The coat of arms of the Breiten-Landenberg on a heraldic panel. Pictured is a close relative of Gotthard II of Breiten-Landenberg, J. G. of Breiten-Landenberg, commander in Leuggern (1556).

Why was Gotthard killed?

On 11 December 1526, Gotthard II of Breiten-Landenberg was stabbed to death in the Blume while he was still in his bath shirt. The presumed perpetrator: Jakob Seeholzer, innkeeper of the Blume at the time. Several hypotheses try to clarify his death, but none of them is certain.

More information

The branch of the Breiten-Landenberg family in question had been in financial straits for some time, including Gotthard II. He is considered to be a rather problematic contemporary, who clashed several times with the Zurich government. After the introduction of the Reformation, Gotthard refused to continue to pay the wine tax (due to the fief founded by his ancestors to the chaplaincy of Turbental), «since singing, reading, and saying mass are no longer valid and no longer bring comfort to the souls of the deceased.» The Zurich government did not agree. Gotthard gave up his citizenship, sold the castle of Alt-Landenberg and settled in Brugg.

In 1526 he went to Baden for a cure. Why he was killed in the Blume is not completely clear. Hints point to different directions:

1) According to oral tradition, Gotthard courted the landlady too strongheartedly and was subsequently murdered by her husband.

2) According to court records: Gotthard is said to have distributed various gifts (gems) to «all sorts of suspicious maidens» who came in and out of the Blume. The valuables could not be found afterwards. It seems that his possessions were confiscated at that time. Was that why he wanted to spend his fortune?

3) It is also conceivable that it was an inheritance dispute. The mother of Gotthard II of Breiten-Landenberg was Anna Muntprat of Spiegelberg. Several marriages between Muntprat and Breiten-Landenberg have been attested since 1424. Küngold von Spiegelberg was the wife of the former Blume owner Reinhart von Malrein. She died in 1530 and bequeathed her entire inheritance to her foster son Johann von Roll. Otherwise, there were no descendants. The question arises whether Gotthard II of Breiten-Landenberg would have inherited a share of the Blume?

Unfortunately, for lack of tangible sources, the question must remain unanswered in regard to Gotthard’s death.

Fricker, Bartholomäus: Geschichte der Stadt und Bäder zu Baden, 1880, S.420.
Studer, Julius: Die Edeln von Landenberg. Geschichte eines Adelsgeschlechtes der Ostschweiz, Zürich,1904, S.151.

More illustrations

The Infopoints
10 / 11 / 12
are located on the second and third floor of the Atrium.