mediatized Houses: The Princely House of Fürstenberg


The Princely House of Fürstenberg


The Family of Fürstenberg is  with some probability, traceable to the Frankish family of the Count of the Unruochinians, who in the time of Charlemagne occupied important functions in the German administration in the German Southwest. The Fürstenberg have been unequivocally demonstrable since the 11th century as counts of Urach on the Swabian Alb and in the region of the Middle Neckar. They are  are a side line of the Counts of Urach and related to the Counts of Achalm.  Count Egino IV of Urach, married to Agnes, daughter of Berthold IV of Zahringen, inherited a large part of the possession of the dukes of Zahringen in 1218, when Berthold V. died childless and thus the main line of Zähringer became extinct. The inheritances on the Baar and in the Black Forest formed the basis of the side line of the Fürstenberg. Count Konrad the, grandson of Count Egino IV. established the line of the Counts of Freiburg with the Zähring estates in the Breisgau. His younger brother Heinrich took over the Zähring heritage in the Kinzigtal, the Black Forest and the Baar and called himself after the castle on the “foothold mountain”, the Höhenzugelength near Neudingen count of Fürstenberg. He became so the ancestor of the House of Fürstenberg.
While the Counts of Freiburg , particularly in the struggle with the citizens of the up-and-coming city of Freiburg and the Habsburgs, bercame extinct in the fifteenth century, they Fürtenberg’s succeeded  thanks to their close adherence to the House of Habsburg, a clever marriage policy, and several favorable inheritances Multiplication of their territorial possessions. Since the end of the Middle Ages the house not only acquired the later Fürstenberg residence of the Donaueschingen with its highly significant Donauquelle  in 1488, but also important territories such as the counties of Heiligenberg  in 1543 and the Landgraviate Stühlingen or the districts Trochtelfingen and Jungnau, Messkirch, Wildenstein, Gundelfingen, Falkenstein, Hayingen, Neufra and a third Helfenstein-Wiesensteig and (Hohen-) Hewen with Engen.
Already among the sons of the Count Heinrich I. it  came again to  a division of the estate. While Friedrich continued the main line, Egon founded the line Fürstenberg-Haslach  After it had became extinct in the male line in 1386 Count Heinrich IV. was able, after a protracted succession, with Count Friedrich XI. of Hohenzollern, and of the Bishop of Strasbourg, Friedrich von Blankenheim, received the private property and the Reichslehen of the side line for the House Fürstenberg, but he had to renounce three other villages. Among the sons of Count Heinrich IV, the  lands were divided again.  While the Stammburg and the Landgraviate Fürstenberg fell to Heinrich. V.  and Egon received the rule Wartenberg with the city of Geisingen, the Fürstenberg possessions in the Kinzigtal with the cities of Wolfach and Haslach came to Konrad. Konrad founded its own junior line Fürstenberg-Wolfach or Fürstenberg-Kinzigtal. Heinrich and Egon jointly ruled some possessions in the Black Forest and frequently also appear together in the documents. After the jnuor line became exinct in  1490 with the death of Count Heinrich VI. , his cousin, Wolfgang, inherited the majority of his possessions. After Konrad’s older brother, Heinrich VII, had already died in 1499, the Fürstenberg possessions were reunited.

Counts of Fürstenberg
1250-1284 Heinrich I.

1284-1296 Friedrich I.
1296-1337 Heinrich II.
1337-1367 Heinrich III.
1367-1408 Heinrich IV.
1408-1441 Heinrich V.
1441-1484 Konrad
1484-1499 Konrad
1484-1509 Wolfgang
1509-1549 Wilhelm
1509-1559 Friedrich II.
1559         Christoph I.
1559-1599 Albrecht
1599-1614 Christoph II.



Count Egon became the anecestor of the junior line Früstenberg-Haslach., it became already extinct in 1386 when Count Johann died in the battle of Sempach.

Counts of Fürstenberg-Haslach
1284-1324 Egon
1324-1341 Gottfried
1341-1371 Hugo
1371-1386 Johann



In 1407 Count Konrad founded the junior line Fürstenberg-Wolfach. It became extinct in 1490 with the death of his son Heinrich VI.

Counts of Fürstenberg-Wolfach
1407-1419 Konrad
1419-1490 Heinrich VI.


Fürstenberg later Fürstenberg-Meßkirch

Count Wratislaw, son of Count Christoph II. founded the line Fürstenberg-Meßkirch After the line Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg became extinct in the male line Count franz Ferdinand was raised to Fürsten of the Empire (Reichsfürstenstand) in 1716. This line became exdtinct with the death of Fürst Karl Friedrich in 1744

Counts, since 1716 Fürsten zu Fürstenberg.Meßkirch
1614-1642 Wratislaw II.
1642-1671 Franz Christoph
1671-1741 Franz Ferdinand
1741-1744 Karl Friedrich



Count Freidrich Rudolf, younger son of Count Christoph founded the line Fürstenberg-Stühlingen. After the line Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg became extinct in the male line Count Joseph Wilhelm Ernst was raised to a Fürst of the Empire (Reichsfürstenstand) in 1716. After the extinction of the Fürstenberg-Messkirch line, Joseph was the Heir of Fürst Karl Friedrich of Fürstenberg.Meußkirch  and united all the Fürstenberg lands in Swabia. He organized a uniform administration of the country and was therefore regarded as the real founder of the Principality.

Counts since 1714 Fürsten zu Fürstenberg-Stühlingen
1614-1655 Friedrich Rudolf
married to Maria Maximiliana von Pappenheim
1655-1681 Maximilian Franz
married to Maria Magdalena von Bernhausen
1684-1704 Prosper
married to Countess Sophie of Königsegg-Rothenfels
1704-1744 Joseph Wilhelm who became in 1744 Fürst of Fürstenberg



Ludwig Augst Egon, the younger son of Count Prosper of Fürstenberg-Stühlingen was given in 1755 the lordship Weitra. and the Titel of Landgrave. This line became extinct in the male line in 1932

Landgraves of Fürstenberg
1755-1759 Ludwig August Egon
marrid to Countess Maria Anna Josepha Fugger of Kirchberg and Weissenhorn
1759-1828 Joachim Egon
married to Countess Sophie Maria Theresia of Oettingen-Wallerstein
1828-1856 Friedrich Karl
married to Princess Maria Theresia of Schwarzenberg
1856-1879 Johann
married to Princess Karoline of Auersperg
1879-1932 Eduard Egon



The county Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg was split in 1559 the county Fürstenberg. . Von Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg split the Fürstenberg-Donaueschingen line in 1617. It became already extinct in 1698 and fell back to Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg which in 1664 had been raised to a Principality. In 1716 Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg became extinct .

Counts since 1764 Fürsten zu Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg
1559-1598 Joachim
married to Countess Anna of Ziimmern
1598-1617 Friedrioch V.
married first to Countess Elisabeth of Sulz
married second to Countess Anna Maria of Arco
1617-1618 Wilhelm II.
married to Baroness Anna Christina Popel of Lobkowicz
1618-1635 Egon VIII.
married to Countess Anna Maria of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
1635-1652 Ernst Egon
1635-1662 Ernst Egon
married to Franziska Elisabeth de Monrichier
1635-1674 Hermann Egon
married to Countess Franziska of Fürstenberg-Stühlingen
1662-1676 Maximlian Joseph
married to Countess Anna Kokorsowec von Kokoczowa
1674-1716 Anton Egon
married to Marie de Ligny



In 1617 the line Fürstenberg-Donaueschignenw as split from Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg by Count Jakob Ludwig. As his only son Franz Karl was unmarred the line became alreeady extincft in 1698

Counts of Fürstenberg-Donaueschingen
1617-1627 Jakob Ludwig
marreid to Baroness Helene Eleonore of Schwendi
1627-1698 Franz Karl



After the line Fürstenberg-Meßklirch had become extincvt in 144 als Fürstenberg lands where united in the person opf Fürst Hoswef Wilhelnm  zu Fürstenberg-Stühlingen who now became Fürst zu Fürstenberg. a He organized a uniform administration of the country and is therefore regarded as the real founder of the Principality. He formed the Pricipality of Fürstenberg  a reign  comparable to larger German territorial states, but lacking territorial and administrative cohesion and external power. The reign had about 85,000 inhabitants and was divided into 14 rulers. The government in Donaueschingen included a chancellor, three court and two chamber councils, as well as the princely archivist. They were responsible for the Court Paying and the Financial Administration. Fürst Josef Wilhelm , an imperial commissary of the Principal, was little involved in the administration of his territory. After the confiscation of the property of his wife, Maria Anna Countess von Waldstein, in Bohemia, as a party-keeper to Emperor Karl VII, he succeeded in the end of the war. On the order of the Bavarian Elector Max Joseph, he conducted with little success  peace negotiations with Empress Maria Theresa.
Fürst Karl Joachim fled in 1798 and 1800 before the French troops on his possession to Weitra. After his  early death, the Fürstenberg territory was mediatised in 1806 as a result of the Rheinbundakti in the wake of the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss, and largely to the Grand Duchy of Baden. The part on the left bank of the Danube went to Hohenzollern-Hechingen. In Austria-Hungary, more precisely in the Kingdom of Bohemia and in the Margraviate of Moravia, members of the Fürstenberg family held high and highest offices, such as that of the Prince-Archbishop of Olomouc or the Bishop of Brno. In 1896, the Swabian tribe died. The leadership of the House passed to the bohemian junior line. . In 1929 the Bohemian castle Křivoklát with the collection and the library from the Palais Fürstenberg on the Prague Kleinseite as well as the castle Lány were sold to the Czechoslovak state. The loss of their traditional legal rights affected the position of the family at most in the short term. Fürst Karl Egon II expressed his status as the first landowner in Baden through a dynastic connection with the Grand Duke of Baden. His son Karl Egon III. the forstenberg forestry and metallurgical industry organized strictly according to private economic considerations. Within a few years he became one of the richest men in Germany. Fürst Max Egon II finally turned his attention to the Fürstenberg brewery and turned it into one of the largest breweries of the German Empire. What the house had lost through the mediatisation in the state position tried to compensate it by cultural and social activities. The Fürsten Karl Egon II  and Karl Egon III founded the Royal Institutes of Art and Science, consisting of collections, archives and court libraries. It became one of the largest private collections in Europe and made it accessible to the public. In 1921, Fürst Max Egon II established Fürstenberg’s Donaueschinger Musicdays, which became the most important forum for contemporary music. Under the patronage of Fürst Joachim  the Donaueschinger Reitturniere gained international importance from 1954 onwards.
However, the Family resigned most of its economic and cultural empire over the course of time, including Neufra Castle in 1869, Trochtelfingen Castle, Wildenstein Castle and Meßkirch Castle in the 1970s, as well as extensive forest and land ownership, most recently Hohenlupfen Castle in Stühlingen with countries. In 2015 the forest is to be “about 18,000 hectares”, with forest ownership in Canada and Austria. From the beginning of the 1980s onwards, the unique Hofschule library of Donaueschingen, which had a high cultural history, was sold step by step. At first there were sales of individual, partly outstanding handwritings. While the remaining manuscripts and musical works were acquired by the state of Baden-Württemberg in 1992, the rest, including the unique incunabula collection and the closed collection of the more than 11,000 prints of the famous Bibliophil and Nestor of Old Germanic Studies, were held in morganatic marriage with the widowed princess Elisabeth von Fürstenberg (1767-1822), auctioned several tranches from 1994 to 2002 through various auction houses, after negotiations with the state of Baden-Württemberg had failed over a closed purchase and this only a part of the incunabula in advance. [10] In 1999, the collection of music was sold, in 2002 the collection of medieval table paintings, including the altar of the painter of the Meister von Meßkirch, are now part of the Würth Collection and exhibited in the Johanniterhalle in Schwäbisch Hall, followed by the brewery in 2004. In Donaueschingen the historical collection of natural history with fossils and minerals, prepared animals and the collection of the history of the House of Fürstenberg as well as modern art, in a specially built historical museum building near the castle cca be visited

Fürsten zu Fürstenberg
1744-1762 Josef Wilhelm
married to Countess Maria Anna of Waldstein
1762-17823 Joseph Wenzel
married to Countess Maria Joseph of Waldburg-Trauchburg-Scheer
1783-1796 Joseph Maria
married to Princess Maria Antonia of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
1796-1804 Karl Joachim
married to Landgravine Karoline of Fürstenberg-Weitra
1804-1854 Karl Egon II.
married to Princess Amalie of Baden
1854-1892 Karl Egon III.
married to Prncess Karoline Reuß oldr line
1892-1896 Karl Egon IV.
married to Dorothée de Talleyrand-Périgord’
1896-1941 Max Egon II.
married to Coutness Irma of Schönborn-Buchheim
1941-1973 Karl Egon V.
married to Coutness Ida of Nostitz-Rieneck
1973-2002 Joachim Egon
married to Countess Paula zu Köngsegg-Aulendorf
2002-      Heinrich
married to Princess Maximiliane (Milana) zu Windisch-Graetz




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