House of Kyburg

House of Kyburg

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The House of Kyburg was family of Graf
Graf
Graf is a historical German noble title equal in rank to a count or a British earl...

en or count
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

s from Zürich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

 in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. The family was one of the three most powerful noble families in the Swiss plateau
Swiss plateau
The Swiss Plateau or Central Plateau constitutes one of the three major landscapes in Switzerland alongside the Jura mountains and the Swiss Alps. It covers about 30% of the Swiss surface...

 beside the Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 and the House of Savoy
House of Savoy
The House of Savoy was formed in the early 11th century in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, it grew from ruling a small county in that region to eventually rule the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II, king of Croatia and King of Armenia...

 during the 11th and 12th Centuries. With the extinction of the male line in 1263, Rudolph of Habsburg
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...

 laid claim to the Kyburg lands and annexed them to the Habsburg holdings, which marked the beginning of the Habsburg rise to power.

Early history




The first line of counts of Kyburg were influential in local politics during the 1020s but the male line died out in 1078. Kyburg castle
Kyburg (castle)
Kyburg Castle is a castle in the municipality of Kyburg of the Canton of Zurich in Switzerland. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.-History:...

, southeast of Winterthur
Winterthur
Winterthur is a city in the canton of Zurich in northern Switzerland. It has the country's sixth largest population with an estimate of more than 100,000 people. In the local dialect and by its inhabitants, it is usually abbreviated to Winti...

 (in the modern canton of Zürich
Canton of Zürich
The Canton of Zurich has a population of . The canton is located in the northeast of Switzerland and the city of Zurich is its capital. The official language is German, but people speak the local Swiss German dialect called Züritüütsch...

), passed on to the Swabia
Swabia
Swabia is a cultural, historic and linguistic region in southwestern Germany.-Geography:Like many cultural regions of Europe, Swabia's borders are not clearly defined...

n counts of Dillingen
Dillingen (district)
Dillingen is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Donau-Ries, Augsburg and Günzburg, and by the state of Baden-Württemberg .-History:...

. Through the marriage of Hartmann von Dillingen († 1121) with a certain Adelheid the House of Dillingen acquired the old Kyburg possessions as well as territorial claims in the Thurgau
Thurgau
Thurgau is a northeast canton of Switzerland. The population, , is . In 2007, there were a total of 47,390 who were resident foreigners. The capital is Frauenfeld.-History:...

. The exact origin of Adelheid is unclear. She is either the granddaughter of the Count of Grüningen-Winterthur or from a cadet branch of the Winterthur family, the Counts of Nellenburg. She might also be the daughter of Adalbert II von Winterthur, the last knight from Winterthur, who died in 1053 at the Battle of Civitate
Battle of Civitate
The Battle of Civitate was fought on 18 June 1053 in Southern Italy, between the Normans, led by the Count of Apulia Humphrey of Hauteville, and a Swabian-Italian-Lombard army, organised by Pope Leo IX and led on the battlefield by Gerard, Duke of Lorraine, and Rudolf, Prince of Benevento...

 against the Normans
Italo-Norman
The Italo-Normans, or Siculo-Normans when referring to Sicily, were the Italian-born descendants of the first Norman conquerors to travel to the southern Italy in the first half of the eleventh century...

.

Expansion of the Kyburg lands


The Kyburg land continued to be part of the possessions of the House of Dillingen until the grandson of Hartmann von Dillingen, Hartmann III († 1180), split the Dillingen lands. Adalbert received the Swabian territories, while Hartmann III von Dillinagen got the Swiss lands and became Hartmann I of Kyburg. The House of Kyburg were vassel
Vassel
Vassel is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France.-References:*...

s of the Duke of Swabia
Duke of Swabia
The following is a list of Dukes of Swabia in southwest Germany.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. The most notable family to hold Swabia were the Hohenstaufen, who held it, with a brief...

, who was of the House of Hohenstaufen and would become the Kings of Germany
Kingdom of Germany
The Kingdom of Germany developed out of the eastern half of the former Carolingian Empire....

 from 1138-1254. When the House of Lenzburg
Schloss Lenzburg
Lenzburg Castle is a castle located above the old part of the town of Lenzburg in the Canton of Aargau, Switzerland. It ranks among the oldest and most important of Switzerland. The castle stands on the almost circular castle hill , which rises approximately 100 m over the surrounding plain...

 died out in 1172/73, the Kyburgs together with the Hohenstaufen and Zähringen split the Lenzburg possessions between them. The Kyburg family acquired the allodial title
Allodial title
Allodial title constitutes ownership of real property that is independent of any superior landlord, but it should not be confused with anarchy as the owner of allodial land is not independent of his sovereign...

 to the Vogtei
Vogtei
Vogtei could be:* The residenz or domain of a Vogt* Vogtei , a municipal association in the Unstrut-Hainich district of Thuringia, Germany....

 of Windegg or Gaster (today 7 municipalities in the See-Gaster Wahlkreis
See-Gaster (Wahlkreis)
See-Gaster is a constituency in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland. The Wahlkreis has been established on June 10, 2001 with an area of .It was formed from See District and Gaster District.-Demographics:...

 of St. Gallen
Canton of St. Gallen
The Canton of St. Gallen is a canton of Switzerland. St. Gallen is located in the north east of Switzerland. It covers an area of 2,026 km², and has a population of . , the population included 97,461 foreigners, or about 20.9% of the total population. The capital is St. Gallen. Spelling...

) and land around Baden
Baden, Switzerland
Baden is a municipality in the Swiss canton of Aargau, on the west bank of the river Limmat, located in the Limmat Valley , northwest of Zürich. It is the seat of the district of Baden...

. Later additional Lenzburg territories, the Schänis Abbey
Schänis Abbey
Schänis Abbey was founded in the 9th century. It was situated in the present town of Schänis in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland. It was a house of secular canonesses of the nobility and was dissolved in 1811.- History :...

 and Beromünster
Beromünster
Beromünster is a municipality in the district of Sursee in the canton of Lucerne in Switzerland. On 1 January 2009 Gunzwil became part of Beromünster.-History:...

, were also acquired by the House of Kyburg.

In 1180 the family began to consolidate their power. They founded the cities of Diessenhofen
Diessenhofen
Diessenhofen is a municipality in Frauenfeld District in the canton of Thurgau in Switzerland.-History:Diessenhofen is first mentioned in 757 as Deozincova. In 2000, the village of Willisdorf was incorporated into the municipality...

 and Winterthur
Winterthur
Winterthur is a city in the canton of Zurich in northern Switzerland. It has the country's sixth largest population with an estimate of more than 100,000 people. In the local dialect and by its inhabitants, it is usually abbreviated to Winti...

 to help spread their power. They also appointed many of the Lenzburg, and later Zähringen, vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

s to be unfree knights or Ministerialis
Ministerialis
Ministerialis ; a post-classical Latin word, used in English, meaning originally servitor, agent, in a broad range of senses...

 for the Kyburg family.

When the Zähringen family died out in 1218, the Kyburgs grabbed another chance to expand. Anna von Zähringen, the sister of the last Duke of Zähringen, Berthold V
Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen
Berchtold V of Zähringen was Duke of Zähringen until his death, succeeding his father Berchtold IV in 1186.- History and legacy :...

, was the wife of Ulrich III von Kyburg (†1227). From the Zähringen line the Kyburgs acquired land west of the Rhine and in Burgundy including the cities of Fribourg
Fribourg
Fribourg is the capital of the Swiss canton of Fribourg and the district of Sarine. It is located on both sides of the river Saane/Sarine, on the Swiss plateau, and is an important economic, administrative and educational center on the cultural border between German and French Switzerland...

, Thun
Thun
Thun is a municipality in the administrative district of Thun in the canton of Bern in Switzerland with about 42,136 inhabitants , as of 1 January 2006....

 and Burgdorf as well as estates in the canton of Zurich
Canton of Zürich
The Canton of Zurich has a population of . The canton is located in the northeast of Switzerland and the city of Zurich is its capital. The official language is German, but people speak the local Swiss German dialect called Züritüütsch...

. However, the House of Hohenstaufen, the family of the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

s, refused to support the Kyburg claims on the city of Zurich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

 and in 1226 on the Abbey of St. Gall
Abbey of St. Gall
The Abbey of Saint Gall is a religious complex in the city of St. Gallen in present-day Switzerland. The Carolingian-era Abbey has existed since 719 and became an independent principality during the 13th century, and was for many centuries one of the chief Benedictine abbeys in Europe. It was...

. As a result, they turned increasingly away from the Hohenstaufens and in 1243 and were one of the mainstays of the pro-Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 and anti-Holy Roman Emperor Party.

Around 1220 they started to make claims on property and rights that had unclear ownership and was near property that they already owned. In 1225 they founded a burial site for the Chorherrenstift Heiligberg in the center of the property of the former Freiherr
Freiherr
The German titles Freiherr and Freifrau and Freiin are titles of nobility, used preceding a person's given name or, after 1919, before the surname...

 von Weisslingen at Winterthur, and in 1233 founded Töss
Töss
The Töss is a river of the Canton of Zürich. It rises in the Zürcher Oberland, flows along the Töss Valley past Winterthur, and joins the Rhine at Tössegg near Teufen....

 Abbey west of Winterthur. Both sites were endowed with property that they had taken from the Weisslingen and Rossberg families. These two properties served to define the borders between the Kyburg and Rapperswil families.

At the same time the Kyburg family attempted to strengthen themselves through marriage. Hartmann V, a grandson of Ulrich III was engaged
Engagement
An engagement or betrothal is a promise to marry, and also the period of time between proposal and marriage which may be lengthy or trivial. During this period, a couple is said to be betrothed, affianced, engaged to be married, or simply engaged...

 to Anna of Rapperswil in 1227. His uncle, Hartmann IV, called the Elder, married Margaret of Savoy
Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

 while his sister Heilwig, the future mother of King Rudolf I von Habsburg
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...

, married Albert IV of Habsburg
Albert IV, Count of Habsburg
Albert IV was Count of Habsburg in the Aargau and a progenitor of the royal House of Habsburg....



Even though the family continued to found cities and expand, they were declining in power. In 1230 they founded Zug
Zug
Zug , is a German-speaking city in Switzerland. The name ‘Zug’ originates from fishing vocabulary; in the Middle Ages it referred to the right to ‘pull up’ fishing nets and hence to the right to fish.The city of Zug is located in the Canton of Zug and is its capital...

 and Baden
Baden, Switzerland
Baden is a municipality in the Swiss canton of Aargau, on the west bank of the river Limmat, located in the Limmat Valley , northwest of Zürich. It is the seat of the district of Baden...

, then Frauenfeld
Frauenfeld
Frauenfeld is the capital of the canton of Thurgau in Switzerland.-Early history:The earliest trace of human settlement are several La Tène era graves to the east of Langdorf. The Roman road from Oberwinterthur to Pfyn ran through what is now the Allmend in Frauenfeld. Two Roman villas were...

, Aarau
Aarau
Aarau is the capital of the northern Swiss canton of Aargau. The city is also the capital of the district of Aarau. It is German-speaking and predominantly Protestant. Aarau is situated on the Swiss plateau, in the valley of the Aar, on the river's right bank, and at the southern foot of the Jura...

, Lenzburg
Lenzburg
Lenzburg is a town in the central region of the Swiss canton Aargau and is the capital of the district of the same name. The town, founded in the Middle Ages, lies in the Seetal valley, about 3 kilometres south of the Aare river. Lenzburg and the neighbouring municipalities of Niederlenz and...

, and Mellingen
Mellingen
Mellingen is a municipality in the district of Baden in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland. The town is located on the Reuss River.-History:...

. In 1250 they founded Sursee
Sursee
Sursee is a municipality in the district of Sursee in the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. Sursee is located at the northern end of Lake Sempach, not far from where the Sure river enters the lake , hence the name "Sursee"....

, Weesen
Weesen
Weesen is a village in See-Gaster in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland.-Geography:Weesen has an area, , of . Of this area, 36.3% is used for agricultural purposes, while 51.9% is forested...

 and the fortified towns of Kyburg
Kyburg
Kyburg may refer to:*Henry E. Kyburg, Jr., the philosopher/logician*The castle Kyburg in the Canton of Zurich*The municipality surrounding the castle, Kyburg, Zurich*The noble House of Kyburg that took their name from the castle....

 and Laupen
Laupen
There are places that have the name Laupen:In Switzerland:* Laupen, Bern, a municipality in the Canton of Bern* Laupen , the administrative district including that municipality...

. The last two were Richensee and Huttwil
Huttwil
Huttwil is a municipality in the Oberaargau administrative district in the Swiss canton of Bern.-History:Huttwil is first mentioned in the 9th Century as Huttiwilare.During the Swiss peasant war of 1653, Huttwil was a center of the rebellion...

 which they lost shortly thereafter.

Neu-Kyburg



In 1250/51 the childless Hartmann IV gave the western part of the property with the center of Burgdorf to his nephew Hartmann V. As a result, Hartmann V, who was supported by the Habsburgs, came into conflict repeatedly with the growing city-state of Bern.
His uncle had to step in often to keep the peace. When Hartmann V died in 1263, Count Rudolf von Habsburg became the guardian of Hartmann's daughter Anna, and also took over the administration of the western section. One year later, after the death of Hartman IV, Rudolf stepped in to control the eastern half as well. Though this brought him into conflict with the claims by the widow Margaret of Savoy and her family.

Anna, daughter of Hartmann V, married Eberhard I of Habsburg-Laufenburg. This marriage was intended to secure Habsburg interests in Aargau (Argovia) against Savoy.
The son of Eberhard and Anna, Hartmann I (1275–1301) again called himself "of Kyburg".
His line came to be known as that of Neu-Kyburg or Kyburg-Burgdorf, persisting until 1417.

In 1322, the brothers Eberhard II and Hartmann II started fighting with each other over who would inherit the undivided lands. The fighting led to the "fratricide
Fratricide
Fratricide is the act of a person killing his or her brother....

 at Thun Castle
Thun Castle
Thun Castle is a castle in the municipality of Thun of the Canton of Bern in Switzerland. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.-References:...

" where Eberhard killed his brother Hartmann. To avoid punishment by his Habsburg overlords, Eberhard fled to Bern. In the following year, he sold the town of Thun
Thun
Thun is a municipality in the administrative district of Thun in the canton of Bern in Switzerland with about 42,136 inhabitants , as of 1 January 2006....

, its castle and the land surrounding Thun to Bern. Bern granted the land back to Eberhard as a fief.

The decline of Neu-Kyburg began with a failed raid by Rudolf II on Solothurn
Solothurn
The city of Solothurn is the capital of the Canton of Solothurn in Switzerland. The city also comprises the only municipality of the district of the same name.-Pre-roman settlement:...

, on 11 November 1382.
The ensuing conflict with the Old Swiss Confederacy
Old Swiss Confederacy
The Old Swiss Confederacy was the precursor of modern-day Switzerland....

 is known as the Burgdorferkrieg (also Kyburgerkrieg). Bern took the opportunity to assert its interests in Aargau against the Habsburgs, and after the Bernese laid siege to Burgdorf, Neu-Kyburg was forced to concede an unfavourable peace. Bern bought Thun and Burgdorf, the most important cities of Neu-Kyburg, and their remaining towns passed to Bern and Solothurn by 1408.
The last of the Neu-Kyburgs, Berchtold, died destitute in Bern in 1417.

Members of the family