Berthold IV, Duke of Zähringen

Berthold IV, Duke of Zähringen (c. 1125 – 8 December 1186) was a Duke of Zähringen and Rector of Burgundy. He was the son of Conrad I, Duke of Zähringen and Clementia of Luxembourg-Namur.[1] He founded numerous cities, including Fribourg.

Berthold IV
Duke of Zähringen
Berthold IV. closeup.jpg
Berthold IV, relief by Franz Xaver Hauser in the choir of Freiburg Minster (1793/5)
Bornc. 1125
Died(1186-12-08)8 December 1186
Noble familyZähringen
Spouse(s)Heilwig of Frohburg
Ida, Countess of Boulogne
IssueBerthold V
FatherConrad I, Duke of Zähringen
MotherClementia of Luxembourg-Namur
Territories in what is now Switzerland, c. 1200. The green parts were held by the Dukes of Zähringen


Berthold IV succeeded his father, Conrad I, in 1152 as Duke of Zähringen. Berthold also claimed the title of "Duke of Burgundy", which he had agreed upon with Barbarossa to receive after conquering the Cisjuran ("French") territories of Burgundy together and also helping him out in his Italian campaign in 1152. However, the conquest of Burgundy failed and in 1156 the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa instead married Beatrice, the daughter of the last Count of Burgundy of the House of Ivrea.[2] This interfered with Berthold's claims and Berthold was given the title of Rector of Burgundy and was made overlord over the Transjuran ("Swiss") parts of Burgundy, Geneva, Lausanne and Sion.

The rivalry with Duke Frederick IV of neighbouring Swabia caused him to fight on the side of Welf VI in the Feud of Tübingen (1164-1166). In 1173, he became overlord of Zurich.

An entry in the necrology of the Abbey of Saint Peter in the Black Forest reads Berchtoldus 4. dux de Zaeringen, officium cum 5 candelis. Depositio Iohannis Tüfer abbatis: "Berthold IV, Duke of Zähringen donated 5 candles for the memory of John the Baptist".[3]

Marriages and issueEdit

Berthold IV was married to Heilwig of Frohburg, with whom he had three children:

  • Berthold V, the last Duke of Zähringen.[1] After his death, the counts of Kyburg and Urach inherited the Zähringen possessions
  • Agnes, married to Count Egino IV of Urach — According to the necrology of Tennenbach Abbey, she was the daughter of Berthold V[4]
  • Anna, married to Count Ulrich III of Kyburg. They were the maternal grandparents of king Rudolf I of Germany.


  1. ^ a b Lyon 2013, p. 249.
  2. ^ Gilbert of Mons 2005, p. 55.
  3. ^ Necrologium minus Monasterii S. Petri Nigrae Silvae, in: Monumenta Germaniae historica — Necrologia Germania, vol. I, p. 337
  4. ^ Necrologium Tennenbacense — Necrologia Germania, vol. I. p. 340


  • Gilbert of Mons (2005). Chronicle of Hainaut. Translated by Napran, Laura. The Boydell Press.
  • Lyon, Jonathan R. (2013). Princely Brother and Sisters: The Sibling Bond in German Politics, 1100-1250. Cornell University Press.
Berthold IV, Duke of Zähringen
Born: c. 1125 Died: 8 December 1186
Preceded by Duke of Zähringen
Succeeded by