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One of Württemberg's late medieval palaces

Urach Residential Palace

Detail of the coat of arms of the Counts of Württemberg-Mömpelgard, Urach Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Thomas Kiehl
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Mömpelgard and

Württemberg

Count Eberhard III's marriage proposal secured the French countship of Mömpelgard for Württemberg. Thus, Mömpelgard belonged to Württemberg from 1407 to 1796. Mömpelgard not only enabled intensive cultural exchange, but also served as a “dynastic reserve.”

Copper engraving by Merian of Mömpelgard, circa 1160. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg

Countship of Mömpelgard, circa 1660.

NEW ESTATES IN THE FRENCH TERRITORY

After the death of Stephan von Mömpelgard in November 1397, Count Eberhard III von Württemberg was able to make an advantageous match between his still underage son, who would later become Count Eberhard IV, and the likewise underage Henriette von Mömpelgard. She was the rightful heir and granddaughter of Stephan von Mömpelgard. When the two married in 1407, the Countship of Mömpelgard became part of Württemberg, remaining the “Countship of Württemberg-Mömpelgard” until 1796.

Henriette von Mömpelgard, glass window in the choir of the collegiate church in Tübingen, 1477. Image: Wikipedia, in the public domain

Henriette von Mömpelgard.

Widow and regent

In 1409, Count Eberhard IV assumed rule of Mömpelgard and several attached principalities. After his father's death in 1417, he also assumed rule of the Countship of Württemberg. However, he died two years later. Eberhard IV and Henriette had one daughter and two sons, both still underage in 1419. Henriette acquired guardianship of both her sons and ruled the entire countship for the time being. From 1421 until her death in 1444, she ruled as sole regent of Mömpelgard.

Count Ludwig I von Württemberg-Mömpelgard. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Robert Bothner

Count Ludwig I von Württemberg-Mömpelgard as benefactor.

URACH AND MÖMPELGARD

In the 1442 Treaty of Nürtingen, both brothers decided to divide Württemberg. Ludwig I, father of the Urach line, received the Urach portion with areas west and south, including areas in the Alsace. After the death of his mother, Henriette, Mömpelgard also became part of his realm. Ludwig elevated Urach to a residential city. His brother, Ulrich V, father of the Stuttgart line, received the eastern and northern portions with the residential city in Stuttgart. As with these two brothers, Mömpelgard would facilitate dynastic divisions repeatedly in the coming centuries.

Detail of the coat of arms of the Counts of Mömpelgard. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Janna Almeida

Barbels in the Mömpelgard coat of arms.

MUTUAL INFLUENCE

The joining of the countship of the House of Württemberg with the wealthy countship in the French-speaking region on the far side of the Rhine river would last four hundred years. Undoubtedly, Mömpelgard intensified the influence of French culture and language in Württemberg. An external example: The Württemberg coat of arms included the Mömpelgard barbels, two golden fishes on a red background.

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