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Habsburg (or Hapsburg) was the name of one of the ruling houses of Europe: rulers of Austria (as dukes 1282 - 1453, archdukes 1453 - 1804, and emperors 1804 - 1918), kings of Spain (1516 - 1700), and Holy Roman Emperors for several centuries to 1806. The name is derived from the Swiss Habichtsburg (Hawk Castle), the family seat in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The first Habsburg rulers came from Burgundy, the duchy that took up most of the former Frankish kingdom of Lotharingia. From Burgundy the family extended its influence and holdings to the eastern reaches of the Holy Roman Empire, roughly today's Austria (1278 - 1382). Within only two or three generations, the Habsburgs had managed to secure an initially intermittent grasp on the imperial throne that would last for centuries (1273 - 1291, 1298 - 1308, 1438 - 1740, and 1745 - 1806). Upon the abdication of the Emperor Charles V, also King Charles I of Spain (1516 - 1556), the family split into the Austrian Habsburgs[?] and the Spanish Habsburgs[?].

By the turn of the 19th century, Habsburg power had waned significantly. The Spanish line died out in 1700, and in 1806 the Holy Roman Empire was wound up under the French Emperor Napoleon I's reorganisation of Germany.

In Austria, however, the Habsburgs maintained their hold, declaring themselves Emperors of Austria two years after Napoleon declared himself Emperor of France in 1804.

Emperor Francis I of Austria used the official great title: "We, Francis the First, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria; King of Jerusalem, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, and Lodomiria[?]; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Würzburg[?], Franconia, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola ; Grand Duke of Cracow; Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Sandomir[?], Masovia, Lublin, Upper and Lower Silesia, Auschwitz and Zator[?], Teschen[?], and Friule[?]; Prince of Berchtesgaden and Mergentheim[?]; Princely Count of Habsburg, Gorizia[?], and Gradisca[?]; and Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and Istria".

Hungary, nominally under Habsburg kingship from 1526 but mostly under Ottoman Turkish occupation for 150 years, was reconquered in 1683 - 1699, the Habsburgs remaining kings of Hungary under an 1867 autonomy arrangement (see Austria-Hungary) until their deposition in both Austria and Hungary in 1918 following defeat in World War I.

Holy Roman Emperors of the House of Habsburg


NB: Maria Theresa of Austria, Hapsburg heiress and wife of emperor Francis I Stephen, reigned as Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia 1740 - 1780

Habsburg-Lorraine (Lothringen) Emperors

Kings of Spain of the House of Habsburg

Kings of Portugal of the House of Habsburg

Grand Dukes of Tuscany of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine

Dukes of Modena of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine

Duchess of Parma of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine

The current head of the Habsburg family is Otto von Habsburg, Emperor Karl's eldest son.

External links

  1. Habsburg Biographies (http://www.antiquesatoz.com/habsburg/)
  2. Habsburg Resource Centre on SurnameWeb (http://www.surnameweb.org/registry/h/a/b/habsburg.shtml)

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