Germany - (F-H)

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FALKENSTEIN (am Donnersberge)


See entry in Low Countries file.

FRANCONIA Lands in west-central Germany which came under Frankish jurisdiction in the Dark Ages and were allocated as Crown Lands for the Merovingian of Austrasia. Inherited by the Carolingian Empire, Franconia began to develop a local identity, but was once more absorbed by German Crown interests after 911. The region became fragmented by local lordships after the 12th century.

FRIEDBERG (in der Wetterau) In Hesse. A Town and Citadel governed by an association of local Barons and Knights whose administrative chief was an elective Burggrave. Most of its lands absorbed by Hesse-Darmstadt in 1806, the balance taken in 1818.

FUGGER A mercantile family emerging out of Augsburg, in southwestern Germany, in the latter 14th century. By shrewd investments and large loans to royalty in return for mining and industrial monopolies as collateral, they built a monetary powerhouse of unrivaled strength; by the mid-16th century they were financiers and bankers to most of Catholic Europe, and the Imperial Habsburgs in particular.


GEMEN A village in northwestern Germany, 28 miles (45 km.) north-northwest of Essen and 6 miles (9½ km.) southeast of the Dutch frontier.




See entry in Low Countries file.




HATZFELDT A Hessian family with various lands and estates in central Germany.



HELGOLAND A tiny (0.6 sq. mile - 1.5 sq. km.) island in the North Sea, located about 40 miles (65 km.) northwest of Cuxhaven. Much larger in earlier times (it is thought to have covered more than 1000 sq. miles (2600 sq. km.) in 800 CE), ceaseless wind and wave, together with a general subsidence of that seabed, had reduced the place to perhaps 5.3 sq. miles (13.75 sq. km.) by 1650.


HESSE An important region in central Germany, lying just west of the Thuringian highlands. The Hessian people are reputedly descended for the most part from the Teutonic tribe of the Chatti. Landgraves from earliest times, the rulers of Hesse partitioned the region in normal German fashion. Compliance with French interests brought the senior line (Cassel) an Electorate, which they retained even after the dissolution of the Empire. The other surviving line (Darmstadt) was raised to the rank of Grand Duchy.




HOHENZOLLERNAlthough this family is inextricably associated with Brandenburg, Prussia, and Imperial Germany of the 19th century, its roots are in Swabia. Here are the various districts governed by this elder branch of the dynasty, Princes of the Empire from 1623 and rulers of a narrow territory within Wurttemberg.


See entry in Low Countries file.

HOLSTEINThe regions immediately north of the Elbe estuary, forming the base of the Jutland peninsula.