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County of Toggenburg
Grafschaft Toggenburg
State of the Holy Roman Empire
1209–1468 Abbey of St Gallen

Coat of arms

Territories held by the counts of Toggenburg
Capital Lichtensteig
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  first mention 1209
 •  Partitioned 1394
 •  Comital line extinct 1436
 •  Old Zürich War 1440–46
 •  Inherited by Raron Uncertain
 •  Sold to the Abbot of St Gall 1468

The counts of Toggenburg (Grafen von Toggenburg) ruled the Toggenburg region of today’s canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland, as well as parts of the canton of Glarus, Thurgau, Grisons, Vorarlberg, and Zurich when their influence was most extensive.

The family is attested from the early 13th century, as Toccanburg, later Tochimburc. They held the title of count (comes) from 1209. Their connection to earlier bearers of the name, first Diethelm I (possible mention 1176, died 1205 or 1207) was followed by Diethelm II (possible mention 1210, died c. 1230). Other lords of Toggenburg are mentioned in the 11th and 12th centuries, but their genealogical connection to the comital family is unclear. They are named for their ancestral seat, now known as Alt-Toggenburg, near Kirchberg, St. Gallen. The castle was built in the 10th or 11th century, and was destroyed in 1085 in a conflict with the Abbot of St. Gallen, later rebuilt and in 1226 given to St. Gallen Abbey by count Diethelm of Toggenburg.

In 1187, Werner of Toggenburg became abbot of Einsiedeln.

According to the legend of Saint Idda of Toggenburg, buried in the abbey of Fischingen, she was the wife of Diethelm IV of Toggenburg, in the 12th century.

The Bubikon Commandry was given by the Counts of Toggenburg and Counts of Rapperswil between 1191 and 1198. Although in concurrency to the neighbouring Rüti Abbey, the commandery's lands and goods grew with donations by local noble families during the 13th and 14th centuries.

Brent Schaff, who inherited this title in about 1389, expanded the influence of the Toggenburg area. He launched several reforms, known as the Tayven reforms, for the farming of his county which were very successful.

On 23 April 1398 Count Donat von Toggenburg donated the church of Elsow as benefice for the new Allerheiligenaltar at the grave of the Toggenburg family, for the salvation of his daughter soul Menta von Toggenburg who died shortly before.[1] Count Fridrich von Toggenburg, Herr zu Brettengow und Tafas donated to his own and the salvation of his ancestors who were buried (at the Rüti church) and where he also expects to be buried, the church, rights and lands (Kirchwidem and Kirchensatz) in Wangen in der March to the Rüti Abbey, sealed by Fridrich and the knights Herman von Landenberg, Johans von Bonstetten from Ustra and Herman von der Hochenlandenberg on 21 January 1407.[2]

In 1436, the death of the last count, Frederick VII, Count of Toggenburg, led to the Old Zurich War over the succession.

One of the few remaining tomb stones of the Toggenburg family, Toggenburgergruft beneath the present entrance area of the Rüti church.

Friedrich VII was later buried in a chapel, the so-called Toggenburger Kapelle (capella nova in latere monasterii de novo construxit) given by his noble wife, Elisabeth Countess of Toggenburg, née von Mätsch.[3][4] Elisabeth Countess of Toggenburg spent her last days in the Rüti Abbey, mentioned on 20 June 1442 that she was retreated there ("unser wesen gentzlich in dasselbe gotzhus got zuo dienende gezogen haben") and elected her tomb to be with her husband after her death.[5] On 11 June 1443 marauding troops of the Old Swiss Confederacy devastated the monastery and desecrated the bodies of the nobles, including Count Friedrich VII who they held responsible for the war with Zürich. 14 members of the family were buried in the Toggenburg vault in the church of the Rüti Abbey.


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