Sigfried, Count of Ardennes

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Siegfried of Luxembourg
Siegfried I of Luxembourg.jpg
Siegfried of Luxembourg
Spouse(s) Hedwig of Nordgau
Noble family House of Luxembourg
Father Wigeric of Lotharingia
Mother Cunigunda
Born c. 922
Died 28 October 998(998-10-28)

Sigfried (or Siegfried) (c. 922 – 28 October 998) was a count in the Moselgau and the Ardennes, and the first person to rule over Luxembourg. He was also an advocate of the abbeys of Saint-Maximin de Trêves and Saint-Willibrord d'Echternach. He was speculated to be the son of Count Palatine Wigeric of Lotharingia and Cunigunda. He was the founder of the House of Luxembourg, which was a cadet branch of the House of Ardennes.


Sigfried held possessions from his father in Upper Lorraine. If his title of "count" is not in dispute, the extent of the lands he possessed remains unclear.[1]:19 The dispersed and limited nature of his territories may have induced him to engage in an expansionist policy. From 958, he set his eyes on the territories of Count Warner in the region of Bodeux, near the Benedictine Abbey of Stavelot. However, the abbot of Stavelot, Werinfried, reluctant to have an amibitious landowner as his neighbour, acquired the village of Bodeux himself in 959.[1]:19

As Siegfried's ambitions to expand towards the Meuse had failed, and as he was unwilling to move towards the powerful episcopal cities of Trier or Metz, which ruled out expanding towards the Moselle, he turned his attention towards a meander in the Alzette valley.[1]:19

Acquirement of "Lucilinburhuc" (Luxembourg)[edit]

In the mid-10th century, Siegfried acquired the rocky promontory known as Lucilinburhuc and its immediate surrounding area, as well as usage rights for the river from the Abbey of Saint-Maximin in Trier; this was in exchange for a plot of land he owned near Feulen.[1]:19 The deed for the exchange was not drawn up until 987; although the plots of land involved were tiny, the transaction was evidently a significant one, for the document bears the seals of Bruno, archbishop of Cologne and brother of emperor Otto I; Henry, archbishop of Trier; and Frederick I, Duke of Upper Lorraine, who was Siegfried's brother.[1]:20

Historical knowledge of the early years of the fortress and town of Luxembourg, as it would become known, is limited. It is known that in 963 Siegfried built a stronghold, a castellum Lucilinburhuc, around which a town started to grow. In fact, whether he built a new structure, or restored an existing building on the site, is another unknown.[1]:20 Siegfried gradually extended his territory towards the west, whilst making sure not to encroach on the Abbey's lands, as well as those of the emperor, Otto.[1]:20

Though Siegfried used the title of count, the title "count of Luxembourg" was only applied to William some 150 years later.

Siegfried remained a loyal servant of the Holy Roman Emperors. At the death of Otto II in 983, he fought at the side of the widowed Empress consort and regent Theophanu against the ambitions of Lothair of France.[1]:20

Around 950, he married Hedwig of Nordgau (937–992), daughter of Eberhard IV of Nordgau. They had the following issue:


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kreins, Jean-Marie. Histoire du Luxembourg. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2010. 5th edition.

Further reading[edit]