne and Unterwalden . The rest of the property, the bailiwick of Beromünster Abbey and Engelberg Monastery, as well as Lenzburg and most of the allodes, passed to Count Palatine Otto of Burgundy , who at times also referred to himself as Count von Lenzburg.

coat of arms

The coat of arms of the Counts of Lenzburg was a wall in silver on a blue field with two crenellated corner towers . The right corner tower had three arched windows, the left one. Below the right corner tower there is an arched door that is open to the left. A pillow awakened by silver and red or blue was the decoration of the helmet .

Important representatives

  • Ulrich I “the rich” († before 1050): first “Count of Lenzburg”, count in Aargau, imperial bailiff of Zurich, bailiff of Schänis and Beromünster
  • Arnold I. (1036-1064): Count in Aargau and Frickgau, Vogt of Zurich, Säckingen and Beromünster
  • Heinrich von Lenzburg († 1051 or 1056): Bishop of Lausanne 1039–1051 / 1056
  • Ulrich II. († after 1077) ∞ Richenza von Habsburg: brother of Arnold I, Count in Zurichgau, Vogt of Zurich
  • Wernher († before 1167): Imperial Bailiff of Zurich, Landgrave in Zurichgau, participant in the Second Crusade , Count of the Blenio Valley and Leventina.
  • Ulrich IV. (* Before 1125; † January 5, 1173): last Lenzburger, participant in the Italian campaign of Emperor Lothar III. and on the Second Crusade, close confidante of King Conrad III. and advisor to Emperor Friedrich I, Count of the Blenio Valley

Not to be confused

The middle class Ribi family came to respect and wealth in the 14th century and were counted to the knighthood. Konrad Ribi was mayor of Lenzburg. He and his descendants were sometimes called von Lenzburg because of their origins . They were not related to the Count House, which died out in the 12th century.


Web links


  1. ^ Georg von WyßUlrich II. (Count of Lenzburg) . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 18, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1883, pp. 280-282. / Article «Lenzburg (Count of)». In: Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon der Schweiz , Vol. 4, Neuchâtel 1927, p. 656
  2. ^ A b Hans Stadler: Lenzburg, Ulrich I. von (the rich). In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  3. ^ A b Hans Stadler: Lenzburg, Ulrich II. Von. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  4. ^ Hans Stadler: Lenzburg, Ulrich IV. Von. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .