The Queen Mother
Joanna/Jeanne of Ferrette/Pfirt, is consider the Queen Mother of all the Habsburgs. She had many children late in life. Her first five children were stillborn. Then she had Rudolph. She had her last child when she was fifty-one, which leads me to suspect there were surrogate mothers. Jeanne had two sisters. Jeanne went before the Pope to take a test to see if she was qualified to be the exception to the Salic Law. Then there is the strange burials of the Habsburgs. It’s is as if they knew there was a different linage. Rudolph invented a code. He married Catherine of Bohemia, and thus the long and complicated bond with the land that was ruled by the Senshiem and Schwarzenbergs. Jimmy Rosamond, the caretaker of the Rosamond genealogy, says the Rosamond name stems from the name Rougemont. Were the Stuttmeisters related to the Schwarzenbergs?
3g) Ludwig von Pfirt, sn de Florimont (fl 1259/62); m.Gertrud, dau of Ulrich von Rappoltstein
1h) Ulrich sn de Florimont (drowned in the Rhine 21 Dec 1281)
4g) Thiebald Gf von Pfirt, châtelain de Rougemont, Landvogt im Elsass (d.Basel 1310/11); m.1st Katharina, dau of Walter von Klingen, and widow of Rudolf von Lichtenberg; m.2nd Margareta, dau of Heinrich von Blamont, and widow of Jean de Bourgogne, sn de Montaigu; all issue by 1st m.
1h) Ulrich III Gf von Pfirt, sn de Rougemont (d.Basel 11 Mar 1324; bur Thann Barfüsserkirche); m.1303 Jeanne, Dame d’Héricourt, de Belfort et de Chastelot (d.1347/9), dau of Reinald de Bourgogne Gf von Mömpelgard (and later wife of Mgve Rudolf Hesso of Baden, and of Wilhelm Gf von Katzenelnbogen)
1i) Johanna Gfn von Pfirt, 1347 Dame de Rosemont, de Sermagny, de Chaux, de la Chapelle, du Puits, de Giromagy, de Viscemont, de Rougegoutte, etc (1300-Vienna 15 Jan 1352; bur Gaming); m.13 Feb 1324 Duke Albrecht II of Austria (d.1358)
2i) Ursula, Dame de Belfort, de Rougemont, de Dannemarie, Traubach, Pfetterhausen, de Denny, de Bessoncourt, de Menoncourt, etc (d.after 1367); m.1st Hugo Gf von Hohenberg (d.26 May 1354); m.2nd Wilhelm Gf von Montfort (d.1373/4)
2h) Theobald sn de Rougemont (d.1311/2; bur Thann Barfüsserkirche); m.by 14 Aug 1310 Johanna, dau of Heinrich v.Blamont (and later wife of Brunico von Riste)
3h) Johann sn de Rougemont (d.1309/12)
Born at Schloß Ehrenburg in Coburg, he was the youngest son of Duke Francis Josias, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Princess Anna Sophie of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. He was the great-uncle of King Leopold I of Belgium (1790–1865); and the great-great-uncle of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (1819–1901).
Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Josias joined the Habsburg military as Colonel in 1759, participated in the Seven Years’ War, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Field Marshal by 1773. In the Russo-Turkish-Austrian war of 1788, he commanded an army corps under Freiherr von Laudon, occupying Moldavia, capturing Khotyn in Bessarabia and sharing in Aleksandr Suvorov‘s victory in the Battle of Focșani (1 August 1789). Having completely beaten the main Ottoman army under Grand Vizier Koca Yusuf Pasha in the Battle of Rymnik, he captured the greater part of Wallachia, including Bucharest, being welcomed by the population after the flight of Prince Nicholas Mavrogenes (see History of Bucharest), and soon after becoming a field marshal.
Born in Vienna, Rudolf was the eldest son of Duke Albert II of Austria and Joanna of Pfirt. One of the third generation of Habsburg dukes in Austria, he was the first to be born within the duchy. Therefore, he considered Austria his home, a sentiment that no doubt communicated itself to his subjects and contributed to his popularity. Faced with the Habsburgs’ loss of the Imperial crown upon the assassination of his grandfather King Albert I of Germany in 1308, Rudolf was one of the most energetic and active rulers of Austria in the late Middle Ages, and it was said of him that as a young man he already had the air of a king.
In 1357 he was married to Catherine of Bohemia, daughter of Emperor Charles IV. Eager to compete with his mighty father-in-law, who had made the Kingdom of Bohemia and its capital Prague a radiant center of Imperial culture, Rudolf desired to raise the importance of his residence Vienna to a comparable or greater height.
The decipherment of the epitaph accompanying the cenotaph, or symbolic tomb, of Duke Rudolph IV in the Stephansdom in Vienna. The translation of the secret writing into English is “This is the sepulchre of Rudolph, by the Grace of God, Duke and Founder” and “Almighty God and great lord Jesus Christ, a shepherd.” Rudolf was, in fact, never buried within the almost-solid stone structure, but in the Ducal Crypt of the Stephansdom in Vienna. The text is written using the Alphabetum Kaldeorum, a code he probably invented.
It was my dream to go to Rougemont Switzerland and attend the Medievale Celebrations of Ferrette, a castle that was owned by Ulrich de Rougemont who had four beautiful daughters, one being, Jeanne de Rougemont who is the Queen Mother of all Habsburgs. Rougemont was spelled Rozemont under Habsburg rule. This dream has been intercepted by the thousands of dollars taken from the legacy my uncle left me by those who were susposed to make my dreams come true. But I will go to Rougemont with my grandson when he turns thirteen. Here is the home of our ancestors who are liken to the Hobbits.It is alleged that the Habsburgs descend from Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and are a Rex Deus family. Take note of the woman on horseback who named herself after Queen Berenice of Jerusalem. Take note that Etichon-Adalric of Alsace looks like a Jew, even Jesus. Even though his image is a mosaic, the artist went to great length to depict this long regal nose. Consider the Shroud of Turin that was owned by the Counts of Rougemont and Ferrette.
I . . . have roses in my name, and make
All flowers glad to set their colour by.
The illustrious family of the Counts of Ferrette was the first dynasty to have marked the Sundgau and all its surrounding regions, including Montbéliard in Franche-Comté, and Porrentruy and Basle in Switzerland. The founder of this branch, Louis IV of Mousson and Bar (who died in 1065) was a Romance-language-speaking noble, born in the castle of Mousson (now in ruins) on the hills of Pont-à-Mousson, between Nancy and Metz in Lorraine. Historians suppose that the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire gave him the strategic territory of the Burgundy Gate (Sundgau, Ajoie and Pays de Montbéliard) as a gift.
The emperor’s intentions in doing so was to position a reliable man on the geographic gap in order to thwart the plans of his rival, the Duke of Burgundy. So, thanks to this imperial act Louis de Mousson added the Pays de Montbéliard and the Sundgau, which are situated on the most exposed points between the Germanic and Latin worlds, to his existing territories of Bar and Lorraine.
On the death of Louis’ son, Thierry I, in 1125 his possessions were shared among his four sons.
Frederic I thus became the first Count of Ferrette (1125-1160). He and his fellow counts of Bar and Montbéliard shared a common coat of arms, featuring two fish.
Thierry II, Count of Montbéliard, had a castle built at the top of a steep hill above the Savoureuse River. He named this castle “Belfort”.
The territory of Frederic I, the Count of Ferrette, extended to the hill, facing Belfort castle. So he in turn decided to erect his own castle which he named “Montfort”, on the current site of the “Tour de la Miotte” (Miotte Tower).
From this point onwards the two related families shared a long common history of both happy events and conflicts of interest.
In examining the life of Frederic II, Count of Ferrette (1197-1232), there are obvious parallels between this unscrupulous, violent and arrogant man and the cruel customs and mysterious intrigues of the Middle Ages. Of all the Counts of Ferrette throughout the ages, Frederic II’s government was by far the most troubled, with the Count never ceasing to wage war against his neighbour Richard de Montfaucon, Count of Montbéliard.
A few days after having been scorned by his other rival, the Bishop of Basle, Frederic II was mysteriously assassinated in his Ferrette castle. Public rumour implicated his son, Louis the Fierce, as the agent of the crime, and as such he was immediately excommunicated by the Pope and banished, leaving the possession of the county to his brother Ulrich. But it was reported in the cold, dark halls of the castle that on Ulrich’s death he made a deathbed confession to having been the real perpetrator of the crime!
If the counts of Ferrette possessed the majority of the Sundgau, the ‘Sundgauvian’ territories of the north-east had long since belonged to the Habsburg dynasty, a wealthy local family whose heritage also includes Swiss lands. Moreover, the Habsburgs had passed on the honorary title of Landgrave of Upper Alsace (Sundgau) from father to son for centuries.
To seal the alliance, after Ulrich’s death Jeanne immediately married Albert II of Habsburg at Masevaux. By legitimate process the Sundgau became an entirely Austrian territory and remained so until 1648. However, according to documents of the time, this marriage of political interest seemed to quickly transform into one of love. Albert II and Jeanne de Ferrette settled in Vienna, from where their offspring would later extend their possessions into central and Eastern Europe.
The Sundgau quickly became a Habsburg bastion: a base for the dynasty which would later seek to conquer Europe and the rest of the world.
Two elements allow us to understand why the Austrian influence was so strong in Upper Alsace and why the Sundgau is different from other countries which, willingly or unwillingly, were conquered by the future Austrian empire:
1. ✤The Sundgauvians’ deep loyalty towards the House of Austria, which they considered to be born of their country.
2. ✤The establishment of the capital of Anterior Austria (Vorderösterreich) in Ensisheim in Upper Alsace. Anterior Austria included the Habsburgs’ personal possessions, from the Vosges to the Arlberg Pass to Tyrol, passing by Bade and northern Switzerland.
It was further complicated by the intervention by France, which had long been hostile to the ambitions of the House of Austria in Europe. During the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), Belfort was coveted by each side and was thus considered a sort of Gibraltar of the East. But King Louis XIV of France’s victories forced the Habsburgs to surrender Upper Alsace to him. The Habsburgs withdrew from the other side of the Rhine and made Freiburg-im-Breisgau the new capital of the rest of their possessions in Anterior Austria.
On the 24th October 1648 the Habsburgs signed the Treaty of Westphalia, stipulating the transfer of the Sundgau to France. However, public protests against the new French authority in the Sundgau were felt until the Treaty of Rijswijk (1697) and, it seems, until the beginning of the 18th century.
From 1648 the Sundgau was ruled by France and remained under its national colours until 1871, despite the Austrian desire to win back the Sundgau. By the Westphalia Treaty, the Sundgau was snatched from Anterior Austria, causing it to lose much of its strategic value. Nevertheless, the Habsburgs continued to hang onto the Rhine since they still, with difficulty, held the key town of Breisach, the “Gate to Germany”.
During the French Revolution (1789), Alsace and the Sundgau were administratively reorganised. From December 1789 to February 1790, the Constituante completely reorganised the French administration. The former provinces (Lorraine, Normandy, Alsace, Burgundy, Provence, etc) gave way to départements, which were themselves divided into several districts (or arrondissements). The province of Alsace was thus divided into two départements: the Bas-Rhin to the north and the Haut-Rhin to the south, with their respective administrative centres of Strasbourg and Colmar. Belfort, Mulhouse and Altkirch became the three sub-prefectures of the Haut-Rhin.
In 1806, in the Napoleonic period, the rest of Anterior Austria still under the direct power of the Habsburgs was shared between the duchy of Bade and Switzerland. From then on, Vienna became the epicentre of an empire which was more and more turned towards Eastern Europe: the romantic banks of the Rhine were eclipsed by those of the beautiful blue Danube.
1871 was a year that would go down in the Sundgau’s history, as it symbolises the defeat of the French army by the Prussian army. In 1870, Belfort sustained a memorable siege for 103 days, personified and symbolised by the statue of the Lion erected in 1880 by Bartholdi (a Colmar native renowned for having designed the Statue of Liberty in New York).
The French were obliged to surrender the territories of Germanic cultures and languages (north-east Lorraine and Alsace) to the victors. The preliminaries of the French-Prussian Treaty which was signed on 26 February, 1871, set the new border to the west of the Haut-Rhin département, however Article 1 stipulates that:
“On the other hand, the town of Belfort and its fortifications will remain French with a radius which will be determined later…”
At the celebration of Austria’s one thousandth anniversary in 1996, Anterior Austria returned to a place of honour. A business of European dimensions was put in place (with the creation of tourist brochures and books, exhibitions, European trades, and popular and cultural festivals) and mobilised the European Union, the Alsace region, Bade-Wurtemburg, Alemanic Switzerland, and of course all of Austria. The recognisable traits of the Habsburgs (the Austrian flag and the two-headed eagle) were henceforth visible in all of Anterior Austria and seem to be the silent witnesses of the common history of these regions… at the very least they remind us, rather curiously, that before being French or German, the Sundgau was completely Austrian!
The flag of the Sundgau is an unofficial design that emerged recently in the local landscape, maybe as an initiative to reinforce a sense of unity and belonging. It does not appear on public buildings (such as town-halls, schools, local councils) alongside the European, French and Alsatian flags. In Altkirch, you can see it as an iron sign of the Sundgau museum and in the neighbouring village of Carspach, featured in the centre of … the village’s roundabout!
Castle of the counts of Ferrette © French Moments
Forest of Hirtzbach, Sundgau © French Moments
This page was originally written in French and translated into English by Alison Walden for French Moments.
During the 14th century the Habsburgs and Ulrich III, the last Count of Ferrette, became very close. Seriously ill and realising that he would not have a male heir; Ulrich undertook several difficult measures in order to save his county from the Bishop of Basle and his ambitions.
A master strategist, Ulrich III was anxious for his daughter, Jeanne de Ferrette, to inherit his county. During the Middle Ages only the Pope had the power to arbitrate exceptionally in his favour. Against all hope, Ulrich received the precious papal consent in 1320.
The Count died on 15 March, 1324 in Basle, having no idea of the incredible destiny reserved for his descendants:
1. ✤His county would become a powerful bastion of Austrian lands.
2. ✤His daughter Jeanne de Ferrette, a direct descendant of Charlemagne, would enable the dynasty of the Habsburgs, future masters of Europe, to continue. Thanks to her, the Habsburgs could claim to be blood descendants of Charlemagne.
In becoming entirely Austrian, the Sundgauvians were not safe from the desires of Austria’s powerful enemies: the influential duchy of Burgundy, the fierce Swiss Confederates and the distant kingdom of France.
The frequent passing of enemy armies due to the Sundgau’s strategic position between the North and Mediterranean Seas, and between the two rivals, Paris and Vienna, did it more harm than good.
Later, in the 16th century, the Sundgau found itself surrounded by powerful Protestant cities: Mulhouse to the north, Basle to the east and Montbéliard to the west. The Habsburgs took a very firm stance against all attempts to introduce the Reform in the Sundgau.
Subsequently, the dynasty was the spearhead of the Counter Reformation, encouraging the introduction of anti-reformist works (particularly monasteries and Jewish schools) in the Sundgau.
However, from the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, Protestantism continued to make progress in Europe.
The Protestant princes of Bohemia refused to recognise the authority of the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE), Ferdinand II (who himself was a Habsburg).
War erupted in 1618 due to the extreme tension between Catholics and Protestants, and the emperor and Protestant princes
. . . . . . . .
I . . . have roses in my name, and make
All flowers glad to set their colour by. (Tragedies, I, 236- 37)
In the book of Hansi, at the foot of the mountain Sainte-Odile, a paragraph always intrigued me. After the fall of Napoleon’s Empire, Russian and Austrian troops invaded Alsace…
…..” During the invasion of the Allies in 1814, Obernai was less abused than other cities of Alsace thanks to a brilliant idea of his pastor. Knowing that the veneration of the Austrian troops for the imperial family extended to the most distant ancestors of the Habsburgs, this worthy priest fit onto the House called Burg a sign that can be seen even today. One reads these simple words: birthplace sainte Odile – Stammhaus der heiligen Odilia. Indeed, this modest yet recent building at that time, City store, shed for the fire pump, was built on the foundations of a sixteenth-century Manor House which itself succeeded a castle destroyed in the thirteenth, which replaced a previous castel who was perhaps built on occupied a few centuries earlier by the large Merovingian farm’s woodthatch and cob of this Duke of Alsace, who according to legend was the father of Sainte Odile.
Having read the sign, the Austrian Commander gave the order to his men to use great respects to the citizens of a town “where were drawn by skilled genealogists, the ancestors of his sovereign.”…
Was this a legend or even a historical truth? It was gone.
ADALRICH warlord, was appointed Duke of Alsace by CHILDERIC, his father LEUTHARIUS II was Duke of Germany. ADALRICH had a noble wife BERESWINTHE, daughter of SILGELBERT III and daughter of DAGOBERT Ier. A real pleasure that to establish the ancestry of BERESWINTHE, all the archives were opened and open. The descent proved harder until the day or Finally I managed to get a history of Obernai written by Abbé GYSS in which was the outline of the progeny of ADALRICH. Multiple historical research are then used to establish the descent of ADALRICH and marvel at the same time of the erudition of the parish priest of Obernai.
Down all of a King or a hanged man. I’ll let you discover the suite.
Born about 635 Julian
Died 1 April 690 Julian , age at death: possibly 55 years old
Consanguinity : 0.39%
Sigebert III Le Jeune ou Saint-Sigebert d’AUSTRASIE, Roi de Metz – d’Austrasie – Roi des Francs ca 620-656
Hymnéchilde DE BURGONDIE, Régente ca 620-ca 670
Spouses and children
Married about 660 Julian to Etichon-Adalric d’ALSACE, Duc ca 635-690 with
Odile Sainte-Odile d’ALSACE ca 662-ca 720
Adalbert Ier d’ALSACE, Duc – Comte ca 665-ca 722
Bathicon d’ALSACE †ca 725
Ethicon DE NORDGAU, Comte ca 679-ca 723
Dagobert II Saint-Dagobert d’AUSTRASIE, Roi de Metz et Roi des Francs d’Austrasie 640..651-679
Bilichilde d’AUSTRASIE ca 654-ca 675
Ethicon DE NORDGAU
Born about 679 Julian
Died about 723 Julian , age at death: possibly 44 years old
Consanguinity : 3.58%
Etichon-Adalric d’ALSACE, Duc ca 635-690
Bereswinde d’AUSTRASIE ca 635-690
Spouses and children
Married about 714 Julian to Ganna Jeanne x ca 695-ca 735 with
Albéric Ier DE NORDGAU, Comte ca 716-ca 760
Gérard III DE NORDGAU
(Gérard DE NORDGAU)
Born about 1015 Julian
Died about 1083 Julian , age at death: possibly 68 years old
Consanguinity : 2.23%
Hugues IV DE NORDGAU, Comte ca 987-ca 1048
Heilwige DE DAGSBOURG, Comtesse ca 980-ca 1046
Spouses and children
Married to Kuniza ou Rigarda x ca 1040- with
Elwige Hedwige DE NORDGAU, Comtesse ca 1065-1126
Odile of Alsace
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I am kin to Elizabeth Rosamond Taylor and Carrie Fisher. The Rosamond name has been traced to Rougemont in the Alsace. The de Bar family are kin.
Notice the spelling of Rougemont – Rosemont. Johanna ‘Dame de Rosemont’ married Duke Albrecht von Hapsburg. From them most of the Hapsburgs descend.
Johanna Gfn von Pfirt, 1347 Dame de Rosemont, de Sermagny, de Chaux, de la Chapelle, du Puits, de Giromagy, de Viscemont, de Rougegoutte, etc (1300-Vienna 15 Jan 1352; bur Gaming); m.13 Feb 1324 Duke Albrecht II of Austria (d.1358)
Here is another Habsburg. Pfirt is also spelled Ferrette.
1c) [by 2nd m.] Ludwig II Gf von Pfirt, sn d’Amance et de Vadans (d.1180); m.Richenza (d.Dec 1180), dau of Werner von Habsburg Gf im Oberelsass
He was sometimes called Werner the Pious. His father was Radbot, Count of Habsburg, and his mother was Ida de Lorraine (also known as Ita von Lothringen), who was the granddaughter of Hugh the Great and the great-granddaughter of Henry the Fowler).
This is the Rose Line I laid out in a group in 1999. We were studying the book ‘Holy Blood, Holy Gral’ years before Dan Brown came out with his Da Vinci Code, which suggests the world famous artist, Leonardo Da Vinci was a Grand Master of the Priory de Sion, as was Yonlande de Bar. Other members of the de Bar family were GM, who allegedly know of secret codes in works of Art. The Sinclair family has failed to produce one artist, poet, or writer. How about a Bishop?
My kindred, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor is in the Peerage as are those closely related to her. Burke’s Peerage, for the time being, does not pursue the genealogy of Elizabeth Mary Rosemond, Liz’s grandmother, to all the Rosamonds, including my mother Rosemary Rosamond, and my sister, Christine Rosamond Benton, whose marriage to Garth Benton put us in the Preston family tree that has ties to the Stewarts, and thus Kate and William Windsor who gave birth to a baby boy yesterday. This royal child is yet to have been given a name. Elizabeth Rosemond was born with dual-citizenship and died a Dame and Citizen of the British Empire. For this reason many who are kin to her are also in the Peerage. See names below.
Liz was a “Screen Goddess”. Her and Richard Burton was regarded as Hollywood Royalty. In the 60s this couple generated the same excitement we see around William and Kate Windsor. Above are photos of Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Paris Hilton, Christine Rosamond, Dame Rosemond, and the Screen Goddess, Zsa Zsa Gabor who was married to Conrad Hilton.
Yolande means “violet flower”. Liza had violet eyes. Liz’s father was a famous art dealer, surrounded by famous artists. Dame Rosemond was a art collector. The Rose Line does not lead to the Sinclair family. It leads to the Jordon Schnitzer Art Gallery on the Campus of the University of Oregon where I stood before ‘The Last Audience of the Hapsburgs.
Even if it is not true. Even if nothing true. There are good and bad stories. But, there is only one woman who I have found, who owned the name…….
Mary Magdalene Rosamond
Fire up your computer! Get on the world wide web! Search cyber-space for her. See who she is!
Hit it Maestro!
In the pseudohistorical book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail Yolande de Bar was alleged to have been the tenth Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, succeeding her father, King René. The evidence for this claim was derived from the Dossiers Secrets d’Henri Lobineau, forged documents created in 1967.
The portrayal of Yolande as a saintly dreaming beauty (regularly placed in an entranced sleep by the physician) was immensely popular. The play was translated into numerous languages. The Russian translation by Fyodor Miller was adapted by Vladimir Zotov, whose version was used as the basis for the opera Iolanta, written by Tchaikovsky, with libretto by his brother Modest Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It received its premiere on 18 December 1892 in St. Petersburg.[2
Seven years ago I entered the Jeanne Rougemont contest sponsored by members of the Hapsburgs. If Alex and kept our appointment, she would have heard Jeanne’s amazing story, that is protected by my copyright. The Rosamond genealogist traces my mother’s maiden name to Rougemont Switzerland. I am overwhelmed by information. I am sick and tired of these parasites who look for reasons to judge me – so they can rip me off! They did this to my late sister, the world famous artist ‘Rosamond’.
Several years ago I sent a letter to Michael Salvator Archduke Habsburg-Lorraine, and asked for a form so I could enter the “flowing borders” compitition that was being held by the Joan of Farrette society. I was utterly ignored, because, I was an American, or, I knew more about Jeanne de Rougemont-Ferrette that anyone on the planet, and had connected the Rougemonts to the Knight Templars and the Holy Shroud. Did the Archeduke google me, or, had he heard of this upstart American – and thus I was the hands-down winner – before I asked for entry form!?
“The counts of Ferrette possessed the majority of the Sundgau, the ‘Sundgauvian’ territories of the north-east had long since belonged to the Habsburg dynasty, a wealthy local family whose heritage also includes Swiss lands. Moreover, the Habsburgs had passed on the honorary title of Landgrave of Upper Alsace (Sundgau) from father to son for centuries.
“To seal the alliance, after Ulrich’s death Jeanne immediately married Albert II of Habsburg at Masevaux. By legitimate process the Sundgau became an entirely Austrian territory and remained so until 1648. However, according to documents of the time, this marriage of political interest seemed to quickly transform into one of love. Albert II and Jeanne de Ferrette settled in Vienna, from where their offspring would later extend their possessions into central and Eastern Europe. The Sundgau quickly became a Habsburg bastion: a base for the dynasty which would later seek to conquer Europe and the rest of the world.”
Albert II was born at Habsburg Castle in Swabia, a younger son of King Albert I of Germany and his wife Elizabeth of Carinthia, a member of the House of Gorizia (Meinhardiner). He initially prepared for an ecclesiastical career and, though still a minor, was elected Bishop of Passau in 1313. However, he had to rival with an opposing candidate and finally renounced the office in 1317.
After the death of their elder brother Frederick the Fair in 1330, the surviving sons Albert II and Otto the Merry became joint rulers of all Habsburg dominions in Austria and Styria. Albert was able to further increase his possessions by the inheritance of his wife Joanna of Pfirt, which was made up of the Alsatian county of Pfirt and several cities. Furthermore, upon the death of his maternal uncle Duke Henry of Carinthia in 1335, Albert succeeded in establishing his claims on the Duchy of Carinthia and the March of Carniola, when he reached his enfeoffment by Emperor Louis IV against the claims raised by his mighty Luxembourg rival King John of Bohemia.
Reflecting his high reputation among the secular and church leaders of Europe, in 1335 Pope Benedict XII asked him to mediate in the church’s conflict with Emperor Louis. Two years later, King Philip VI of France 1337 asked him for help against the Wittelsbach emperor and King Edward III of England. Nevertheless, Albert remained faithful to the emperor until Louis’ death in 1347; he also was a close ally of his son Duke Louis V of Bavaria. After the demolition of Rapperswil Castle by the forces of Rudolf Brun in 1350, the Austrian duke marched against the Swiss Confederacy and laid siege to the city of Zürich, though to no avail.