The wall of the city has twelve gates, three on each side of the square, and over each gate and compartment of the wall there is a handsome building; so that on each side of the square there are five such buildings, containing large rooms, in which are disposed the arms of those who form the garrison of the city, every gate being guarded by a thousand men. It is not to be understood that such a force is stationed there in consequence of the apprehension of danger from any hostile power whatever, but as a guard suitable to the honor and dignity of the sovereign.
The house of Hapsburg—–also called the house of Austria—owes its origin and firm establishment to the most celebrated of the Hapsburgs, a German princely family who derived their name from Hapsburg castle, built about 1020, on the banks of the Aare in Switzerland. This founder of the imperial line was Rudolph, son of Albert IV, Count of Hapsburg and Landgrave of Alsace. Rudolph was born in 1218, and died at Germersheim, Germany, in 1291. He succeeded his father in Hapsburg and Alsace in 1239, and in 1273 was elected German King (Rudolph I), with the substance, though not the title, of the imperial dignity of the Holy Roman Empire.
It is said that the electors desired an emperor, but not the exercise of imperial power, and that in Rudolph they saw a candidate of comparative lowliness, from whom their authority stood in little jeopardy. At the age of fifty-five the new sovereign assumed his throne in the face of difficulty and danger. He was opposed by the Spanish claimant, Alfonso of Castile, and confronted a formidable rival in Ottocar, King of Bohemia, whose contumacy disturbed the reign of Rudolph from its very beginning.
Rudolph’s enemies had appealed against him to Pope Gregory X, and Rudolph in turn sought the ratification of the Pontiff, to whom, immediately after his election, he sent messengers with a letter imploring papal countenance. From this moment to the day when he finally overcame Ottocar in the field and secured the possessions