House of Schwarzburg
|Founder||Count Sizzo I|
|Final sovereign||Prince Günther|
The House of Schwarzburg was one of the oldest noble families of Thuringia, until its extinction in 1971 with the death of Prince Friedrich Günther.1 Reigning over the County of Schwarzburg and founded by Sizzo I of Schwarzburg (died 1160), the family split in the 16th century into the lines of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen and Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, which were not reunified until 1909.
The County of Schwarzburg was a state of the Holy Roman Empire from 1195 to 1595, when it was partitioned into Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. It was ruled by counts from the House of Schwarzburg. Schwarzburg Castle was first mentioned in 1071 deed. In 1123 Count Sizzo III of Käfernburg (Kevernburg), mentioned by the medieval chronicler Lambert of Hersfeld and according to the Annalista Saxo a grandson of Prince Yaropolk Izyaslavich of Turov by his mother, rebuilt the castle calling himself a "Count of Schwarzburg". Sizzo also established Georgenthal Abbey and in 1157 he accompanied Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa during his campaign against High Duke Bolesław IV the Curly of Poland.
In 1197 Sizzo's grandson Heinrich II divided the common heritage with his brother Günther III and made Schwarzburg Castle his residence. His territory then also comprised the nearby castle of Blankenburg. The Schwarzburg lands were again divided among his successors until in 1538 Count Günther XL the Rich was able to unite the territories including Frankenhausen and Rudolstadt under his rule. He was succeeded by his eldest son Günther XLI, however after his death in 1583 his younger brothers again divided the county: John Günther I received the territory around Arnstadt, later called Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, while Albrecht VII inherited the lands of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. The partition was finally confirmed by the 1599 Treaty of Stadtilm.
- Sizzo I (-1005)
- Sizzo II (-1075)
- Günther I (-1109), married Mechthild, daughter of Prince Yaropolk Izyaslavich of Turov
- Sizzo III (1109-1160)
- Günther II (1160-1197)
- Heinrich II (1197-1236), Count of Schwarzburg-Blankenburg
- Günther VII (1236-1274)
- Günther IX (1274-1289)
- Günther XII (1289-1308)
- Heinrich VII (1308-1324)
- Günther XL (1526-1552)
County divided again in 1571
- Albrecht VII of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (1583-1605)
- John Günther I of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen (1583-1586)
- Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt—the line and descendants of the counts of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.
- Principality of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen—the line and descendants of the counts of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen.
- The House of Schwarzburg on Heraldica.org
- (English) House Laws of Schwarzburg