Habsburg Castle (German: Schloss Habsburg) is a medieval fortress located in what is now Habsburg, Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, near the Aar River. At the time of its construction, the location was part of the Duchy of Swabia. Habsburg Castle is the original seat of the House of Habsburg, which became one of the leading imperial and royal dynasties in Europe. It is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
|Type||hill castle, summit location|
|Condition||West part restored; east ruins|
|Built||Around 1020/30 to 1300|
The castle was built around 1020 by Count Radbot, of the nearby county of Klettgau in the Duchy of Swabia, and Werner, Bishop of Strasbourg. They had the castle erected 35 km southwest of Klettgau, on the Aar, the largest tributary of the High Rhine. It is believed that he named the castle after a hawk (German: Habicht) seen sitting on its walls. Some historians and linguists believe the name may come from the Middle High German word hab/hap meaning ford, as it is located near a ford of the Aar River.
Habsburg Castle's importance diminished after Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph moved the family's power base to Austria in 1276. Habsburg Castle remained property of the House of Habsburg until 1415, when Duke Frederick IV of Austria lost the canton of Aargau to the Swiss Confederacy.
The original coat of arms to fly over Habsburg Castle, a red lion on a golden field, remained part of the Austrian arms up to the end of the imperial period. The modern arms of the municipality of Habsburg, Switzerland, depict Habsburg Castle.
The area around the castle was covered by forests that were only cleared around 1500, nearly half a millennium after Habsburg Castle was first constructed.
Today the "large" and "small" towers of the original castle are preserved, attached to a residential building of the 13th century, while large parts of the complex lie in ruins. The extent of its eastern part is recognizable only by foundation walls. The palatial residence hosts a restaurant and a small exhibition.
- Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance (1995), p. 38.
- "House of Habsburg | European dynasty". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
- "Medieval Habsburg Castle in Switzerland". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
- Media related to Habsburg Castle at Wikimedia Commons