A family of sovereigns in Germany, Austria, and Spain. The name was taken from the castle of Habsburg built on the Aar River in Aargau, Switzerland, by Werner, Bishop of Strasbourg in 1020. Rudolph, the first to ascend the German throne, 1273, acquired Austria and founded the imperial line which reigned as emperors, 12731291, 12981308, 14381740. In 1477 Maximilian acquired by marriage with the heiress Mary, the domain of the ducal house of Burgundy, and in 1490 by the abdication of Count Sigismund all the Habsburg domains were united. His son married Joanna the Insane, Queen of Aragon and Spain. Their son became King of Spain as Charles I in 1516, and emperor as Charles V in 1519. Their second son received the Austrian crown to which he added Bohemia and Hungary. The Spanish line reigned 15161700. The last male representative of the line in Austria was Charles VI who was succeeded by Maria Theresa in 1740 by virtue of the so-called Pragmatic Sanction. By her marriage with Francis I of Lorraine the house of Habsburg-Lorraine was founded, which ruled as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire until its abolition in 1806, and as emperors of Austria until 1918.

MLA Citation

  • “Habsburgs”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 September 2010. Web. 8 July 2020. <http://catholicsaints.info/habsburgs/>