Biography of emperador del Sacro Imperio Rodolfo I de Habsburgo (1218-1291)

Emperor of the Holy Empire Roman Germanic (1273-91) and founder of the dynasty of the Habsburgs. He/She was born on 1 may of the year 1218, in Limburg Castle, and died in the month of may of the year 1291, in the city of Speyer, place which he/she had chosen as his grave. Son of the count of Habsburg, Alberto IV, inherited and conquered a large number of territories that would form the central core of the Hapsburg dynasty in the future throughout his life.

The young Rodolfo was the last emperor of the House of Hohenstaufen, Federico II, who put him under his wing and armed him Knight, in the year 1241 baptismal sponsor. Prior to that, on the death of his father, he/she inherited the almost all of its States, as his two older brothers had died. It was therefore only a sister, Isabel, who married Federico of Nuremberg. Rudolph I was owner of high Silesia and vast territories of German Switzerland. After returning from the imperial campaign, which accompanied the Emperor Federico II, Rodolfo was confronted by his maternal uncle, Rodolfo Lanffenburg, which held claims over the territories of his nephew, he/she ended up winning. In the year 1245, Rodolfo was married to Gertrudis de Hohemberg, completed in that way their domains with Wyler Valley and the castle of Ortemburgo, who joined them other possessions ceded by Emperor Federico II and Conrad V. In the year 1262, completely defeated his other maternal uncle, Hartmann, and annexed their large territories, which included the towns of Coburg, Thurgau, Mellingenlezburg, which became the most powerful Lord in the region of Swabia.

The policy of territorial annexations soon bore fruit, in the year 1273, when the German electors Princes decided to name Rudolph Emperor, and thus to terminate the period of interregnum after the death of the previous Emperor, Federico II, caused in the year 1250. The election was held, with absolute unanimity, by Luis of Bavaria, the archbishops of Mainz, Trier and Cologne, and the Bishops of Worms and Speyer, to the detriment of the other candidate, the King of Castile Alfonso X the wise, who also claimed his candidacy under his direct descent from Swabian Constanza. Rodolfo I reached an agreement with the Pope Gregory X whereby it undertook to solemnly renounce their rights as Emperor over Rome and the Papal States, in Exchange for the Pope didn't to the Castilian King so he/she withdraw his candidacy, this was obliged to accept, spurred on by serious problems within his own Kingdom (death of his heir Fernando de la Cerda and the rebellion of his son Sancho(, future Sancho IV).

As emperor, Rodolfo I won a triple objective under his reign: restore order in the Empire, disrupted after almost twenty years of anarchy produced by the interregnum; recover the territories abandoned in foreign hands; and, finally, maintain close and cordial relations with the Papacy, forgetting his last ghibbelin (antipapal) beside the former Emperor Federico II. But the first major serious hurdle that had to be solved Rodolfo I was direct rebellion of the King of Bohemia, Otakar II, who still had not sworn allegiance to the new emperor. The Bohemian King tried to take advantage of the early years of the reign of Rodolfo I mesh, and thus shake off the annoying Germanic tutelage and extend its authority to the territory of the Adriatic coast. Rodolfo I, faithful to its policy of territorial recuperation, reacted in time and beat definitely, with the invaluable help of a large contingent of Hungarians, Otakar II at the battle of Durnkurt, on 26 August of the year 1278. After the defeat of their most annoying enemy, Rodolfo I let the son of the defeated, Wenceslas, King of Bohemia and Moravia; for it has been reserved the territories of Austria, Styria, Carinthia and Carniola, which eventually would be transformed into the center of the future Empire of the Hapsburgs.

Rudolph I was concerned about keeping the peace and inner cohesion within their domains, thanks to multiple edicts Imperial, legislating on all kinds of issues. But it could not prevent that in Swabian a climate of total anarchy, came with noble Knights converted into authentic bandits given to the prey, that they were causing a great evil to imperial authority. Rodolfo I, decided to intervene in Swabia, had to withdraw from the commitment to not be able to count with the blessing of the Princes electors German, jealous and fearful of its excess of power. Therefore, had to be content with hold nominal but not effective power over the territory of Swabia. On the other hand, it had enough power to impose his opinion in the territories more Eastern and southern of the Empire, where Yes available forces and important support by their noble vassals.

Rudolph I was also concerned about renewed statutes, charters and privileges of the German cities, many of them plundered continuously by the aristocratic bands during the harsh struggle for imperial power. It limited the power of the magnates and prelates and developed economy in the North of the Empire, encouraging commercial companies of the Hansa, authentic economic driver of the Empire. To ensure on the imperial throne to his dynasty, Rodolfo I convened in Frankfurt, in the year 1291, an Assembly to the Princes electors chose his son Alberto as his imperial successor, which refused categorically the powerful German princes electors, since no it had to be them a hereditary precedent in the imperial succession, and thus further strengthen the House of Habsburgwhich would mean the end of the balance of power in the Empire. After the failure of their dynastic politics, Rodolfo I, feeling death, moved quickly to the city of Speyer, where he/she ended his days at the end of the month of may of the same year.


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