Welcome

Welcome to the website of the princely house of Fürstenberg. The princely family of Fürstenberg resides in Donaueschingen for centuries and still bears considerable cultural and charitable responsibility.

On the following pages you will find all the information about the history of the house, the princely family, the residences, archive & library and upcoming events.

The Family

The Princes of Fürstenberg belong to the oldest European aristocracy. The ruled the Principality of Fürstenberg, one of Southwest Germany’s largest territories, until 1806. The family’s residence has been located in Donaueschingen since 1723. With Heiligenberg Castle the family furthermore possesses one of the most important Renaissance landmarks in Northern Europe. The family is Germany’s second largest forest owner.

1283

Enfeoffment with the Landgraviate Baar

Rudolf of Habsburg, King of Germany during the years of 1273 to 1291, enfeoffs Count Heinrich the 1st with the Landgraviate in the Baar. The countship unfolds to become the heartland of the Fuerstenberg State.
15./18. Century

Expanding the Fuerstenberg Territory

Sagacious marriage politics, beneficial successions and close relations to the House of Habsburg, enable the Fuerstenbergs to expand their possessions.
1488

Adoption of Donaueschingen

The village and castle of Donaueschingen are sold to Count Heinrich and Count Wolfgang by the widowed Barbara of Habsberg and her sons Ulrich and Dipolt.  
1534

Count Friedrich II. of Fürstenberg

Based on a marriage to Countess Anna of Werdenberg, the Countship Heiligenberg north of Lake Constance, together with the reign over Jungnau and Trochtelfingen come into the inheritance of Count Friedrich II. of Fuerstenberg in the year of 1534.
1248

Fürstenberg Castle

The estates are divided among the brothers Konrad (Breisgau) and Heinrich (Baar and Black Forest). Heinrich continues to be named after the Fuerstenberg Castle, deriving from the ancient term „fuerdersten Berg“, the foremost hill of the Laenge ridge in the area of Neudingen.
9.-11. Century

Unruochinger / Counts of Urach

The Counts and later Princes of Fuerstenberg rank among the earliest of the mEuropean high aristocracy. In all probability, they can be ascribed to theUnrochinger, a Franconian countship located in inner Swabia during the times of Charlemagne (around 800 A.D.). Certifiable genealogy has been traced back to the Counts of Urach, holding estates in the Swabian Alp and the intermediary Neckar region in 11th century.
1218

The Zähringer Legacy

Brought in by Agnes of Zaehringen, consort of Count Egino IV. of Urach, the estates of the Dukes of Zaehringen in Southwest Germany enter the possession of the Countship of Urach. The new crest displays the eagle of the Dukes of Zaehringen and the plumage of the Counts of Urach.
1575

The Knight's Hall at Heiligenberg Castle

Former Werdenberg Castle on Heiligenberg hill is refurbished to become a Renaissance-style palace under command of Count Friedrich, as well as Joachim of Fuerstenberg (1538-1598). In 1575, master builder Joerg Schwartzenberger takes charge, designing the famous „Rittersaal, the knight’s hall.
1607

Castle and City of Weitra

The reign over Weitra in Lower Austria is brought into the Countess Maria of Arco’s marriage to Count Friedrich. Ever after, Weitra has been in the House of Fuerstenberg’s ownership.
1664

Anointment to the Rank of Imperial Prince

The heritable dignity of an imperial prince is awarded to the brothers Franz Egon, Hermann Egon and Wilhelm Egon of Fuerstenberg-Heiligenberg. Holding office as the Bishop of Straßburg, Franz Egon, as well as his brother Wilhelm Egon, leads the life of an ambitious statesman. Both align themselves with France, forging close alliance with Louis XIV. The sword of Franz Egon, Prince of Fuerstenberg and Bishop of Straßburg, is out on display in the family’s collections in Donaueschingen.
1716-1744

Prince Joseph Wilhelm Ernst

Following the termination of the Meßkirch (1716) and Heiligenberg (1744) ancestries, Count Joseph Wilhelm Ernst (1699-1762), descending from the Stuehlinger lineage achieves to unite all Fuerstenberg estates for the first time. He is considered by rights the creator of the Fuerstenberg state.
1723

Donaueschingen, The Fuerstenberg's new Residency

In 1723, Prince Joseph Wilhelm Ernst relocates his office to Donaueschingen. A castle is constructed and belted with multiple functional and representational buildings. While the new capital, court and seat of the government is provided with a baroque character, it flourishes to become an economic and cultural focal point.
1804

Karl Egon II. Prince of Fürstenberg

After termination of the lineage of Imperial Princes in 1804, Prince Karl Egon II. of the bohemian lineage inherits the supplementary Swabian estates. Under guardianship of his spirited mother, a born-princess of Thurn and Taxis, he will continue to reign as a German Imperial Prince. In 1806, ensuing from the Napoleonic Wars and the disintegration of the German Empire, the traditionally Austria-affiliated principality is mediatised. Its territories descend into the newly formed middling states of Baden, Wuerttemberg and Hohenzollern.
1873

The Royal Fuerstenbergian Collections

In regards to his artistic sense, Prince Karl Egon III. takes after his father. Under his direction, the famous Royal Collections are established within the walls of the Karls Building close by the castle. He expands the court library and provides researchers with access to the royal archives. During his reign, the traditional royal administration is reorganized, while the royal ancestral estate transitions into a contemporary, economically sustainable enterprise.
1892-1896

Donaueschingen Castle

Under Prince Karl Egon IV., Donaueschingen Castle is remodeled into its present shape: The modest, elongated frontage is leavened up by an overhanging middle tract and a voluminous dome, while the interiors are entirely remodeled. Ever since, the residency in Donaueschingen unifies representational and spatial requirements of a castle with the comfort of a mansion. Characterized by a Francophone sense of style, Donaueschingen Castle stands out among the mostly baroque-shaped majority of German noble architecture. Its design has been significantly affected by Princess Dorothea, the wife of Karl Egon IV., as she descended from the House of Talleygrand-Périgord, one of the most respected families in France.
1921

Prince Max Egon II.

In 1892, the Swabian estates pass into the ownership of Prince Max Egon II., descending from the Bohemian lineage of the Fuerstenberg House. Particularly a patron to music, he establishes chamber music performances to foster contemporary musical art. During these, composers such as Hindemith, Schoenberg or Webern make their breakthrough. To this day, the Donaueschingen Music Days are considered a vital forum for contemporary music.
1941

Prince Max Egon

Prince Max Egon assumes responsibility for the Swabian estates in 1941. Being a man of far-flung cultural interest and ambition, he holds the title of honorary doctor from the University of Freiburg, while being an art collector and patron of contemporary musical art during the Donaueschingen Music Days. In the year of his passing, he is portrayed by painter Graham Sutherland, one of the most significant portrait painters of the 20th century. In his memory, Igor Strawinsky creates the musical piece „Epitaph for the tomb of Prince Max Egon of Fuerstenberg“.
1973

Prince Joachim Egon

Prince Joachim Egon accedes to the guidance of the House of Fuerstenberg. Simultaneously, the properties of the landgraviate of Weitra descend to his youngest son, Prince Johannes, by adoption.
1959

Donaueschingen Horse show

Under patronage of Prince Joachim of Fuerstenberg (1923-2002), the Donaueschingen Horse Show obtains international validity.
2002

Prince Heinrich

After the passing of Prince Joachim Egon, his son, Prince Heinrich of Fuerstenberg comes into office. Prince Heinrich is married to Massimiliana Princes of Windisch-Graetz. Their sons are hereditary prince Christian and Prince Antonius.
2004

Hereditary Prince Christian

Along with his father, Prince Heinrich of Fuerstenberg, Hereditary Prince Christian is conducting affairs of the House. He has been married to Jeannette Catherine Hereditary Princess of Fuerstenberg since September the 16th 2010.
2011

Prince Antonius

On June 11th 2011, Prince Antonius, youngest son of Prince Heinrich of Fuerstenberg, marries Countess Matilde Borromeo. They have a son, Prince Karl Egon.

1283

Enfeoffment with the Landgraviate Baar

Rudolf of Habsburg, King of Germany during the years of 1273 to 1291, enfeoffs Count Heinrich the 1st with the Landgraviate in the Baar. The countship unfolds to become the heartland of the Fuerstenberg State.
15./18. Century

Expanding the Fuerstenberg Territory

Sagacious marriage politics, beneficial successions and close relations to the House of Habsburg, enable the Fuerstenbergs to expand their possessions.
1488

Adoption of Donaueschingen

The village and castle of Donaueschingen are sold to Count Heinrich and Count Wolfgang by the widowed Barbara of Habsberg and her sons Ulrich and Dipolt.  
1534

Count Friedrich II. of Fürstenberg

Based on a marriage to Countess Anna of Werdenberg, the Countship Heiligenberg north of Lake Constance, together with the reign over Jungnau and Trochtelfingen come into the inheritance of Count Friedrich II. of Fuerstenberg in the year of 1534.
1248

Fürstenberg Castle

The estates are divided among the brothers Konrad (Breisgau) and Heinrich (Baar and Black Forest). Heinrich continues to be named after the Fuerstenberg Castle, deriving from the ancient term „fuerdersten Berg“, the foremost hill of the Laenge ridge in the area of Neudingen.
9.-11. Century

Unruochinger / Counts of Urach

The Counts and later Princes of Fuerstenberg rank among the earliest of the mEuropean high aristocracy. In all probability, they can be ascribed to theUnrochinger, a Franconian countship located in inner Swabia during the times of Charlemagne (around 800 A.D.). Certifiable genealogy has been traced back to the Counts of Urach, holding estates in the Swabian Alp and the intermediary Neckar region in 11th century.
1218

The Zähringer Legacy

Brought in by Agnes of Zaehringen, consort of Count Egino IV. of Urach, the estates of the Dukes of Zaehringen in Southwest Germany enter the possession of the Countship of Urach. The new crest displays the eagle of the Dukes of Zaehringen and the plumage of the Counts of Urach.
1575

The Knight's Hall at Heiligenberg Castle

Former Werdenberg Castle on Heiligenberg hill is refurbished to become a Renaissance-style palace under command of Count Friedrich, as well as Joachim of Fuerstenberg (1538-1598). In 1575, master builder Joerg Schwartzenberger takes charge, designing the famous „Rittersaal, the knight’s hall.
1607

Castle and City of Weitra

The reign over Weitra in Lower Austria is brought into the Countess Maria of Arco’s marriage to Count Friedrich. Ever after, Weitra has been in the House of Fuerstenberg’s ownership.
1664

Anointment to the Rank of Imperial Prince

The heritable dignity of an imperial prince is awarded to the brothers Franz Egon, Hermann Egon and Wilhelm Egon of Fuerstenberg-Heiligenberg. Holding office as the Bishop of Straßburg, Franz Egon, as well as his brother Wilhelm Egon, leads the life of an ambitious statesman. Both align themselves with France, forging close alliance with Louis XIV. The sword of Franz Egon, Prince of Fuerstenberg and Bishop of Straßburg, is out on display in the family’s collections in Donaueschingen.
1716-1744

Prince Joseph Wilhelm Ernst

Following the termination of the Meßkirch (1716) and Heiligenberg (1744) ancestries, Count Joseph Wilhelm Ernst (1699-1762), descending from the Stuehlinger lineage achieves to unite all Fuerstenberg estates for the first time. He is considered by rights the creator of the Fuerstenberg state.
1723

Donaueschingen, The Fuerstenberg's new Residency

In 1723, Prince Joseph Wilhelm Ernst relocates his office to Donaueschingen. A castle is constructed and belted with multiple functional and representational buildings. While the new capital, court and seat of the government is provided with a baroque character, it flourishes to become an economic and cultural focal point.
1804

Karl Egon II. Prince of Fürstenberg

After termination of the lineage of Imperial Princes in 1804, Prince Karl Egon II. of the bohemian lineage inherits the supplementary Swabian estates. Under guardianship of his spirited mother, a born-princess of Thurn and Taxis, he will continue to reign as a German Imperial Prince. In 1806, ensuing from the Napoleonic Wars and the disintegration of the German Empire, the traditionally Austria-affiliated principality is mediatised. Its territories descend into the newly formed middling states of Baden, Wuerttemberg and Hohenzollern.
1873

The Royal Fuerstenbergian Collections

In regards to his artistic sense, Prince Karl Egon III. takes after his father. Under his direction, the famous Royal Collections are established within the walls of the Karls Building close by the castle. He expands the court library and provides researchers with access to the royal archives. During his reign, the traditional royal administration is reorganized, while the royal ancestral estate transitions into a contemporary, economically sustainable enterprise.
1892-1896

Donaueschingen Castle

Under Prince Karl Egon IV., Donaueschingen Castle is remodeled into its present shape: The modest, elongated frontage is leavened up by an overhanging middle tract and a voluminous dome, while the interiors are entirely remodeled. Ever since, the residency in Donaueschingen unifies representational and spatial requirements of a castle with the comfort of a mansion. Characterized by a Francophone sense of style, Donaueschingen Castle stands out among the mostly baroque-shaped majority of German noble architecture. Its design has been significantly affected by Princess Dorothea, the wife of Karl Egon IV., as she descended from the House of Talleygrand-Périgord, one of the most respected families in France.
1921

Prince Max Egon II.

In 1892, the Swabian estates pass into the ownership of Prince Max Egon II., descending from the Bohemian lineage of the Fuerstenberg House. Particularly a patron to music, he establishes chamber music performances to foster contemporary musical art. During these, composers such as Hindemith, Schoenberg or Webern make their breakthrough. To this day, the Donaueschingen Music Days are considered a vital forum for contemporary music.
1941

Prince Max Egon

Prince Max Egon assumes responsibility for the Swabian estates in 1941. Being a man of far-flung cultural interest and ambition, he holds the title of honorary doctor from the University of Freiburg, while being an art collector and patron of contemporary musical art during the Donaueschingen Music Days. In the year of his passing, he is portrayed by painter Graham Sutherland, one of the most significant portrait painters of the 20th century. In his memory, Igor Strawinsky creates the musical piece „Epitaph for the tomb of Prince Max Egon of Fuerstenberg“.
1973

Prince Joachim Egon

Prince Joachim Egon accedes to the guidance of the House of Fuerstenberg. Simultaneously, the properties of the landgraviate of Weitra descend to his youngest son, Prince Johannes, by adoption.
1959

Donaueschingen Horse show

Under patronage of Prince Joachim of Fuerstenberg (1923-2002), the Donaueschingen Horse Show obtains international validity.
2002

Prince Heinrich

After the passing of Prince Joachim Egon, his son, Prince Heinrich of Fuerstenberg comes into office. Prince Heinrich is married to Massimiliana Princes of Windisch-Graetz. Their sons are hereditary prince Christian and Prince Antonius.
2004

Hereditary Prince Christian

Along with his father, Prince Heinrich of Fuerstenberg, Hereditary Prince Christian is conducting affairs of the House. He has been married to Jeannette Catherine Hereditary Princess of Fuerstenberg since September the 16th 2010.
2011

Prince Antonius

On June 11th 2011, Prince Antonius, youngest son of Prince Heinrich of Fuerstenberg, marries Countess Matilde Borromeo. They have a son, Prince Karl Egon.

© 2016 HAUS FÜRSTENBERG