Duchy of Montferrat
|Duchy of Montferrat|
Flag of Montferrat
Coat of arms of Montferrat
|Guglielmo Gonzaga (first duke)|
|Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga (last)|
|Historical era||Modern Era|
• Claims by House of Savoy confirmed
• Annexed by Duchy of Savoy
The Duchy of Montferrat was a state of the Holy Roman Empire in Northern Italy. It was created out of what was left of the medieval March of Montferrat after the last Palaeologus heir had died (1533) and the margraviate had been briefly controlled by Habsburg Spain (until 1536). After that brief interlude, it passed to the Gonzaga dukes of Mantua. In 1574 Emperor Maximilian II raised Montferrat to the status of a duchy.
At that time, the state of Montferrat had an area of 2750 km², and consisted of two separate parts bordered by the Duchy of Savoy, the Duchy of Milan, and the Republic of Genoa. Its capital was Casale Monferrato.
With the War of the Mantuan Succession (1628–1631), a piece of the duchy passed to Savoy; the remainder passed to Savoy in 1708, as Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, gained possession of the principal Gonzaga territory, the Duchy of Mantua.
- Rulers of Montferrat, for a list of margraves and dukes
- "Casale Monferrato". Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary Merriam-Webster, 1997 pg. 219