House of Welf
The House of Welf was a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century. The House of Welf is the branch of the House of Este. The first member was Welf IV, he inherited the property of the Elder House of Welf when his maternal uncle Welf III, Duke of Carinthia and Verona, the last male Welf of the Elder House, died in 1055. Welf IV was the son of Welf IIIs sister Kunigunde of Altdorf and her husband Albert Azzo II of Este, in 1070, Welf IV became duke of Bavaria. Since the Welf dynasty sided with the Pope in this controversy, Henry the Black, duke of Bavaria from 1120–1126, was the first of the three dukes of the Welf dynasty called Henry. His wife Wulfhild was the heiress of the house of Billung, possessing the territory around Lüneburg in Lower Saxony and their son, Henry the Proud was the son-in-law and heir of Emperor Lothair of Supplinburg and became duke of Saxony on Lothairs death. Lothair left his territory around Brunswick, inherited from his mother of the Brunonen family and her husband Henry the Proud became the favoured candidate in the imperial election against Conrad III of the Hohenstaufen.
But Henry lost the election, as the other princes feared his power and temperament, Henry the Lion recovered his fathers two duchies, Saxony in 1142, Bavaria in 1156 and thus ruled vast parts of Germany. In 1168 he married Matilda, the daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and sister of Richard Lionheart, gaining ever more influence. His first cousin, Emperor Frederick I of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, tried to get along with him, Henry made his peace with the Hohenstaufen Emperor in 1185, and returned to his much diminished lands around Brunswick without recovering his two duchies. Bavaria had been given to Otto I Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria, Henry died at Brunswick in 1195. Henrys son Otto of Brunswick was elected King of the Romans and he incurred the wrath of Pope Innocent III and was excommunicated in 1215. Otto was forced to abdicate the throne by the Hohenstaufen Frederick II. He was the only Welf to become emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Henry the Lions grandson Otto the Child became duke of a part of Saxony in 1235, the new Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and died there in 1252.
The subsequent history of the dukedom and its subordinate principalities was characterized by divisions and reunifications. The subordinate states that were created, and which had the legal status of principalities within the duchy were generally named after the residences of their rulers. The estates of the different dynastic lines could be inherited by a line when a family died out. The individual subordinate principalities continued to exist until the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, following the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15, the territories became part of the Kingdom of Hanover and the Duchy of Brunswick
Kassel is a city located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the seat of the Regierungsbezirk Kassel and the Kreis of the same name and has 200,507 inhabitants in December 2015. The former capital of the state of Hesse-Kassel has many palaces and parks, including the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel is known for the documenta exhibitions of contemporary art. The citys name is derived from the ancient Castellum Cattorum, a castle of the Chatti, Kassel was first mentioned in 913 AD, as the place where two deeds were signed by King Conrad I. The place was called Chasella and was a fortification at a crossing the Fulda river. A deed from 1189 certifies that Cassel had city rights, in 1567, the Landgraviate of Hesse, until centered in Marburg, was divided among four sons, with Hesse-Kassel becoming one of its successor states. Kassel was its capital and became a centre of Calvinist Protestantism in Germany, strong fortifications were built to protect the Protestant stronghold against Catholic enemies.
Secret societies, such as Rosicrucianism flourished, with Christian Rosenkreutz’s work Fama Fraternitis first published in 1617, in 1685, Kassel became a refuge for 1,700 Huguenots who found shelter in the newly established borough of Oberneustadt. Landgrave Charles, who was responsible for this act, ordered the construction of the Oktagon. In the early 19th century, the Brothers Grimm lived in Kassel and they collected and wrote most of their fairy tales there. At that time, around 1803, the Landgraviate was elevated to a Principality, shortly after, it was annexed by Napoleon and in 1807 it became the capital of the short-lived Kingdom of Westphalia under Napoleons brother Jérôme. The Electorate was restored in 1813, having sided with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War to gain supremacy in Germany, the principality was annexed by Prussia in 1866. The Prussian administration united Nassau and Hesse-Kassel into the new Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, Kassel ceased to be a princely residence, but soon developed into a major industrial centre, as well as a major railway junction.
Henschel & Son, the largest railway locomotive manufacturer in Germany at the end of the century, was based in Kassel. In 1870, after the Battle of Sedan, Napoleon III was sent as a prisoner to the castle of Wilhelmshohe above the city, during World War I the German military headquarters were located in the castle of Wilhelmshohe. In the late 1930s Nazis destroyed Heinrich Hübschs Kassel Synagogue, the most severe bombing of Kassel in World War II destroyed 90% of the downtown area, some 10,000 people were killed, and 150,000 were made homeless. Most of the casualties were civilians or wounded soldiers recuperating in local hospitals, Karl Gerland replaced the regional Gauleiter, Karl Weinrich, soon after the raid. The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Kassel at the beginning of April 1945, post-war, most of the ancient buildings were not restored, and large parts of the city area were completely rebuilt in the style of the 1950s
Dankwarderode Castle on the Burgplatz in Braunschweig is a Saxon lowland castle. It was the residence of the Brunswick dukes for centuries and, Dankwarderode Castle was built between c.1160 and 1175 as the Pfalz of Duke Henry the Lion on an island in the river Oker. Next to the castle, construction of Brunswick Cathedral began in 1173, the castle lost its military significance as a defensive structure early, when it became surrounded completely by the growing city. During the 15th century, the dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel moved their Residenz out of the city, in 1616 the palas was remodelled in the renaissance style, while the rest of the castle was demolished or left to decay. During the 19th century, the keep served as a barrack. The present structure was rebuilt in 1887 by Ludwig Winter, based on archaeological investigations, today the ground floor of Dankwarderode Castle houses the permanent collection of medieval objects of the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum. Georg Dehio, Handbuch der deutschen Kunstdenkmäler, Bremen/Niedersachsen, Deutscher Kunstverlag,1977, richard Moderhack, Braunschweiger Stadtgeschichte, Brunswick,1997.
Medieval Division of the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum Dankwarderode Castle Dankwarderode Castle
Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry VI, a member of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, was King of Germany from 1190 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1191 until his death. From 1194 he was King of Sicily and he was the second son of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his consort Beatrix of Burgundy. In 1186 he was married to Constance of Sicily, the daughter of the Norman king Roger II of Sicily. Henry, still stuck in the Hohenstaufen conflict with the House of Welf, had to enforce the claims by his wife against her nephew Count Tancred of Lecce. Based on a ransom for the release of King Richard I of England, he conquered Sicily in 1194, however. Henry was born in autumn 1165 at the Valkhof pfalz of Nijmegen to Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, at the age of four, his father had him elected King of the Romans during the Hoftag in Bamberg at Pentecost 1169, and Henry was crowned on 15 August at Aachen Cathedral. Henry was fluent in Latin and, according to the chronicler Alberic of Trois-Fontaines, was distinguished by gifts of knowledge, wreathed in flowers of eloquence, and learned in canon and Roman law.
He was a patron of poets and poetry, and he almost certainly composed the song Kaiser Heinrich, in one of those he describes a romance that makes him forget all his earthly power, and neither riches nor royal dignity can outweigh his yearning for that lady. Having returned to Germany in 1178, Henry supported his father against insurgent Duke Henry the Lion and he and his younger brother Frederick received the knightly accolade at Mainz in 1184. The emperor had already entered negotiations with King William II of Sicily to betroth his son. He and Constance were married on 27 January 1186 in Milan, in the Hohenstaufen conflict with Pope Urban III, Henry moved to the March of Tuscany, and with the aid of his liensman Markward von Annweiler devastated the adjacent territory of the Papal States. Back in Germany, he took the reins of the Empire from his father, further difficulties arose when the exiled Welf duke Henry the Lion returned from England and began to subdue large estates in his former Duchy of Saxony.
A Hohenstaufen campaign to Saxony had to be abandoned when King Henry received the message of the death of King William II of Sicily on 18 November 1189, the Sicilian vice-chancellor Matthew of Ajello pursued the succession of Count Tancred of Lecce and gained the support of the Roman Curia. To assert his own rights in the dispute, Henry initially supported Tancreds rival Count Roger of Andria. While he sent an Imperial army to Italy, Henry initially stayed in Germany to settle the succession of Louis III, Landgrave of Thuringia and he had planned to seize the Thuringian landgraviate as a reverted fief, but Louis brother Hermann was able to reach his enfeoffment. The next year, the king followed his army across the Alps, in Lodi he negotiated with Eleanor of Aquitaine, widow of King Henry II of England, to break the engagement of her son King Richard with Alys, a daughter of late King Louis VII of France. He hoped to deteriorate English-French relations and to isolate Richard, who had offended him by backing Count Tancred in Sicily, Henry entered into further negotiations with the Lombard League cities and with Pope Celestine III on his Imperial coronation, and ceded Tusculum to the Pope.
At Easter Monday on 15 April 1191, in Rome and his consort Constance were crowned Emperor, the crown of Sicily, was harder to gain, as the Sicilian nobility had chosen Count Tancred of Lecce as their king
Duchy of Austria
After the ruling dukes of the House of Babenberg became extinct, the German king Rudolf I took over the dominion as the first monarch of the Habsburg dynasty in 1276. Thereafter, Austria became the homeland of the dynasty and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1453, the title of the Austrian rulers, invented by Duke Rudolf IV in the forged Privilegium Maius of 1359, was officially acknowledged by the Habsburg emperor Frederick III. Initially, the duchy was comparatively small in area, roughly comprising the modern-day Austrian state of Lower Austria. As a former border march, it was located on the periphery of the Empire, on the northern and southern shores of the Danube River. In the east, the Imperial border with the Kingdom of Hungary had gradually shifted towards the plains of the Morava River, on the right shore of the Danube, the lower Leitha River marked the Imperial–Hungarian border for centuries. In the south, Austria bordered the Styrian lands which were elevated to a duchy. The Avar Khaganate established in 567 comprised most of the Austrian march up to the Enns river, temporarily part of Samos Empire from 631 to 658, the territory was under constant attack by the Carolingian forces of Charlemagne from 791 onwards.
In 976 Emperor Otto II enfeoffed the Babenberg count Leopold the Illustrious with the Austrian margraviate, a large-scale German settlement along the Danube down to the border with Hungary followed, which ultimatively disrupted the Slavic continuity between the West Slavic and South Slavic lands. Although today closely associated with the Habsburg dynasty, Austria was, until 1246, Margrave Leopold the Generous was a loyal liensman of the Imperial House of Hohenstaufen in the struggle against the Bavarian Welf dynasty. In 1139, after King Conrad III of Germany deposed the Welf duke Henry the Proud, leopolds brother and successor Henry Jasomirgott was enfeoffed with Bavaria in 1141. In 1156 the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick Barbarossa approached a settlement with the Welfs, at the 1156 Imperial Diet in Regensburg, Henry Jasomirgott had to renounce the Bavarian duchy in favour of Henry the Lion. In compensation, the Babenberg margraviate was elevated to an equal duchy, the new Austrian duke took his residence at Vienna at the site of the Hofburg Palace.
He founded Schottenstift Abbey as the Babenberg proprietary church, settled with Irish monks, the Austrian lands prospered, due to their favourable location on the Danube, as an important trade route from Krems and Mautern via Vienna down to Hungary and the Byzantine Empire. For a short time, the Babenbergs came to be one of the most influential ruling families in the Empire, peaking under the reign of Leopold V the Virtous and Leopold VI the Glorious. They expanded their territory into the old Bavarian lands west of the Enns River, along the Traun to the city of Linz, in 1191 Duke Leopold V joined the Third Crusade and the Siege of Acre. When the English kingpassed through Austria on his way home, Leopold had him abducted and arrested at Dürnstein Castle. Handed over to Emperor Henry VI, Richard was only released after paying a ransom
Pomerania is a region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in Central Europe, split between Germany and Poland. The name derives from the Slavic po more, meaning by the sea, Pomerania stretches roughly from the Recknitz river in the west to the Vistula river in the east. The largest Pomeranian islands are Rügen, Usedom/Uznam and Wolin, the largest Pomeranian city is Gdańsk, or, when using a narrower definition of the region, Szczecin. Outside its urban areas, Pomerania is characterized by farmland, dotted with lakes, forests. The region was affected by post–World War I and II border and population shifts. Pomerania is the area along the Bay of Pomerania of the Baltic Sea between the rivers Recknitz in the west and Vistula in the east and it formerly reached perhaps as far south as the Noteć river, but since the 13th century its southern boundary has been placed further north. Most of the region is coastal lowland, being part of the North European Plain, but its southern, hilly parts belong to the Baltic Ridge, within this ridge, a chain of moraine-dammed lakes constitutes the Pomeranian Lake District.
The soil is rather poor, sometimes sandy or marshy. The western coastline is jagged, with many peninsulas and islands enclosing numerous bays, Łebsko and several other lakes were formerly bays, but have been cut off from the sea. The easternmost coastline along the Gdańsk Bay and Vistula Lagoon, has the Hel peninsula, the Pomeranian region has the following administrative divisions, Hither Pomerania in northeastern Germany, stretching from the Recknitz river to the Oder–Neisse line. This region is part of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The southernmost part of historical Vorpommern is now in Brandenburg, while its eastern parts are now in Poland. Vorpommern comprises the regions inhabited by Slavic tribes Rugians and Volinians, otherwise the Principality of Rügen. The West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland, stretching from the Oder–Neisse line to the Wieprza river, the Pomeranian Voivodeship, with similar borders to Pomerelia, stretching from the Wieprza river to the Vistula delta in the vicinity of Gdańsk.
The northern half of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, comprising most of Chełmno Land, the bulk of Farther Pomerania is included within the modern West Pomeranian Voivodeship, but its easternmost parts now constitute the northwest of Pomeranian Voivodeship. Parts of Pomerania and surrounding regions have constituted a euroregion since 1995, the Pomerania euroregion comprises Hither Pomerania and Uckermark in Germany, West Pomerania in Poland, and Scania in Sweden. Pomerania was first mentioned in a document of 1046, referring to a Zemuzil dux Bomeranorum. Pomerania is mentioned repeatedly in the chronicles of Adam of Bremen, the term West Pomerania is ambiguous, since it may refer to either Hither Pomerania or to the West Pomeranian Voivodeship
Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine
Henry V, the Elder of Brunswick, a member of the House of Welf, was Count Palatine of the Rhine from 1195 until 1213. Henry was the eldest son of Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria and Matilda, after his fathers deposition by the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick Barbarossa, he grew up in England. When the family returned to Germany in 1189, young Henry distinguished himself by defending the Welf residence of Braunschweig against the forces of the emperors son King Henry VI. Peace was established the year, provided that Henry and his younger brother Lothar were held in hostage by the king. He had to join the German forces on the 1191 campaign to the Italian Kingdom of Sicily, Henry finally deserted, fled to Marseille, and returned to Germany where he falsely proclaimed Henry VIs death and tried to underline his own abilities as a possible successor. Though he was banned, he became heir to the County Palatine of the Rhine through his 1193 marriage to Agnes and he and the emperor reconciled shortly afterwards, and upon Conrads death in 1195, Henry was enfeoffed with his County Palatine.
A close ally of the emperor, he accompanied him on the conquest of Sicily in 1194/95, after the sudden death of the emperor in 1197, Henrys younger brother Otto IV became one of two rival kings of the Holy Roman Empire. At first he supported him, but switched sides to Philip of Swabia in 1203, when the German throne quarrel ended with Philips assassination in 1208, Henry again sided with Otto IV. In Imperial service, he tried to ward off the claims by the Rhenish Prince-archbishops of Cologne and Mainz. After he inherited further significant properties in Saxony from his brother William in 1213, Henry ceded the Palatinate to his son Henry the Younger and moved north. After his sons death the next year, he left his Welf properties to his nephew, Williams son Otto the Child. Henry died in 1227 and is entombed in Brunswick Cathedral, in 1193, Henry married Agnes of Hohenstaufen, daughter of Count Palatine Conrad. Around 1209, he married Agnes of Landsberg, daughter of the Wettin margrave Conrad II of Lusatia
Otto I, Duke of Bavaria
Otto I, called the Redhead, was Duke of Bavaria from 1180 until his death. He was called Otto VI as Count Palatine of Bavaria from 1156 to 1180 and he was the first Bavarian ruler from the House of Wittelsbach, a dynasty which reigned until the abdication of King Ludwig III of Bavaria in the German Revolution of 1918. Duke Otto I was probably born at Kelheim, the son of Count Palatine Otto IV of Wittelsbach and Heilika of Pettendorf-Lengenfeld and he was the brother of Archbishop Conrad I of Mainz and Salzburg. Upon the death of his father in 1156, he succeeded him as Count palatine of the Bavarian duchy, under the rule of Henry the Lion, a scion of the Welf dynasty. He was finally rewarded with the duchy of Bavaria on 16 September 1180 at Altenburg in Thuringia, but he was so little regarded by many of the Bavarian aristocracy that they are said to have refused him the customary homage. They went so far as to refuse to attend his first court assembly at Regensburg, with the separation of Styria under Duke Ottokar IV in the same year, Bavaria lost the last of her southeastern territories.
With the support of the emperor and his brother Conrad, Otto was able to secure the rule of his dynasty from the wary Bavarian nobility and his descendants ruled Bavaria for the next 738 years. In 1183 Otto accompanied Emperor Frederick to sign the Peace of Constance with the Lombard League and he was succeeded by his only surviving son Louis. Ottos mortal remains are buried in the crypt of Scheyern Abbey, about 1169 Otto married Agnes, a daughter of Count Louis I of Loon. Sophia, married Landgrave Hermann I of Thuringia Citations Bibliography
Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick I, known as Frederick Barbarossa, was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 and he became King of Italy in 1155 and was crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV on 18 June 1155. Two years later, the term sacrum first appeared in a document in connection with his Empire and he was formally crowned King of Burgundy, at Arles on 30 June 1178. He was named Barbarossa by the northern Italian cities which he attempted to rule, Barbarossa means red beard in Italian, in German, he was known as Kaiser Rotbart, before his imperial election, Frederick was by inheritance Duke of Swabia. He was the son of Duke Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and Judith, daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, Frederick therefore descended from the two leading families in Germany, making him an acceptable choice for the Empires prince-electors. Historians consider him among the Holy Roman Empires greatest medieval emperors, in 1147 he became Duke of the southern German region of Swabia, and shortly afterwards made his first trip to the East, accompanied by his uncle, the German king Conrad III, on the Second Crusade.
The expedition proved to be a disaster, but Frederick distinguished himself, when Conrad died in February 1152, only Frederick and the prince-bishop of Bamberg were at his deathbed. Frederick energetically pursued the crown and at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 the kingdoms princely electors designated him as the next German king and he was crowned King of the Romans at Aachen several days later, on 9 March 1152. Fredericks father was from the Hohenstaufen family, and his mother was from the Welf family, the Hohenstaufens were often called Ghibellines, which derives from the Italianized name for Waiblingen castle, the family seat in Swabia, the Welfs, in a similar Italianization, were called Guelfs. The reigns of Henry IV and Henry V left the status of the German empire in disarray, for a quarter of a century following the death of Henry V in 1125, the German monarchy was largely a nominal title with no real power. The king was chosen by the princes, was given no resources outside those of his own duchy, the royal title was furthermore passed from one family to another to preclude the development of any dynastic interest in the German crown.
When Frederick I of Hohenstaufen was chosen as king in 1152, royal power had been in abeyance for over twenty-five years. The only real claim to lay in the rich cities of northern Italy. The Salian line had died out with the death of Henry V in 1125, one of the Hohenstaufens gained the throne as Conrad III of Germany. When Frederick Barbarossa succeeded his uncle in 1152, there seemed to be excellent prospects for ending the feud, the Welf duke of Saxony, Henry the Lion, would not be appeased, remaining an implacable enemy of the Hohenstaufen monarchy. Barbarossa had the duchies of Swabia and Franconia, the force of his own personality, the Germany that Frederick tried to unite was a patchwork of more than 1600 individual states, each with its own prince. A few of these, such as Bavaria and Saxony, were large, many were too small to pinpoint on a map. The titles afforded to the German king were Caesar, Augustus, by the time Frederick would assume these, they were little more than propaganda slogans with little other meaning
The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4000 metres, the altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe, in the mountains precipitation levels vary greatly and climatic conditions consist of distinct zones. Wildlife such as live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Palaeolithic era, a mummified man, determined to be 5,000 years old, was discovered on a glacier at the Austrian–Italian border in 1991. By the 6th century BC, the Celtic La Tène culture was well established, Hannibal famously crossed the Alps with a herd of elephants, and the Romans had settlements in the region.
In 1800 Napoleon crossed one of the passes with an army of 40,000. The 18th and 19th centuries saw an influx of naturalists, writers, in World War II, Adolf Hitler kept a base of operation in the Bavarian Alps throughout the war. The Alpine region has a cultural identity. The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted in the Swiss, French, at present, the region is home to 14 million people and has 120 million annual visitors. The English word Alps derives from the Latin Alpes, maurus Servius Honoratus, an ancient commentator of Virgil, says in his commentary that all high mountains are called Alpes by Celts. The term may be common to Italo-Celtic, because the Celtic languages have terms for high mountains derived from alp and this may be consistent with the theory that in Greek Alpes is a name of non-Indo-European origin. According to the Old English Dictionary, the Latin Alpes might possibly derive from a pre-Indo-European word *alb hill, Albania, a name not native to the region known as the country of Albania, has been used as a name for a number of mountainous areas across Europe.
In Roman times, Albania was a name for the eastern Caucasus, in modern languages the term alp, albe or alpe refers to a grazing pastures in the alpine regions below the glaciers, not the peaks. An alp refers to a mountain pasture where cows are taken to be grazed during the summer months and where hay barns can be found. The Alps are a crescent shaped geographic feature of central Europe that ranges in a 800 km arc from east to west and is 200 km in width, the mean height of the mountain peaks is 2.5 km. The range stretches from the Mediterranean Sea north above the Po basin, extending through France from Grenoble, the range continues onward toward Vienna and east to the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia. To the south it dips into northern Italy and to the north extends to the border of Bavaria in Germany