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County of Württemberg

 

County of Württemberg

For other uses, see Württemberg (disambiguation).
County of Württemberg
Grafschaft Württemberg
State of the Holy Roman Empire

1083–1495
Flag Coat of arms
Division of Württemberg by the Treaty of Nürtingen
Capital Stuttgart
Languages Swabian German
Religion Roman Catholic
Government Feudal monarchy
Count of Württemberg
 -  ca 1089–1122
    (first count)

Conrad I
 -  1457–96
    (last count)

Eberhard V
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  County founded
    by Conrad I

before 1081 1083
 -  Treaty of Nürtingen
    divides county

1442
 -  Treaty of Münsingen
    reunites county

1482
 -  Raised to duchy 1495
Today part of  Germany

The County of Württemberg was a historical territory with origins in the realm of the House of Württemberg, the heart of the old Duchy of Swabia. Stuttgart was its capital.[1] From the 12th century until 1495, it was a county within the Holy Roman Empire.[2] It later became a Duchy and, on the breakup of the Holy Roman Empire, a kingdom.

Etymology

The county was named for a hill of the same name in the district of Untertürkheim in Rotenberg, Stuttgart, on which Wirtenberg Castle stood until 1819. Until about 1350, the county appears in records only with the spelling "Wirtenberg".

History

The House of Württemberg first appeared in the late 11th century. The first family member mentioned in records was Konrad I in 1081, who is believed to have built the castle. The Württembergs became counts in the 12th century. The end of the House of Hohenstaufen's reign over the Duchy of Swabia in 1250 allowed the Württembergs to expand their territory to include the duchy. Stuttgart, the subsequent capital, became part of the county following the marriage of Ulrich I to Mechthild of Baden in 1251.

Württemberg territory expanded further under the rule of Ulrich III, Eberhard II, and Eberhard III. Under Eberhard III, Württemberg subsumed the County of Montbéliard (German: Mömpelgard) through the betrothal his son, Eberhard IV, to Henriette, Countess of Montbéliard in 1397.

In 1442, the Treaty of Nürtingen was signed between Ulrich V and his brother Ludwig I, splitting Württemberg into two parts. Ulrich took the Stuttgart section (Württemberg-Stuttgart), including the towns of Bad Cannstatt, Göppingen, Marbach am Neckar, Neuffen, Nürtingen, Schorndorf, and Waiblingen. Ludwig took the Bad Urach section (Württemberg-Urach), including the towns of Balingen, Calw, Herrenberg, Münsingen, Tuttlingen, and Tübingen. This section also included the County of Montbéliard after the death of Henriette in 1444.

By the Treaty of Münsingen in 1482 and the Treaty of Esslingen in 1492, Count Eberhard succeeded in reuniting Württemberg and rose to the rank of duke. The childless Eberhard became the sole ruler of the reunited country. The reigning Count Eberhard VI of Württemberg-Stuttgart was designated as his successor, and was to govern together with a committee of twelve "honourables", representatives of the country's two estates: lords and commons.

In 1495, under the Imperial Diet of Worms summoned by Emperor Maximilian I, the county became a duchy.

References

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