County of the Tyrol
Grafschaft Tirol
1027 - 1918

Castle Neuenahr
Electoral Rhenish
Counts of the Wetterau
Established 1027
Immediate 1180
To House of Habsburg 1335/63
To Bavaria 1805
To Austria 1814
Abolished 1918

The County of the Tyrol was a historical state which corresponds largely with the modern state of the Tyrol in Austria and the province of Trentino-Alto Adige in Italy.

Early HistoryEdit

The country of the Tyrol was occupied by the Ostrogoths following the collapse of the Roman Empire. They were displaced in the isolated and sparsely populated mountain valleys by the Bavarians during the middle of the 6th Century. After the conquest of the Bavarians by the Franks, the Tyrol formed the southernmost portion of the Duchy of Bavaria, although the extreme southern cities were part of the Kingdom of Lombardy. The Prince-Bishops of Brixen and Trent eventually gained rulership of most of the land.

In 1027 King Conrad II separated the Tyrol from Bavaria to better safeguard the important mountain passes into Italy. The Meinharding family, originally from Gorizia, of the Castle Tyrol became the nominal feudal lords of the new Countship. Over the centuries the Counts expanded their power and lands at the expense of the Bishops (whom they were their protectors and stewards) and other competing nobility such as the Eppaners. In 1180 they were granted independence from the Dukes of Bavaria after the defeat of Henry the Lion.

Count Meinhard II leased the Duchy of Carinthia and Margraviate of Carniola from King Rudolph I of the Habsburg in 1282, although they quickly became hereditary lands of the counts. But the Habsburgs soon reacquired the two in 1335 after the death of the last male of the House of Meinhard. Tyrol remained the possession of the heiress Margaret Maultasch and after her death in 1363 it too passed to the Habsburgs.

Habsburg TyrolEdit

Tyrol formed an important territory for the Habsburgs, not only because of its strategic mountain passes but it also served as a land bridge to Further Austria; the Habsburg possessions of Swabia and Alsace. With the partitions of the lands of the Habsburgs, Tyrol was given to a younger son of the Archduke of Austria. The Reformation had little impact on the Tyrol with only miners converting to Protestantism. Despite its' little impact, the Counter-Reformation had great effect in the Tyrol with the introduction of Italian priests and language in the South Tyrol. In 1525 the Peasants' War spread to the Tyrol and was lead by Michael Gaismair, but the rebels were defeated in only two months.

The Thirty Years' War did not reach the Tyrol, but the War of the Spanish Succession saw a Bavarian invasion in 1703 which was repelled. During the Napoleonic Wars, the French occupied parts of the Tyrol in 1796 and 1797, but they were repelled by the Tyrolese home militia. The Bishoprics of Brixen and Trent were secularised by the Reichsdeputationhauptschluss on 1803. In 1805, the Austrians had to cede the Tyrol to Bavaria by the Peace of Pressburg. The Tyrolese were staunchly opposed to foreign rule, and twice the Bavarians were repulsed from the Tyrol and the French armies pacify the country. Southern parts of the County were attached to the Kingdom of Italy and the Illyrian Provinces.

The Congress of Vienna restored the entire Tyrol to Austria in 1814. It was integrated into the Austrian then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, forming a Crownland of Cisleithania. By the end of World War I, the Austro-Hungarian troops were defeated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto on 29 October 1918. Even though the subsequent armistice signed on November 3 was not to enter into force until November 4, the Austrian command ordered its troops to cease hostilities one day too early. This not only allowed Italian troops to take 356,000 soldiers of the Austrian army as prisoners, but also to overrun the Austrian positions and occupy Tyrol, including the northern part. The Treaty of Saint-Germain then ruled that southern part of the Tyrol had to be ceded to Italy, according to London Pact. The region included not only the largely Italian speaking area today known as Trentino, but also the territory now known as South Tyrol, although it harbored only a 3%-minority of Italians. The remaining Austrian parts of North Tyrol and East Tyrol were meanwhile organised into the Austrian state of Tyrol.

Austro-Hungarian Empire
Bohemia | Bukovina | Carinthia | Carniola | Dalmatia | Galicia and Lodomeria | Littoral
Lower Austria | Moravia | Salzburg | Silesia | Styria | Tyrol | Upper Austria | Vorarlberg
Croatia-Slavonia | Hungary | Rijeka
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Austrian Circle
on the Adige | Austria (bailiwick) | Breisgau | Brixen | Carinthia | Carniola | Chur | Friuli
Further Austria | Gorizia | Lower Austria | Styria | Tarasp | Trent | Tyrol | Upper Austria

Earlier Members:
Austria (archduchy) | Gradisca | Gurk | Hardegg | Lavant | Losenstein | Rogendorf
Schaunberg | Seckau | Wolkenstein-Rodenegg