1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Löwenstein

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LÖWENSTEIN, a town of Germany, in the kingdom of Württemberg, capital of the mediatized county of that name, situated under the north slope of the Löwenstein range, 6 m. from Heilbronn. Pop. 1527. It is dominated by the ruined castle of the counts of Löwenstein, and enclosed by medieval walls. The town contains many picturesque old houses. There is also a modern palace. The cultivation of vines is the chief industry, and there is a brine spring (Theusserbad).

Löwenstein was founded in 1123 by the counts of Calw, and belonged to the Habsburgs from 1281 to 1441. In 1634 the castle was destroyed by the imperialists. The county of Löwenstein belonged to a branch of the family of the counts of Calw before 1281, when it was purchased by the German king Rudolph I., who presented it to his natural son Albert. In 1441 Henry, one of Albert's descendants, sold it to the elector palatine of the Rhine, Frederick I., and later it served as a portion for Louis (d. 1524), a son of the elector by a morganatic marriage, who became a count of the Empire in 1494. Louis's grandson Louis II. (d. 1611) inherited the county of Wertheim and other lands by marriage and called himself count of Löwenstein-Wertheim; his two sons divided the family into two branches. The heads of the two branches, into which the older and Protestant line was afterwards divided, were made princes by the king of Bavaria in 1812 and by the king of Württemberg in 1813; the head of the younger, or Roman Catholic line, was made a prince of the Empire in 1711. Both lines are flourishing, their present representatives being Ernst (b. 1854) prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, and Aloyse (b. 1871) prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. The lands of the family were mediatized after the dissolution of the Empire in 1806. The area of the county of Löwenstein was about 53 sq. m.

See C. Rommel, Grundzüge einer Chronik der Stadt Löwenstein (Löwenstein, 1893).