Territorial survey of the town

The town of Bad Radkersburg lies exactly on the border between the Styrian Basin and the most easterly foothills of the Hungarian lowlands at a latitude of 46°42' and 15°59' east of Greenwich. In the Middle Ages, Bad Radkersburg was not founded over the original settlement (today’s Oberradkersburg), but was a new town. It was built on an islet on the river Mur, in the immediate vicinity of a spur spreading north-east of the “Windische Buehel”. The town was of great strategic importance right from the start. The aim of the town was to protect access to the Styrian Basin and the trade routes into neighbouring Hungary.
Although the river had a bulwark function because of its position, its bridge function was of great significance for the town because of the latter’s position on the Mur and of the important trade routes which passed through it. In particular, the trade route following the Mur in an east-westerly direction, was instrumental in the economic development of the town.
Various hypotheses exist regarding the term “Radgers”. One of these is that the word comes from the Slav word “rak” (crab), or the Slav name “Ratigory”, through to “Ruginisfeld” - a Slovene village.
The latest interpretation is that the first part of the name Radkersburg derives from the German first name “Radger” (“help-spear”).
This interpretation leads to a logical consensus between the main word “Burg” (castle) and the first name “Radger” and shows what Radkersburg was from the beginning: a spearhead against attacks.
The first documentary reference to the name goes back to the year 1182. Today’s research tells us that Radkersburg was not, as assumed for a long time, expanded by Ottokar II, the King of Bohemia, but by Albrecht I of Habsburg. It was rebuilt following a precise plan. The town of Bad Radkersburg as seen today grew up from this (it was first named as a town in1299. The transcription was: “S. CIVITAS RATKERSPURCH”).
At the end of the 13th century the town was already surrounded by a wall with towers. Radkersburg, together with Fuerstenfeld, Hartberg and Friedberg, created a belt of defence fortresses against Hungary.