Austrian Kings

The long line of Austrian kings has left their mark on the history of the country. Find out about the influence of the important kings of Austria throughout history.

When it comes to the ruling party of Austria the names of the Habsburg family and their successors the Habsburg Lorraine family is of immense importance. In fact these two families are considered to be very important ruling houses for the whole of Europe. They were the ruling houses of Austria. They were the dynasty that ruled for more than six centuries.

The kings of Austria had inherited many large expanses of land. But more importantly the members of the family were also elected to hold the position of The Holy Roman Emperor quite frequently. The entire range of far flung and fragmented factional states that came under the Holy Roman Empire were headed by the emperor. This including around 1800 states in all.

The dynasty was named so because of the location where they were seated. The seat of origin was the Habsburg castle which stood in the Swiss Canton of Aargau. Till this date there is no certain evidence to indicate the origin of the name of the castle. Some say it is derived from the German name Hawk castle whereas others disagree and say that it originated from the German word Hab which means ford.

The first use of the name by the dynasty itself is to be found in a document dated back to 1108. The castle remained the seat for three centuries from the 11th to the 13th. With time the family began to exert its influence on other parts of the Holy Roman Empire. It took the Habsburgs two to three centuries to grasp a firm hold over the imperial throne which made them the kings of the Austrian Empire for many centuries to come.

Important kings of Austria

Over the course of Austria’s history there have been a number of kings that are remembered for the influence that they had on Austria. Maximilian I is amongst one of those kings who helped to spread the Habsburg dynasty by taking the Heiress of Burgundy in marriage.

This was the very beginning of the great global empire of the Habsburg dynasty that lasted till the twentieth century. The son of Maximilian furthered the expansion of the Austrian Empire by marrying the heiress of Spain, Joan the Mad as she was known. They had six children the eldest of them ruled over Southern Italy, Spain, Austria and other lower countries.

The expansion of the Austrian Empire continued under the Grandsons and great grandsons of Maximilian. It was Maximilian II under whom the Habsburg family acquired many more lands. Even the land where the Schonbrunn Palace was to be erected was acquired during the rule of Maximilian II. This was the summer palace for the Habsburgs and still stands today as an enduring symbol of the great dynasty.

Austrians kings came one after the other to enjoy their share of power and glory each adding something to the land of Austria. Over time the monarchial system of Austria came crashing down and brought with it the end of the kings and their kingdoms as Austria stands as an independent republic today.

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