|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 landgrave of Carniola from 1269.
The Privilegium Minus is the denotation of a deed issued by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa on 17 September 1156. It included the elevation of the Bavarian frontier march of Austria to a duchy, which was given as an inheritable fief to the House of Babenberg.
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.
Albert III of Austria, known as Albert with the Braid (Pigtail), a member of the House of Habsburg, was Duke of Austria from 1365 until his death.
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.
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.
Ludwig I or Louis I of Upper Bavaria was Duke of Upper Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine from 1253. He is known as Ludwig II or Louis II as Duke of Bavaria, and also as Louis the Strict. Born in Heidelberg, he was a son of Otto II Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria and Agnes of the Palatinate. Agnes was a daughter of the Welf Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine, her grandfathers were Henry XII the Lion and Conrad of Hohenstaufen.
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.
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.
Judith, also named Guta, a member of the House of Habsburg, was the youngest daughter of King Rudolf I of Germany and his wife Gertrude of Hohenberg. She was Queen of Bohemia and Poland from 1285 until her death by her marriage with the Přemyslid king Wenceslaus II.
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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rudolf I of Habsburg .|
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)