The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

In 1826, Count Karl von Welsperg decided to sell the heavily indebted Langenstein estate including the towns of Eigeltingen and Orsingen. With Prince Karl Egon zu Fürstenberg, to whom he initially offered the property; the count did not reach a trade agreement. Finally, Grand Duke Ludwig of Baden took over the offered objects for 190,000 guilders. In the same year he also bought back the villages of Volkertshausen and Beuren an der Aach, which had already been sold by the Welspergers in 1814. The financially strong sovereign was also able to significantly expand the Langenstein property through the acquisition of the Dauenberg estate (1827) and the Heilsberg estate with Gottmadingen and Ehaben (1829). All of these properties, as well as most of his other extensive private real estate with the rights thereon in Hegau, Linzgau, the Danube Valley and the Baden lowlands, were combined according to his will in the “Gräflich Langensteinische Stammgut”. After the Grand Duke's death in 1830, his son Count Ludwig von Langenstein inherited this.

Thanks to the Grand Duke and good financial management, Ludwig and his mother made several further advantageous acquisitions in the following years. Even the island of Mainau, donated to the Teutonic Order by the Knights of Langenstein over five and a half centuries ago, temporarily came back into Langenstein hands in 1839.  Through Ludwig von Langenstein's sister, who married Count Karl Douglas, most of Langenstein's assets were transferred in 1872, and the rest in 1900, to the Douglas family, who came from Scotland and had lived in Sweden since 1631.

Once again, at the end of the First World War, the isolated Langenstein Castle rose to political importance when Grand Duke Friedrich II of Baden, avoiding the revolution, lived in Langenstein with his wife, his mother and his sister, the then Queen of Sweden found shelter. Here he spent the first restless weeks after the fall of the monarchy and here on November 22, 1918 he signed the document renouncing the throne of Baden. Langenstein Castle has served as the main residence of the Douglas family since 1906.

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