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The Habsburg lands (orange) in 1477
Inner Austria ( , ) was a term used from the late 14th to the early 17th century for the Habsburg hereditary lands south of the Semmering Passmarker, referring to the duchies of Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and the Windic March, the County of Gorizia (to Habsburg in 1500), the city of Triestemarker and assorted smaller possessions bordering the area (Pazinmarker in Istriamarker, Rijekamarker, Liburnia, Duinomarker). The residence of the Inner Austrian dukes was at Grazmarker.


After the death of Austrian Duke Rudolf IV of Habsburg in 1365, his younger brothers Albert III and Leopold III quarelled about his heritage and in the Treaty of Neuberg of 1379 finally split the Habsburg territory: The Albertinian line would rule in the Archduchy of Austriamarker proper (then sometimes referred to as Lower Austria, but comprising modern Lower Austriamarker and Upper Austria), while the Leopoldian line ruled in Inner Austria and also Tyrol and Further Austria (which were collectively sometimes referred to as Upper Austria in that context, also not to be confused with the modern state of that name).

After the death of Leopold's eldest son William in 1406, the Leopoldinian line was further split among his brothers into an Inner Austrian territory under Ernest the Iron and a Tyrolean/Further Austrian line under Frederick IV.

In 1457 Ernest's son Duke Frederick V of Inner Austria also gained the Austrian archduchy after his Albertine cousin Ladislaus the Posthumous had died without issue. 1490 saw the reunification of all Habsburg lines, when Archduke Sigismund of Further Austria and Tyrol resigned in favour of Frederick's son Maximilian I. The dynasty however was split up again in 1564 among the children of deceased Emperor Ferdinand I of Habsburg. The Inner Austrian line founded by Archduke Charles II prevailed again, when his son and successor as regent of Inner Austria Ferdinand II in 1619 became Archduke of Austria and Holy Roman Emperor as well as King of Bohemia and Hungary in 1620.

The Further Austrian/Tyrolean line of Ferdinand's brother Archduke Leopold V survived until the death of his son Sigismund Francis in 1665, whereafter their territories ultimately returned to common control with the other Austrian Habsburg lands.

Rulers of Inner Austria

Leopoldinian line

became Archduke of Austriamarker in 1457, Habsburg territories united in 1490

Inner Austrian line

  • Charles II (1564-1590)
  • Ferdinand II, son (1590-1619), also King of the Romans from 1618 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1619
became Archduke of Austria in 1619. All Habsburg territories again united in 1655.

See also

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