Hasburg and Switzerland

The “Havichsburg”, the castle of the hawk, was first mentioned 900 years ago. The castle and the village of Habsburg in what is now the canton of Aargau still exist. It is hard to imagine that the mighty House of Habsburg started in this castle.

The Habsburgs lost their territories in present-day Switzerland in 1415 (Aargau), Thurgau (1460) and after their defeat in the Swabian War (Schwabenkrieg, 1499). However, Austria handed over the last properties on Swiss soil (Tarasp and Rhäzuns in the canton of Graubünden) to the canton in 1803, respectively 1819.

However, the House of Habsburg became the dominant power in Europe and remained in power until 1918. They were also the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation until 1806.

New perspectives emerge when the origins of the Swiss Confederation in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries are told from the Habsburg areas, from Aargau, Thurgau and Alsace.

The hardcore of the Swiss Confederacy (Eidgenossenschaft) in Central Switzerland (Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden) became part of a power game in which emperors and kings, Savoy, Tyrol, Bern, Lucerne and Zurich played a role.

The book (German language) tells the story of the rise of the Habsburgs, their relationship with their ‘Swiss’ territories and the emerging Confederation of sovereign cantons.

(Bruno Meier, Ein Königshaus aus der Schweiz. Die Habsburger, der Aaugau und die Eidgenossenschaft im Mittelalter, Baden, 2008).