What Are Some Facts About the House of Habsburg?


Quick Answer

The House of Habsburg was a royal family dynasty that ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire for 640 years. Following World War I, the family was exiled, ending their reign of power. Family members over the years held various leadership titles including king of France, king of Germany, king of Spain and king of Portugal. The family held the throne of the Holy Roman Empire from 1438 to 1740.

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Full Answer

The family name comes from Habsburg Castle, built in Switzerland in the 11th century. The family ruled Austria from 1276 with Rudolph of Habsburg until 1918. The final heir to the Austrian throne, Otto Von Habsburg, died in 1911 bringing an end to the dynasty.

The two Habsburg lines died out over the 640 years; the senior line ended after the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700, and the secondary male line ended in 1740 with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. The indirect line, House of Lorraine, held the title of House of Habsburg following the end of the direct lines of Habsburg heirs.

The most famous death in the Habsburg family history was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which sparked the outbreak of World War I.

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