County of Ravensberg
Grafschaft Ravensberg
1140s – 1807
Coat of arms of Ravensberg
Coat of arms
Map of part of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle in 1560, County of Ravensberg highlighted in red
Map of part of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle in
1560, County of Ravensberg highlighted in red
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Otto I, Count of Ravensberg
• Gerhard I, Count of Berg and Ravensberg
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
County of Calvelage County of Calvelage

The County of Ravensberg (German: Grafschaft Ravensberg) was a historical county of the Holy Roman Empire. Its territory was in present-day eastern Westphalia, Germany, at the foot of the Osning or Teutoburg Forest.


Sparrenburg Castle
Historic map of the County of Ravensberg (1798)

Ravensberg was first mentioned in the 12th century; its first seat was Ravensberg Castle. The Counts of Ravensberg then had Sparrenberg Castle built in Bielefeld c. 1240–50, which they made their seat. They also owned Limberg Castle near Preußisch Oldendorf.

The county was later inherited by the Duchy of Berg in 1346, which in turn became part of the Duchy of Jülich-Berg in 1423, and ultimately the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg in 1521.

After the War of the Jülich succession, in the Treaty of Xanten in 1614, the County of Ravensberg came to the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which became the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, and was administered within Minden-Ravensberg from 1719–1807, when it was dissolved during the Napoleonic Wars.

Aside from Bielefeld, other communities in the County of Ravensberg were Borgholzhausen, Halle, Steinhagen, Versmold, Werther, Isselhorst (now part of Gütersloh), Enger, Hiddenhausen, Rödinghausen, Spenge, Herford (except for Falkendiek), Bünde (except for Dünne and Spradow), Vlotho (except for Uffeln), Kirchlengern south of the Werre, Preußisch Oldendorf (except for Hedem and Lashorst) and Bad Oeynhausen south of the Werre.


House Calvelage-Ravensberg

House of Jülich

1348–1395 in Personal union with Berg, since 1437 with Jülich-Berg

House of La Marck, Dukes

from 1521 a part of the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg

House of Hohenzollern

from 1614 Margraves of Brandenburg and Kings of Prussia

To France by the 1807 Treaty of Tilsit, incorporated into the Kingdom of Westphalia

See also

Media related to County of Ravensberg at Wikimedia Commons

52°05′31.79″N 8°34′14.55″E / 52.0921639°N 8.5707083°E / 52.0921639; 8.5707083