The Baden coat of arms on the facade of Karlsruhe Palace

The margraves and grand dukes of BadenMilestones

The margraves of Baden were first documented in 1112, in Baden-Baden. But why did they later reside in other cities and when did they gain the title of "Grand Duke"?

Aerial view of Old Hohenbaden Castle

Old Hohenbaden Castle, the family's ancestral seat.

The margraves of Baden

Hermann II lived in Baden-Baden at the beginning of the 12th century and belonged to a noble family that shaped the region for centuries. Previously, the family had primarily exerted their influence in Breisgau and in the central Neckar area near Weilheim unter Teck. Marchio de Baduon named himself Hermann II, taking this name from his castle. Old Hohenbaden Castle became the family seat. Even today, the atmospheric ruins remain a beloved destination.

Portrait of Grand Duke Karl Friedrich von Baden circa 1790

Grand Duke Karl Friedrich von Baden circa 1790.

Two lineages: Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach

When a margrave died and was survived by several sons, his holdings were divided. That is why the houses of Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach have existed since the 16th century. In the Baroque period, every absolutist ruler wanted a representational residence. In 1705, Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden moved into the new Rastatt Residential Palace, and in 1715, Karl Wilhelm von Baden-Durlach founded the city and palace of Karlsruhe. After the House of Baden-Baden died out in 1771, Karl Friedrich von Baden-Durlach took over their holdings, significantly increasing his territory.

Baden becomes a grand duchy

1806 was a decisive year. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved. Baden was both dependent on and in the favor of the French Emperor, Napoleon. Through him, Margrave Karl Friedrich was elevated to the rank of Grand Duke and also received vast territories. Palaces, such as Mannheim, Schwetzingen, Heidelberg, and Bruchsal, were now also part of his domain. Yet one dream remained unfulfilled: becoming king. This honor remained reserved to the neighboring states of Württemberg and Bavaria. A hundred years later, the monarchy ended in Baden as well; Grand Duke Friedrich II abdicated in 1918.

Aerial view of the Sepulchral Chapel of the Grand Duchy in Karlsruhe

Burial place of the rulers of Baden.

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