County of Ravensberg

County of Ravensberg
County of Ravensberg
Grafschaft Ravensberg
State of the Holy Roman Empire (until 1806)
County of Calvelage
1140s – 1807

Coat of arms

Map of part of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle in
1560, County of Ravensberg highlighted in red
Capital Bielefeld
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Otto I, Count of
1140s 1140s
 - Gerhard I, Count of Berg
    and Ravensberg
 - Joined Westphalian
    Imperial Circle
 - John III, Duke of
 - To Brandenburg-Prussia
    by Treaty of Xanten
 - Disestablished 1807

The County of Ravensberg (German: Grafschaft Ravensberg) was a historical county of the Holy Roman Empire. Its territory was in present-day eastern Westphalia, Germany at the foot of the Osning or Teutoburg Forest.



Sparrenburg Castle
Historic map of the County of Ravensberg (1798)

Ravensberg was first mentioned in the 12th century; its first capital was Burg Ravensberg. The Counts of Ravensberg then had Sparrenberg Castle built in Bielefeld ca. 1240–50, which they made their seat.

The county was later inherited by the Duchy of Berg in 1346, which in turn became part of the Duchy of Jülich-Berg in 1423, and ultimately the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg in 1521.

After the War of the Jülich succession, in the Treaty of Xanten in 1614, the County of Ravensberg came to the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which became the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, and was administered within Minden-Ravensberg from 1719–1807, when it was dissolved during the Napoleonic Wars.

Aside from Bielefeld, other communities in the County of Ravensberg were Borgholzhausen, Halle, Steinhagen, Versmold, Werther, Isselhorst (now part of Gütersloh), Enger, Hiddenhausen, Rödinghausen, Spenge, Herford (except for Falkendiek), Bünde (except for Dünne and Spradow), Vlotho (except for Uffeln), Kirchlengern south of the Werre, Preußisch Oldendorf (except for Hedem and Lashorst) and Bad Oeynhausen south of the Werre.


House Calvelage-Ravensberg

  • Until 1144 Hermann I
  • ca.1140 -ca.1170 Otto I
  • ca.1160 -ca.1180 Heinrich
  • ca.1175 -ca.1220 Hermann II
  • ca.1220 -1244 Otto II
  • ca.1220 -1249 Ludwig
  • 1249-1306 Otto III
  • 1306-1328 Otto IV
  • 1328-1346 Bernard

House of Jülich

1348-1395 in Personal union with Berg, since 1437 with Jülich-Berg

  • 1346-1360 Gerhard I
  • 1360-1408 William I, lets his 2 sons rule :
  • 1395-1403 Adolf
  • 1403-1428 William II
  • 1428–1475 Gerhard II
  • 1475–1511 William III

House of La Marck, Dukes

from 1521 a part of the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg

House of Hohenzollern

- from 1614 Margraves of Brandenburg and Kings of Prussia -

To France by the 1807 Treaty of Tilsit, incorporated into the Kingdom of Westphalia

See also

External links

Media related to County of Ravensberg at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 52°05′31.79″N 8°34′14.55″E / 52.0921639°N 8.5707083°E / 52.0921639; 8.5707083

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