Werdenberg was a county of the Holy Roman Empire situated on either side of the Rhine, including parts of what is now St. Gallen (Switzerland), Liechtenstein, and Vorarlberg (Austria). It was partitioned from Montfort in 1230. In 1260, it was divided into Werdenberg and Sargans.
It is named for Werdenberg Castle, today located in the municipality of Grabs in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen, seat of the counts of Werdenberg (Werdenberger), The family was descended from count Hugo II of Tübingen (d. 1180), who married Elisabeth, daughter of the last count of Bregenz, thus inheriting substantial territory along the Alpine Rhine. His son was Hugo I of Montfort (d. 1228), whose son Rudolf I is considered the founder of the Werdenberg line. Rudolf's sons Hugo I of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg and Hartmann I of Werdenberg divided the southern territory of the Montfort inheritance, establishing the two lines of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg and Werdenberg-Sargans.
In 1308 Werdenberg was further divided into Werdenberg-Heiligenberg (Linzgau) and Werdenberg-Werdenberg. The Vaduz line of Counts of Werdenberg died out in 1406 and Vaduz passed to the Barons of Brandis.
The family fractured further into a number of cadet branches. The line of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg-Sigmaringen-Trochtelfingen remained influential in the early 16th century in the context of the Swabian League but was extinct in 1534.
The Werdenberg feud (Werdenbergfehde) was a major series of feuds between the Werdenberg and their neighbours in the late 15th century, most notably their conflict with the von Zimmern family of Swabia. The feud between the lords of Werdenberg and of Zimmern escalated in 1488, rising to an importance above merely regional concerns, influencing the imperial policy of Frederick III and Maximilian I regarding the formation of the Swabian League, the Imperial Reforms and the history of the Old Swiss Confederacy.
Counts of Werdenberg
Below, a list of the counts of Werdenberg, numbered by order of ascension:
House of Tubingen
- 1230-1243: Rudolf I, son of Hugo I of Montfort
Division of Werdenberg:
|Pawned to the Counts of Montfort (1402-1485)
Annexed by Switzerland (1485)
|Pawned to Austria (1396-1436)
The succession of counts continued, as titular counts of Sargans, however they're not included here
|Annexed to Ulm|
||List continues below|
|Annexed by Switzerland (1483)||Divided between Fürstenberg and Austria (1534) and then Hohenzollern (1535)|
Successor houses in Werdenberg-Vaduz
(Note: Numbering restarts)
House of Brandis
- 1416-1456: Wolfhard, son-in-law of Albert III the Elder
- 1456-1486: Ulrich
- 1486-1507: Ludwig and Sigismund, brothers
House of Sulz
- 1507-1535: Rudolf I, maternal grandson of Ulrich of Brandis
- 1535-1556: John Louis
- 1556-1569: William and Alwig, brothers
- 1569-1572: Alwig
- 1572-1611: Rudolf II
- 1611-1613: John, sold Vaduz to the House of Hohenems
House of Hohenems
- 1613-1640: Kaspar
- 1640-1646: Jacob Hannibal
- 1646-1662: Franz Wilhelm I
- 1662-1686: Ferdinand Carl
- 1686-1691: Jacob Hannibal Frederick and Franz Wilhelm II, brothers
- 1691-1712: Jacob Hannibal Frederick, with Franz Wilhelm III (son of Franz Wilhelm I)
This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (February 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Gerhard Köbler, 'Werdenberg (Grafschaft)', in: Historisches Lexikon der deutschen Länder. Die deutschen Territorien vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart 2nd edition Munich 1989, p. 605.
- Fritz Rigendinger: Das Sarganserland im Spätmittelalter. Lokale Herrschaften, die Grafschaft Sargans und die Grafen von Werdenberg-Sargans. Chronos, Zürich 2007.
- Carl Borromäus Alois Fickler: Heiligenberg in Schwaben. Mit einer Geschichte seiner alten Grafen und des von ihnen beherrschten Linzgaues. Macklot, Karlsruhe 1853 
- Gerhard Köbler: Werdenberg (Grafschaft), in: Historisches Lexikon der deutschen Länder. Die deutschen Territorien vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. 2. verbesserte Auflage, München 1989, S. 605
- Martin Leonhard: Werdenberg, von in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- Johann Nepomuk von Vanotti: Geschichte der Grafen von Montfort und von Werdenberg. Belle-Vue bei Konstanz 1845  209ff.
- Hermann Wartmann (1896), "Werdenberg, Grafen von", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 41, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 749–759
- Media related to Werdenberg at Wikimedia Commons