Walter Zumbrunnen, Papal Guard

Life Sketch
Walter Zumbrunnen was the third son of Landammann Mansuetus Zumbrunnen and Barbara Aschwanden.

Walter joined the Swiss guard, and for 22 years, from 1569 to 1591 he was a guard captain for the pope in Bologna. He owned land in Altdorf, but lived much of his live in Bologna, Italy. He was a patron of the arts and brokered art to Uri from the Flemish painter Denys Calvaert. He was a follower of the Capuchin Order of Priests.

Walter was married to Anna Reichmuth (she was of the same family as Verena Reichmuth, the second wife of Walter’s grandfather Johann Zumbrunnen II. Verena was not an ancestor of Walter and the exact relationship between the two is unknown.) Anna may have died because Walter married a second time, to an Italian woman named Fiorbellina Mugina.

He had no known children with either wife, although it’s possible that he had children who became Italian. I believe that some Zumbrunnen’s moved to Uri and adopted the surname Fontana (which also means fountain).

Vital Information

Name: Walter Zumbrunnen
Sex: Male
Birth: Early-1500s
Residence: Altdorf and Bologna
Offices: Captain of the Papal Guard in Bologna, 1569-1591
Death: 1596

Family Members

Father: Mansuetus Zumbrunnen
Mother: Barbara Aschwanden
Siblings: Landammann Johann Zumbrunnen III, Erasmus Zumbrunnen, Magdalena Zumbrunnen, Margarita Zumbrunnen, Dorothea Zumbrunnen, Lucretia Zumbrunnen, Mansuetus Zumbrunnen, Kunigunda Zumbrunnen, Hugo David Zumbrunnen, Josue Zumbrunnen

Spouse: Anna Reichmuth, Fiorbellina Mugina
Children: None known

Cousin: Martin Zumbrunnen


  • Walter is mentioned in Mansuetus Zumbrunnen entry in the Nobiliaire Militaire Suisse
  • Walter Zumbrunnen entry at (free registration required).
  • Walter Zumbrunnen entry at Stammler Genealogie.
  • Walter Zumbrunnen entry at genealogy website.
  • Walter Zumbrunnen entry (translated to English) in the old print version Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  • Walter Zumbrunnen entry (in German) in the online version of the Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  • Walter Zumbrunnen is included in Bucelin’s genealogy of the Zumbrunnen family from the 1600s. (He is the third person in the fifth line from the bottom; his name is written in Latin as “Walter zum Brunnen Capitaneus”.)
  • One Comment

    1. […] WALTER, son of No. 8. For 22 years until 1591 he was a guard captain for the Pope in Bologna. […]

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