Este family at English => English (The Britannica Concise) Of Explained:
Princely family of Lombard origin prominent in the history of medieval and Renaissance Italy. The Estensi, a branch of the 10th-cent. dynasty of the Obertenghi, took their name from the township and castle of Este, near Padua. The founder of the family was the margrave Alberto Azzo II (d.1097), through whose son Folco I (d.1136?) descended the House of Este. The family first gained prominence as leaders of the Guelphs in the wars between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. Members of the family ruled in Ferrara in the 13th-16th cent. After Alfonso II (1533-1597), the fifth and last duke of Ferrara, died childless, direct papal rule was established in Ferrara in 1598, and the main branch of the Este family came to an end. The family also ruled in Modena and Reggio from the late Middle Ages to the late 18th cent. In addition to their political prominence, members of the family also played an important role as promoters of art and culture.