One of Europe's oldest Royal houses and wider territories historically which have dominated. Its origin dates back to the 10th century, in the time of Otto the great. Its origin is located in the southern Swabian, from where it went to Switzerland, where Werner, Bishop of Strasbourg from 1001-1029, founded the castle which gives its name to the dynasty; in these initial moments family domains already stretched by Northern Switzerland and Alsace. Continued increasing its power to become the main family of Swabia.
In 1273 by Rudolph I, reached for the first time the imperial dignity. Rodolfo acquired the duchies of Austria, Styria and Carniola (ancient region in the North of the Adriatic). At his death in 1291, succeeded his son Alberto I, which had many difficulties to retain the throne. He finally lost it in favour of his nephew, with what the Crown then passed to the House of Luxembourg.
During the 14th century, the Habsburgs joined their territories of Carinthia, Tyrol, Trieste, Freiburg and Vorarlberg, at the time that lost their domains originating in Switzerland, which made them focus their energies on Austria.
In 1438 got another time placing one of its members in the imperial dignity, Alberto II, which would achieve that from this moment the title of Emperor, although it continued to maintain the illusion of being pro-choice, really stay attached to the House of Habsburg until its demise in 1806, with the exception of the brief interval in the years 1740-1745. Happened to Federico III, who started a deft double linking policy that extended his dominions towards Western Europe. His successor, Maximiliano I, married María de Burgundy, marriage by that annexed to the dynastic heritage the vast territories of the House of Burgundy. His son, Felipe I, the beautiful, married Juana la Loca of Castile, daughter of the Catholic monarchs (see Fernando II, King of Aragon and Castilla V e Isabel I, Queen of Castile and Leon) in whose son, Carlos V, gathered the dynastic inheritance of both houses: Austria, the Netherlands, the County, Castilla Franco which included Navarre, Granada and the Indies, and the Crown of Aragon with Naples, Sicily and Sardinia. It became the greatest monarch of all Christendom. His death broke his dominions between his brother Fernando I, who received the title of imperial and therefore the possessions in Germany, and his son Felipe IIwho got the rest of the possessions. Two branches of the family were created as well.
After the death of Fernando I, the German branch of the House of Austria was divided into three: the Austrian Habsburgs, the Tyrolean and Styrian. These last were those that remained with the imperial title and ended up reuniting the two other branches. Meanwhile, in Spain, Felipe II increased their domains with the annexation of Portugal and its empire Asian and American; but their descendants were not able to cope with the growing number of difficulties that were found and the decline of the House of Austria gradually became unstoppable. Carlos IIwould be the last of the Spanish Habsburgs, and his death Spain plunged into a succession war, in which the future emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Carlos VI could not keep his rights to the Spanish throne, which passed to the French House of Bourbon. It did, on the other hand, the Netherlands and Italy remained linked to the House of Austria, from Spain to Germany.
Carlos VI died without male descendants and taking into account that in 1713 it had promulgated the pragmatic sanction which excluded the throne to women, declared Austria the war of succession, which his daughter María Teresa, who won the Austrian throne but lost the imperial title, came out victorious in that it fell to elector of Bavaria from 1742 to 1745. María Teresa, married to Francisco I, Duke of Lorraine, which made choosing Emperor in 1745. This link led to the emergence of a new race, the Habsburgo-Lorena.
Happened in the Empire his son José II, Emperor on the death of his father in 1765, and King of Austria of its mother, in 1780. His sister was married to Fernando I of Naples, giving rise to the lineage of the Kings Two Sicilies, of origin Bourbon. Another of his sisters, María Antonieta, married the French King Luis XVI.
Francisco II was the last emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, since Napoleon ended with this institution, creating instead the Confederation of the Rhine. After the defeat of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna returned part of their old domains, but the Empire was restored, not replaced by the German Confederation of North, of which the Habsburgs exerted command until its demise in 1871. His heir Francisco José saw how the power of the Habsburgs faded. Defeated in almost all wars in which he participated, he witnessed how his Kingdom became the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867, and in 1871 to the formation of the Prussian Empire, which excluded to Austria-Hungary. In 1914, was assassinated his heir in Sarajevo, which triggered the first world war, in which the Emperor died. Carlos I, last Hapsburg Emperor, succeeded him since the defeat in the world war, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dismantled. Thus ended the history of the European Royal House that had reigned for more centuries in the old continent. Currently the leadership of the House of Habsburg is Otto, which renounced their dynastic rights to devote himself to politics.(see House of Austria).