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House of Zahringen

Updated September 5, 2000

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Zahringen is a noble German family. It took its name from a now ruined castle near Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden, and can be traced to the 10th century. The family held extensive fiefs in Baden and western Switzerland, and Duke Berthold V, one of the most powerful nobles of his era, founded many towns, notably Bern. His death (1218) deprived the family of its Swiss holdings; his domains passed largely to the related Kyburg and Hapsburg families. A younger branch continued in north Baden and split (16th century) into the branches of Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach, reunited in 1771. In 1806, Charles Frederick of Baden was raised to grand ducal rank. Grand Duke Frederick II abdicated in 1918.

Family Photos

  • Emerpor Franz-Joseph I with Several German Nobles (82 KB)
    (to the very left) Franz-Josef I, Emperor of Austria (from the left) Friedrich II, Grandduke of Baden; Fuerst Leopold IV zur Lippe; Friedrich August III, King of Saxony; Wilhelm Ernst, Grandduke of Saxe-Weimar; Luitpold, Prince-Regent of Bavaria; Emperor Wilhelm II; Friedrich II, Duke of Anhalt; Wilhelm II, King of Wuerttemberg; Friedrich August, Grandduke of Oldenburg; Friedrich Franz IV, Grandduke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin; Georg, Fuerst zu Schaumburg-Lippe; and Dr. Burchard, Mayor of Hamburg (taken in 1908)
  • Map of Baden (20 KB)
    Baden as of 1771
  • Heraldry of Baden (1 KB)
    D'or, la bande de gueules -- Of gold, with the tape of mouths (Alta Vista translation)
  • Karl Friedrich Zahringen (13 KB)
    Charles Frederick succeeded to the margravate of Baden-Durlach in 1746, and his reforms soon attracted attention throughout Germany and Europe. He emancipated the peasantry, eliminated torture, and separated insane asylums from prisons. He also established schools and encouraged agriculture, industry, and handicrafts. A truly enlightened ruler, he met and corresponded with such men as Goethe, Voltaire, and the botanist Carolus Linnaeus.
  • Karlsruhe Palace in 1944 (30 KB)
    The Karlsruhe Palace was completely destroyed by air raids, during September 1944.
  • Caroline Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt (14 KB)
    (b. 7/11/1723, d. 4/8/1783) First wife of Karl Fredrich Zahringen. They were Married on January 28, 1750/51.
  • Karlsruhe Palace Today (10 KB)
    Today the palace is a museum.
  • Karl III Wilhelm Zahringen (16 KB)
    Well-known as the founder of the city of Karlsruhe. He belonged to the protestant line of the House of Baden, which he wanted to reunite for the sake of political stability.
  • Gottesaue Palace Today (21 KB)
    The Gottesaue Palace is one of the oldest buildings in the Karlsruhe erected in 1588, destroyed in 1689, provisionally rebuilt, and ravaged by fire in 1735. It was badly damaged by American bombs in May 1944. It lay in ruins for a long time, but was then completely renovated and now contains the State College of Music.
  • Coin of Karl III Wilhelm Zahringen (23 KB)
    Acceded as the Margrave of Baden-Durlach in 1709.
  • Palace of the Hereditary Grand Duke (23 KB)
    The Palace of the Hereditary Grand Duke on Kriegsstrasse was built between 1891 and 1897 by Joseph Durm for Grand Duke Friedrich II (1857-1928) and his wife Hilda von Nassau (1864- 1952). In 1950 the Federal Supreme Court moved into the Palace.
  • Karlsruhe Palace (15 KB)
    Home of the Zahringens after the founding of Karlsruhe.
  • Karlsruhe (33 KB)
    Plat plan of Karlsruhe, 1739.
  • Caroline Zahringen (60 KB)
    Princess of Baden (1776-1841), Queen of Bavaria. Painted in 1806
  • Caroline Zahringen (25 KB)
    Princess of Baden (1776-1841), Queen of Bavaria. Painted in 1807
  • Leopold I Zahringen (41 KB)
    Grand Duke of Baden (1790-1852). Spouse of Sophia Wilhemina of Holstein-Gottorp, Princess of Sweden.

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Related Files

  • Baden (8 KB)
    A brief history of Baden, Germany
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