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FURSTENBERG

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Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 366 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FURSTENBERG, the name of two noble houses of Germany. r. The more important is in possession of a mediatized principality in the district of the Black Forest and the Upper Danube, which comprises the countship of Heiligenberg, about 7 M. to the N. of the Lake of Constance, the landgraviates of Stiihlingen and Haar, and the lordships of Jungnau, Trochtelfingen, Hausen and Moskirch or Messkirch. The territory is discontinuous; and as it lies partly in Baden, partly in Wurttemberg, and partly in the Prussian province of Sigmaringen, the head of the family is an hereditary member of the first chamber of Baden and of the chamber of peers in Wurttemberg and in Prussia. The relations of the principality with Baden are defined by the treaty of May 1825, and its relations with Wurttemberg by the royal declaration of 1839. The Stammort or ancestral seat of the family is Furstenberg in the Black Forest, about 13 M. N. of Schaffhausen, b11t the principal residence of the present representatives of the main line is at Donaueschingen. The family of Furstenberg claims descent from a certain Count Unruoch, a contemporary of Charlemagne, but their authentic pedigree is only traceable to Egino II., count of Urach, who died before 1136. In 1218 his successors inherited the possessions of the house of Zahringen in the Baar district of the Black Forest, where they built the town and castle of Furstenberg. Of the two sons of Egino V. of Urach, Conrad, the elder, inherited the Breisgau and founded the line of the counts of Freiburg, while the younger, Heinrich (1215—1284), received the territories lying in the Kinzigthal and Baar, and from 1250 onward styled himself first lord, then count, of Furstenberg. His territories were subsequently divided among several branches of his descendants, though temporarily re-united under Count Friedrich III., whose wife, Anna, heiress of the last count of Wardenberg, brought him the countship of Heiligenberg and lordships of Jungnau'and Trochtelfingen in 1534• On Friedrich's death (1559) his territories were divided between his two sons, Joachim and Christof I. Of these the former founded the line of Heiligenberg, the latter that of Kinzigthal. The Kinzigthal branch was again subdivided in the 17th century between the two sons of Christof II. (d. 1614), the elder, Wratislaw II. (d. 1642), founding the line of Mosskirch, the younger, Friedrich Rudolf (d. 1655), that of Stuhlingen. The Heiligenberg branch received an accession of dignity by the elevation of Count Hermann Egon (d. 1674) to the rank of prince of the Empire in 1664, but his line became extinct with the death of his son Prince Anton Egon, favourite of King Augustus the Strong and regent of Saxony, in 1716. The heads of both the Mosskirch and Stuhlingen lines .were now raised to the dignity of princes of the Empire (1716). The Mosskirch branch died out with Prince Karl Friedrich (d. 1744); the territories of the Stuhlingen branch had been divided on the death of Count Prosper Ferdinand (1662—1704) between his two sons, Joseph Wilhelm Ernst (1699—1762) and Ludwig August Egon (1705—1759). The first of these was created prince of the Empire on the loth of December 1716, and founded the princely line of the Swabian Furstenbergs; in 1772 he obtained from the emperor Francis I. for all his legitimate sons and their descend-ants the right to bear, instead of the style of landgrave, that of prince, which had so far been confined to the reigning head of the family. Ludwig, on the other hand, founded the family of the landgraves of Furstenberg, who, since their territories lay in Austria and Moravia, were known as the " cadet line in Austria." The princely line became extinct with the death of Karl Joachim in 1804, and the inheritance passed to the Bohemian branch of the Austrian cadet line in the person of Karl Egon II. (see below). Two years later the principality was mediatized. In 1909 there were two branches of the princely house of Furstenberg: (i) the main branch, that of Furstenberg-Donaueschingen, the head of which was Prince Maximilian Egon (b. 1863), who succeeded his cousin Karl Egon .III. in 1896; (2) that of Furstenberg-Kbnigshof, in Bohemia, the head of which was Prince Emil Egon (b. 1876), chamberlain and secretary of legation to the Austro-Hungarian embassy in London (1907). The cadet line of the landgraves of Furstenberg is now extinct, its last representative having been the landgrave Joseph Friedrich Ernst of Furstenberg-Weitra (1860—1896), son of the landgrave Ernst (1816—1889) by a morganatic marriage. He was not recognized as ebenburlig by the family. The landgraves of Furstenberg were in 1909 represented only by the landgravines Theresa (b. 1839) and Gabrielle (b. 1844), daughters of the landgrave Johann Egon (1802-1879). From the days, of Heinrich of Urach, a relative and notable supporter of Rudolph of Habsburg, the Furstenbergs have played a stirring part in German history as statesmen, ecclesiastics and notably soldiers. There was a popular saying that " the emperor fights no great battle but a Furstenberg falls." In the Heiligenberg line the following may be more particularly noticed.
End of Article: FURSTENBERG
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