Habsburg castle

Habsburg castle

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Habsburg Castle is a medieval fortress located in Habsburg, Switzerland
Habsburg, Switzerland
Habsburg is a municipality in the district of Brugg in canton of Aargau in Switzerland. It lies about three kilometres southwest of the town of Brugg, the capital of the district of Brugg...

 in the canton of Aargau
Aargau
Aargau is one of the more northerly cantons of Switzerland. It comprises the lower course of the river Aare, which is why the canton is called Aar-gau .-History:...

, near the Aar River. At the time of its construction, the location was part of the Duchy of Swabia
Duchy of Swabia
Swabia was one of the five stem duchies of the medieval German kingdom, and its dukes were thus among the most powerful magnates of Germany.-History:...

. Habsburg Castle is the originating seat of the House of Habsburg, which became one of the leading imperial and royal dynasties
Dynasty
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. Historians traditionally consider many sovereign states' history within a framework of successive dynasties, e.g., China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire...

 in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. It is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance
Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance
The Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance is a register of some 8,300 items of cultural property in Switzerland...

.

History


Around 1020–1030 Count Radbot
Radbot, Count of Habsburg
Radbot, Count of Habsburg , also known as Radbot of Klettgau, was Graf of the county of Klettgau on the High Rhine in Swabia....

, of the nearby county
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 of Klettgau
Klettgau
Klettgau is a group of towns in the district of Waldshut in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. Landgraviat of Klettgau to 1812.There is a border crossing into Switzerland at Erzingen to Trasadingen in Schaffhausen canton....

 in the Duchy of Swabia, had the castle erected 35 km southwest of Klettgau, on the Aar tributary of the High Rhine
High Rhine
The High Rhine is the name used in Germany for the part of the Rhine River that flows westbound from Lake Constance to Basel.The High Rhine begins at the outflow of the Rhine from the Untersee in Stein am Rhein and turns into the Upper Rhine in Basel...

. It is believed that he named the castle after a hawk
Hawk
The term hawk can be used in several ways:* In strict usage in Australia and Africa, to mean any of the species in the subfamily Accipitrinae, which comprises the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis. The large and widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks,...

  seen sitting on its walls. Some historians and linguists believe the name may come from the Middle High German word 'hab / hap' meaning ford
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

, as it is located near a ford of the Aar River.

Radbot's grandson, Otto II
Otto II, Count of Habsburg
Otto II was a graf and one of the founding members of the Habsburg family. He was the son of Werner I, Count of Habsburg. In 1108, Otto accompanied Kaiser Heinrich V on the warpath against Hungary. On his return, in 1111, he was murdered. He married Hilla von Pfirt , with whom he had two sons,...

, was the first to take the Habsburg Castle name as his own, adding "von Habsburg" to his title and creating the House of Habsburg.

Habsburg Castle's importance diminished after Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph
Rudolph I of Germany
Rudolph I was King of the Romans from 1273 until his death. He played a vital role in raising the Habsburg dynasty to a leading position among the Imperial feudal dynasties...

 moved the family's power base to Austria
Archduchy of Austria
The Archduchy of Austria , one of the most important states within the Holy Roman Empire, was the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy and the predecessor of the Austrian Empire...

 in 1276. Habsburg Castle remained property of the House of Habsburg until 1415, when Duke Frederick IV of the Empty Pockets
Frederick IV, Duke of Austria
Frederick IV, Duke of Further Austria , also known as Frederick of the Empty Pockets, was the Habsburg duke of Further Austria from 1402, and Count of Tyrol from 1406, until his death...

 lost the canton of Aargau to the Swiss Confederacy
Old Swiss Confederacy
The Old Swiss Confederacy was the precursor of modern-day Switzerland....

.

The original coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

to fly over Habsburg Castle, a red lion on a golden field, remained part of the Austrian arms up to the end of the Imperial period. The modern arms of the municipality of Habsburg, Switzerland, depict Habsburg Castle.

The area around the castle was covered by forests that were only cleared around 1500, nearly half a millennium after Habsburg Castle was first constructed.

Today the "large" and "small" towers of the original castle are preserved, attached to a residential building of the 13th century, while large parts of the complex lie in ruins. The extent of its eastern part is recognizable only by foundation walls. The palatial residence hosts a restaurant and a small exhibition.

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