House of Habsburg

Austrian imperial house
(Redirected from House of Habsburg-Lorraine)

The House of Habsburg was a family of dukes, kings, and monarchs that was very important in European history. It first ruled parts of Switzerland in the 13th century and then ruled Austria, later Austria-Hungary, for more than 600 years. It ruled owned Spain and the Netherlands for a while, the Holy Roman Empire from about 1280 to 1806 and the Kingdom of Sardinia until the mid-19th century.

House of Habsburg
Haus Habsburg
Imperial, Royal, and Ducal dynasty
This is the "left" image described in the overall caption
This is the "right" image described in the overall caption
Left: Habsburg "ancient", coat of arms of the Counts of Habsburg: Or, a lion rampant gules crowned azure ("Lion of Habsburg"); right: Habsburg "modern"/Austria, arms of the House of Habsburg, Archdukes of Austria: Gules, a fess argent ("Bindenschild"); originally the arms of the House of Babenburg, Dukes of Austria and Styria
Parent houseHouse of Eticho (disputed)
EtymologyHabsburg Castle
Founded11th century
FounderRadbot of Klettgau
Current headKarl von Habsburg (cognatic line)
Final rulerCharles I of Austria (cognatic line)
MottoA.E.I.O.U. and Viribus Unitis
Cadet branchesAgnatic: (all are extinct)


A treaty was made in Vienna in 1515 between the king of Poland and duke of Lithuania from the Jagiellon dynasty and Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, the duke of Austria from the Habsburg family. It stated that if the Jagiellon kings of Bohemia and Hungary died without a male heir, Maximilian and his heirs would take over the territory.

Charles II of Spain had disabilities probably caused by inbreeding in the House of Habsburg

The senior branch of the House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century, when Charles II of Spain died in 1700 and was replaced by the House of Bourbon. Charles had mental and physical handicaps, which were probably caused by inbreeding between relatives in the royal houses of Continental Europe. Marriages of close relatives had occurred for the five generations before him. He was the son of Philip IV, who married his sister's daughter.

The remaining branch went extinct in the male line in 1740 with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI and completely in 1780 with the death of his eldest daughter, Maria Theresa of Austria. It was succeeded by the Vaudemont branch of the House of Lorraine, which styled itself formally as House of Habsburg-Lorraine (German: Habsburg-Lothringen), but it was often referred to as simply the House of Habsburg.

The last empress was Zita of Bourbon-Parma, who died in Switzerland in 1989. She had ruled with her husband, Charles I of Austria, from 1916 to 1918.

The current head is Karl Habsburg-Lothringen.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Jure uxoris.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Titular claim rather than de facto.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Contested.
  4. Title given to Philip II by his father, Charles V, prior to his marriage with Mary of England. This was to ensure that Philip would not be outranked by his wife.
  5. Through Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este.


  1. Kiva, Cross, and Crown: The Pescos Indians and New Mexico, p. 251.
  2. Letters of Don Diego de Vargas to His Family from New Spain and New Mexico, p. 56.