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Andreas von Graben

Andreas von Graben

Austrian noble
The basics
About
Date of birth
Date of death 1463 Burg Sommeregg, Seeboden, Spittal an der Drau District, Carinthia
The details
Biography

Andreas von Graben zu Sommeregg (15th century – 1463) was a Carinthian knight and nobleman residing at Sommeregg Castle. He served as a burgrave and castellan governor in the Ortenburg estates, held by the Counts of Celje until 1456.

Life

Coat of arms of Andreas von Graben, 1531 fresco, St Michael's Church, Lienz

Born at Kornberg Castle in the Duchy of Styria, Andreas von Graben was a descendent of the noble (edelfrei) Graben von Stein family, who sprang out from the House of Gorizia (Meinhardiner dynasty) ruling the County of Görz, as well as the County of Tyrol and the Duchy of Carinthia in former times.

He was the son of Friedrich I von Graben (d. 1422 at Kornberg Castle) and Katharina von Summeregk (Sommeregg); Burgrave Friedrich II von Graben was a brother of him. Andreas' nephew Ulrich III von Graben became a confidant of the Habsburg emperor Frederick III. Andreas` sister (?) Veronica von Graben (d. 1467) was married to Philipp Breuner (d. 1458), and Elisabeth von Graben married with Georg von Auersperg (d. 1488).

In 1442 Count Frederick II of Celje enfeoffed Andreas von Graben with the Lordship of Sommeregg. He served as a captain (Hauptmann, a sort of stadtholder) of the former Ortenburg estates and also as burgrave (Viscount) and knight at Sommeregg, which he chose as his residence. In 1445 he was involved in the fierce feud between Count Henry VI of Gorizia and his wife Catherine of Gara and later supported the military campaigns of his bellicose liege lord Count Ulrich II of Celje. In 1450 he was also named as Burggraf of Sternberg, near Wernberg.

Upon the extinction of the Counts of Celje in 1456, their estates were seized by Emperor Frederick III of the Habsburg dynasty. He enforced a settlement with the Counts of Gorizia, whereupon Andreas von Graben had to renounce his conquests and also lost his office as stadtholder of the Ortenburg estates. Nevertheless, he still is documented as a liege lord around Vellach in 1458, and owner of Falkenstein Castle in 1462. He also had the parish churches of Treffling and Lieseregg (in present-day Seeboden) near his Sommeregg residence rebuilt. The castle became the Stein von Graben family seat for many years.

Marriage and issue

Tomb at the Treffling church

His wife was Barbara Hallecker, daughter of an Imperial counsellor and administrator in Carinthia. The couple had at least eight children

  • Heinrich von Graben
  • Ernst von Graben (d. 1513), nobleman, served the Archbishops of Salzburg
  • Virgil von Graben (d. 1507), succeeded his father as Burgrave of Sommeregg, administrator in the County of Gorizia, served the Habsburg emperors Frederick III and Maximilian I
  • Ruth von Graben
  • Cosmas von Graben (d. 1479), nobleman, Burgrave of Sanneck (Žovnek), served the Counts of Celje and the House of Habsburg
  • Wolfgang von Graben
  • Wolf Andrae von Graben, knighted by King Maximilian I in 1486 at his coronation in Aachen
  • Barbara von Graben
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