List of counts at Sponheim

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Coat of arms of the House of Sponheim

The County of Sponheim went through roughly three main phases during the course of the centuries. The first one lasted from the beginnings in the 11th century until the first divisions of the county between two Sponheimish lines around 1234. In this first period the region was ruled by a single count.

In the second phase the county was managed by two counts. The “Further” County (Vordere Grafschaft) of Sponheim was ruled by the line Sponheim-Kreuznach with residence at Castle Kauzenburg near Kreuznach. The "Hinder" County (Hintere Grafschaft) of Sponheim was ruled by the Sponheim-Starkenburg line, with residence at first at Castle Starkenburg near Enkirch and after 1350 at Castle Grevenburg near Trarbach. This phase lasted nearly to the extinction of both lines in 1437.

Finally in the third phase both parts of the county were managed by joint rulers as a condominium. The management of the “Hinder” County of Sponheim was divided between a collateral palatine line (House of Palatinate-Simmern, later House of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, later still House of Palatinate-Birkenfeld) and Baden, the management of the “Further” County of Sponheim roughly between Baden and the Electoral Palatinate. The ruling houses of the Sponheimish condominium were matrilineal descendants of the House of Sponheim and took on the title of Count at Sponheim (Graf zu Sponheim).


“Further” County of Sponheim[edit]


Joint rulers of the “Further” County of Sponheim[edit]

Electoral Palatinate[edit]

(Succession to Palatinate-Simmern line)

Veldenz and Palatinate-Simmern[edit]

(Extinction of the Simmern line, succession to Palatinate-Neuburg)


(Rightful successor was Count Palatine Maximilian of Zweibrücken (see “Hinder” County))


(Extinction of the Baden-Baden line, succession falls to Baden-Durlach line)

“Hinder” County of Sponheim[edit]


Joint rulers of the Rear County of Sponheim[edit]

  • Frederick III, Count at Veldenz and Sponheim (1437–1444, O.C. 1437)


  • Frederick I, Count Palatine (1444–1480, O.C. 1453)
  • John I (1480–1509)
  • John II (1509–1557, O.C. 1527)
  • Frederick II, 1559 Prince Elector Frederick III (1557–1560), as pledgeholder 1569 to 1571
  • Wolfgang at Veldenz (1560–1569)
  • John I (1569–1584 as regent to his brother Charles I)
Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler receives Birkenfeld[edit]
Palatinate-Bischweiler-Birkenfeld acquires Zweibrücken[edit]



  • O.C. = Oldest Count