Residents and construction history

Habsburg Castle, founded in the early 11th century, is the point of origin of an outstandingly successful family history. Here the headstone was laid for the latter dynasty of Habsburg.

Residents and owners

Around 1020/1030 Radbot built the Habsburg Castle on the Wülpelsberg. For 200 years the emergent comital family was living in its ancestral castle.

1020/1030: Radbot the founder

The Eigenamt, the territory between the Kestenberg hill and the rivers Aare and Reuss, was part of the early possessions of the Habsburg. On the Wülpelsberg hill, Radbot and his brother-in-law Bishop Werner von Strassburg built the Habsburg Castle around 1020/1030.

11/12th century: The Counts of Habsburg

Radbot's grandson Otto II was the first member of the family to use the title Count of Habsburg holding the countship of Upper Alsace. His descendants lived in their ancestral castle until around 1230.

13th century: Ministerialis

After 1230, Habsburg Castle did not suit the ambitious comital family as a residence anymore and was invested as fiefs to low nobility ministerialis. Thus the stewards of Habsburg-Wildegg resided in the rear castle, and the front castle was given to the Lords of Wülpelsberg and later on to the knights of Wolen. In 1371 Henman of Wolen united the two castle fiefs.

14/15th century: Multiple change of possession

With the invasion of the Confederates in 1415 the Habsburg lost their ancestral castle, it was taken by the Bernese without a struggle. Henman of Wolen had to acknowledge the sovereignty of Berne and, impoverished, bequeathed in 1419 Habsburg Castle to his nephew Peter of Greifensee. Peter sold it in 1457 to the Bernese, who in turn disposed it to Anton Segesser in 1462. By 1469 the castle ended up in the property of the Convent of Königsfelden.

16/17th century: The Stewards of Königsfelden

After the secularisation of monasteries in the course of the Reformation, Habsburg Castle fell into the hands of Berne again and was administrated by its Stewards in Königsfelden. Already decayed to two-thirds, the castle was only occasionally occupied by a guardian.

20th century: In the possession of the Canton of Argovia

In 1804 Canton Argovia took ownership of Habsburg Castle. Several phases of renovation of the well-preserved rear castle succeeded. The ruins of the rear castle were excavated and conserved between 1978 and 1983. Since 2009 Habsburg Castle is part of Museum Aargau.

Construction history

Habsburg Castle was extended to a double castle in the later 11th century. The rear castle still exists today, whilst the front castle only consists of ruins.

The first castle

The first castle largely consisted of timber constructions. The only masoned edifice was the partly representative, partly fortified residential building, a multi-storey stone house.

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