Margraviate Baden-Baden

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Map of the Margraviate of Baden-Baden
Rastatt , the residence of the margravate in the 18th century

The margraviate of Baden-Baden was an early modern southwest German territory within the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation . It was created in 1535 together with the margraviate of Baden-Durlach by dividing the inheritance from the margravate of Baden . In addition to the core area on the middle Upper Rhine around the residential city of Baden , it also included lords on the Moselle and Nahe .

While Protestantism prevailed in Baden-Durlach , Baden-Baden was Catholic from the Thirty Years War . After the total destruction of the country in the War of the Palatinate Succession , Ludwig Wilhelm , the “Türkenlouis” , moved the residence to Rastatt and built the first baroque residence on the Upper Rhine with the Rastatt Palace . Under the reign of his widow Sibylla Augusta , other baroque monuments were built. After the death of her son August Georg , Baden-Baden fell to Baden-Durlach by inheritance contract in 1771.


Hohenbaden ruins above Baden-Baden, the "old castle", ancestral seat of the House of Baden
Kastellaun Castle in the back county of Sponheim, residence and place of death of Eduard Fortunat
Graefenstein Castle near Rodalben, center of the Graefenstein rule

The margraviate of Baden-Baden consisted of a core area to the right of the Rhine on the middle Upper Rhine around the cities of Baden and Rastatt, as well as further lands on the Upper Rhine and left of the Rhine. It therefore belonged to both the Swabian and the Upper Rhine Empire .

Core area around Rastatt and Baden-Baden

The core area extended from Ettlingen to Steinbach . In the north it was bordered by the margraviate of Baden-Durlach , in the west by the Rhine, in the east by the Duchy of Württemberg and in the south by the Hanauer Land . Other influential neighbors were the Electoral Palatinate , the Speyer Monastery and the Free Imperial City of Strasbourg .

The residence and main town was Baden until 1705 and then Rastatt . Official cities, from which several villages were administered, were Ettlingen , Kuppenheim , Steinbach and Stollhofen . The Alsatian towns of Seltz and Beinheim also belonged to Baden-Baden. Malsch was initially in Württemberg and only became Baden in 1603. Illingen belonged as an exclave to the Speyer monastery, but was completely enclosed by Baden-Baden area.

Until 1660, the formally independent county of Eberstein , which comprised the central Murg Valley and whose main town was Gernsbach , actually belonged to Baden-Baden until 1660 . After the Ebersteiners died out in 1660, Baden-Baden shared rulership with the Speyer Monastery.

In 1688 the core area was extended to the south by Bühl , which became an official town instead of Steinbach in the course of the 18th century. During this time, the Kuppenheim office was also transferred to Rastatt.

Other rulers from the Upper Rhine

Baden-Baden shared control of Lahr-Mahlberg with Nassau-Saarbrücken until 1629 . Then Lahr came completely to Nassau-Saarbrücken, while Mahlberg with Kippenheim and Friesenheim passed into the sole ownership of Baden-Baden. In 1693, Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm acquired Staufenberg Castle near Durbach . After the French had cleared the Kehl fortress , Emperor Leopold awarded it to the Margraves of Baden-Baden in 1698. In 1701, Baden-Baden also received the rights to the Landvogtei Offenburg as a fief.

County of Sponheim

On the Moselle and Nahe as well as in the Hunsrück , Baden-Baden shared sovereignty over the front and rear counties of Sponheim with the Electoral Palatinate and branch lines of the Electoral Palatinate. The rear county comprised parts of today's districts of Bernkastel-Wittlich and Birkenfeld with the official cities of Birkenfeld , Allenbach , Dill , Herrstein , Winterburg , Kastellaun and Trarbach . The front county was in the Hunsrück and on the Nahe and extended into what would later become Rheinhessen . The most important cities were Kirchberg , Gemünden , Kreuznach and Sprendlingen .

Other rulers on the left bank of the Rhine

In what is now the French-Luxembourg border area, the Margraves of Baden ruled over Rodemachern , Useldingen and Hespringen .

In the Palatinate Forest , they owned the Graefenstein rule, which they shared with the Leiningen family until 1557 . After Gräfenstein Castle was destroyed in 1635, the margraves moved the administration to Rodalben .


The margraviate of Baden-Baden, created by the division of the state in 1535, was strongly influenced by the House of Bavaria in the 16th century. Between 1594 and 1622 it was under compulsory administration by the Margrave of Baden-Durlach . From the Thirty Years War and the Palatinate War of Succession it was strongly affected. The wealthy sovereign princes Ludwig Wilhelm and Sibylla Augusta maintained an elaborate court during the baroque period and built numerous representative secular and sacred buildings. After the death of August Georg, the margraviate passed into the possession of Karl-Friedrich von Baden-Durlach in 1771.


Bernhard III. from bathing ; Regent from 1535 to 1536 and namesake of the Bernhard line of the House of Baden

The margraviate of Baden-Baden emerged from the two divisions of the margraviate of Baden .

Around 1500, Margrave Christoph von Baden ruled over a fragmented, but undivided territory, which was composed of an area around the royal seat of Baden, rulers on the southern Upper Rhine and lands on the left bank of the Rhine. In order to avoid a division, he intended to use his son Philip as the sole heir. However, his older brother Bernhard did not recognize his father's will and was banished to the Burgundian court as punishment. Philipp's younger brother Ernst also revolted when he raised his father-in-law, the Margrave Friedrich von Brandenburg-Ansbach , against the succession plan planned by his father. Christoph finally gave in and in 1515 agreed to a tripartite division of the territory: Bernhard received the areas on the left bank of the Rhine, Philipp the heartland around the city of Baden and Ernst the part of the country on the southern Upper Rhine.

When Philip died in 1533 without male descendants, Bernhard and Ernst initially intended to rule the heartland together. But they soon fell out and decided to divide it up among themselves. Bernhard laid down the borderline, which essentially ran along the river Alb , and Ernst chose his part; he decided on the area north of the Alb. The shares that the brothers had already received in 1515 were not affected by this transaction. After the new division of the estate, Bernhard ruled over the areas on the left bank of the Rhine as well as over the part of the heartland south of the Alb. Ernst moved his residence to Pforzheim and from then on referred to himself as Margrave of Baden-Pforzheim , while Bernhard stayed in Baden and called himself Margrave of Baden-Baden . The brothers continued to negotiate the details of the division and only reached an agreement at the end of 1536 through mediation by the Palatinate , which they documented in a contract concluded in Heidelberg .

The descendants of Bernhard, who from then on ruled the Margraviate of Baden-Baden thus created, are also known as the Bernhard line of the House of Baden.

In close connection with Bavaria

The "New Castle" in Baden-Baden, residence until 1705

When Bernhard died in 1536, his son Philibert was infancy and his son Christoph was not yet born. Ernst claimed Bernhard's inheritance for himself and tried to sue his claim before the Reich Chamber of Commerce in Speyer , but was defeated by Bernhard's widow Franziska and Philip's daughter Jakobäa , who campaigned for a guardianship government. As guardians were Johann II. Von Simmern , William IV. Of Eberstein and William IV. Of Bavaria , the man Jakobäas and creator of the purity law , ordered. Heinrich Freiherr von Fleckenstein served as governor in Baden-Baden.

Philibert grew up in Munich and took over the government in 1556 at the age of 20. In 1557 he married Mechthild von Bayern , four years his senior , whom he had known from childhood. In Hungary he fought against the Ottomans and in France against the Huguenots . He was killed in the process in 1569; his son Philipp was only ten years old at the time.

Philip's guardian became Albrecht V of Bavaria . He had him educated in Ingolstadt by Jesuits in the spirit of the Counter-Reformation and installed him as regent in Baden-Baden as early as 1571 at the age of twelve. However , Albrecht continued to exert great influence through his governor Otto Heinrich von Schwarzenberg , who was in office from 1570 . From 1572 to 1582 he had Philipp's residence, the New Palace in Baden, expanded by master builder Caspar Weinhart in the style of the Italian Renaissance .

Music played a major role at court; for the year 1582 it is documented that there were over 200 musical instruments in the castle. Philipp died in 1588 at the age of 29 and left the margraviate with high debts, but no heirs.

Occupation of Upper Baden

Eduard Fortunat , regent from 1588 to 1594

After Philip's death, his cousin Eduard Fortunat became the ruling margrave. Bernhard III's grandson and son of Christoph II. grew up in London and got his first name from Elisabeth Tudor , who was his godmother. Due to his lavish lifestyle, the national debt continued to grow. Eduard tries to counter this by providing two Italians, Francesco Muskatelli and Paul Pestalozzi, with rooms in the cellar vaults of the Yburg , in which they are supposed to practice alchemy and counterfeiting . When Emperor Rudolf II wanted to place Baden-Baden under compulsory administration because of his high debts, Ernst Friedrich von Baden-Durlach occupied the heartland in November 1594. Eduard Fortunat responded by asking the two Italians to poison Ernst Friedrich. However, the plan failed and the two were quartered in Durlach . Eduard Fortunat withdrew to the left bank of the Rhine, where he died in an accident in 1600. The occupation of Baden-Baden by Baden-Durlach is known as the Upper Baden occupation .

Thirty Years' War

Wilhelm I , regent from 1622 to 1677

Georg Friedrich , who became ruling Margrave of Baden-Durlach after the death of his brother Ernst Friedrich in 1604, prepared for war. The Baden Army , which in 1600 still managed with 200 horsemen and 600 foot soldiers, grew to 20,000 men by 1620. When Ernst von Mansfeld's army approached the Upper Rhine, Georg Friedrich intended to unite the Baden army with Mansfeld's mercenary army. But since the two military leaders could not agree on the supreme command, Georg Friedrich had to fight Tilly alone in the battle of Wimpfen . The loss-making clash on May 6, 1622, in which around 3,500 soldiers were killed, was won by Tilly. In the same summer the victorious Catholics installed Wilhelm , the son of Eduard Fortunat, in his office as Margrave of Baden-Baden. This ended the occupation of Upper Baden.

In 1632 the Swedes conquered the Upper Rhine and the city of Baden-Baden under King Gustav Adolf . In 1633 they handed the government in Baden-Baden back to Baden-Durlach. As early as 1634, after the Swedes and the Baden-Durlachers allied with them had lost the battle of Nördlingen , Wilhelm took over the government again in Baden-Baden; in addition, part of the territory of Baden-Durlach was awarded to him. In the following years the city of Baden suffered repeatedly from armies passing through; from 1642 to 1644 it was looted three times. It is estimated that the margraviate's population declined by more than 50% during the war. In the Peace of Westphalia , the territorial status of 1550 was restored from the Baden perspective. However, since large parts of Alsace were assigned to France at the same time , Baden-Baden was henceforth on the periphery within the empire.

The time of the Turks Louis

Ludwig Wilhelm , the Turk Louis , regent from 1677 to 1707
Sibylla Augusta , wife of Ludwig Wilhelm and regent from 1707 to 1727

The time after the Thirty Years War was characterized by immigration and reconstruction. Wilhelm's eldest son Ferdinand Maximilian moved to Paris, where he married and fathered a son whom he named after Louis XIV . Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden was later to become the most famous regent of Baden-Baden as an imperial general. After a dispute with his wife, Ferdinand Maximilian returned to Baden-Baden with his son, and Wilhelm's second wife, Maria Magdalena von Oettingen-Baldern , assumed the mother role for Ludwig Wilhelm . Since Ferdinand Maximilian died in a hunting accident in 1669, he was unable to take office. The then 14-year-old Ludwig Wilhelm was sent on a cavalier journey by his grandfather a year later , during which he visited Geneva, Milan, Florence, Rome, Venice and Innsbruck, among others. After returning to Baden-Baden at the age of 19, he joined the imperial army, in which he quickly made a career.

In 1677 he became the ruling margrave after Wilhelm's death, but because of his military duties he rarely stayed in his homeland. He was also absent when the French army crossed the Rhine in 1688 under the leadership of General Melac and thus initiated the War of the Palatinate Succession . In 1689 Melac systematically burned down all Baden towns and villages with the exception of Gernsbach. When the city of Baden went up in flames on August 24, 1689, Ludwig Wilhelm fought against the Turks in the Balkans and was promoted to commander-in-chief of the Imperial Army on September 6, 1689 .

In order to give his successful general the opportunity to rebuild his homeland, Emperor Leopold tried to marry him to Anna Maria, the older daughter of Julius Franz von Sachsen-Lauenburg , who died at the end of September 1689 and left his two daughters a large fortune would have. When Ludwig Wilhelm arrived in January 1690 for a bridal show at Reichstadt Palace in Bohemia, he fell in love with Anna Maria's younger sister Sibylla Augusta , who was only fourteen at the time, and married her on March 27, 1690. Shortly afterwards, Ludwig Wilhelm went back to war and became after the battle of Slankamen , in which he achieved his greatest triumph on August 19, 1691, appointed lieutenant general; he also received the Order of the Golden Fleece . The emperor transferred him to the western front and handed over the supreme command in the fight against the Turks to Ludwig Wilhelm's cousin, Prince Eugene . After the French withdrew, Ludwig Wilhelm and Sibylla Augusta returned to Baden-Baden in 1693. From his battles against the Turks he had brought back rich booty (the Karlsruhe Turkish Booty ), and the wealthy couple began to rebuild.

First he had the New Castle in Baden restored. As the residence of an imperial lieutenant general did not seem representative enough to him, he had Domenico Egidio Rossi build a new palace in the Baroque style in the then village of Rastatt for around twelve million guilders . When the shell was completed in 1705, the regent couple moved their court from Baden to Rastatt, which was also elevated to the status of town. The Rastatt Palace was the first Baroque residence on the Upper Rhine; the palaces in Karlsruhe , Bruchsal and Mannheim were built later and were possibly inspired by Rastatt. Ludwig Wilhelm died in Rastatt in January 1707 as a result of an injury sustained in the Battle of Schellenberg as part of the War of the Spanish Succession .

Rastatt Castle - residence since 1705

Absolutism and Baroque in Rastatt

Ludwig Georg Simpert , the Jägerlouis , regent from 1727 to 1761
August Georg Simpert , the last Margrave of Baden-Baden to be regent from 1761 to 1771
Favorite Palace , pleasure and hunting
palace by Sibylla Augusta

In his will, he designated his widow Sibylla Augusta as Oberlandesregentin . In May 1707 the French occupied Rastatt and Sibylla Augusta moved to Ettlingen with her children. Contrary to the advice of the emperor, who recommended her return to Bohemia in 1707, Sibylla Augusta stayed in Rastatt and took over the reign.

In the winter of 1713/14, Prince Eugene and Marshal Villars conducted negotiations in Rastatt Castle to end the War of the Spanish Succession , which were concluded in March 1714 with the Peace of Rastatt . This contract was drawn up in French rather than Latin , as was customary until then . He was one of the impulses that subsequently developed French into the language of diplomacy. After the peace treaty, Sibylla Augusta returned to Rastatt and devoted herself to government affairs, construction and court life.

She was considered a strong regent, who did not let Elector Johann Wilhelm von der Pfalz and Duke Leopold von Lothringen , whom Ludwig Wilhelm had appointed as co-guardian in his will, take control of the matter. In domestic politics she confided in Carl Freiherr von Plittersdorf (1633–1727), with whom Ludwig Wilhelm had already worked closely and to whom she transferred the management of the Baden court chamber. Foreign policy corresponded with the most important European royal houses, for example with the Emperor, with the King of France and with the Electress of the Palatinate. From 1715 on, she gained Damian Hugo von Schönborn , who later became Prince-Bishop of Speyer , as a personal advisor , and maintained a lively correspondence with him.

Sibylla Augusta's construction work also bore her personal signature. As early as 1707 she had dismissed Rossi as court architect and appointed Michael Ludwig Rohrer , who came from Bohemia, in his place . Inspired by a pilgrimage to Maria Einsiedeln , she had the Einsiedeln chapel built in Rastatt in 1715 . With particular commitment, she devoted herself to the planning and design of Favorite Palace , which she had built as a summer residence near Rastatt. The interior decorations and the margravine's valuable porcelain collection have been preserved in this castle to this day. Other works by Michael Rohrer are the Ettlinger Schloss , the Scheibenhardt castle , the Pagodenburg in Rastatt and a hunting lodge on the Fremersberg near Baden. Until his death in 1746, the court conductor was Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer , who was also born in Bohemia and had already dedicated his first published work to Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm in 1695.

In 1727 Sibylla Augusta handed over the reign to her then 25-year-old son Ludwig Georg . He had only begun to speak at the age of six and was more interested in hunting than in government throughout his life. The people therefore gave him the nickname Jägerlouis, based on Türkenlouis . During his reign, Peter Ernst Rohrer succeeded his brother Michael as court architect in 1732 . In Rastatt he built the Alexius Fountain , the town hall and the Catholic town church of St. Alexander . Ludwig Georg Simpert's two sons from his first marriage died in childhood and the second marriage remained childless, so that he had no male offspring when he died in 1761.

His brother August Georg followed him as regent . He had initially become a priest, but left the ministry in 1735 with the consent of the Pope and married Maria Viktoria Pauline von Arenberg . Since the couple's children did not reach adulthood, it was foreseeable that the death of August Georg would end the existence of the Margraviate of Baden-Baden.

Baden reunification

Since taking office, August Georg has tried to find an acceptable succession plan. Since it was obvious that Baden-Baden would fall to Baden-Durlach after his death, he negotiated an inheritance contract with Margrave Karl Friedrich von Baden-Durlach , which was signed in 1765. The inheritance contract stipulated that most of Baden-Baden's possessions should fall to Baden-Durlach. Only the Bohemian possessions that Sibylla Augusta had brought in fell to their relatives. The Ortenau , which Ludwig Wilhelm had received as an imperial fief, reverted to the emperor. The contract also provided that the surviving members of the margravial family would be financially settled with their court and that the assets of the Catholic institutions, such as the Lichtenthal monastery or the Baden-Baden monastery, would be preserved.

In order to support the religious freedom of his Catholic subjects, August Georg carried out the beatification of the medieval ancestor Bernhard II , with which he was also successful in 1769. August Georg made the Blessed Bernhard the patron saint of the margraviate of Baden-Baden and had a fountain built in Rastatt in his memory . In 1770 he introduced compulsory schooling with the general state school regulations.

Margrave Karl Friedrich von Baden-Durlach asked Prussia, England and Denmark to guarantee the implementation of the inheritance contract. August Georg turned to the Pope , the Archbishop of Mainz and Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria on this matter . In Vienna, however, the Reichshofrat, brought in by Emperor Franz I , advised against confirming the inheritance contract. After August Georg's death on October 21, 1771, Karl Friedrich rode into Rastatt. He took possession of his inheritance and committed the civil service of Baden-Baden to himself. However, after Karl Friedrich had hired two teachers in the former Jesuit grammar school in the city of Baden, whose lifestyle did not meet the expectations of the citizens of Baden, the city filed a complaint with the Reichshofrat against its new sovereign. The dispute, in which the city was also supported by August Georg's widow Maria Viktoria, caused a sensation beyond the borders of Germany and was only settled in 1789.


Collegiate Church of Baden-Baden , main church of the margraviate and burial place of the margraves

First recatholicization

When the margraviate of Baden-Baden was created in 1535 through the division of inheritance, Protestantism had already gained a foothold there. At that time, the reformer Matthias Erb was court preacher at the collegiate church in the city of Baden . This church served the margraves as a burial place and was the spiritual center of the margraviate. The rulers were indifferent to the new trend and initially did not have any direct influence on the content of beliefs or the practice of religious practice.

This only changed in 1569 after Philibert's death, when Albrecht V of Bavaria, who was an important representative of the Counter-Reformation , gained influence in Baden-Baden. The Bavarian governor Schwarzenberg initially cracked down on the Protestant councilors, and later the population was obliged to be Catholic and to attend church regularly. Those who refused had to leave the country. Even the chancellor Samuel Hornmold , who was only appointed in 1573 , was dismissed from office in 1574 at Schwarzenberg's instigation and expelled from Baden-Baden after he had not pushed ahead with the re-Catholicization as hoped.

The witch trials began at the same time . The first victim was a poor elderly woman in 1569. Since they under torture other women said , had their case triggered a series of other processes. From 1573 to 1577 further witch trials took place in which at least 25 women were murdered, including the wife and daughter of the town clerk Rudolf Aindler. Philipp led further witch trials in 1580; 18 women were killed.

In November 1583, Baden-Baden introduced the Gregorian calendar , while the Protestant Baden-Durlach took it until 1701. In the autumn of 1585, Andrea Vermatt, who was a cathedral preacher and devil conjurer in Speyer, “drove out seven evil spirits” from the unmarried citizen Anna Koch during eight public incantations over a period of three months. This public demonstration of power by the Catholic Church was made known throughout the empire with the help of leaflets. The rule of Graefenstein was also recatholicized, while Protestantism was able to assert itself in the counties of Sponheim and Eberstein as well as in the rule of Mahlberg because of the condominium with Protestant princes.

Return to Protestantism

The re-Catholicization process ended in 1588 with the takeover of the government by Eduard Fortunat, who did not pursue an active religious policy. However, he allowed his Baden-Durlachian relative Jakob III. von Baden-Hachberg , to hold a religious talk with renowned theologians in Baden in 1589. Jakob invited his advisor Johannes Pistorius the Younger and the Jesuit Father Theodor Busaeo from the Catholic side, and the two Tübingen theologians Jakob Schmidlin and Jacob Heerbrand from the Protestant side . The Baden disputation ended in disaster. Since no agreement could be reached on the style of discussion, there was no dispute on the matter at all. Margrave Jakob broke off the conversation.

At the beginning of the occupation of Upper Baden, the rulers of Baden-Durlach, who had undertaken to the emperor to leave religion intact, did not yet interfere in religious questions; nevertheless, large parts of the population returned to Protestantism during this period. From around 1610 Margrave Georg Friedrich actively supported the Protestants of Baden-Baden; in the city of Baden they received their own pastor and were allowed to use the collegiate church. The latter in particular led to a permanent conflict in which the margrave intervened by curtailing the rights of Catholics more and more. In 1613 the margrave had the Catholics arrested after they had handed him a petition. He dismissed the highest Catholic dignitary, canon Eberhard Häusler, whereupon the Catholic resistance came to a standstill.

Second recatholicization

St. Alexander , the Catholic town church of Rastatt

After Wilhelm took office in 1622, Baden-Baden was re-Catholicized with the help of repressive measures as well as the Jesuits and the Capuchins . Wilhelm gave the residents the choice of either professing their Catholic faith by Christmas 1624 or of leaving the country. The former mayor of Baden Johann Häussler initially went into exile. When he later reentered the city and asked to stay because of his age and merit, he was fined heavily and again given the choice of converting or leaving. The citizen Anna Weinhag had asked Wilhelm in writing not to force her to convert . She was then suspected of being a witch and tortured for several days in December 1627. Since she did not confess under the torture, she was released; but on condition that they bear the cost of the trial, do not leave their home and remain silent about the details of the torture. Between 1626 and 1631, Margrave Wilhelm accused 244 people of witchcraft in the entire margraviate, more than three quarters of them women. 231 of them were convicted and executed. In the 1630s, the Counter-Reformation was then firmly anchored institutionally through the establishment of the Capuchin monastery and the Jesuit college.

Baroque piety

Sibylla Augusta was raised by Piarists to be a very religious woman in her youth . After the death of her husband, her religiosity took on fanatical traits under the influence of the Jesuit father Joseph Mayer. In 1717 he organized a penitential procession in Rastatt , the participants of which wore crowns of thorns and scourged themselves . The influence of Damian Hugo von Schönborn later gave her religiousness more earthly features again. She went on a total of eight pilgrimages to Maria Einsiedeln . She interpreted it as a miracle that her son Ludwig Georg, whom she had considered deaf and dumb, began to speak on one of these trips . Their religiosity was also reflected in their building activities. She wished the interior of the castle church of Rastatt Castle to be "extra beautiful" . She also had the Einsiedeln chapel in Rastatt and a hermitage in the park of Schloss Favorite built for herself, to which she often retreated for prayer and reflection.

The regent's piety also affected the margravate. During her reign, the clergy at the Rastatt court gained considerable influence, which they also retained under the reign of their sons. For example, the construction of the Alexius Fountain, which was built in 1739 and was intended to protect the citizens of Rastatt against earthquakes, is indicative of that time. This protective function was apparently seen as more important than the function of supplying drinking water, which was not completed until 1770. The efforts to beat Bernhard von Baden, which were crowned with success in 1769, are also characteristic . While his memory had previously been honored mainly within the margravial family, after the beatification he was chosen to be the patron saint of the margravate.

The Marian pilgrimage to Bickesheim and Moosbronn also played an important role . The pilgrimage church in Bickesheim received a new interior construction during the baroque period; the church in Bietigheim on the way from Rastatt to Bickesheim was renovated in 1748. In Moosbronn a new church was built in 1749 instead of a wooden chapel built in 1683; A short time later, the church in Michelbach , which was on the pilgrimage route, was also renovated.


The Margraves of Baden owned the Judenregal since 1382 , i. H. the right to accept Jews in exchange for protection payments. (Linder, p. 20) In the margraviate of Baden-Baden, Jews could only obtain temporary residence permits that were documented by individual letters of protection issued in the name of the Jew . The Jewish regulations issued by Sibylla Augusta in 1714 stipulated that the letters of protection were to be limited to three years and that the holder of the letter of protection required an annual payment of 700 guilders. (Linder, p. 33)

Numerous Jews lived in the margraviate at least since the 1580s. Most of them were traders or lenders.

In 1579, Philip II announced that he had set up exchange offices in the cities of Baden and Ettlingen and lent them to Jews. (Wielandt, p. 104 f.) Mathias Schweizer was active around 1703 as a financial advisor at the court of Ludwig Wilhelm. (Linder, p. 27)

In 1698 there were eleven Jewish families with 90 people in Bühl; by 1721 their number had grown to 17 families. By 1723 at the latest, the Jewish community had a prayer room in a private house.

In Kuppenheim there had been a Jewish cemetery since at least 1694 , which not only served as a burial place for all Jews in the Baden-Baden core area, but also for those in the Hanauerland on the right bank of the Rhine . The amount of the funeral fee to be paid to the sovereign depended on the sex and on whether the Jew had lived in or outside the margraviate. For local male Jews it was four and a half guilders around 1765. (Linder, p. 57 f.)

Economic and social history

The city of Baden in the middle of the 17th century (from Topographia Germaniae Matthäus Merians )

Social structure

There were no major urban centers in the margraviate of Baden-Baden. Cities such as Kuppenheim or Stollhofen were arable towns and differed little in terms of their social structure from the municipalities. Even the royal seat of Baden was of a very manageable size. Lower nobility only played a subordinate role, as local rule was often exercised directly by the margraves. There was a phase of integration of immigrants in the 18th century after Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm ordered the relocation of Bohemian farmers to the Upper Rhine in 1697 because of the depopulation of his homeland. Overall, however, the social stratification - apart from the regents - was comparatively weak ().

The social gap between the members of the margravial family and the subjects was particularly drastic in the 18th century. As an imperial general, Ludwig Wilhelm achieved high income and his wife Sybilla Augusta brought a considerable fortune into the marriage. They had claims of more than two million guilders against the emperor. In 1721 Sibylla Augusta traveled personally to Vienna to meet with Emperor Karl VI. to emphasize their demand for payment; she reached an agreement with him and received 750,000 guilders. In the 18th century, the margravial court used its extensive funds mainly for the keeping of court and for the construction of representative and sacred buildings. This created jobs and led to the formation of a new middle class in Rastatt. However, there were no sustainable investments in the infrastructure; the reorientation of the economy in the sense of mercantilism begun by Ludwig Wilhelm was not continued by his wife and sons. The court chamber councilor Dürrfeld wrote in 1765 that there were open heaps of manure in the city of Baden and “no spa guest [...] could set foot in front of the door without being attacked and surrounded by a gang of beggars or followed on their way” .


Old town hall Gernsbach , built as a residential palace for Johann Jakob Kast

The people lived primarily from agriculture. The grains rye , oats , spelled and barley were grown , as well as peas , lentils , beans and fruit, and finally linseed and flax . In the course of the 18th century potatoes , alfalfa , clover , pumpkins and tobacco were added. Viticulture was carried out in the foothills of the Black Forest as well as in the Murgtal and its side valleys. The people also kept horses, cattle, pigs, goats and sheep, which were very often grazed in the woods . On the Rhine, people also made a living from fishing, gold panning and the production of wooden shoes from poplar, willow or alder wood ().

The most important groups of craftsmen who also produced for a supraregional market were the rope makers , the draperies and the woolen weavers. The rest of the commercial production only supplied the local population. Craftsmen such as weavers, millers, blacksmiths, bricklayers, carpenters, tailors and shoemakers were to be found throughout the margravate. Comprehensive trade regulations, the purpose of which was to prevent the social gap in the city from increasing, regulated many details. Guilds were banned until the Upper Baden occupation.

In the Murg valley, the timber trade in connection with rafting played an important role. The Hörden merchant and mudslider Jakob Kast , who had become wealthy through a state trade monopoly , was able to afford to lend Margrave Georg Friedrich 27,000 guilders in 1611 to finance his war preparations . At his death in 1615 Kast left a fortune of around 480,000 guilders, which mainly consisted of claims against various sovereigns, cities, monasteries and private individuals. A sign of the family's prosperity that is still visible today is the old town hall in Gernsbach, which his son Johann Jakob Kast had built as a residential palace in 1618 in the Mannerist style . The spa business was an important source of income in the city of Baden. The bathing hostels “zum Salmen”, “Baldreit” and “Hirsch”, of which the latter still exists today, had around fifty guest rooms and over a hundred bathing cabins at the beginning of the 17th century.

The main source of income for the margraves was taxes on the economic output of their subjects. Apart from that, they also made income from tariffs and mining. In Hügelsheim , a margravial institution was a station for the collection of Rheinzöllen , which was operated jointly by Söllingen and Hügelsheim. For the use of the section of the Altstrasse on the right bank of the Rhine from Basel to Frankfurt , which ran through the margraviate , the margraves earned income from issuing letters of conduct . Mining was carried out in the Murg Valley and in the lordships around Rodemachern. There were mercantilist approaches under Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm, who founded a hammer mill in today's Gaggenau in 1681 and a glassworks in Mittelberg near Moosbronn in 1697 .

Coins and Money Economy

The margraves of Baden had had the right to mint coins since at least 1362 [Wielandt, p. 8]. Mints were located in the cities of Pforzheim and Baden. When the country was divided in 1535, Ernst and Bernhard had agreed that in future Baden-Durlach and Baden-Baden would mint coins independently of one another. In the Imperial Farewell to Speyer in 1570, it was stipulated that each Imperial Circle could have a maximum of four mints. Thus, Baden-Durlach and Baden-Baden could no longer exercise the right to mint independently of one another. They subsequently agreed to do it alternately for several years. [Wielandt, p. 95 ff.]

Margrave Philip II had coins minted in the 1580s . Since he shaped this inferiorly, he drew the criticism of the Swabian Imperial Circle . He was not deterred by this, however, and his successor Eduard Fortunat continued to shape it in the same way. Ernst Friedrich von Baden-Durlach accused him of counterfeiting in 1595 after he had expelled him as part of the Upper Baden occupation and relocated the Baden mint to Durlach. [Wielandt, p. 107 ff.]

In Baden-Baden, coins were minted again in the 1620s and 1630s under Margrave Wilhelm , before the mint was destroyed in the final years of the Thirty Years' War. The few coins minted under Ludwig Wilhelm and Sibylla Augusta were made at foreign mints. Efforts by Ludwig Georg to resume coin production in Baden-Baden were unsuccessful. [Wielandt, p. 113 ff.]

The Imperial Coin Order of 1559, d. H. the bill based on gulden , batzen and kreuzer did not gain acceptance in Baden-Baden until the 17th century; previously a gold gulden was worth 168 silver pennies from Baden. ()

mass and weight

In the margraviate of Baden-Baden no attempts were made to standardize the various systems of measurement. For historical reasons, different measurement systems were used in different regions, for example in Bühl, which was part of the historical landscape of the Ortenau , different from Rastatt or Baden-Baden, which had belonged to the Ufgau in the High Middle Ages . Measures with the same designation also differed from one another, as they were based on the standard gauges provided in the respective "authoritative" official cities.

As a measure of length that served shoes as square measure for fields of the morning , as measure of capacity depending on the region and product being measured, the district, Sester , the Malter or the cartload and as the weight of quintal . Fixed integer ratios to smaller units of measurement were in use.

The hundredweight was divided into 104 pounds , 416 quads and 3328 lots . In some cases, the measurement systems also differed from one another regionally.

  • In Bühl, for example, the Fuder was divided into 24 ohms, 96 quarters, 576 measurements and 2304 bottles,
  • in Baden-Baden and Rastatt in 24 Ohm, 96 quarters,
  • 384 Maß and 1536 Schoppen and
  • in Kuppenheim in 10 Ohm, 120 quarter, 480 measure and 1920 pint.
  • In Baden-Baden a shoe was 30.37 cm;
  • in Gernsbach, however, 30.466 cm;
  • but in Bühl only 27.628 cm.
  • One acre in Baden-Baden and Gernsbach had 0.3801 hectares ,
  • in Rastatt, however, only 0.3170 ha
  • and in Bühl 0.3126 ha.

The size of vineyards was measured in cuttings, with twelve cuttings corresponding to an acre.

In the Ortenau, the quarter or the Sester and in the Ufgau the Malter were used as the measure of capacity for grain ; Wine was measured in bulk. One painter corresponded

  • in Baden-Baden 129.6 liters,
  • in Gernsbach 130.616 liters,
  • in Kuppenheim 165.3 and
  • in Rastatt 145.381 liters.
  • The load in Bühl had 1172.966 liters,
  • in Baden-Baden and Rastatt 1,109.952 liters,
  • in Kuppenheim 1130.4 liters and
  • in Gernsbach 1143.696 liters.
  • A hundredweight weighed 48.553 kg in Bühl,
  • in Baden 48.586 kg,
  • in Rastatt 48.648 kg and
  • in Gernsbach 48.823 kg.

Source: Andermann,

Wars and natural disasters

During the Thirty Years' War, the mercenary armies, which moved through again and again, had to be supplied with food or they supplied themselves through looting . The population fell by half, and the hygienic conditions were catastrophic.

After the 1670s, the Ettlingen Jesuits noted that large areas of agricultural land were fallow and that farm animals also starved to death.

In 1689, the French army destroyed the towns and villages of the margraviate through planned arson in the course of the Palatine War of Succession. Numerous settlements were abandoned by the end of the 17th century. On the Rhine, people repeatedly experienced severe floods. In 1583 the village of Dunhausen was not repopulated after a flood disaster . Earthquakes destroyed numerous buildings in 1723 and 1728 ().

See also


Web links

Wikisource: Baden  - Sources and full texts


  1. Margrave Karl Wilhelm von Baden-Durlach wrote frankly in 1724 to a French envoy ... but because this princess is her own boss, I cannot promise you any effect on my part
  2. "... because he saw that nothing but delay and wasted expenses and loss of time are caused by this", says Dagmar Kicherer in a short history of the city of Baden-Baden. , Page 55.
  3. Margrave Philip II wrote to his officials in 1582 that he had compared himself with his ... Jews ... in that they ... would like to trade with the subjects, be it by contracting, lending, buying or selling. (quoted from Gerhard Friedrich Linder: The Jewish community in Kuppenheim , p. 20)
  4. ↑ In 1666 the magistrate of Baden complained that some citizens let their pigs run through the city instead of having them tended by the city swineherd . Human and animal excrement not only accumulated in dung heaps and cesspools in the alleys, but also in the houses. (after Dagmar Kicherer, Brief history of the city of Baden-Baden , page 72)

Individual evidence

  1. History of the Gräfenstein castle ruins
  2. Anja Stangl in Sybilla Augusta. A baroque fate , p. 9.
  3. Treatise on about the Jägerlouis ( Memento of the original from September 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Günther Bentele: The paintings in the Hornmoldhaus and in the summer parlor (with supplement and appendix to the genealogy of the Hornmold family), in: Blätter zur Stadtgeschichte Heft 5, Bietigheim-Bissingen 1986
  5. ^ Sabine Hund in Sibylla Augusta. A baroque fate , p. 21.
  6. quoted from Sigrid Gensichen in Sybilla Augusta. A Baroque Destiny , p. 35.
  7. a b c d Gerhard Friedrich Linder: The Jewish community in Kuppenheim , Ubstadt-Weiher 1999, ISBN 3-89735-110-2
  8. a b c d e Friedrich Wielandt: Badische Münz- und Geldgeschichte . Karlsruhe 1979, ISBN 3-7650-9014-X
  9. ^ Markus Zepf in Sybilla Augusta. A Baroque Destiny , p. 17.
  10. ^ Quoted from Rolf Gustav Haebler , History of the City and the Spa of Baden-Baden, Volume I, Baden-Baden 1969
  11. Max Scheifele : Die Murgschifferschaft - History of the raft trade, the forest and the timber industry in the Murgtal . Casimir Katz Verlag, Gernsbach 1988, ISBN 3-925825-20-7 , pages 181-192
  12. A look at the history of Gaggenau at
  13. ^ Markus Zepf in Sybilla Augusta. A Baroque Destiny , p. 17.
  1. P. 127 ff.
  2. p. 129 f.
  3. , p. 136
  4. p. 135 f.
  5. p. 84
  1. Kohnle, page 150 f.
  2. ^ Kohnle, page 67
  3. ^ Kohnle, page 76
  4. Kohnle, page 81 f.
  5. Kohnle, page 82 f.
  6. ^ Kohnle, page 96
  7. Kohnle, page 112 f.
  8. ^ Kohnle, p. 126
  1. page 53
  2. page 83 f.
  3. page 57 f.
  4. page 61.
  5. page 59 ff.
  6. page 40 f.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on November 3, 2008 .