The Manor of Buchhorn: A European Micro-State
Fig. 1: Map of Buchhorn and Lake Constance
A "postage stamp" country ruled by a knight who lives in a castle— Buchhorn is so small and fragmented, that it is usually omitted on maps of Europe, and even in surveys of European
The Manor of Buchhorn (German: Rittergut Buchhornes) is indicated in gold on the map above (BH). It consists of two islands and four disconnected enclaves, located around Lake Constance (German: Bodensee), with Germany (D) to the north, Switzerland (CH) to the south, and Austria (A) at the east end of the lake. The climate is mild. The peaks of the Swiss Alps dominate the sky to the south across the water.
Fig. 2: Flag of Buchhorn
The flag of Buchhorn, known as the Octal Gyron, consists of a red cross on a black and yellow background.
The history of the manor began when a knight of the Order of St. John, returning from the Crusades, was granted by the Holy Roman Emperor the Island of Mainau in Lake Constance. There, in the 13th century, the first knight of the Mainau line built a castle which still stands today.
Intermarriage brought the adjacent coastline, as well as the enclave of Wangen, under the rule of the House of Mainau.
At the time of the Protestant Reformation, the island abbacy of Reichenau also came under the protection of the Ritter von Mainau, the only German Knight of St. John to remain Catholic. It was also in this period that the port city of Friedrichshafen, and the surrounding enclave of Buchhorn, sought the protection of the Ritter and his army.
The Treaty of Westphalia (1648) recognized the sovereignty of the Manor of Buchhorn.
The enclave of Horn was purchased from the Swiss canton of Thurgau in 1786.
Buchhorn was the only one of the German petty states to resist absorption into Bismarck's Germany. It remained neutral in both World Wars. Buchhorn today is known for its manufacture of automotive and aircraft parts, its orchards and vineyards, and its tourist industry. It also has a "pocket navy," the Weissbodenseeflotte, a tourist, commercial, and coast guard fleet which patrols Lake Constance.
Fig. 3: Johanniterritter Karl-Adam IV von Mainau
Karl-Adam IV, of the ancient knightly house of Mainau, was created a knight and invested with the Sword of Office in 1980. Since the late 18th century, the Knight of Buchhorn has been created by the Bishop of Constance and the Hospitallers' Grand Prior of Vienna.
Fig. 4: Location of Buchhorn in Europe
Name: The Manor of Buchhorn (German: Rittergut Buchhornes).
Area: 38 square miles.
Population: (2000 census) 74,000.
Capital: Friedrichshafen (pop. 42,000).
Ethnic Groups: German, 100%.
Language: German (official), Swabian German dialect.
Religion: Roman Catholic (official), 93%; Evangelical & Reformed, 6%.
Head of State and Head of Government: Johanniterritter
Legislature: Diet of 18 members, 6 appointed, 12 elected.
Currency: Thaler (= DM 1.33). 1 Thaler = 100 Rappen.