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Family coat of arms of the Meinhardiner (Carinthia)
Family coat of arms of the Meinhardiner (Gorizia)
View of Gorizia

The Meinhardiner , also known as Gorizia or Counts of Gorizia , were a ruling dynasty of originally Bavarian descent, who first had their power base in Gorizia and then in Tyrol . During the Middle Ages, the Meinhardiner were among the most important noble houses in the southern Alpine region.

Members of the sex ruled, among other things, over the Kingdom of Bohemia , and as titular king over the Kingdom of Poland , the margravates of Moravia and Istria , the duchies of Carinthia (1286–1335) and Carniola , the counties of Gorizia (1130–1500), Tyrol (1253–1363 ) and Istria as well as the Aquileja Patriarchate . In 1500 the dynasty died out with Count Leonhard von Görz .

Origin and development

The Meinhardin family, named after the recurring first name Meinhard , originally came from the Bavarian nobility and appeared for the first time in the 11th century. The ancestry of Count Palatine Engelbert I, mentioned since 1107, and his (half) brother Meinhard von Görz, mentioned since 1120, Count von Görz since 1142, has not been clarified in detail. For more information, see Wikipedia "Count Palatine Engelbert I. (Görz)".

The Meinhardiner took over from the Bavarian Count Palatine Aribo II. And his wife Luitkard, the founders of the Millstatt Monastery in Carinthia, the bailiwick of this monastery founded "by their ancestors (parentes)", rich property in Carinthia and until 1221 the Bavarian Count Palatine Office . However, the lead names Meinhard and Engelbert speak against a direct descent from the Aribones and connect the Meinhardines with the Counts of Lurn and the powerful clan of the Sieghardinger, from whom they inherited extensive estates in Carinthia (Eberstein).

Decisive for the rise of the family was the close connection to the Patriarchate of Aquileia , which probably had enabled the Meinhardineren to acquire large fiefdoms in Friuli and Istria , including the ancestral seat of Gorizia , under the related Patriarch Sieghard von Aquileia after 1077 . The bailiwick of Aquileia (since around 1122) and their position as captains general since the 13th century were used by the Meinhardins to purposefully expand their position in Friuli, especially when the restrictive provisions of the Treaty of Ramuscello (1150) were revised (1202). Engelbert III extended over the bailiwick of the church of Parenzo / Porec. approx. 1191–1194 the area of ​​power to Istria with the administrative center Pisino / Mitterburg.

The family initially built up their power base from Lienz , which was the administrative center of the Lienzer Gaues in the Carinthian county of Lurngau . Around 1100 the counts also acquired the Bailiwick of Aquileia , whereupon the family renamed itself in 1120 due to the shifted focus of power in von Gorizia . The Meinhardiner took over the colors red-white-red and the striding lions in their coat of arms from their patrons and feudal lords, the Carinthian ducal family of the Eppensteiner . The Meinhardiner dynasty was subsequently combined with important noble families from the southern Alpine region. Above all, the Count Palatine Aribo II. And Boto, descending from the Aribonen clan , as well as the Spanheimers and the Pustertal Sighardingers are to be listed. Through these relationships, the Meinhardin family was able to acquire the countries of Gorizia and Friuli .

Division of ownership from 1271

Meinhard II , Count of Tyrol and Gorizia, Duke of Carinthia
Margarete von Tirol , called Margarete Maultasch

In 1232 Meinhard III could. von Gorizia united the entire property of his family in his hands and significantly expanded his power base through his marriage to Adelheid, daughter of Count Albert III of Tyrol († 1253). In 1237 he enfeoffed his father-in-law with his property and in 1253, after the death of his father-in-law, the last count from the Albertine family , he inherited the county of Tyrol as Meinhard I of Tyrol , which he ruled together with his brother-in-law Gebhard IV von Hirschberg .

Meinhard's son and successor, Count Meinhard II. († 1295) of Tyrol (as Count of Görz Meinhard IV., From 1286 as Duke of Carinthia Meinhard I) not only expanded the rule, but was also able to build it into a more homogeneous one Driving the country forward, not least by building an administration that was exemplary for the time. Nevertheless, the three rulership complexes (Gorizia, Carinthia and Tyrol) were too large for a single ruler and, above all, too far apart, so that after the death of Meinhard III. was divided in 1258 between 1267 and 1271. Meinhard II received Tyrol and continued the Meinhardin line , Albert I († 1304) received Gorizia (with the Puster Valley and the Lienz areas) and thus founded the Albertine line of the family. The boundary between the possessions was established with the Mühlbacher Klause (north of Brixen ) at the western entrance to the Puster Valley. The so-called Gorizia Meinhardins kept the ancestral seat Gorizia until they died out in 1500, while the Tyrolean Meinhardins ruled over Tyrol and Carinthia until they died out in the male line.

Meinhardin line

Meinhard II. Was also awarded the Duchy of Carinthia in 1286 , but this already after the death of his son Heinrich VI. (1307-10 King of Bohemia ) fell to the Habsburgs in 1335 . With Heinrich, the male line of his line had already died out, which is why Heinrich's daughter Margarete Maultasch (or her husbands) first and then her son Meinhard III in Tyrol . ruled until 1363. After the death of her son, however, she had to hand over the land to the Habsburgs on the basis of an inheritance contract, which the Counts of Gorizia in Tyrol, Carinthia and Carniola inherited.

Coat of arms of the Meinhardiner line (Counts of Tyrol, Dukes of Carinthia)

The coat of arms of the Meinhardiner line as the dukes of Carinthia shows three black lions one below the other in the golden-red split shield, and a silver bar behind. This coat of arms goes back to Duke Ulrich III. of Carinthia from the Spanheimer dynasty , who, when the Babenberg inheritance (Austria) became free in 1246, had given up his ancestral coat of arms (a black panther on a silver background) in order to assert his claim to the Babenberg inheritance (his father, the Spanheim duke Bernhard von Carinthia , was the son of Agnes from Babenberg , daughter of Heinrich II. Of Austria and sister of Duke Heinrich I of Mödling) in a suitable new coat of arms: in front the Babenberg lion in its three number (Babenberg line Mödling), behind the Austrian so-called binding shield (the origin of which goes back to the red-white-red fief flag of the Eppensteiner ). The crest: a peacock bump, went back to the Austrian crest. The oldest representation of a shield has been preserved on a seal from 1253 in the Carinthian regional archive in Klagenfurt. The crest, as it was used in his seal by the Meinhardiner Heinrich von Kärnten in 1303 , shows a pilgrim's hat , the flat top of which is decorated with a cock's plume and the broad brim is hung with linden leaves. After the attack of Carinthia by the Habsburgs in 1335, the Meinhardiner helmets were replaced by the peacock bump, as can be seen in the Zurich coat of arms (around 1335/1345) as a helmet ornament for Carinthia, as well as for Austria. It was not until 1363 that the crest was changed so that two golden buffalo horns with five golden sticks on the outside, each hung with three linden leaves, were placed on the helmet. The color of the linden leaves is black on the right buffalo horn and red on the left. The shape of the helmet is still used today in the Carinthian coat of arms. A variant of the buffalo horn helmet ornament can be found in a donor fresco from 1498 in the abbey church of St. Paul in Lavanttal, where the horns are decorated with black flags on the outside and stand in front of a black flight.

Historical coats of arms

Albertine line

Gorizia Castle

Until 1500 members of the younger line ruled the county of Gorizia , which stretched between Innichen and Lienz in the north and the Adriatic coast in the south. The power base of the Albertine line in the remote Karst area was much lower and was reduced by the division of power. That is why the Albertines' inheritance claims to the Duchy of Carinthia and the County of Tyrol were passed over. After the death of Heinrich III. In 1323, who was an ally of Duke Frederick the Fair in the fight against Ludwig IV of Bavaria and who had even captured Treviso and Padua , there were four different Görzische counties from Pustertal to Istria. Because of the threat to the inner county of Gorizia from the Republic of Venice , the counts moved their residence to Schloss Bruck near Lienz, the center of the former county of Gorizia, which remained their main residence and rulership until the end. The family of noble lords von Graben von Stein also came from the Gorizia branch of the Meinhardins , who became their successors in the governor's office of Lienz after the Görz counts died out in 1500 . According to the historian Johann Weichard von Valvasor, the brothers Conrad and Grimoald vom Graben, who were first mentioned in a document in 1170, are the oldest family members . Another illegitimate sideline are the Counts of Eschenloch , descended from Count Meinhard II./IV. of Tyrol and Gorizia, Duke of Carinthia .

Coat of arms of the Albertine line (Counts of Gorizia)

The coat of arms of the Albertiner line as Count of Gorizia shows a golden lion on a blue background in the shield that is divided diagonally to the right; below red-silver-red divided obliquely on the left; On the helmet with red and silver blankets, an ermine hat with a hermelin cuff and a pointed cup, topped with a black plume of plume. The coat of arms (both the shield and the hat-cock-feathers-crest) is a variant of the Meinhardiner line (dukes of Carinthia) modified in details. (The lower half of the shield was later often divided three times, by silver and red, obliquely to the left, sometimes the shield half has even more divisions; in the 15th, but somewhat more frequently in the 16th century, the front oblique half of the shield was sometimes not obliquely left at all , but horizontally divided by silver and red; the helmet covers were also depicted red-silver on the right, blue-gold on the left, or also completely blue-gold, in the Ortenburg coat of arms , around 1466, even black-gold, sprinkled with golden linden leaves on the outside - also is in that depiction the hat is black and sprinkled with linden leaves; the gauntlet also appears in blue or red in the 15th / 16th centuries, and some depictions also show ostrich feathers in silver or black, or in all the colors of the shield, instead of the cock's plume, or also growing out of a cock's plume on the top of the hat.) The red-silver-red division of the front half of the shield goes like the red-silver-red half of the shield te of the Meinhardin line (Dukes of Carinthia) originally based on the red-white-red fief flag of the Eppenstein family; Incidentally, these were also the feudal lords of the Meinhardins. The fact that the lion in the Albertiner line in Gorizia (there are three lions in the Meinhardiner line in Carinthia) is shown with golden tinges on a blue background is related to the fact that the Gorizians hold the office of bailiff of the Patriarch of Aquileia, in personal union the Duke of Friuli , clothed, and he wielded a golden eagle on a blue background. In this respect, the people of Gorizia had adapted their coat of arms to the coat of arms of their (new) liege lord and employer in order to show a connection here as well.

Historical coats of arms

Tribe list of the Meinhardiner

The origins of the Gorizia Meinhardiner are in the dark.

Version 1:

A: Marquard († 1074), Count in Viehbachgau and in Carinthia, Margrave of Istria-Krain and (questionable :) Duke of Carinthia

B: Ulrich († 1122), Abbot of St. Gallen, Patriarch of Aquileia
B: Heinrich I († 1102), Count of Eppenstein, Margrave of Carniola, Friuli and Istria, Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Verona, Vogt of Aquileja and Moosburg
C: Engelbert I († around 1122), Count of Görz, Count Palatine of Bavaria , Vogt of Millstatt
C: Meinhard I. († 1142), Count of Görz, Count Palatine of Carinthia, Vogt of Aquileia , Vogt of St. Peter in Istria

Variant 2:

B: Meginhard / Meinhard († around 1090), Count in the Pustertal (Görzgrafen), descending from the Sieghardinger family
C: Engelbert I. († around 1122/23)
C: Meinhard I. († 1142)
D: Heinrich I († Nov. 1, 1148/49), Count of Gorizia
D: Engelbert II. (1132- Jan. approx. 1189), Count of Görz and Vogt of Aquileia and Millstatt
E: Meinhard II. The Old (* 1163 / 64–1171, † 1232), Count of Görz, Vogt of Aquileia
E: Engelbert III. (* 1163 / 64-1172, † September 1220), Count of Görz, Vogt of Millstatt
Q: Meinhard III. (* 1192/94, † 1258), Count of Tyrol I (1253–58), Gorizia, Istria and Vogt of Aquileia, Trient, Brixen and Bozen ∞ Adelheid of Tyrol (* approx. 1117, † after Oct. 1278) Division:

Meinhardinische Linie or "Tiroler Meinhardiner" : Tyrol , Carinthia ::
G: Meinhard II. Of Tyrol and Gorizia (IV.) (* 1239/40, † October 30, 1295), (I.) Duke of Carinthia and Carniola from 1286, oo Elisabeth of Bavaria (* approx. 1227, † Oct. 1273), widow of King Conrad IV, mother of Konradin
H: Elisabeth († 1313), German queen
H: Agnes († 1293), wife of Friedrich I, Margrave of Meißen
H: Otto II. († 1310), Count of Tyrol, Duke of Carinthia and Carniola
H: Albert II († 1292), Count of Tyrol
H: Ludwig († 1305)
H: Henry VI. († 1335), Duke of Carinthia, Duke / Margrave of Carniola, King of Bohemia, Margrave of Moravia, Count of Tyrol
I: Margarete "Maultasch" (* 1318; † 1369), Countess of Tyrol
J: Meinhard III. (1344–1363), the last Tyrolean Meinhardiner on his mother's side, was as Meinhard Duke of Upper Bavaria and as Meinhard III. Count of Tyrol

Albertine line or "Görzer Meinhardiner" : Görz , Pustertal ( Lienz ):
G: Albert I (* 1240/1241,. † Sept. 1304), Count of Gorizia and Tyrol
H: Heinrich III. († 1323), oo I. Beatrix de Camino, ∞ II. Beatrix of Lower Bavaria († 1360)
I: I. Meinhard V. († after 1318), Count of Gorizia
I: II. Johann Heinrich IV. († 1338), Count of Gorizia
H: Albert II. († 1327), Count of Görz oo I. Elisabeth of Hesse († 1308), ∞ II. Euphemia von Mätsch († 1350)
I: I. Albert III. / IV. († around 1365/74), Count of Gorizia
I: II. Heinrich V († 1362), Count of Gorizia
I: II. Meinhard VI./VII. († after 1385), Count of Gorizia, imperial prince since 1365
J: Henry VI. (* 1376; † 1454), Count of Görz, Count of Kirchberg (Swabia), Count Palatine of Carinthia, Imperial Prince
K: Johann II. († 1462), Count of Gorizia, Imperial Prince
K: Leonhard (* 1444; † 1500), Count of Görz, Imperial Prince; the last of his line
K: Ludwig († 1457), Count of Gorizia and Imperial Prince (?)
J: Johann Meinhard VII. († 1430), Count Palatine in Carinthia, Count of Kirchberg


The following genders descend from the Meinhardins:

  1. Meinhardiner
    1. Count of Eschenloch
    2. Lords of Trench
      1. Orsini-Rosenberg
      2. De Graeff (documented but unsecured)
    3. Von Lamberg (any tribal identity with the Von Graben)


  • The Görzer Meinhardiner also play a role in numismatics as the minting masters of the first cruisers (Tyrolean groschen to 20 Veronese pfennigs).
  • The important diplomat and minstrel Oswald von Wolkenstein was also in the service of the Counts of Gorizia.
  • The Tyrolean counts of Gorizia should not be confused with the Hessian counts of Schlitz called von Goertz .

Individual evidence

  1. Meinhardiner ( Memento from September 5, 2003 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Hermann Wiesflecker: Austria in the Age of Maximilian I .: the union of the countries for ... ( Memento of the original of January 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. ^ Hermann Wiesflecker , Austria in the Age of Maximilian I: the unification of the countries to form an early modern state; the rise to world power , Vienna / Munich 1999, p. 138 f.
  4. ^ On the history of the Carinthian coat of arms
  5. ^ Also on the history of the Carinthian coat of arms
  6. ^ Austro Archive (contributions to the family history of Tyrol, Graben von Stein ). ( Memento of the original from May 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Registration required @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Google book search: Das Land Tirol: with an attachment: Vorarlberg: a handbook for travelers. By Beda Weber
  8. ^ Adalbert Sikora: The gentlemen from the pit in the journal of the historical association for Styria. Volume 51, Graz 1960, page 43
  9. Family tree (of the counts) of Görz from the house of the Meinhardins
  10. Hermann Wiesflecker (1999), p. 164
  11. Google books: The arms of the nobility in Upper Austria - p. 753
  12. Google Books: Carinthia's nobility until the year 1300. A. Weiss, S. 211


  • Therese Meyer, Kurt Karpf: The Origin of the Counts of Gorizia. Genealogical study of the genesis of a dynasty in the southeastern region. In: Südost-Forschungen , Vol. 59/60 (2000/01), pp. 34-98.
  • Philipp Jedelhauser: The descent of Bishop Bruno von Brixen, Count of Kirchberg (Iller) with an excursus on Countess Mathilde von Andechs, wife of Engelbert III. von Görz and family table of the Counts of Görz, in: Adler, Zeitschrift für Genealogie und Heraldik, Volume 28, Issue 6–7, Vienna April / September 2016, pp. 277–341, see pp. 284–293, p. 308 –318, pp. 322–341, (family table of the Counts of Görz from Meinhard I to Count Meinhard II. Of Tyrol and Görz IV. Annotated according to sources).

Web links

Commons : Meinhardiner  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files