Sebastian I. (Ortenburg)

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Sebastian I. Count von Ortenburg (* August 1434 ; † November 11, 1490 ) was born as the second son of Count Heinrich V von Ortenburg and Ursula Ecker zu Saldenburg and thus came from the Lower Bavarian dynasty of the Ortenburgers . He was also a member of the Order of Our Lady of the Swan . Sebastian, along with his ancestor Etzel I and his grandson Joachim , is one of the most colorful and respected people from the Ortenburg family. Sebastian once ruled the county of Ortenburg together with his older brother Georg II , before he completely took over the government in 1488.

Live and act

Sebastian I was already famous during his lifetime for his bravery and combat skills, which he demonstrated at various knight tournaments, including in Heidelberg in 1481 , as well as for his determination and courage with which he was able to assert his rights against the emperor himself. This earned him the nickname "the fighter" .

Sebastian's father-in-law, Baron Johann von Rohrbach , Count of Neuburg since 1463 , appointed him and his wife Maria as heirs for the county on the Inn . When Johann died in 1467, however, imperial troops occupied the imperial county and the associated Neuburg Castle . Emperor Friedrich III. viewed the county as a reverted fiefdom . So he had the county and the castles occupied, with Sebastian's wife Maria and his mother-in-law Scholastika von Weißpirach being arrested at Neuburg am Inn Castle. To free both of them, the Count occupied the castle one night by bribing the guards. He then succeeded in chasing away the imperial troops. Emperor Friedrich III. could not possibly allow the behavior of the Ortenburg count and tried to recapture the fortress. He then appeared with reinforcements and had the castle besieged. Sebastian and his men, however, withstood the onslaught of the imperial troops, so that the army and Friedrich III. had to withdraw without having achieved anything. The emperor tried to find a solution through diplomatic channels, but Sebastian saw himself as the rightful heir of the county and was not ready to give up Neuburg. Only through the mediation of Duke Ludwig IX. von Bayern-Landshut came to a solution to the conflict in 1473. At the Reichstag in Augsburg a contract was signed between Sebastian and Friedrich, through which the county of Neuburg was returned to the emperor, as compensation the count received 4,000 guilders.

Count Sebastian fought after his conflict with Friedrich III. but also at his side, as happened in 1488 and 1489, when Sebastian went to the field with the imperial military power in Flanders to free the emperor's son, King Maximilian I , who had been held captive by the citizens of Bruges .

Throughout his life, Sebastian contributed to improving the relationship between the Ortenburg counts and the dukes of Bavaria-Landshut, which had been severely broken at the beginning of the 15th century. In 1466, Sebastian and his brother Georg II were appointed to the duke's council. Duke Ludwig finally invited him to the Landshut wedding of his son Georg in 1475 . Sebastian was not just a guest, but was allowed to perform the highly valued task of the bride's chamberlain, Princess Hedwig Jagiellonica of Poland, and sat at the bride and groom's table. Two years later, Sebastian took over the position of carer in Egg in what is now the district of Deggendorf . Most recently he held the office of court judge .

Together with his brother Georg II. He promoted trade and traffic in their county of Ortenburg , which led to Emperor Friedrich III. on April 14, 1479, both of them were given the lost market rights again. Furthermore, the imperial immediacy of the county was emphasized again. This was a significant success for the Ortenburgers, as the Bavarian dukes had tried several times to incorporate the county into their duchy and to downgrade the counts to their own fiefs "by Wittelsbacher grace" .

After his brother Georg II resigned from the office of count in 1488 and retired, Sebastian became the reigning imperial count due to the seniorate succession in the Ortenburg family, which had been valid orally since the 13th century . On November 6th, 1489 Sebastian was by Emperor Friedrich III. officially enfeoffed with the county. Despite his high office, Sebastian I remained in the service of the Bavarian dukes and was ducal court judge at Landshut until 1490 . In the autumn of the same year he returned to Ortenburg, terminally ill. There he died on November 1, 1490 at Alt-Ortenburg Castle . Sebastian was buried after the count's inheritance in the Sixtus Chapel next to Passau Cathedral . His successor as count was his nephew Wolfgang I.


Sebastian was married to Maria von Rohrbach (from Lower Austrian nobility with the same-named headquarters near Seitenstetten ) Countess of Neuburg († after May 8, 1496) since 1467 . She was the heir to Johann von Rohrbach, imperial councilor and treasurer, imperial baron since May 1463, imperial count of Neuburg am Inn since June 1463 († 1476), and the Scholastica von Weißpriach . The following children were born from this marriage:

  • Ulrich II. , Count von Ortenburg († March 7, 1524 in Söldenau ), ∞ Veronika von Aichberg († 1511), ∞ Barbara von Starhemberg († 1519)
  • Johann II. († July 25, 1499, Battle of Basel )
  • George III , Canon of Freising and Salzburg, Provost of Freising and St. Peter am Madron († May 7, 1553 in Freising)
  • Siegmund, Dean of the Cathedral of St. Georgen, Provost of Eichstätt († August 26, 1547 in Salzburg)
  • Margarethe († February 23, 1550), ∞ Veit von Rechberg († March 18, 1543)
  • Sebastian, died young
  • Christoph , Count von Ortenburg (* 1480; † April 22, 1551 in Mattighofen ), ∞ Anna Holub zu Mattighofen and Neudeck († May 5, 1525), ∞ Freiin Anna von Firmian († April 16, 1543)
  • Sebastian II († August 26, 1559)
  • Wilhelm († March 12, 1530 in Passau), ∞ NN
  • Eustach, died young
  • Helena († March 25, 1525), ∞ Wilhelm von Paulsdorf
  • NN, daughter, died young
  • NN, daughter, died young


  • Markus Lorenz: Sebastian I. von Ortenburg and the Swan Knight Order . In: Ortenburg history sheets. Contributions to the local history of Ortenburg and the surrounding area . Issue 1, Thiersbach 1997 (pp. 4-14).
  • Friedrich Hausmann : The Counts of Ortenburg and their male ancestors, the Spanheimers in Carinthia, Saxony and Bavaria, as well as their subsidiary lines , published in: Ostbairische Grenzmarken - Passauer Jahrbuch für Geschichte, Kunst und Volkskunde, No. 36, Passau 1994 (p. 9 -62).
  • Josef Hofbauer: Die Grafschaft Neuburg am Inn (Historical Atlas of Bavaria, part of Old Bavaria, Series I, issue 20), Munich 1969 ( digitized version ).
  • Eberhard Graf zu Ortenburg-Tambach: History of the imperial, ducal and counts' entire house of Ortenburg. Part 2: The Count's House in Bavaria . Vilshofen 1932.
  • Carl Mehrmann: History of the Evangelical Lutheran community of Ortenburg in Lower Bavaria - memorandum for the anniversary celebration of the 300th anniversary of the introduction of the Reformation there on October 17 and 18, 1863 , Landshut 1863 ( digitized version ).
  • Johann Ferdinand von Huschberg : History of the ducal and countial general house of Ortenburg: edited from the sources , Sulzbach 1828 ( digitized ).

Web links

predecessor Office successor
George II Count of Ortenburg