Hohenstaufen is situated at the north-western side of the Swabian Alps. The time of the Staufer was coined by conflicts with the Pope and towns and regions in Italy which ended with the execution of the last heir Konradin in Napoli, Italy.
The mountain “Hohenstaufen” 684 m high with the suburb of Göttingen “Hohenstaufen” at its side was the site of the former family seat, castle Hohenstaufen of the medieval dynasty of the Staufer. With rulers like:
Konrad III. 1093-1152 took over the disputed rule as king (not emperor) of the Holy Roman German Empire 1138 following the Dynasty of the Salier. He was in conflict with the mighty Dynasty of the Welfen. His mother was Agnes, a daughter of Salier Heirich IV (..Canossa…) who was toppled by son Salier Heinrich V. Konrad III. is interred in the cathedral of Bamberg. Konrad was the first German ruler who guided a crusade. (1147, which failed, on that crusade he caught the Malaria disease from which he died 1152)
Friedrich Barbarossa joined his uncle Konrad during his crusade. Tales have it, that Barbarossa sleeps in the “Kyffhäuser” mountain or together with Charlemagne in the “Untersberg” waiting for better times. At the beginning he supported Heinrich der Löwe (Welfe) with privileges who in return supported him. 1155 after his enthronization in Rom on his way back to Germany Otto I. von Wittelsbach saved his skin at the Veroneser Feste for which Otto received his reward 1180 and became first Wittelsbacher Duke in Bavaria after Welfe Heinrich der Löwe let down Barbarossa in a later war in Italy (1174-1177). Barbarossa awarded the town of Augsburg a new Town Charter (after the Romans before), the “Justitia Civitatis Augustensis” with most important regulations concerning pouring not enough beer or bad beer.
Barbarossa died on a crusade 1190 drowning in the Göksu river in todays Turkey. It is unknown, where his body is.
Son Heinrich VI. Followed. 1165-1197, 1191-97 emperor, but died early maybe from Malaria which he caught in Italy or maybe poisoned by his wife Konstanze.
Philipp von Schwaben, uncle of Friedrich II. the designated heir (son of Heinrich VI). at that time was only 2 years old, followed as German king 1198 and lost much of the Staufer rule in upper Italy. Philipp ruled in the name of nephew Friedrich II. but the situation was disputed as another Anti-King Welfe Otto was supported by other aristocrats and bishops. (like the bishop of Cologne) And the Pope at the beginning.
But Welfe Otto was not clever enough and continued the argument with the Pope about Sicily which the Popes wanted to control and lost that support.
Phillipp, was married with roman-byzantine Princess Irene, by that had a strategic connection to the important stepstone on the way to Jerusalem for further crusades. Irene before was married to the Normannic King of Sicily Roger III.
Philipp (during his time as ruler) was murdered in Bamberg 1208 by Wittelsbacher Otto VIII Von Wittelsbach (nephew of Wittelsbacher Duke I of Bavaria) in an argument about a marriage of a promising daughter of Philipp, Kunigunde. Fortunately much of the event could be blamed on the family of the Andechs-Meraner Dynasty and the good connection between the Wittelsbacher and Staufer remained. Irene, pregnant with another daughter, in vain went to castle Hohenstaufen Castle where she died during the birth of the daughter who too died soon later. Irene was adored a lot during her time, also by singer/poet “Walther von der Vogelweide” as “Rose ohne Dorn” (rose without a thorn)
Friedrich II. 1194-1250 German King since 1212, Emperor since 1220, King of Jerusalem since 1225 followed and could straighten things out. He founded the Univerity in Napoly 1224.(adored as “stupor mundi”, “principum mundi maximus”) but later again got in conflict with the Popes Gregor , Innozenz (And was excommunicated several times, called Anti-Christ and died excommunicated). Friedrich had many women (13?) and at least 20 children, but probably much more. Frierich built the iconic Castel Del Monte.
Konrad IV. 1228-1254 became the next and last emperor of the Staufer Dynasty. He was elected German King 1237 in Vienna when he was 8 Years old. After that was organized, Friedrich could continue his conflicts in Italy. Konrad IV 1246 married Wittelsbacher Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria, daughter of Wittelsbacher Otto der Erlauchte. (born in Kehlheim, † 1253 Landshut)
1251 Konrad was excommunicated, again 1254. He never saw his son Konradin as he was busy in Italy. Konradin grew up under the guard of uncle Wittelbacher Ludwig der Strenge.
Konradin trying to save his heritage in Italy lost the war there, was captured and executed by the “Popes headsman” Karl von Anjou who only gained control over southern Italy for a short time.
There is a wonderful ducumentation Center in Hohenstaufen at the foot of the Castle mountain which we visited:
We enjoyed a good regional meal in the Little summit Restaurant on a sunny, clear day with a splendid view overlooking Göttingen and Bad Boll in the distance.
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