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Imperial Cities of the Holy Roman Empire

Updated: Mar 6

Imperial cities? Holy Roman Empire? What were those? Do I have ancestors from the Holy Roman Empire?

The Holy Roman Empire was Germany in the Middle Ages, Germany and Austria and some adjacent territories, from Charlemagne in the 800’s down till Napoleon in 1806.

The Czechs and Slovaks, for part of the time the Slovenes, the Dutch, the Swiss, Hungary, parts of Poland, Yugoslavia, a little of France and Italy came within its borders for centuries (which means that emigrants from the Empire were certainly not all German, though the majority were). For centuries, the Emperor was elected- by a handful of magnates, but his power increasingly became nominal outside of territories he directly owned. The various duchies and baronies, kingdoms and knighthoods and bishoprics gradually became de facto independent countries, but still members of what had become a confederation.