The Hapsburgs were a relatively minor family holding lands in what are now Austria and Switzerland. The Habsburgs first attained prominence when one of their number, Rudolf, managed to become Holy Roman Emperor in the late 13th century. The choice was apparently dictated primarily by the fact that the Hapsburgs were a rather weak house. They had already lost some of the property to the hardy Swiss, who disliked Hapsburg authority, and the Hapsburgs would lose more over the next generation or two. But Rudolph's brief tenure on the imperial throne (1273-1291), albeit that he was never properly crowned by the pope, and that he was not a particularly vigorous emperor, caused the imperial dignity to fall ever more increasingly into Hapsburg hands. Between 1273 and 1438, three of the 11 emperors were Hapsburgs, from 1438 to 1806 all but one of the emperors was a Hapsburg. Sort of a Medieval Horatio Alger story.