|King of Germany|
|Reign||29 September 1273 – 15 July 1291|
|Coronation||24 October 1273|
|Predecessor||(Richard of Cornwall)|
|Successor||Adolf of Nassau|
|Duke of Carinthia|
|Reign||1276 – 1 February 1286|
|Predecessor||Ottokar II of Bohemia|
|Successor||Meinhard II of Gorizia-Tyrol|
|Duke of Austria and Styria|
|Reign||26 August 1278 – 27 December 1282|
|Predecessor||Ottokar II of Bohemia|
|Born||1 May 1218|
Limburgh Castle near Sasbach am Kaiserstuhl
|Died||15 July 1291 73) (aged|
|Father||Albert IV, Count of Habsburg|
|Mother||Hedwig of Kyburg|
Rudolf I, also known as Rudolf of Habsburg (German : Rudolf von Habsburg, Czech : Rudolf Habsburský; 1 May 1218 – 15 July 1291), was Count of Habsburg from about 1240 and King of Germany from 1273 until his death.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium and Liechtenstein. It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages that are most similar to the German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
Czech, historically also Bohemian, is a West Slavic language of the Czech–Slovak group. Spoken by over 10 million people, it serves as the official language of the Czech Republic. Czech is closely related to Slovak, to the point of mutual intelligibility to a very high degree, as well as Polish. Like other Slavic languages, Czech is a fusional language with a rich system of morphology and relatively flexible word order. Its vocabulary has been extensively influenced by Latin and German.
The House of Habsburg and alternatively called the House of Austria, was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740. The house also produced emperors and kings of Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, Galicia, Portugal and Spain with their respective colonies, as well as rulers of several principalities in the Netherlands and Italy. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried.
Rudolf's election marked the end of the Great Interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire after the death of the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II in 1250. Originally a Swabian count, he was the first Habsburg to acquire the duchies of Austria and Styria in opposition to his mighty rival, the Přemyslid king Ottokar II of Bohemia, whom he defeated in the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld. The territories remained under Habsburg rule for more than 600 years, forming the core of the Habsburg Monarchy and the present-day country of Austria.
There were many imperial interregna in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, when there was no emperor. Interregna in which there was no emperor-elect were rarer. Among the longest periods without an emperor were between 924 and 962, between 1245 and 1312, and between 1378 and 1433. The crisis of government of the Holy Roman Empire and the German kingdom thus lasted throughout the late medieval period, and ended only with the rise of the House of Habsburg on the eve of the German Reformation and the Renaissance. The term Great Interregnum is occasionally used for the period between 1250 and 1273.
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also included the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia and Kingdom of Italy, plus numerous other territories, and soon after the Kingdom of Burgundy was added. Its size gradually diminished over time, particularly from 1648 onward, and by the time of its dissolution, it largely contained only German-speaking territories, plus the Kingdom of Bohemia which was bordered by the German lands on three sides.
The Hohenstaufen, also known as Staufer, were a dynasty of German kings (1138–1254) during the Middle Ages. Before ascending to the kingship, they were Dukes of Swabia from 1079. As kings of Germany, they had a claim to Italy, Burgundy and the Holy Roman Empire. Three members of the dynasty—Frederick I (1155), Henry VI (1191) and Frederick II (1220)—were crowned emperor. Besides Germany, they also ruled the Kingdom of Sicily (1194–1268) and the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1225–1268). The Hohenstaufen portrayed themselves as the successors of ancient Romans and their traditions.
Rudolf was the first king of the Romans of the Habsburg dynasty, and he played a vital role in raising the comital house to the rank of Imperial princes. He was also the first of a number of late medieval count-kings, so called by the historian Bernd Schneidmüller, from the rival noble houses of Habsburg, Luxembourg, and Wittelsbach, all striving after the Roman-German royal dignity, which ultimately was taken over by the Habsburgs in 1438.
Prince of the Holy Roman Empire was a title attributed to a hereditary ruler, nobleman or prelate recognised as such by the Holy Roman Emperor.
Count-kings was a description given by the historian Bernd Schneidmüller to the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire between the Great Interregnum and the final acquisition of the royal throne by the Habsburg dynasty in 1438. They were as follows:
The House of Wittelsbach is a European royal family and a German dynasty from Bavaria.
Rudolf was born on 1 May 1218 at Limburgh Castle near Sasbach am Kaiserstuhl in the Breisgau region of present-day southwestern Germany.He was the son of Count Albert IV of Habsburg and of Hedwig, daughter of Count Ulrich of Kyburg. Around 1232, he was given as a squire to his uncle, Rudolf I, Count of Laufenburg, to train in knightly pursuits.
Sasbach is a town in the district of Emmendingen in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. Sasbach is adjacent to the river Rhine and the Kaiserstuhl mountain range. It is the location of two medieval castle ruins, Limburg and Sponeck.
Breisgau is an area in southwest Germany between the Rhine River and the foothills of the Black Forest. Part of the state of Baden-Württemberg, it centers on the city of Freiburg im Breisgau. The district Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, which partly consists of the Breisgau, is named after the Black Forest area. Parts of the Breisgau are also situated in the political districts of Freiburg im Breisgau and Emmendingen.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
At his father's death in 1239, Rudolf inherited from him large estates around the ancestral seat of Habsburg Castle in the Aargau region of present-day Switzerland as well as in Alsace. Thus, in 1240in order to quell the rising power of Rudolf and in an attempt to place the important "Devil’s Bridge" (Teufelsbrücke) across the Schöllenenschlucht under his direct control, Emperor Frederick II, granted Schwyz Reichsfreiheit in the Freibrief von Faenza.
Habsburg Castle is a medieval fortress located in Habsburg, Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, near the Aar River. At the time of its construction, the location was part of the Duchy of Swabia. Habsburg Castle is the originating seat of the House of Habsburg, which became one of the leading imperial and royal dynasties in Europe. It is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state situated in the confluence of western, central, and southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi), and land area of 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.
Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland.
In 1242, Hugh of Tuffenstein provoked Count Rudolf through contumelious expressions.[ clarification needed ] In turn, the Count of Habsburg had invaded his domains, yet failed to take his seat of power. As the day passed on,[ clarification needed ] Count Rudolf bribed the sentinels of the city and gained entry, killing Hugh in the process. Then in 1244, to help control Lake Lucerne and restrict the neighboring forest communities of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, Rudolf built near its shores Neuhabsburg Castle. In 1245 Rudolf married Gertrude, daughter of Count Burkhard III of Hohenberg. He received as her dowry the castles of Oettingen, the valley of Weile, and other places in Alsace, and he became an important vassal in Swabia, the former Alemannic German stem duchy. That same year, Emperor Frederick II was excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV at the Council of Lyon. Rudolf sided against the Emperor, while the forest communities sided with Frederick. This gave them a pretext to attack and damage Neuhabsburg. Rudolf successfully defended it and drove them off. As a result, Rudolf, by siding with the Pope, gained more power and influence.
Lake Lucerne is a lake in central Switzerland and the fourth largest in the country.
The canton of Uri is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and a founding member of the Swiss Confederation. It is located in Central Switzerland. The canton's territory covers the valley of the Reuss between the St. Gotthard Pass and Lake Lucerne.
Rudolf paid frequent visits to the court of his godfather, the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II, and his loyalty to Frederick and his son, King Conrad IV of Germany, was richly rewarded by grants of land. In 1254, he engaged with other nobles of the Staufen party against Bertold II, Bishop of Basle. When night fell, he penetrated the suburbs of Basle and burnt down the local nunnery, an act for which Pope Innocent IV excommunicated him and all parties involved. As a penance, he took up the cross and joined Ottokar II, King of Bohemia in the Prussian Crusade of 1254. Whilst there, he oversaw the founding of the city of Königsberg, which was named in memory of King Ottokar.
The disorder in Germany during the interregnum after the fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty afforded an opportunity for Count Rudolf to increase his possessions. His wife was a Hohenberg heiress; and on the death of his childless maternal uncle Count Hartmann IV of Kyburg in 1264, Rudolf seized Hartmann's valuable estates. Successful feuds with the Bishops of Strasbourg and Basel further augmented his wealth and reputation, including rights over various tracts of land that he purchased from abbots and others.
These various sources of wealth and influence rendered Rudolf the most powerful prince and noble in southwestern Germany (where the tribal Duchy of Swabia had disintegrated, enabling its vassals to become completely independent). In the autumn of 1273, the prince-electors met to choose a king after Richard of Cornwall had died in England in April 1272. Rudolf's election in Frankfurt on 1 October 1273,when he was 55 years old, was largely due to the efforts of his brother-in-law, the Hohenzollern burgrave Frederick III of Nuremberg. The support of Duke Albert II of Saxony and Elector Palatine Louis II had been purchased by betrothing them to two of Rudolf's daughters.
As a result, within the electoral college, King Ottokar II of Bohemia (1230–1278), himself a candidate for the throne and related to the late Hohenstaufen king Philip of Swabia (being the son of the eldest surviving daughter), was almost alone in opposing Rudolf. Other candidates were Prince Siegfried I of Anhalt and Margrave Frederick I of Meissen (1257–1323), a young grandson of the excommunicated Emperor Frederick II, who did not yet even have a principality of his own as his father was still alive. By the admission of Duke Henry XIII of Lower Bavaria instead of the King of Bohemia as the seventh Elector,Rudolf gained all seven votes.
Rudolf was crowned in Aachen Cathedral on 24 October 1273. To win the approbation of the Pope, Rudolf renounced all imperial rights in Rome, the papal territory, and Sicily, and promised to lead a new crusade. Pope Gregory X, despite the protests of Ottokar II of Bohemia, not only recognised Rudolf himself, but persuaded King Alfonso X of Castile (another grandson of Philip of Swabia), who had been chosen German (anti-)king in 1257 as the successor to Count William II of Holland, to do the same. Thus, Rudolf surpassed the two heirs of the Hohenstaufen dynasty whom he had earlier served so loyally.
In November 1274, the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg decided that all Crown estates seized since the death of the Emperor Frederick II must be restored, and that King Ottokar II must answer to the Diet for not recognising the new king. Ottokar refused to appear or to restore the duchies of Austria, Styria and Carinthia together with the March of Carniola, which he had claimed through his first wife, a Babenberg heiress, and which he had seized while disputing them with another Babenberg heir, Margrave Hermann VI of Baden. Rudolf refuted Ottokar's succession to the Babenberg patrimony, declaring that the provinces reverted to the Imperial crown due to the lack of male-line heirs. King Ottokar was placed under the imperial ban; and in June 1276 war was declared against him.
Having persuaded Ottokar's former ally Duke Henry XIII of Lower Bavaria to switch sides, Rudolf compelled the Bohemian king to cede the four provinces to the control of the royal administration in November 1276. Rudolf then re-invested Ottokar with the Kingdom of Bohemia, betrothed one of his daughters to Ottokar's son Wenceslaus II, and made a triumphal entry into Vienna. Ottokar, however, raised questions about the execution of the treaty, and procured the support of several German princes, again including Henry XIII of Lower Bavaria. To meet this coalition, Rudolf formed an alliance with King Ladislaus IV of Hungary and gave additional privileges to the Viennese citizens. On 26 August 1278, the rival armies met at the Battle on the Marchfeld, where Ottokar was defeated and killed. The Margraviate of Moravia was subdued and its government entrusted to Rudolf's representatives, leaving Ottokar's widow Kunigunda of Slavonia in control of only the province surrounding Prague, while the young Wenceslaus II was again betrothed to Rudolf's youngest daughter Judith.
Rudolf's attention next turned to the possessions in Austria and the adjacent provinces, which were taken into the royal domain. He spent several years establishing his authority there but found some difficulty in establishing his family as successors to the rule of those provinces. At length the hostility of the princes was overcome. In December 1282, at the Hoftag (imperial diet) in Augsburg, Rudolf invested his sons, Albert and Rudolf II, with the duchies of Austria and Styria and so laid the foundation of the House of Habsburg. Additionally, he made the twelve-year-old Rudolf Duke of Swabia, a merely titular dignity, as the duchy had been without an actual ruler since Conradin's execution.[ citation needed ] The 27-year-old Duke Albert, married since 1274 to a daughter of Count Meinhard II of Gorizia-Tyrol (1238–95), was capable enough to hold some sway in the new patrimony.
In 1286, King Rudolf fully invested Albert's father-in-law Count Meinhard with the Duchy of Carinthia, one of the conquered provinces taken from Ottokar. The Princes of the Empire did not allow Rudolf to give everything that was recovered to the royal domain to his own sons, and his allies needed their rewards too. Turning to the west, in 1281 he compelled Count Philip I of Savoy to cede some territory to him, then forced the citizens of Bern to pay the tribute that they had been refusing. In 1289 he marched against Count Philip's successor, Otto IV, compelling him to do homage.
In 1281, Rudolf's first wife died. On 5 February 1284, he married Isabella, daughter of Duke Hugh IV of Burgundy, the Empire's western neighbor in the Kingdom of France.
Rudolf was not very successful in restoring internal peace. Orders were indeed issued for the establishment of landpeaces[ clarification needed ] in Bavaria, Franconia and Swabia, and afterwards for the whole Empire. But the king lacked the power, resources, and determination to enforce them, although in December 1289 he led an expedition into Thuringia, where he destroyed a number of robber castles. In 1291, he attempted to secure the election of his son Albert as German king. The electors refused, however, claiming inability to support two kings, but in reality, perhaps, wary of the increasing power of the House of Habsburg. Upon Rudolf's death they elected Count Adolf of Nassau.
Rudolf died in Speyer on 15 July 1291 and was buried in Speyer Cathedral. Although he had a large family, he was survived by only one son, Albert, afterwards the German king Albert I. Most of his daughters outlived him, apart from Katharina who had died in 1282 during childbirth and Hedwig who had died in 1285/6.
Rudolf's reign is most memorable for his establishment of the House of Habsburg as a powerful dynasty in the southeastern part of the realm. In the other territories, the centuries-long decline of Imperial authority since the days of the Investiture Controversy continued, and the princes were largely left to their own devices.
In the Divine Comedy, Dante finds Rudolf sitting outside the gates of purgatory with his contemporaries and berates him as "he who neglected that which he ought to have done".
Rudolf was married twice. First, in 1251, to Gertrude of Hohenbergand second, in 1284, to Isabelle of Burgundy, daughter of Hugh IV, Duke of Burgundy. All children were from the first marriage.
Rudolf's last legitimate agnatic descendant was Maria Theresa, Holy Roman Empress (1717–1780), by Albert I of Germany's fourth son Albert II, Duke of Austria.
|Ancestors of Rudolf I of Germany|
Albert I of Habsburg, the eldest son of King Rudolf I of Germany and his first wife Gertrude of Hohenberg, was a Duke of Austria and Styria from 1282 and King of Germany from 1298 until his assassination.
Babenberg was a noble dynasty of Austrian margraves and dukes. Originally from Bamberg in the Duchy of Franconia, the Babenbergs ruled the Imperial Margraviate of Austria from its creation in 976 AD until its elevation to a duchy in 1156, and from then until the extinction of the line in 1246, whereafter they were succeeded by the House of Habsburg.
The Duchy of Carinthia was a duchy located in southern Austria and parts of northern Slovenia. It was separated from the Duchy of Bavaria in 976, and was the first newly created Imperial State after the original German stem duchies.
Frederick I of Baden, a member of the House of Zähringen, was Margrave of Baden and of Verona, as well as claimant Duke of Austria from 1250 until his death. As a fellow campaigner of the Hohenstaufen king Conradin, he likewise was beheaded at the behest of King Charles I of Naples.
Ottokar II, the Iron and Golden King, was a member of the Přemyslid dynasty who reigned as King of Bohemia from 1253 until his death in 1278. He also held the titles of Margrave of Moravia from 1247, Duke of Austria from 1251, Duke of Styria from 1260, as well as Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Carniola from 1269.
Wenceslaus I, called One-Eyed, was King of Bohemia from 1230 to 1253.
Albert II, known as the Wise or the Lame, a member of the House of Habsburg, was duke of Austria and Styria from 1330, as well as duke of Carinthia and margrave of Carniola from 1335 until his death.
Otto , the Merry, a member of the House of Habsburg, was Duke of Austria and Styria from 1330, as well as Duke of Carinthia from 1335 until his death. He ruled jointly with his elder brother Duke Albert II.
The Battle on the Marchfeld at Dürnkrut and Jedenspeigen took place on 26 August 1278 and was a decisive event for the history of Central Europe for the following centuries. The opponents were a Bohemian (Czech) army led by the Přemyslid king Ottokar II of Bohemia and the German army under the German king Rudolph I of Habsburg in alliance with King Ladislaus IV of Hungary. With 15,300 mounted troops, it was one of the largest cavalry battles in Central Europe during the Middle Ages. The Hungarian cavalry played a significant role in the outcome of the battle.
Rudolf II, a member of the House of Habsburg, was Duke of Austria and Styria from 1282 to 1283, jointly with his elder brother Albert I, who succeeded him.
John Parricida or John the Parricide, also called John of Swabia, was the son of the Habsburg duke Rudolf II of Austria and Agnes, daughter of King Ottokar II of Bohemia. By killing his uncle, King Albert I of Germany, he foiled the first attempt of the Habsburg dynasty to install a hereditary monarchy in the Holy Roman Empire.
Meinhard II, a member of the House of Gorizia (Meinhardiner), ruled the County of Gorizia and the County of Tyrol together with his younger brother Albert from 1258, until in 1271 they divided their heritage and Meinhard became sole ruler of Tyrol. In 1286 he was enfeoffed with the Duchy of Carinthia and the adjacent March of Carniola.
The Přemyslid dynasty or House of Přemyslid was a Czech royal dynasty which reigned in the Duchy of Bohemia and later Kingdom of Bohemia and Margraviate of Moravia, as well as in parts of Poland, Hungary, and Austria.
Elizabeth of Carinthia, was a Duchess of Austria from 1282 and Queen of Germany from 1298 until 1308, by marriage to the Habsburg king Albert I.
The Duchy of Austria was a medieval principality of the Holy Roman Empire, established in 1156 by the Privilegium Minus, when the Margraviate of Austria (Ostarrîchi) was detached from Bavaria and elevated to a duchy in its own right. After the ruling dukes of the House of Babenberg became extinct in male line, there was as much as three decades of rivalry on inheritance and rulership, until the German king Rudolf I took over the dominion as the first monarch of the Habsburg dynasty in 1276. Thereafter, Austria became the patrimony and ancestral homeland of the dynasty and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1453, the archducal title of the Austrian rulers, invented by Duke Rudolf IV in the forged Privilegium Maius of 1359, was officially acknowledged by the Habsburg emperor Frederick III.
The Marchof Carniola was a southeastern state of the Holy Roman Empire in the High Middle Ages, the predecessor of the Duchy of Carniola. It corresponded roughly to the central Carniolan region of present-day Slovenia. At the time of its creation, the march served as a frontier defense against the Kingdoms of Hungary and Croatia.
Gertrude Anne of Hohenberg was German queen from 1273 until her death, by her marriage with King Rudolf I of Germany. As queen consort, she became progenitor of the Austrian House of Habsburg.
Bernhard von Spanheim, a member of the noble House of Sponheim, was Duke of Carinthia for 54 years from 1202 until his death. A patron of chivalry and minnesang, Bernhard's reign marked the emergence of the Carinthian duchy as an effective territorial principality.
The Duchy of Styria was a duchy located in modern-day southern Austria and northern Slovenia. It was a part of the Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806 and a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria–Hungary until its dissolution in 1918.
The Margraviate of Moravia was one of the lands of the Bohemian Crown existing from 1182 to 1918. It was officially administrated by a margrave in cooperation with a provincial diet. It was variously a de facto independent state, and also subject to the Duchy, later the Kingdom of Bohemia. It comprised the region called Moravia within the modern Czech Republic.
He who sits highest, and the semblance bears Of having what he should have done neglected, And to the others’ song moves not his lips, Rudolph the Emperor was, who had the power To heal the wounds that Italy have slain, So that through others slowly she revives.
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Rudolf I of GermanyBorn: 1218 Died: 1291
Richard and Alfonso
as rival kings
| King of Germany |
1273 – 1291
with Alfonso as contender (1273–1275)
Ottokar II of Bohemia
| Duke of Carinthia and Carniola |
| Duke of Austria and Styria |
| Count of Habsburg |
With: Rudolph V (1282-1283)