Knight's Canton of Hegau-Allgäu-Bodensee - Ritterkanton Hegau-Allgäu-Bodensee

Diplomaticus pad mounted in series or Relchs-Ritter-Archives, 1721
Coat of arms of the knight's canton at the knight house in Wangen
The knight's house next to the Ravensburger Tor in Wangen

A corporate association of knightly noble families in the southern German regions north of Lake Constance is referred to as the knightly canton of Hegau-Allgäu-Bodensee or Hegau Knighthood . Since the Middle Ages they were the vassals of various princes in the ministerials ascended. Unlike many of their lower aristocrats, they were able to break away from the rural estate ; up to the mediatization of the knighthood they held the feudal lordship over numerous villages and estates. As an imperial knightwere they directly imperial, but did not have the imperial estate, that is, they were not represented at the Reichstag .

The territories of the imperial knighthood and thus also the knightly canton of Hegau-Allgäu-Bodensee were dissolved in the course of mediatization at the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806; the sovereignty passed to Baden , Württemberg and Bavaria , the imperial knights were put on an equal footing with the rural nobility.

Administrative affiliation, subdivision, seats

Since the 16th century, the free imperial knighthood in south-west Germany - analogous to the imperial circles - was divided into a Rhenish , Franconian and Swabian knightly circle , which in turn consisted of different cantons. The Swabian Knight Circle was divided into the cantons of Danube , Hegau-Allgäu-Bodensee, Neckar-Black Forest , Kocher and Kraichgau .

Since the united nobles predominantly made politics in regional contexts, married, owned property, etc., the canton was by far the most important level in the organization of the imperial knighthood. The knightly canton of Hegau-Allgäu-Bodensee belonged to the Swabian knight circle. Its emergence in the 15th century is possibly related to the looser association of Swabian nobles in the St. Jörgenschild . The knight's canton had two districts or quarters :

1. Quartier Hegau with seat in the knighthood house (today district court) in Radolfzell . This was also the seat of the cantonal directorate and the canton captain.

2. Quartier Allgäu-Bodensee with seat and office in Wangen im Allgäu .

Special features, history

A peculiarity of this knightly canton within Swabia seems to be the adherence of the represented families to the Catholic denomination, which could be explained by the proximity of the Habsburg (Upper Austrian) territories and the thus "natural" reference to Vienna. As a result, later-born children were able to embark on spiritual careers in the numerous religious foundations in the region such as Augsburg , Konstanz and Kempten .

During the Hegau War in 1441, the Swabian League of Cities and the Hegau Knighthood met.

In the Swiss War, the Hegau knighthood was in the forefront against the Swiss.

In the German Peasants' War , the knights of the canton fought against the Upper Swabian and Allgäu peasant groups.

Noble families who belonged to the knightly canton


  • Franz Werner Ruch: The constitution of the canton Hegau-Allgäu-Bodensee of the immediate free imperial knighthood. Mainz, ARTA advertising print in Konstanz, 1955. (Mainz, Jur. F., diss. Of March 30, 1955)