Germany - (T-Z)

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THURINGIA An upland region of central Germany, comprising the Harz Mountains and adjacent regions. A Landgraviate from 1130.

THURN und TAXIS A family of Italian origin who settled in Germany at an early date and rose to become the The Princely House of Thurn and Taxis is a German family that was a key player in the postal services in Europe in the 16th century and is well known as owners of breweries and builders of countless castles. In the 13th century, the Lombardic family Tasso (meaning Badger) was resident near Bergamo. The badger (German: Dachs) became Taxis in the family coat of arms. In 1650 they changed their name to Thurn (Tower) und Taxis. Ruggiano de Tassis founded a postal service in Italy. Later, in Innsbruck, on 11 December 1489, Jeannetto de Tassis was appointed Chief Master of Postal Services. The family held its exclusive position as Imperial Postmasters for centuries, organizing and administering a postal system which in its heyday employed over 20,000 relay couriers. On 12 November 1516 the Taxis family had a postal service based in Brussels reaching to Rome, Naples, Spain, Germany and France by courier. The Thurn und Taxis company would last until the 18th century, when the postal service was finally bought by the heir to the Spanish throne. They are perhaps best known to Americans through the novel "The Crying of Lot 49" by Thomas Pynchon, which deals with a fictional, rival mail system.

TROPPAU (Opava) A dynastic holding in southeastern Silesia; Opava itself is just inside the Czech border, and other districts associated with this line are scattered along the Polish frontier within the Sudeten Ranges.


See entry in Central Europe file.


VADUZThe capital of the modern Principality of Liechtenstein, bearing a long history of association with one or another local and regional noble families.


VELEN A town in the State of Nordrhine-Westfalia in the district of Borken, 23 miles (37 km.) northeast of Wesel, not far (ca. 7 miles - 12 km) from the Dutch-German border. The site is mentioned for the first time 1090.


WALDBOTT von BASSENHEIM A Westphalian family, emerging from the 14th century as local stewards and knights. The district of Drachenfels (Dragonrock) is a prominent hill overlooking the Rhine, about 7 miles (11 km.) southeast of Bonn, and is associated with the ancient Teutonic myth of Siegfried as the place where he fought the dragon Fafnir.


WALDECK In northern Hesse. A County from 1349, a Principality from 1712.

WARTENBERG A village in western Germany, 7 miles (11 km.) northeast of Kaiserslautern, in the Rheinland-Pfalz. The Kolbs were an old family of local knights and bailiffs who emerged in the 12th century, and eventually became minor nobility and finally Counts.

WASSENBERG A small town on the German-Dutch frontier, 22 miles (35 km.) north of Aachen. The counts of Wassenberg formed the first dynasty of the emerging county (and later duchy) of Gelders, in the Netherlands.


WERDENBERG A local dynasty in central Swabia.







WÜRTTEMBERG Beginning as a minor county in Swabia, the lords of Württemberg benefited greatly from the dispersal of Hohenstaufen lands after 1268. Created a Duchy in 1495, Compliant to Napoleon, Württemberg was raised to the status of Electorate in 1803, and Kingdom in 1805 (in late Dec.; officially proclaimed Jan. 1, 1806). Divisions of territory occured 1441-1496 and 1617-1742.