Upper Rhenish Circle

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The Upper Rhenish Circle as at the beginning of the 16th century Locator Upper-Rhenisch Circle.svg
The Upper Rhenish Circle as at the beginning of the 16th century

The Upper Rhenish Circle (German : Oberrheinischer Reichskreis) was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1500 on the territory of the former Duchy of Upper Lorraine and large parts of Rhenish Franconia including the Swabian Alsace region and the Burgundian duchy of Savoy.

Contents

Many of the circle's states west of the Rhine river were annexed by France under King Louis XIV during the 17th century, sealed by the 1678/79 Treaties of Nijmegen.

Composition

The circle was made up of the following states:

NameType of entityComments
Arms of the House of Savoy-Aosta.svg Aosta Duchy Created in 1033 by Humbert Whitehand as the County of Aosta. Absorbed directly to the House of Savoy in 1302. Raised to a Duchy in 1536.
Blason departement fr Savoie.svg Asti County Created in 1342 by the Duchy of Milan after the submission of the city of Asti to Duke Luchino Visconti. Contested between Montferrat, Orleans, France and Milan until 1529 with the signing of the Treaty of Cambrai which awards Asti to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Then passed to Beatrice of Portugal, wife of Charles III, Duke of Savoy and integrated into the Duchy of Savoy.
Bar Arms.svg Bar Duchy United with Lorraine since 1483.
Wappen Bistum Basel.svg Basel Prince-Bishopric Established in the 8th century as successor of the ancient diocese of Augusta Raurica, gained independence from the Kingdom of Burgundy about 1000, residence at Porrentruy (Pruntrut) from 1527.
Blason Famille Grimaldi de Bueil.svg Beuil County Initially created as a Lordship, Bueil was inherited by a cadet branch of the House of Grimaldi. Bueil became a nominal vassal of the County of Savoy in 1388. Raised by Savoy to a county in 1581. Annexed by the French First Republic in 1793 and restored to the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1813.
Blason pays fr Bresse.png Bresse Lordship Inherited by the House of Savoy in 1272. Annexed by the Kingdom of France in the Treaty of Lyon in 1601.
DEU Bretzenheim COA.svg Bretzenheim Lordship Held by Cologne, granted to Count Karl August of Heydeck, illegitimate son of Elector Charles Theodore of Bavaria in 1772, Imperial county in 1774, principality in 1789.
Blason pays fr Bugey.svg Bugey Lordship Conferred to the House of Savoy in 1077 by Henry IV. Annexed by the Kingdom of France in the Treaty of Lyon in 1601.
Coats of arms of None.svg Canavese CountyCreated by Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1110 for the House of Ivrea. Contested between the County of Savoy and the March of Montferrat from 1248-1391. Appendage of Savoy thereafter.
Coat of arms of the House of Gonzaga (1328-1389).svg Ceva MarquisateCreated in 1125 from the division of the March of Savona. Contested between Asti, Montferrat, Savoy, Milan and Orleans until 1531 when the marquisate was annexed by Savoy.
Blason Chablais.svg Chablais Duchy Established in the 11th century by the House of Savoy. Lost to Geneva in 1536.
Image-Blason Colmar 68.svg Colmar Imperial City Reichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in 1226, part of the Décapole since 1354.
Armoiries de Dagstuhl.svg Dagstuhl LordshipHeld by the Lords of Fleckenstein, acquired by Oettingen-Wallerstein in 1697.
Coa fam ITA tizzone3.jpg Desana CountyCreated in 1411 as a vassal of the Duchy of Milan by Filippo Maria Visconti. Elevated to a county in 1510 by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. Sold to the Duchy of Savoy 1693.
Blason pays fr Dombes.png Dombes PrincipalityHeld by the Dukes of Bourbon since 1400, confiscated by the Kingdom of France in 1523.
Coat of arms of the House of Doria.svg Dolceacqua MarquisateCreated by the Count of Ventimiglia in 1276 as a vassal Lordship ruled by the Doria family. Changed allegiance to the Duchy of Savoy in 1526. Raised to a marquisate 1652. Annexed by France in 1792.
Coat of arms of Falkenstein.png Falkenstein LordshipHeld by the Counts of Daun since 1456, raised to county in 1518, fell to Lorraine in 1667, administered with Further Austria from 1782.
Blason Faucigny.svg Faucigny Barony Acquired by the House of Savoy by the 1355 Treaty of Paris. Annexed by the French First Republic in 1792. Returned to Savoy in 1816. Annexed by the Second French Empire in 1860.
Wappen Frankfurt am Main.svg Frankfurt am Main Imperial CitySince 1220, place of the Imperial election by the Golden Bull of 1356.
Wappen Friedberg-Hessen.svg Friedberg Imperial CitySince 1252.
D'argent croix de sable.svg Fulda Prince-Abbacy Established by Saint Boniface in 744, Reichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Frederick II in 1220, raised to Prince-Bishopric in 1752.
Blason ville fr La Roche-sur-Foron (Haute-Savoie).svg Geneva DuchyEstablished in the 10th century as the County of Geneva. Capital moved from La Roche-sur-Foron to Annecy in 1219. Purchased by the House of Savoy in 1401 and raised to a Duchy in 1564. Annexed by the Second French Empire in 1860.
Blason ville fr Gex (Ain).svg Gex BaronyFirst mentioned in 1188. Ruled by a cadet branch of the County of Geneva until 1353 when annexed by Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy. Contested since 1536 between the Duchy of Savoy and the Old Swiss Confederacy until annexed by the Kingdom of France in the Treaty of Lyon in 1601.
Blason haguenau 67.svg Haguenau Imperial CitySince about 1260, capital of the Décapole since 1354.
Hanau-Lichtenberg.JPG Hanau-Lichtenberg County Partitioned from the County of Hanau as Hanau-Babenhausen in 1456, inherited the lordship of Lichtenberg in 1474, fell to Hesse-Darmstadt in 1736.
Hanau-Munzenberg.JPG Hanau-Münzenberg CountyPartitioned from the County of Hanau in 1456, reunited with Hanau-Lichtenberg in 1642, fell to Hesse-Kassel in 1736.
Wappen Heitersheim.svg Heitersheim Principality Held by the Order of St John since 1272, Reichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Charles V in 1548.
Reichsabtei Hersfeld.svg Hersfeld Abbacy Established about 736 by Saint Sturm, Reichsfreiheit granted by Charlemagne in 775, secularised to a principality by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, held by Hesse-Kassel
Coat of arms of Hesse.svg Hesse Landgraviate Established after the War of the Thuringian Succession in 1247, residence at Kassel, partitioned after the death of Landgrave Philip I in 1567.
Wappen-HK.png Hesse-Kassel LandgraviateSubdivision of Hesse from 1567, Electorate of Hesse in 1803.
Coat of arms of Hesse.svg Hesse-Rheinfels LandgraviateSubdivision of Hesse from 1567 including the former County of Katzenelnbogen with Burg Rheinfels, line extinct in 1583, fell to Hesse-Kassel.
Wappen Hessen-Darmstadt 1736.jpg Hesse-Darmstadt LandgraviateSubdivision of Hesse from 1567, Grand Duchy of Hesse in 1806.
Coat of arms of Hesse.svg Hesse-Marburg LandgraviateSubdivision of Hesse from 1567, line extinct in 1604, annexed by Hesse-Darmstadt.
Wappen-HH.png Hesse-Homburg LandgraviateCadet branch of Hesse-Darmstadt from 1622, gained Reichsfreiheit in 1768.
Arms-Isenburg.svg Isenburg-Büdingen-Birstein CountySubdivision of the County of Isenburg established in 1511 (Oberisenburg), again divided in 1628.
Isenburg-prince.PNG Isenburg-Birstein CountySubdivision of Isenburg-Büdingen-Birstein from 1628, merged into Isenburg-Offenbach in 1644, restored in 1711, raised to principality in 1744.
Arms-Isenburg.svg Isenburg-Büdingen CountySubdivision of Isenburg-Büdingen-Birstein from 1628.
Arms-Isenburg.svg Isenburg-Meerholz CountySplit off Isenburg-Büdingen in 1673.
Arms-Isenburg.svg Isenburg-Wächtersbach CountySplit off Isenburg-Büdingen in 1673.
Blason de la ville de Kaysersberg (68).svg Kaysersberg Imperial CityPart of the Décapole since 1354.
COA family de von Eppstein.svg Königstein CountyHeld by the Lords of Eppstein, raised to Reichsgrafen by Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg in 1505, inherited by Stolberg in 1535, seized by Mainz in 1581.
Wappen Kriechingen.svg Kriechingen CountyFormer fief of Lorraine around Créhange, raised to Imperial county in 1617, held by the Princes of East Frisia from 1697, to Wied-Runkel in 1726.
Wappen Landau Pfalz.svg Landau Imperial CityReichsfreiheit granted by Rudolph I of Habsburg in 1291, seized by the Bishop of Speyer in 1324, restored by Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg in 1511, joined the Décapole in 1521.
Leiningen-westerburg.JPG Leiningen-Westerburg CountySubdivision of the former County of Leiningen since 1317, inherited by the Lords of Westerburg in 1467.
Armoiries de Leiningen.svg Leiningen-Dagsburg CountySubdivision of the former County of Leiningen since 1317, raised to principality in 1779.
Blason Lorraine.svg Lorraine DuchyFormer Upper Lotharingia, acquired by René of Anjou, Duke of Bar in 1431, swapped by Duke Francis III of Habsburg-Lorraine for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1735, annexed by France in 1766.
Blason Maurienne.svg Maurienne CountySubdivision of the county of Savoy in 1032.
Wappen Hunfelden.png Mensfelden Lordship Condominium of Trier and Nassau.
Utrecht-bisdom.PNG Metz Prince-BishopricEstablished by 535, Reichsfreiheit confirmed by Charles IV of Luxembourg in 1357, occupied by King Henry II of France in 1552, part of the French Three Bishoprics by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia.
Blason Metz 57.svg Metz Imperial CitySince 1189, occupied by King Henry II of France in 1552.
Blason Mulhouse.svg Mulhouse Imperial CitySince about 1268, part of the Décapole since 1354, joined Swiss Confederacy in 1515, France in 1798.
Blason de la ville de Munster (68).svg Munster, Haut-Rhin Imperial CityReichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in 1235, part of the Décapole since 1354.
Blason famille de Nassau (Lignee Valramienne).svg Nassau-Weilburg CountyPrincipality in 1688, Duchy of Nassau from 1806.
Blason famille de Nassau (Lignee Valramienne).svg Nassau-Idstein CountySplit off Nassau-Weilburg in 1627, fell to Nassau-Ottweiler in 1721.
Blason Nassau-Sarrebruck.svg Nassau-Saarbrücken CountyEstablished in 1381, fell to Nassau-Ottweiler in 1723
Blason Nassau-Sarrebruck.svg Nassau-Ottweiler CountySplit off Nassau-Saarbrücken in 1659, fell to Nassau-Usingen in 1728.
Blason Nassau-Sarrebruck.svg Nassau-Usingen CountySplit off Nassau-Saarbrücken in 1659, principality in 1688, Duchy of Nassau from 1806.
Arms of Nice.svg Nice CountyCreated in 1500 as an administrative division of the Duchy of Savoy. Annexed by the French First Republic in 1793 and restored to the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1813.
Coats of arms of None.svg Nomeny Margraviate Held by the Bishopric of Metz until 1548, margraviate established by Emperor Maximilian II of Habsburg in 1567, to Lorraine in 1612.
Coat of arms of the town of Obernai.svg Obernai Imperial CitySince about 1240, part of the Décapole since 1354, annexed by France in 1679.
Wappen Odenheim.png Odenheim Provostry Monastery established in 1122, Imperial college of canons (Reichsstift) since 1494, moved to Bruchsal in 1507.
Coat of arms of None.svg Olbrück LordshipTerritory around Olbrück Castle near Niederdürenbach, originally held by Wied.
Arms of the Principality of Orange.svg Orange PrincipalityCreated in 1033 as the County of Orange. Raised to a principality in 1163. Conceded to the Kingdom of France in 1713.
COA family de Pfalz-Simmern.svg Palatinate-Simmern PrincipalitySplit off Electoral Palatinate in 1410, inherited by Palatinate-Neuburg in 1685.
Brasao.svg Palatinate-Lautern PrincipalitySubdivision of Palatinate-Simmern from 1577.
Wappen Zweibrucken.svg Palatinate-Zweibrücken PrincipalityFormer County of Zweibrücken, ruled in personal union with Palatinate-Simmern until 1459, fell to Palatinate-Birkenfeld in 1734.
Wappen Grafschaft Veldenz.svg Palatinate-Veldenz PrincipalityFormer County of Veldenz inherited by Palatinate-Zweibrücken in 1444.
DEU Prum COA.svg Prüm Abbacy(Re-)established by King Pepin the Short in 752, Reichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in 1222, administrated by Trier from 1576.
Reipoltskirchen.JPG Reipoltskirchen LordshipSince about 1300.
Blason Rosheim 67.svg Rosheim Imperial CitySince 1303, part of the Décapole since 1354, annexed by France in 1679.
Armoiries de Salm 2.svg Salm CountyUpper Salm since 1165, large parts held by the Wild- and Rhinegraves from 1475 and partitioned in 1499, remains to Lorraine until 1600.
Armoiries de Salm 2.svg Salm-Dhaun CountySubdivision of Salm since 1499, line extinct in 1750, inherited by Salm-Grumbach.
Armoiries de Salm 2.svg Salm-Grumbach CountySplit off Salm-Dhaun in 1561, annexed by France in 1801.
Armoiries de Salm 2.svg Salm-Stein-Grehweiler CountySplit off Salm-Grumbach in 1668.
Armoiries de Salm 2.svg Salm-Salm CountySplit off Salm-Dhaun in 1574, princely county from 1623, Principality of Salm from 1802.
Armoiries de Salm 2.svg Salm-Kyrburg CountySubdivision of Salm from 1499, residence at Kirn, princely county from 1743, Principality of Salm from 1802.
Argent a chief azur.svg Saluzzo MarquisateSubdivision of the March of Turin created in 1125. Annexed by the Kingdom of France in 1549.
Blason duche fr Savoie.svg Savoy DuchyFormer county, part of the Kingdom of Arles inherited by Emperor Conrad II in 1032, Reichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg in 1361, raised to duchy in 1416.
Blason Sayn.svg Sayn-Wittgenstein CountyFormer Counts of Sayn, a cadet branch of the House of Sponheim, acquired County of Wittgenstein in 1361, partitioned in 1607.
Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.JPG Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg CountySubdivision of Sayn-Wittgenstein from 1607.
Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein.JPG Sayn-Wittgenstein-Wittgenstein CountySubdivision of Sayn-Wittgenstein from 1607, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein from 1657.
Blason ville fr Selestat (Alsace).svg Sélestat Imperial CityReichsfreiheit granted by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in 1216, part of the Décapole since 1354.
Wappen Solms.svg Solms-Braunfels CountySubdivision of Solms since 1258, raised to principality in 1742.
Solms-Lich.JPG Solms-Lich CountySubdivision of Solms(-Braunfels) since 1409, Solms-Hohensolms-Lich from 1544, raised to principality in 1792.
Wappen Solms.svg Solms-Laubach CountySubdivision of Solms-Lich from 1544.
Wappen Solms.svg Solms-Rödelheim CountySubdivision of Solms-Laubach from 1607, Solms-Rödelheim-Assenheim from 1635.
Coat of Arms of the Bishopric of Speyer.svg Speyer Prince-BishopricEstablished before 614, Reichsfreiheit granted around 969 by Emperor Otto I.
DEU Speyer COA.svg Speyer Imperial CityCity rights acknowledged by the Speyer bishops in 1294, venue of 50 Reichstag assemblies, including the Diet of Speyer (1529) (Protestation at Speyer).
Armoiries de Sponheim 1.svg Sponheim CountyEstablished in the 11th century by the Rhenish House of Sponheim, held jointly by the Margraves of Baden and the House of Palatinate-Simmern since 1437.
Wappen Bistum Strassburg.gif Strasbourg Prince-BishopricEstablished in the 4th century, prince-bishopric since 982.
Coat of Arms of Strasbourg.svg Strasbourg Imperial CitySince 1262.
Blason ville fr Moutiers (Savoie).svg Tarentaise Prince-BishopricEstablished in the 10th century, prince-bishopric since 1186.
Blason Rene de Savoie le Grand Batard (1468-1525).svg Tenda CountyCreated in 1258 from the partition of the County of Ventimiglia. Ruled by the Ventimiglia family until acquired as a dowry with the marriage of René of Savoy to Countess Anne Lascaris in 1501. Ruled as a cadet branch of the House of Savoy until 1581 when the county was directly annexed to the Duchy of Savoy.
Blason Toul 54.svg Toul Prince-BishopricEstablished in 365 by Saint Mansuetus, Reichsfreiheit confirmed by King Henry I in 928, occupied by King Henry II of France in 1552, part of the French Three Bishoprics by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia.
Blason Toul 54.svg Toul Imperial CitySince the 13th century (Tull), occupied by King Henry II of France in 1552.
Blason de la ville de Turckheim (68).svg Turckheim Imperial CitySince 1312, part of the Décapole since 1354.
Armoiries de la Baronnie de Vaud.svg Vaud BaronyEstablished in 1234. Incorporated into the House of Savoy in 1359. Annexed by the Canton of Bern in 1536.
Coat of arms of the Bishopric of Verdun.svg Verdun Prince-BishopricEstablished about 346, Reichsfreiheit confirmed by Emperor Otto III in 997, occupied by King Henry II of France in 1552, part of the French Three Bishoprics by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia.
Blason Verdun 55.svg Verdun Imperial CitySince the 12th century (Wirten), occupied by King Henry II of France in 1552.
Waldeck (am Edersee).svg Waldeck CountyLine established about 1180, Reichsfreiheit granted by King Wenceslaus of Luxembourg in 1379, Waldeck-Pyrmont from 1625, raised to principality in 1712.
Wappen Wartenberg (Hessen).png Wartenberg CountyEstablished in 1232, inherited by Riedesel in 1428, Freiherren from 1680.
Tegerfelden-blason.png Wetterau CountyEstablished c. 950, held by the counts von Wetter-Tegerfelden in 1317
Blason Wissembourg 67.svg Wissembourg Imperial CitySince 1306, part of the Décapole since 1354, annexed by France in 1648.
Blason Wissembourg 67.svg Wissembourg Prince-Provostry Abbey established about 660 by the Bishopric of Speyer, Reichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Otto II in 967, again held by Speyer from 1546.
Wetzlar Wappen neu.png Wetzlar Imperial CityReichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in 1180.
Armoiries de Salm 6.svg Wild- and Rhinegraves CountyRhinegraves since the 12th century, inherited Wildgraviate at Kyrburg in 1409, acquired (Upper) Salm in 1475.
Armoiries Eveche de Worms.svg Worms Prince-BishopricEstablished about 614.
DEU Worms COA.svg Worms Imperial CityReichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in 1184.

Sources

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