County of Werdenberg

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Territories of the counts of Werdenberg, Werdenberg-Sargans and Montfort in the 14th century
Coat of arms from the Zürich armorial. The heraldic charge is a Gonfanon, derived from that of the Tübingen and Montfort coats of arms.

Werdenberg was a county of the Holy Roman Empire, within the Duchy of Swabia, situated on either side of the Alpine Rhine, including parts of what is now St. Gallen (Switzerland), Liechtenstein, and Vorarlberg (Austria). It was partitioned from Montfort in 1230. In 1260, it was divided into Werdenberg and Sargans.


It is named for Werdenberg Castle, today located in the municipality of Grabs in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen, seat of the counts of Werdenberg (Werdenberger), The family was descended from count Hugo II of Tübingen (d. 1180), who married Elisabeth, daughter of the last count of Bregenz, thus inheriting substantial territory along the Alpine Rhine. His son was Hugo I of Montfort (d. 1228), whose son Rudolf I is considered the founder of the Werdenberg line. Rudolf's sons Hugo I of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg and Hartmann I of Werdenberg divided the southern territory of the Montfort inheritance, establishing the two lines of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg and Werdenberg-Sargans.

In 1308 Werdenberg was further divided into Werdenberg-Heiligenberg (Linzgau) and Werdenberg-Werdenberg. The Vaduz line of Counts of Werdenberg died out in 1406 and Vaduz passed to the Barons of Brandis.

The family fractured further into a number of cadet branches. The line of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg-Sigmaringen-Trochtelfingen remained influential in the early 16th century in the context of the Swabian League but was extinct in 1534.

The Werdenberg feud (Werdenbergfehde) was a major series of feuds between the Werdenberg and their neighbours in the late 15th century, most notably their conflict with the von Zimmern family of Swabia. The feud between the lords of Werdenberg and of Zimmern escalated in 1488, rising to an importance above merely regional concerns, influencing the imperial policy of Frederick III and Maximilian I regarding the formation of the Swabian League, the Imperial Reforms and the history of the Old Swiss Confederacy.

Counts of Werdenberg[edit]

Below, a list of the counts of Werdenberg,[1] numbered by order of ascension:

House of Tübingen[edit]

Partitions of Werdenberg under Tübingen rule[edit]

County of Werdenberg
County of Sargans
(1st creation)
County of Vaduz
County of Alpeck
County of Trochtelfingen
County of Werdenberg
County of Bludenz
County of Rheineck
                     Annexed to Ulm
       Annexed to Austria Pawned to the Counts of Toggenburg
Pawned to the Counts of Montfort until 1485, then annexed by Switzerland
Passed to the Lords of Brandis
County of Sargans
(2nd creation)
Annexed by Switzerland
Divided between Fürstenberg and Austria (1534) and then Hohenzollern (1535)

Table of rulers[edit]

(Note: Here the numbering of the counts is the same for all counties, as all were titled Counts of Werdenberg, despite of the different parts of land or particular numbering of the rulers. The counts are numbered by the year of their succession.)

Ruler Born Reign Death Ruling part Consort Notes
Rudolph I c.1190 1230-1244/7/8 September 1244,[2] 7 October 1247 or 19 May 1248[2] Montfort Clementia of Kyburg
six children
Abdicated from Montfort to inherit Werdenberg. For his brother's descendants see Counts of Montfort. After his death Werdenberg was divided.
Hartmann I c.1230 1244/7/8-1271 3 April 1271 Werdenberg-Sargans Elisabeth of Ortenburg
26 June 1256 or 11 July 1258
three children
Son of Rudolph I, inherited Sargans.
Hugo I Siegel des oberschwäbischen Landvogts, des Grafen Hug von Werdenberg.jpg 1231 1247-1280 7 December 1280[2] Werdenberg-Heiligenberg Matilda of Neuffen
11 February 1263
six children
Son of Rudolph I, inherited Heiligenberg.
Hugo II the One-Eyed c.1265 1280-1307 25 March 1305/7[2] Werdenberg-Heiligenberg Euphemia of Ortenburg
3 June 1281
eleven children
Rudolph II Graf Rudolf II. von Werdenberg-Sargans († um 1322) und Adelheid von Burgau.jpg c.1257 1271-1323 18 March 1323 Werdenberg-Sargans Adelaide of Burgau
five children
Sons of Hartmann I, probably ruled jointly. Hugo became Knight Hospitaller, and Hartmann a canon at Bamberg.
Hugo III c.1260 After 1332[2] Werdenberg-Sargans Unmarried
Hartmann II c.1260 1271-c.1282? After 1282[2] Werdenberg-Sargans
Albert I c.1283 1307-1365 16 May 1364 or 1 October 1367[2] Werdenberg-Heiligenberg Catherine of Habsburg-Kyburg
three children
Sons of Hugo II, ruled jointly.[2]
Hugo IV Cocles Reitersiegel des Hugo Graf Werdenberg von 1320.png c.1280 1307-1329/34 16 August 1329 or 16 October 1334[2] Werdenberg-Heiligenberg Anna of Wildenberg
no children
Henry I c.1280 1307-1323 16 October 1323[2] Werdenberg-Heiligenberg Unmarried
Rudolph III c.1293 1323-1325 1325 Werdenberg-Sargans Unmarried Sons of Rudolph II, ruled jointly. Rudolph IV assume alone the rulership of Sargans after the death of his older brother and namesake. In 1338, after the death of Count Donat of Vaz, he could inherit a part of his domains, as husband of Ursula.
Rudolph IV c.1310 1323-1361 21 January or 15 March 1361[2] Werdenberg-Sargans Ursula of Vaz
15 August 1337
one child
Hartmann III c.1300 1323-1353/55 15 July 1353 or 21 May 1355[2] Werdenberg-Vaduz Agnes of Montfort-Feldkirch
before 1354
three children
Son of Rudolph II, inherited Vaduz.
Henry II c.1300 1323-1332/34 2 March 1332 or 27 June 1334[2] Werdenberg-Alpeck Agnes of Württemberg
six children
Son of Rudolph II, inherited Alpeck. After his death, the county was once more divided.
Eberhard I c.1315? 1332/34-1383 27/8 May 1383[2] Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Luitgard of Berg-Schelklingen
no children

Sophie of Geroldseck
after 1344
one child
Sons of Henry II, inherited Trochtelfingen, where they ruled together.[2] Hugo became Knight Hospitaller.
Hugo V c.1315? 1332/4-1373 16 February 1373[2] Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Unmarried
Rudolph V c.1315? 1332/4-1342/9 18 December 1342 or 27 March 1349[2] Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen
Henry III c.1315? 1332/34-1366/70 14 March 1366/70[2] Werdenberg-Alpeck Bertha of Kirchberg I
before 1352
two children
Son of Henry II, kept Alpeck.
Henry IV c.1320 1353/5-1397 23 January 1397 Werdenberg-Vaduz Katharina of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg-Bludenz
before 1395
no children
Sons of Hartmann III, probably ruled jointly. In 1389 Hartmann IV became Bishop at Chur.
Rudolph VI c.1320 1353/5-1365/7 7 July 1365/7[2] Werdenberg-Vaduz Unmarried
Hartmann IV c.1320 1353/5-1389 6 September 1416[2] Werdenberg-Vaduz Unmarried
John I c.1340 1361-1396 16 October 1400 Werdenberg-Sargans Anna of Rhazuns (I)
5 April 1367
one child
In 1396, highly endebted, John pawned Sargans to the Habsburgs, who resold it to the Counts of Toggenburg.
In 1396 Sargans was annexed to the County of Toggenburg[3]
Albert II c.1330 1365-1371/3 22 July 1371 or 6 January 1373 Werdenberg-Heiligenberg Matilda of Montfort-Tettnang
one child

Agnes of Nuremberg
3 August 1343 or 5 July 1344
five children
Son of Albert I. After his death, the county was once more divided.
Henry V c.1350 1366-1383 c.1390 Werdenberg-Alpeck Elisabeth of Oettingen
two children
Agnes of Helfenstein
no children
In 1383 sold his county to the city of Ulm.
In 1383 Alpeck was annexed to Ulm[4]
Albert III the Elder DH3-40Albrecht von Heiligenberg-Bludenz.JPG c.1360 1371/3-1394 23 February 1418/20 Werdenberg-Heiligenberg-Bludenz Ursula of Schaunberg
six children
Son of Albert II, received Bludenz. In 1394 he sold his lands to the Habsburgs.
In 1394 Bludenz was annexed to Austria
Henry VI Heinrich Werdenberg (d.1393).jpg c.1364 1371/3-1392/3 24 December 1392 or 24 July 1393[2] Werdenberg-Heiligenberg-Rheineck Anna of Montfort-Feldkirch
four children
Sons of Albert II, ruled jointly in Rheineck.[2]
Hugo VI c.1360 1371/3-1387/90 1 November 1387 or 15 March 1390[2] Werdenberg-Heiligenberg-Rheineck Bertha of Kirchberg II
four children
Albert IV the Younger c.1360 1371/3-1402 30 July 1416 or 4 May 1418 Werdenberg-Heiligenberg Agnes of Montfort-Bregenz
no children
Son of Albert II, kept Heiligenberg. In 1402 his lands were pawned to his cousins, the Counts of Montfort.
In 1402 Heiligenberg was annexed to Montfort, and in 1485 to Switzerland
Henry VII c.1360? 1383-1393 1393 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Agnes of Teck
one child

Ida of Toggenburg
before 1392
no children
Sons of Eberhard I, ruled jointly.
Eberhard II c.1360? 1383 1383 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Unmarried
Hugo VII c.1380 1392-1395 c.1428 Werdenberg-Heiligenberg-Rheineck Agnes of Abensberg
no children
Son of Henry VI, ruled jointly with his brothers Rudolph and Henry, but the trio lost their lands to the Habsburgs in 1395. However, Hugo was able to recover power by inheriting his cousins county of Vaduz, losing it, however, in 1416, to the Lords of Brandis.
1397-1416 Werdenberg-Heiligenberg-Vaduz
In 1416 Vaduz was annexed to the Lordship of Brandis, and, after many inheritances, eventually became part of Liechtenstein in 1699.
Rudolph VII c.1388 1392-1395 c.1419 Werdenberg-Heiligenberg-Rheineck Beatrix of Fürstenberg-Haslach
no children
Brothers of Hugo VII, co-ruled with him in Rheineck.
Henry IX ? 1401 Werdenberg-Heiligenberg-Rheineck Unmarried
In 1395 Rheineck was annexed to Austria
Eberhard III 900-49 Ratssitzung Eberhard der Milde-mit Legende.jpg c.1380? 1393-1416 1416 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Anna of Zimmern
six children
Eberhard IV c.1400? 1416-1475 1475 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Unmarried Sons of Eberhard III, ruled jointly.
John IV[5] Trochtelfingen kirche 2.jpg c.1400? 1416-1465 27 April 1465[2] Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Elisabeth of Württemberg
seven children
Henry XI c.1400? 1416-1439 1439 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Unmarried
In 1436, with the extinction of the Toggenburgs, Sargans returned to Werdenberg family.
Henry X c.1385 1436-1447 1447 Werdenberg-Sargans Agnes of Matsch
before or c.1440
four children
Son of John I, he was restored to the county.
William II before or c.1440? 1447-1467 1467 Werdenberg-Sargans Erentrude of Stauffen
no children
Left no descendants. He was succeeded by his brother.
George II c.1442 1467-1483 23 February 1504 Werdenberg-Sargans Anna of Rhazuns (II)
before 1461
no children

Barbara of Waldburg-Sonnenburg
1463 (June-September)
no children
Left no descendants. Highly endebted, sold the county to the Swiss Confederation.
In 1483 Sargans was definitely annexed to Switzerland
Hugo XI[6] c.1450? 1475-1508 8 August 1508 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Unmarried Sons of John IV, ruled jointly. John V became Bishop at Augsburg.[2]
George III c.1450? 1475-1500 12 March 1500 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Katharina of Baden
seven children
Ulrich Freydal Repro1882 Tafel 094.jpg c.1450? 1475-1503 17 July 1503 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Unmarried
Rudolph X[7] RvWerdenbergBubikon1498i.jpg c.1450? 1475-1505 2 September 1505 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen
Henry XII c.1450? 1505 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen
John V c.1450? 1475-1486 1486 Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen
Christoph 1494 1508-1534 29 January 1534[2] Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Eleonora Gonzaga
one child

Johanna van Borselen
no children
Sons of George II, ruled jointly.
Felix Sühnebild Felix von Werdenberg.JPG c.1495 1508-1530 12 July 1530[2] Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Elisabeth of Neuchâtel
no children
John VI Freydal Repro1882 Tafel 098.jpg c.1495 1508-1522 8 July 1522[2] Werdenberg-Trochtelfingen Katharina of Gundelfingen
no children
In 1534 Trochtelfingen became divided between Fürstenberg and Austria, but was annexed to Hohenzollern in the following year.

Successor houses in Werdenberg-Vaduz[edit]

(Note: Numbering restarts)

House of Brandis[edit]

  • 1416-1456: Wolfhard, son-in-law of Albert III the Elder;
  • 1456-1486: Ulrich;
  • 1486-1507: Ludwig and Sigismund, brothers.

House of Sulz[edit]

  • 1507-1535: Rudolf I, maternal grandson of Ulrich of Brandis;
  • 1535-1556: John Louis;
  • 1556-1569: William and Alwig, brothers;
  • 1569-1572: Alwig;
  • 1572-1611: Rudolf II;
  • 1611-1613: John, sold Vaduz to the House of Hohenems.

House of Hohenems[edit]

  • 1613-1640: Kaspar;
  • 1640-1646: Jacob Hannibal;
  • 1646-1662: Franz Wilhelm I;
  • 1662-1686: Ferdinand Carl;
  • 1686-1691: Jacob Hannibal Frederick and Franz Wilhelm II, brothers;
  • 1691-1712: Jacob Hannibal Frederick, with Franz Wilhelm III (son of Franz Wilhelm I);
  • 1712: To the Prince of Liechtenstein.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ I. Mladjow: Germany (Deutschland) and Holy Roman Empire (Heiliges Rämisches Reich). Page 1/188.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac Cawley 2001.
  3. ^ The pawning of the county didn't stop, however, the succession of the then titular counts: John I (1396-1400) was succeeded by his sons: Henry X (1400-1447, who recovered the county in 1436), ruled with: John II (1400-1405), George I (1400-1412), William I (1400-1412), Hugo VIII (1400-1421) and Rudolph VIII (1400-1434, was bishop of Chur).
  4. ^ The annexation of the county didn't stop, however, the succession of the then titular counts: Henry V (1383-1390) was succeeded by his sons: Conrad (1390-1415) and (probably, because he's not documented after 1374) his brother, Henry VIII (at least in 1390).
  5. ^ This count John is officially known as IV, albeit the fact that there's no known John III in the family tree of the Werdenbergs.
  6. ^ This count Hugo is officially known as XI, albeit the fact that there's not enough members of this name in the family tree of the Werdenbergs to fit this number. The last one was Hugo VIII, titular count of Sargans (1400-1421).
  7. ^ This count Rudolph is officially known as X, albeit the fact that there's no known Rudolph IX in the family tree of the Werdenbergs.


  • Cawley, Charles (2001). "Medieval Lands - Foundation for Medieval Genealogy".
  • Gerhard Köbler, 'Werdenberg (Grafschaft)', in: Historisches Lexikon der deutschen Länder. Die deutschen Territorien vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart 2nd edition Munich 1989, p. 605.
  • Fritz Rigendinger: Das Sarganserland im Spätmittelalter. Lokale Herrschaften, die Grafschaft Sargans und die Grafen von Werdenberg-Sargans. Chronos, Zürich 2007.
  • Carl Borromäus Alois Fickler: Heiligenberg in Schwaben. Mit einer Geschichte seiner alten Grafen und des von ihnen beherrschten Linzgaues. Macklot, Karlsruhe 1853 [1]
  • Gerhard Köbler: Werdenberg (Grafschaft), in: Historisches Lexikon der deutschen Länder. Die deutschen Territorien vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. 2. verbesserte Auflage, München 1989, S. 605
  • Martin Leonhard: Werdenberg, von in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  • Johann Nepomuk von Vanotti: Geschichte der Grafen von Montfort und von Werdenberg. Belle-Vue bei Konstanz 1845 [2] 209ff.
  • Hermann Wartmann (1896), "Werdenberg, Grafen von", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), vol. 41, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 749–759

External links[edit]