Thierstein (noble family)

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Coat of arms of the Thierstain in the Zurich coat of arms roll (approx. 1340)

The Counts of Thierstein (often spelled Tierstein , also Counts of Homberg , Honberg , Hochinberc or Hochenberg and Hohenberg) were an important noble family in north-western Switzerland in the Middle Ages . As high bailiffs of the diocese of Basel and temporary counts in Sisgau , they belonged to the higher imperial nobility .


The first documented evidence of Count von Thierstein was Rudolf de Dierstein in 1082. His seat was at Alt-Tierstein Castle (municipality of Gipf-Oberfrick , Aargau ), which may have been built as early as the 10th century. Around the year 1100, the Alt-Homberg castle was built around 600 meters further south (today in the municipality of Wittnau ) , which is why Rudolf also called himself Count von Homberg .

The family split into two lines in 1149.

Homberg line

The line based on Homberg died in 1223 with Count Werner III. in the male line. Then in 1231 the Habsburgs received the landscape in the Frickgau . The Homberg property, however, came to Hermann IV von Frohburg , who had married the daughter of the last Homberger. He built from 1240 in the Basel Jura , the Castle Neu-Homberg . His son Ludwig named himself Count von Homberg after the maternal line . In 1303 the castle and the surrounding villages were sold to the Bishop of Basel .

Thierstein line

The line based on Alt-Thierstein increased their property considerably by the mid-12th century, when they married a daughter of the Counts von Saugern ( Soyhières in the canton of Jura), so that around 1180/1190 their goods in the Birstal fell to the Thiersteiners. Instead of an older complex, they built Neu-Thierstein Castle near Büsserach ( Canton Solothurn ) around 1294/95 and relocated their center of rule there. There is no evidence that Alt-Thierstein Castle was destroyed by the Basel earthquake in 1356; it was also inhabited until the 15th century. As a result, the family built up a large manor in the Basel area with the castles Farnsburg , Pfeffingen and Dorneck , initially as residences of Thierstein servants .

Around the middle of the 14th century, the Thiersteiner family split into two branches. One lived in the Farnsburg, the other in Neu-Thierstein and Pfeffingen Castle, which was extensively renovated in the middle of the 13th century.

As Count Sigmund II of Thierstein, Count and Lord of Frohburg and Landgrave in Sisgau , captured by Baron Henmann von Bechburg in 1379 and given to the Basel Bishop Johann III. was handed over by Vienne , he managed to escape thanks to God and well, Herr Fridlin . In gratitude for his salvation, on May 31, 1379, he donated the customs to Frick to the women's monastery of St. Fridolin in Säckingen and received it back from the abbess for two pounds of wax annually as an inheritance.

Count Otto I von Thierstein († between 1347 and 1352) built the Farnsburg near Ormalingen around 1330 . He was the owner of the Landgraviate of Sisgau , a fief of the bishopric of Basel . His grandson Otto II von Thierstein (* before 1383; † 1418) was the last of the Thierstein-Farnsburg branch. Claranna, his heir, brought the castle and rule of Farnsburg to her husband, Baron Hans Friedrich von Falkenstein († 1426), after her father's death in 1418 and in 1426 the Landgraviate of Sisgau . The Falkensteiner's two sons sold the Farnsburg castle and estate to the city of Basel in 1461 .

The daughter of Walrams II of Thierstein and sister of Walrams III. , Katharina († 1385), married Margrave Rudolf II von Hachberg-Sausenberg from a branch of the House of Baden. Her late Gothic figure grave is located next to that of her brother in the Basel Minster .

In 1402 Count Bernhard von Thierstein and his servant Johann Ulrich von Pfirt killed the "Begerhans", who presumably came from Strasbourg. The Margrave of Baden Bernhard I , cousin of Thiersteiner, joined the matter on October 19, 1402 from Pforzheim and asked in writing on behalf of himself and the Duke of Austria, Master and Council of Strasbourg, to ask the slain man's friends to To discuss the matter with him, so that "no major inconvenience may come of it". Johann von Lupfen , Landgrave of Stühlingen, wrote the same request at the same time .

When Count Bernhard and Johann II von Thierstein together with Count Ulrich von Werdenberg had captured and robbed the councilors of King Janus of Cyprus on their journey through Lombardy , the German King Ruprecht (1400-1410) demanded on May 26th In 1404 Heidelberg called on the council and the mayor of Konstanz to campaign for the release of the prisoners.

In 1479, Emperor Friedrich III. the Hohkönigsburg in Alsace as a feudal estate to Oswald von Thierstein († 1488) and his brother Wilhelm. In 1519 the Counts of Thierstein died out, so the castle fell back to Emperor Maximilian I and thus to the House of Habsburg.

Continuation of the title

In 1543, King Ferdinand I , Archduke of Austria , elevated the Lords of Ebersdorf , top treasurers in Austria, to the rank of count and gave them the coat of arms and titles of the extinct Counts of Thierstein as their (alleged) blood relatives.

coat of arms

Coat of arms in Scheibler's book of arms

Blazon : In gold on a green floating Dreienberg a red deer with gesträussten ears. As a crest on the stech helmet, a growing virgin body with a gold count's crown over a deer antler with ten ends. The helmet covers are silver on the outside and red on the inside.

The coat of arms is now used by the Thierstein district in the canton of Solothurn , in whose municipality of Büsserach the Neu-Thierstein castle ruins are located.


Count Walram III. von Thierstein became known because of a legend about the Basel earthquake of October 18, 1356. Ludwig von Thierstein was Abbot of Einsiedeln.


Web links

Commons : Thierstein  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Codex Manesse p. 43v
  2. ^ Aegidius Tschudi : Chronicon Helveticum , Volume I., p. 141
  3. Codex Diplomaticus Alemanniae Et Burgundiae Trans-Iuranae Intra Fines Dioecesis Constantiensis , Volume 2, Trudpert Neugart , St. Blasien, 1795. Regest No. 1154, p. 467f.
  4. Meyer 1981: p. 95 note 1.
  5. Kocher 1952: Family table 2.
  6. ^ Regest of the Margraves of Baden and Hachberg , vol. 1, document no. 2056 online and ZGORh. Vol. 39, p. 147.
  7. Regesta Imperii, Regeste No. 3518 - Or. Neapel St.-A. Farnese Collection New archive XVI, 636.
  8. ^ Franz Xavier Joseph Schweickhardt Ritter von Sickingen: Representation of the Archduchy of Austria under Ens 1, 1831, p. 232 (via the Ebersdorfer, digitized Google Books ).