House of Habsburg

The House of Habsburg (/ˈhæpsbɜːrɡ/), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English[note 7] and also known as the House of Austria[note 8] is one of the most prominent and important dynasties in European history.[3][4]

House of Habsburg
Haus Habsburg
Imperial, Royal, and Ducal dynasty
Coat of arms of the Counts of Habsburg
Parent houseHouse of Eticho (?)
EtymologyHabsburg Castle
Founded11th century
FounderRadbot of Klettgau
Current headKarl von Habsburg (cognatic line)
Final rulerMaria Theresa (agnatic line)
Charles I (cognatic line)
MottoA.E.I.O.U. and Viribus Unitis
Dissolution29 November 1780; 242 years ago (1780-11-29) (in the agnatic line; continues in cognatic line)
Cadet branchesAgnatic: (all are extinct)


The house takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland by Radbot of Klettgau, who named his fortress Habsburg. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the fortress name as his own, adding "Count of Habsburg" to his title. In 1273, Count Radbot's seventh-generation descendant Rudolph of Habsburg was elected King of the Romans. Taking advantage of the extinction of the Babenbergs and of his victory over Ottokar II of Bohemia at the battle on the Marchfeld in 1278, he appointed his sons as Dukes of Austria and moved the family's power base to Vienna, where the Habsburg dynasty gained the name of "House of Austria" and ruled until 1918.

The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1440 until their extinction in the male line in 1740 and, after the death of Francis I, from 1765 until its dissolution in 1806. The house also produced kings of Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, Portugal and Galicia-Lodomeria, with their respective colonies; rulers of several principalities in the Low Countries and Italy; and in the 19th century, emperors of Austria and of Austria-Hungary as well as one emperor of Mexico. The family split several times into parallel branches, most consequentially in the mid-16th century between its Spanish and Austrian branches following the abdication of Charles V. Although they ruled distinct territories, the different branches nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried.

Members of the Habsburg family oversee the Austrian branch of the Order of the Golden Fleece and the Imperial and Royal Order of Saint George. The current head of the family is Karl von Habsburg.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article House of Habsburg, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.