Walther von Klingen

Walther von Klingen (died 1 March 1284) was a nobleman from the Thurgau area who donated to and founded monasteries, and later became a close associate and supporter of King of Germany Rudolf von Habsburg. Some of his poetry, which belongs to the Middle High German Minnesang tradition, has been preserved in the Codex Manesse manuscript.

Walther von Klingen in the Codex Manesse, c. 1304


Walther came from an old Thurgau family.[1] He was the son of Ulrich II von Altenklingen, the founder of Klingnau.[2] His mother was Ita von Tägerfelden.[3] The first document mentioning Walther (together with his parents and older brother) is from 1240.[4] In 1249, he married Sophia von Frohburg.[2] They had eight children, but all of their three sons died early.[5] After his father's death c. 1250, the family estate was split between Walther and his brother, which was finalised in a 1253 contract. Walther also gained ownership of some of his mother's inheritance.[2][6] He donated generously and founded the Klingenthal monastery in Basel in 1257 as well as the Sion monastery [de] in Klingnau in 1269.[7][8] He appears in several documents as arbitrator of disputes or witness of important contracts.[2][9] Walther was a close associate and supporter of King Rudolf von Habsburg.[2][5] He died on 1 March 1284 in Basel.[1][2][10]

Eight of Walther's songs were preserved in the Codex Manesse manuscript.[7][2] In the corresponding miniature, Walther is shown as the victor of a joust, bearing the Altenklingen coat of arms.[11] His poetry has been described as "not worthy of special praise"[1] and he is considered only a "minor" poet.[7] The known poems are conventional songs with themes of lamentations, courtship or praise,[12] and show influences of Gottfried von Neifen and Konrad von Würzburg.[1][13]


  1. ^ a b c d Wilmanns 1882.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Schiendorfer 2011.
  3. ^ Bartsch 1886, p. LXXX.
  4. ^ Bartsch 1886, p. LXXXI.
  5. ^ a b Bartsch 1886, p. LXXXIII.
  6. ^ Bartsch 1886, pp. LXXXI–LXXXII.
  7. ^ a b c Garland & Garland 1997.
  8. ^ Bartsch 1886, p. LXXXII.
  9. ^ Bartsch 1886, pp. LXXXIII–LXXXIV.
  10. ^ Bartsch 1886, p. LXXXIV.
  11. ^ Bartsch 1886, pp. LXXXIV–LXXXV.
  12. ^ Händl 2012.
  13. ^ Bartsch 1886, p. LXXXV.


  • Bartsch, Karl (1886). Die Schweizer Minnesänger (in German). Frauenfeld, J. Huber.
  • Garland, Henry; Garland, Mary (1997). Garland, Henry; Garland, Mary (eds.). "Walther von Klingen". Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780198158967.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-815896-7. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  • Händl, Claudia (2012). "Walther von Klingen". Killys Literaturlexikon (in German). De Gruyter.
  • Schiendorfer, Max (2011-03-17). "Klingen, Walther von". Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz (HLS) (in German). Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  • Wilmanns, Wilhelm (1882). "Klingen, Walther von". Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German). Vol. 16. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot. p. 189.

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