30 August 2014

german Houses: The Grand Ducal House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach


The Grand Ducal House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

House of Wettin


The members of the Grand Ducal Family have the Titles Prince/Princess of Saxe-Weimar-eisenach, Duke/Duchess zu Saxony with the style of Highness (HH). The Grand Duke and their wives and since 1918 the Head of the House have the style of Royal Highness (HRH).

The House of Wettin may  in its origin traced back until the second half of the 10th Century. It is thus after the elder Guelfs, probably the only still existing Family of Germany who is detected in the time before the first Millennium properly documented. The other later great dynasties  Wittelsbach, Habsburg, Hohenzollern, among others , all appear after the year 1000 in the written tradition. About the earliest known elders of the Wettin family, Dietrich and his son Dedo, is to be read at the chroniclers Thietmar of Merseburg, that the Count Dedo I. was (in the original Daedi comes) was the son of Dietrich (original Thiedrico). Both should have belonged to the tribe of the so-called "Buzici" whose genealogical connection to noble families of the Sorbs in the area of ​​Limes Sorabicus is unexplained and which also were not particularly noteworthy as become defeated, tributary and submissive. Dedo is at a young age a agnatic kin in the limit Sorabicus, the Gaucount Rikdag, who served as a vassal. Diverse considerations have been published in the historical literature about the origin of Dietrich and Dedo de Buzici. A view taken placed in a dissertation from 1886 by Frederick Short and Otto Posse in his genealogy of the House of Wettin   relates the tribal name Buzici to a "Buco" or "Buzo" who will be a short form of the name "Burchard" to and identifies the Buzici therefore with the Burcharden  followers of the Carolingian since Charlemagne. Two in the Battle of Cape Colonna against the Saracens (13.07.982 ) fallen nobles, Burchard IV in Hassegau and Dedi, are given as the brothers of Dietrich I. and the Hassegaucount Dedi (Teti) who died in the year 957  regarded as their common father. An extension of this interpretation of this latin language text leads Dietrich's descent down to a 908 fallen against the Hungarians Burchard of Thuringia, Margrave in the limit Sorabicus adjacent to Nordgau (Bavaria)  back .A second view of the origin of the House of Wettin, which is represented by Reinhard Wenskus and Stefan Paetzold, the Buzici also leads back to the Leitnamen Burchard and keeps Dietrich for a son of the Swabian duke Burchard III . († 973) should come from the family of the Burchardingers, who spent some time in Saxony to 926 and from a documentary unused first marriage to a Immedingerin called Wieltrud. In support of this Theorie the de Buzici is argued that in the preface of the only in the 13th Century published  Sachsenspiegel the House of Wettin is counted among the Swabian sexes. A third origin theory, which is represented in the lexicon of the Middle Ages , Dietrich makes the son of Harzgaucount Volkmar (Folcmar to 945).. This is suggested that the agnatic relatives Rikdag is considered a member of the Harzgaucounts, a clan ,that can be traced back until the 9th Century. 
The basic rule of Wettin in Gau Nudzici is mentioned for the first time in a  written certificate issued by Emperor Otto I. the Great on 29.07.961. The Emperor decided that among other things the churchfed Wettin tithe was payable to the monastery of St. Moritz in Magdeburg. The basic rule of Wettin belonged a short time later to the  mark Meissen of Count Rikdag  in whose service the agnatic to him related Dedo I, stood. Apparently Dedo  had received the basic rule of the Margrave as allods  which from then on remained hereditary in the family. The headquarters of the early Wettin  however, was initially the castle Eilenburg, which Dedo II. as oldest son of Dietrich inherited. The Eilenburger branch of the clan later acquired the Margraviate of Meissen, but became soon in 1123 extinct in the the male line. A younger son of Dietrich II was Thimo  who had also inherited the castle Wettin in addition to other property of the family of his father. From him were descended ultimately all subsequent generations of Wettin and apparently was for him the eponymous castle already as preferred headquarters . Because Thimo was the first of his family who was known as "Count of Wettin" already in contemporary chronicles.  Deriving from the name of this family castle the descendants and retroactive to the ancestors Thimo's were now called "Wettin", a name which in the latest 13 Century had prevailed as generally practiced in this family , as the resultant in this period genealogy of early Wettin, the Genealogica Wettinensis convinced.
In 1125 Konrad, a son of  Thimo was officially invested by Emperor Heinrich V.   and in 1130 by Emperor Lothar, whom he accompanied on his train to southern Italy with the Margraviate of Meissen. He received in 1136  after the death of the Margrave Heinrich of Groitzsch the March Lausitz  and around 1143 the Emperor control of Rochlitz and the Milzenerland .He succeeded in a gradual expansion of the territory. This was considered the beginning of "Wettin dominion". Margrave Konrad joined his imperial princes of the same position of power with expansion, eastern colonization and spread of the Christian teaching on the same addition to the Oder. He took part in the 1147 Wendish Crusade. His own land, the March Meissen and the Lausitz  he sought to strengthen economically by Flemish colonists. Konrad was the real founder of the power of the House Wettin. He was considered a pious and distinguished himself as bailiff of several monasteries forth. The construction of the monastery on the mountain Lauter, today Petersberg near Halle  Konrad completed made ​​after the death of his brother and equipped it with a valuable possession. The Pope met the request of Konrad to put the monastery under his protection  and secured the mountain Peter so enduring nature .Konrad was a skilled diplomat. He solved the after the 1146 war strained relationship with the Kingdom of Poland. He married his son Dietrich with the daughter of a Polish duke. This should not remain an isolated case. His successful marriage policy was also reflected in the marriages of his son Otto and his daughter Adele with children of Margrave Albrecht the Bear, who was since 1150 in the possession of the March Brandenburg. Through these marriages Konrad joined the two aspiring dynasties Ascania and Wettin. Konrad realized the connection to the church as an important and necessary tool of his reign . In order to maintain his position in today's central Germany he develop a good relationship with the influential archbishops of Magdeburg it was particularly important . It helped that his nephew Wichmann was appointed Archbishop  of Magdeburg. Konrad had its sphere of influence one times more strengthened by this move, a familial bond. At the end of 1156 put Konrad in the cathedral of Meissen  in the presence of the local clergy and his noble followers in a symbolic act of his weapons and the insignia off and went to the mountain Peter near Halle to enter as a lay brother in his home monastery  because he was already about 60 years old. His surviving five sons, his comrade Albrecht the Bear, his alliance mate, the Archbishop of Magdeburg were present when he renounced the "power and the world" and the spiritual garb attracted. Konrad proved by deep piety, but again that energy, which led him to power. He was not the man to let take out of the hand from the fate of death. He also did not wait until his five sons fell into dispute over the inheritance. Konrad was seen as enough that he had to act itself, should remain his life's work . As a matter of course he shared all his offices and rights to rule among his sons  and as a matter of course also the imperial fief of Meissen. He thereby founding a self-understanding of the Wettin's that occurred from then on as the legitimate ruler of the Margraviate of Meissen.

After Margrave  Konrad I renounced in November 1156 the Country was divided which led to a  fragmentation of the Wettin power in five lines. The oldest  Otto, who had claimed the whole inheritance of his father, only got the March Meissen, lost the  Bautzener are  to Bohemia, and more. His brothers Dietrich and Dedo received the Ostmarch/Lausitz and the county Groitzsch-Rochlitz. The two youngest Heinrich and Friedrich had to deal with smaller areas, the counties of Wettin and Landsberg. Politically Margrave  Otto had  not a particularly happy hand: the relationship with the rulers remained cool. The development and expansion of the  Pleissencountry by imperial feudal vassals and to Altenburg, Chemnitz and Zwickau he could provide little. In the Eastern Ore Mountains and at the Dresden Elbe crossing he went against the royal Burggraves of  Dohna the short straw. He took 1179-81 alongside his relatives, the Archbishop Wichmann of Magdeburg and his brothers in the battles against the Saxon Duke Henry the Lion in part, but then did not benefit from his defeat. Successes he recorded in the inner expansion of its possessions , where he among other things, Farmers in the Erzgebirge settled. Between 1156 and 1170 he gave the city of Leipzig as the first in the Mark Meissen city rights . In 1176 he founded the Church of St. Nicolai church as the second citychurch of Leipzig. To 1168 Silver was found at the Freiberger Mulde in the territory of the monastery founded by Otto. He managed to be invested by the ruler with the mountain shelf. The Otto secured the right to removal of all mineral resources in his country. At the reference Freiberg, which became the most important city in the Meißner mountain country soon arose. Rich Freiberger silver deposits attracted the establishment of the Freiberg and Leipzig coin by the Marquis by itself, as evidenced by the representative Bracteates Otto. His lifeevening was overshadowed by a serious intrafamilial dispute over inheritance . The intention to prefer his younger son Dietrich contrary prior arrangements , led to the capture of the older Albrecht of Otto . Albrecht was supported by relatives Dedo, Margrave of the Ostmark/Lausitz , and his son Konrad . On the orders of the Emperor Friedrich I. Barbarossa , Otto had indeed again be released, the loss of prestige of the family but was immense and already led to disaster in 1195. When Margrave Otto died in 1190 he was succeeded by his oldest son Albrecht who had in 1188 took capitative of his father, because he had planned to use Albrecht's younger brother Deitrich as heir.  On command of Emperor Friedrich I. Barbarossa he released him  but reduced the recognition of his inheritance by and succeeded his father in 1190 in the Margraviate. He accompanied the Emperor Heinrich VI. to Italy, but soon hurried home to secure his country against his brother Dietrich who returned from Palestine  made  assisted by his father in law, the Landgrave Hermann of Thuringia, claims made ​​on the March Meissen.  In Reveningen (probably Röblingen am See) beaten, escaped Albrecht, disguised as a monk, with difficulty to Leipzig and hastened to appease the by renewing the brother feud again awakened wrath of the Emperor, for this to Italy, without reaching its intention. The continuation of the struggle brother made ​​his death an end . This overtook him on 24.06.1195 on the way from Freiberg in Meissen Krummenhennersdorf. It is believed that he has been poisoned. After Albrecht's death in 1195  Emperor Heinrich VI. took Meissen with its rich mines in his possession. Dietrich came after Heinrich's VI. death in 1197 in the possession of his inheritance, in the struggle of opposites kings Philip of Swabia and Otto of Brunswick  Philipp gave Dietrich again  the March of Meissen. Since then, Dietrich stood on the side of Philipp and remained even after his assassination in 1208 on the side of Hohenstaufen. 1206 he arbitrated a dispute between the Burgrave of Dohna, who had a castle called Thorun built on an area that claimed the Bishop of Meissen  and the Bishop. The certificate created here mentioned for the first time the name of Dresden. He also is associated with the up to now enigmatic gardens of Osterland Castle , Oschatz and the previous Romanesque Castle Grillenburg in the Tharandter forest. In 1210 , he was after the extinction of the line of the dedosiche line of the Wettin's and after payment of 10,000 marks of silver in the castle of Landsberg on behalf of Emperor Otto IV. given the Ostmark/Lausitz. In dangerous disputes he came with the city of Leipzig and the nobility of Meissen. After an unsuccessful siege of Leipzig, he graduated with them in 1217, first a comparison, then seized by stratagem but the city did grind the city walls and create within the same three castles, which he decorated with numerous crew . Margrave Dietrich died on 18.02.1221 , possibly poisoned at the instigation of the Leipzig and the discontented nobility of his personal physician. Because Dietrich's son and successor Heinrich was only 6 years old he came under the guardianship of his uncle, the Landgrave Ludwig  of Thuringia, and after his death in 1227 under the guardianshiop of Duke Albrecht I of Saxony. Already in 1230 he was declared of age and married in 1234 with Constance, the daughter of Duke Leopold VI. of Austria. With her he had two sons Albrecht and Dietrich. His first weapons programs he experienced in 1237 in the crusade against the Prussians (unsuccessful siege of castle Balga) and soon fell with the co-ruling askanian  Margraves of Brandenburg, Johann I. and Otto III . in feud. Heinrich III. ultimately failed with the intention from Lower Lusatia out east push forward passes Berlin in the structures of domination -free space. He was forced to resign in 1245 after six years of Teltow- war his two rule centers on the Teltow, Köpenick and middle forest to the March Brandenburg. Even his attempt to set up on the Barnim to Honow a small rule was ended after the war. At the same time , however, he won the field Schiedlo, where he founded Furstenberg (Oder). In 1268 Heinriich III.  founded the monastery Neuzelle. In the struggle between Pope and Emperor Heinrich seized with decisiveness party for the emperor. In return for which Friedrich II. granted him in 1242 with a Eventualbelehnung Thuringia and and the Palatinate Saxony. In 1243 the Emperor's daughter Margaretha became engaged with Heinrich's son Albrecht . Only after Konrad IV.'s withdrawal from Germany Heinrich recognized the anti-king, Wilhelm of Holland. His claim to Thuringia he could Claim after Heinrich Raspes death in 1247  only with the sword against Sophie of Brabant, the daughter of Ludwig the sacred and wife of Duke Heinrich II of Lorraine and Brabant, and the Count Siegfried of Anhalt.  After protracted war , called the Thuringian-Hessian War of Succession, he was forced to assign the hessian state parts to Sophie's son Heinrich I. of Hesse (also called "Heinrich the child"). However, he remained Thuringia , which he imputed to his son Albrecht, and the Palatinate Saxony. These acquisitions increased the Wettin countries possession, now stretching from the Oder to the Werra, from the Ore Mountains to the resin, so that he was only surpassed by the Bohemian-Habsburg lands to scale. Only domestic dissensions caused by his son, Albert the Degenerate unworthiness, clouded the later years of his reign and shattered long after his death in 1288 his house. Heinrich was a brave , noble , just, art-loving , generous and loving grand prince. In his second marriage he was after the death of Constance married with Agnes of Bohemia. He completed his third marriage 1268-1273 with the the daughter of a Ministerail Elizabeth of Maltitz. In 1265 Margrave Heinrich III. divided his Country. Her gave his older son Albrecht Thuringa and the Palatinate Saxony, his younger son Dietrich the March Landsberg and the Eastercountry and keept himself the March Meissen and the March Lausitz.  After his death in 1288 his son Albrecht succeeded him as Margrave of Meissen, Margrave Albrecht II. had been since 1254 married to Margaretha of Staufen, the daughter of Emperor Friedrich II. As a dowry to the House of Wettin was pledged the Pleissencountry. After initially happier government and marriage of Margaret Albrecht turned and began a passionate love affair with Kunigunde of Eisenberg, with the result that Margaretha on 24.06.1270 left the Wartburg and went to Frankfurt am Main, where  on 08. August of the same year she died. The younger sons Friedrich and Dietrich took her uncle  the Margrave Dietrich of Landsberg to him. Heinrich, the eldest son disappeared in 1283 in Silesia. In 1274 Albrecht married Kunigunde  and let legitimize the begotten with her ​​son Apitz (Albrecht ) by the King. As he intended to bequeath him the Landgraviate Thuringia and resign his sons from his first marriage only with the Easter country (the inheritance of her mothe ) and the Palatinate Saxony, began the latter a war against their father  in which Albrecht was initially superior: Friedrich fell into captivity of his father and was set at the Wartburg, but escaped after a year and sat with his brother Dietrich continues the war against his father. During this time in 1284 died their uncle Margrave Dietrich of Landsberg . He left a son , Fredrich the Stammler . Four years later  in 1288  died Margrave Heninrich III. the Illustrious, Albrecht's father. Both intensified the family disputes. By the death of his father Albrecht was also Margrave of Meissen, while Friedrich the Stammler inherited the March Lausitz  which he  however, in the same year lost to Albrecht's son Dietrich IV . Also in 1288 Friedrich took over his father Albrecht captured in battle. By the Treaty of Rochlitz (01.01.1289) Albrecht received the cession of large parts of the country back his freedom. What he was left by the March of Meissen, he sold the to his nephew Friedrich the stammler. After the death of Friedrich the stammler in 1291 Frierich and Dietrich took arbitrary  possessionof his lands. In 1293  Albrecht had to sell from financial difficulties Thuringia in the event of his death on the Roman-German King Adolf of Nassau  who also saw the March Meissen and Easter country as escheated fiefs after  the death of Friedrich the Stammerer, but just as his successor Albrecht I. of Habsburg was not able to actually take the claimed territories. Albrecht had married after Kunigunde's death in  1286 for the third time with Elizabeth of Arnshaugk, who became in 1299  the mother-in-law  of her stepson Friedrich and caused a kind of reconciliation between father and son. Later Albrecht gave  against a yearly payment also  Thuringia to Friedrich and died in 1314 in Erfurt.  Because Albrecht  preferred his younger son  Apitz his older son Frierich  made ​​war upon them and was assisted by his brother Dietrich IV. of the Lausitz. Although he came in 1281 in captivity, but urged in 1289 after a prolonged struggle the father for recognition of their right . After the death of their cousin Friedrich Tuta in 1291  the two brothers took possession of his countries  where Friedrich got the March Meissen  their father they left only the Mark Landsberg. But since King Adolf of Nassau regarded Meissen and the Easter country  as escheated fief and bought Thuringia from the indebted Albrecht both brothers intervened to defend their heritage once again to take up arms , but had to give way out of the country. Friedrich lingered in the stranger until the death of Adolf at Göllheim returned to him the possession of his country. Also, his father reconciled with him now. But soon afterwards raised King Albrecht I. a claim to Thuringia and also had the cities who wanted to get rich free, on his side. The Landgrave's family was besieged at the Wartburg of the Eisenachers , but succeeded Friedrich, to free them. But it was only with the victory at Lucka on 31.05.1307 that the the beleaguered brothers got more back room, and new armor of the king came the bloody end before. After Dietrich's death in 1307, the vassals Friedrich worshiped alone  since Albrecht had previously waived against an annual allowance from the government. Only the cities were still averse. But Erfurt was subjected by force, and also with Emperor Heinrich VII., which Friedrich had not initially want to subject , he was reconciled to and received from him in 1310 his lands in solemn investiture back. With Brandenburg the fight continued still  and when Friedrich was taken prisoner of Margrave Waldemar  he had his freedom in the Treaty of Tangermünde 1312 with 32,000 silver marks and the assignment of March Lausitz , the land between the Elbe and Elster and the cities Hayn and Torgau purchase ] the 1316 renewed feud was ended in 1317 by the peace of Magdeburg. Through the extinction ofthe  askanian House Friedrich  won  everything lost back except of Marchs  Landsberg and Lsusitz. Only now he was a general of the peace raise. Since 1321 paralyzed by a stroke - he was in a convent at Eisenach seen the spiritual drama of the wise and foolish virgins and fell into great excitement about the fact that the foolish virgins and the invocation of saints did not help - he died on 16.11.1323. His soloheir was his son Friedrich II. who succeeded under the  guardianship of his mother in the   Margraviate of Meissen and the Landgraviate Thuringia. After he had come of age in 1329 , he had to endure many years of fighting with vassals and neighbors, notably with the Count of Weimar-Orlamünde and the Counts of Schwarzburg in the Thuringian Count war from 1342 to 1345 . After the death of his father-in-law,  the Emperor Ludwig IV (the Bavarian) the bavarian party tried to move him  to the adoption of the German crown , but he distrusted the fickleness of his voters and rejected this suggestion in favor of Karl IV. of Luxembourg. He limited himself to consolidate his rule and defend against the danger posed by Karl IV . At a meeting in 1348 in Bautzen both recognized the existing vested rights. Friedrichintroduced  resulted in the Margraviate of Meissen and the Landgraviata Thuringia  1338/39 requires the dime currency and settled in his Freiberger coin to a large extent modeled after the year 1300 minted in Bohemia Prague groschen , beat Meissen groschen. After his death in 1349 he was succeeded by his oldest son Friedrich III. who  ruled jointly with his brothers Balthasar and Wilhelm I.  His wife Katharina von Henneberg brought him as her dowry a large part of the county of Henneberg. By buying he also acquired Elgersburg, Zoerbig, parts of the Margraviate of Landsberg and the Sangerhausen. The governors of Plauen and the counts of Schwarzburg he forced with violence to a number of assignments. Furthermore, he destroyed together with Heinrich II. of Hesse the Sterner covenant.  Friedrich died on 21.05.1381 in Altenburg. 
After his death it came on 13.11.1382 to the so called partition of Chemnitz.
In it the brother of Friedrich III. rececived
  • Balthasar, he received the Landgraviate Thuringia.  He leased the mints Weimar and Langensalza (Salza) for penny embossing on these towns and left in 1391 to build the Thuringian mint Sangerhausen. The Meissen groschen of the new mint were the first outside the Landesmünzstätte Freiberg beaten dime. His suceessor became his oldest son  Friedrich who is considered to be a relatively weak Regent, who was for a time very dependent on the influence of his wife and her relatives. To finance his lavish court life, he sold over and over again on a larger scale titles and estates. In 1436, he ordered a general expulsion of the Jews from the country county Thuringia. He died in 1440 without descendants.
  • Wilhelm I.. he received the March Meissen. Since 1395 he managed as governor of Jobst of Moravia the March Brandenburg. William was one of the most active Wettin princes , worked wisely in the elimination of powers smaller noble lords free inside the March Meissen and in the defense of the Bohemian Luxembourg. He also acquired the dominion Colditz, brought the rich possessions of the viscount of Dohna, which he sold (Dohnaische feud) , per se , and was a great patron of the cathedral of Meissen , whose exemption, he helped push through with success. 1401 he acquired the first three vineyards in the Loessnitz from which for the next nearly 500 years, the Wettin Hofweingut Hoflößnitz arose . In 1404 William founded the Augustinian monastery in Dresden and equipped it with possession. Due to the high expenditure of the Margrave, which were in part by the conquest of the castle Dohna, but the country and its population was impacted to a great extent . In addition to special tax surveys , an increasing deterioration by considerably reducing the silver content of the coins yielded the Wettin Hauptmünzstätte was the inevitable result. It was only in 1412 succeeded Fredrich the Belligerent to stabilize the currency again. William's first wife was Elizabeth of Moravia, after whose death he married his second wife, Anna of Brunswick. Both marriages were childless, whereupon his heritage zo his nephews Friedrich IV./I., Friedrich II. and Wilhelm II. 

The three sons of Friedrich III. Friedrich IV.,/I., Wilhelm II. and Georg received together the Easter country and Landsberg. and after the death of their uncle Margrave Wilhelm I. also a part of Meissen. In the contract of Naumburg in 1410 the brothers Friedrich and Wilhelm  decided on a re-division of the state and divided the easter country among themselves and with the discussion about the development of 1411 Wilhelm received as his personal share of the greater part of the Easter country, including his Leipzig and Jena  which he exchanged with his brother Friedrich. In the Saxon Care Coburg in Franconia, he joined temporarily to as Landgrave of Thuringia. He authenticated in 1417 together with his brother Friedrich the border Scheid to the diocese of Bamberg with Bishop Albert of Wertheim and graduated in 1424 with Georg Graf von Henneberg-Aschach-Hartenberg an agreement on the establishment of a national militia. 1420 Wilhelm involved in the wake of his brother against the Hussites in Prague. Wilhelm died on 30.03.1425 without leaving descendants.  The older brother Friedrich IV. reigned after the death of their uncle Wilhelm in 1407 together with his brother Wilhelm II. and their cousin Friedrich (son of Balthasar) the 1407 , the March Meissen . After country subdivisions in 1410 and 1415 he received the March Meissen to autocracy. On the side of King Sigismund  he took  from 1420 part in  the Hussite Wars, in August 1421 he succeeded in Brüx one of the few military successes against the Hussites. For his service in this conflict he was  on 06.01.1423 rewarded with the duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg and the County Palatine of Saxony. Thus Friedrich IV. who now called himself Friedrich I. rose to the rank of Duke and Elector. However, he was temporarily in 1424 to the opposition of the Electors  who joined forces against King Sigismund in Binger Kurverein. But Sigismund managed to bring Friedrich I.  to his side , which led to the weakening of the alliance of the Electors. The ceremony of investiture with the electoral dignity was therefore only on 01.08.1425 in Ofen. After the death of his brother Wilhelm II. in 1425 Friedrich I. was the  ruler of the entire Wettin possessions with the exception of Thuringia. As a result of previous spending his uncle William I , the one-eyed man , land and population was impacted to a great extent . It was not until 1412 Friedrich succeeded in stabilizing the dime currency in the form of high-quality shield penny of the mint in Freiberg, he again minted in Gotha 1425 to 1428 under his sole name. El3ector Friedrich I. died in 1428. He had married in 1402 Duchess Katharina of Brunswick-Lüneburg. The had several children
  • Friedrich II. who succeeded as Elector
  • Sigismund, he received in the Division after the death of Elector Friedrich I. Weißenfels, Freiburg at the Unstruth, Jena, Weida, Orlamünde, Saalfeld and Coburg with the frankonian posession. In March 1437 he rennounced on the rule and enter3ed the clergy. he later became Bishop of Würzburg
  • Heinrich
  • Wilhelm III., in the Altenburger division of the Wettin possessions in 1445, he received the Franconian and Thuringian part of the electorate (Landgrave  in Thuringia ), while his older brother Friedrich II.  retained the Meissen part and especially the electoral dignity . Disputes over the distribution , however, led in 1446 to the Saxon Brother War, who only came to an end with the Peace of Naumbrug on 27.01.1451. Referring to the dispute also led the 1456 coinage of the Electress Margaretha , the wife of his brother , Friedrich II. , in their own mint Colditz , as Wilhelm II. is not on due seigniorage had its share as in the mints Freiberg and Leipzig. Duke Wilhelm II. . rose once successfully objected to the coinage of his sister in law . The first coin was abandoned but resumed soon , however, the Electress was not allowed to appear as Münzfürstin first . Only after the death of Elector Friedrich II. on 07.09.1464 changed the setting of Wilhelm II. to the  Electress . He coined from 1465 back into fellowship with his cousins ​​in the mints Freiberg, Gotha, Leipzig, Wittenberg and Zwickau and with the Electoral Princess Margaretha in Colditz. In 1439 Wilhelm II. was betrothed to Anna of Austria , daughter of the later German King Albrecht II . Anna and Wilhelm II. married in 1446 in Jena. He wanted to enforce the acquired this marriage rights of succession to the Duchy of Luxembourg and Bohemia and Hungary, and already occupied the duchy in 1441 . He came into conflict with Philip the Good of Burgundy, who forced him to withdraw after a few skirmishes . After the death of Anna's brother Ladislaus Postumus in 1457 Wilhelm held the title of Duke of Luxembourg . His claims to Bohemia he had to give to King George of Podiebrad , his daughter Katharina was married to Ladislaus son Henry of Münsterberg. William's marriage with Anna was without a male heir, William sat Anna on the Eckartsburg caught, where she died in 1462. Then he married in 1463 his mistress Katharina von Brandenstein. To strengthen this not befitting marriage, he bequeathed her family , among other things , the Ranis as a gift. In the Treaty of Eger in 1459 Elector Friedrich II. and Duke Wilhelm II.  of Saxony and the  King of Bohemia, George of Podiebrads set the border between Bohemia and Saxony fixed at the level of the Ore Mountains and the middle of the Elbe, which is largely valid today. It thus belongs to the oldest , still existing borders in Europe. Wilhelm II. was the last Wettin , under which the Landgraviate of Thuringia was an independent dominion. Since he left no sons, his possessions went to his nephew's  Ernst and Albrecht . His Luxembourg inheritance fell to the Habsburgs. With the death of William the Gotha coin had to go out of business .  His mint Weimar he let close already in 1465 , when he was again hit in communion with his relatives coins.
The oldest brother Friedrich II. had got the electoral Rank after the death of Elector Friedrich I. He married on 03.06.1431 with Margaretha, daughter of Archduke Ernst I of Austria. To compensate for the dowry being due  the Elector built for  his wife in 1456 , the mint Colditz and allowed her minted its own coins  to leave the so-called Margaretha penny coin. Previously, he approved of Wittenberg in their mint minting coin urban (Helle) . The meeting of the Estates in 1438 is considered the first parliament of Saxony. They were given the right to come together with innovations in the tax even without the invitation of the ruler. From 1466 they had to be heard in decisions about war and peace. The elector in 1451 again build the Leipzig coin and stamp 1454-1461, the first Saxon gold coins (gold florins).With the death of Friedrich the peacemakers in 1440 Thuringia came back to the Electorate. After Heinrich and Sigismund were excreted as co-regent , Friedrich and Wilhelm shared this possession. In the Altenburger division in 1445 Wilhelm III. received  the Thuringian and Franconian part, Friedrich II.  the eastern part of the electorate . The mines were common property . Disputes over the distribution , however, led in 1446 to the Saxon Brother War, which came to an End with the Peace of Naumburg on 27.01.1451. The Treaty of Eger laid in 1459 Elector Frederick and Duke William of Saxony and King George Podiebrad of Bohemia of the border between Bohemia and Saxony at the height of the Ore Mountains and the middle of the same firm, which is largely valid today. Thus it is one of the oldest still existing borders in Europe. After the death of Friedrich II.  in 1464 took his two sons , Ernst and Albrecht   first together the government. After 1482 Duke Wilhelm III . died , Thuringia dropped back to the Electorate of Saxony.
On 17.06.1485 the Wettin dukes of Saxony the brothers Ernst and Albrecht summarized  the decision to divide their posessions. On 11.11.1485 , the corresponding partition treaty was signed after the parliament in Leipzig.  On 24.02.1486 the Emperor Friedrich III confirmed . the division in Frankfurt.] The division should be such that the older brother, Ernst should lay laid down the parts , whereupon Albrecht should choose his territory between them. From the outset Ernst stood to the Electorate , which he had held since 1464 , and associated with it Duchy of Saxe -Wittenberg .
The two sub-regions based on the country county Thuringia and the Margraviate of Meissen, next to the Electorate the most important imperial Principality of the Wettin's.  
  • Ernst therefore got next to the electorate  most of the Landgravviate and to one half of the Palatinate Saxony , Vogtland , the Wettin territories Franconias around  of Coburg, the southern part of the Pleißen and Easter country (around Altenburg ) , the advocacy of the bishopric of Naumburg and the suzerainty over the Thuringian Count of Reuss , peers and Kirchberg
  • Albrecht finally chose the Mark Meissen and was given to the northern part of the Pleißen and Easter country ( ear Leipzig), a strip of territory in the north of Thuringia, the advocacy of the bishopric of Merseburg and the Quedlinburg Abbey , and the suzerainty over some Thuringian counts
    Ths line later became the Electoral and from 1806 Royal House of Saxony. 
The advocacy of the bishopric of Meissen, the income from the mines of the mountain towns and the debt , the principality of Sagan , the Bieberstein 's dominions , and the patronage of the cities of Mühlhausen , Nordhausen and Erfurt should both brothers continue to have in common.


Electors Ernestine l

The new Elector was despite serious difficulties   in the foreign policy on the Bohemian side. The ratio of the two countries had already been settled by the Treaty of Eger in 1459. Despite his loyalty to the Emperor Friederich III. he sought rapprochement with King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary. The eastward Wettin policy was through the acquisition of the Duchy of Sagan in 1472 and the reigns Sorau, Beeskow and Storkow in 1477 successfull, but therefore  he came in conflict with the Electorate of Brandenburg. Elector Ernst died in 26.08.1486 through an unfortunate fall from his horse near Colditz, after he worked intensively in his last days for the election of the future Emperor Maximilian as King of the Romans.The new Elector his oldest son Friedrich III. ruled jointly  with his brother Johann the Steadfast on the other widely scattered dominions. The revenue from the ore and silver mines in the Saxon mines, its share of the seigniorage due to the mints Freiberg, Leipzig, Annaberg Buchholz, Schneeberg and Langensalza assured him financial independence. Deeply rooted in Catholicism, Friedrich III.F lived. according to the faith practices of his time: daily measurement visit, work devotion, the Virgin Mary and saint worship, the cult of relics. With true passion he collected relics - over 19.000 with the equivalent of about two million years drain. The relics, which he brought with him to the Holy Land of his pilgrimage in 1493, formed the basis of his collection, which he expanded to schedule, so he finally had the third largest collection of relics of his time. Lucas Cranach the Elder, which Friedrich the Wise  appointed in 1505 as his court painter in Wittenberg, made in 1509 to this sanctuary collection in the Castle Church in Wittenberg, a detailed description with woodcuts on. 1493 Friedrich III.  was beaten in Jerusalem Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy grave, along with Duke Christoph the Strong, Count Philipp von Anhalt, Count Heinrich of Stolberg, Count Adam of Beichlingen, Count Balthasar von Schwarzburg, Heinrich von Gera, Anarg Lord of Wildenfels and Hans von Schwarzenberg and other noblemen. In in 1502 Friedrich the Wise founded  the University of Wittenberg, which developed in the following decades to one of the major universities. On 08.08.1507, King Maximilian I. transferred at the Diet of Constance to Freidrich  the dignity of Governor General. After Maximilian had returned from his election as Roman Emperor on 04.02.1508 in Trient the governorship became extinct. On coins of electors for the first time his dignity was named as imperial vicar. The political reform thinking Friedrich the Wise, which at the same time had a power reduction of the central imperial power and a weakening of the  always moneyhungry Papacy, the objectives of strengthening the territorial princes and, probably induced him also to support Martin Luther's revolt. Containment of the increasing financial demands of the Renaissance popes, the papal financial practices as well as the acting on aggrandizement Papal States were at the forefront of the political action of the Saxon elector and certainly not the theological reflections of Luther, where he faced restrained. So he has never personally met Martin Luther during his reign. In a published 2008 Working Hofsommer was first demonstrated that even a very human motive Friedrich could have moved to keep his protective hand over the emerging Protestantism, namely, his anger at the twice rejected by the Pope, marriage to Archduchess Margarethe, daughter of the Emperor Maximilian. By refusing to recognize the 1518 by Rome taken decision heretics judgment against Luther, the assurance of safe conduct for Luther to the Diet of Worms and his placement at the Wartburg after the ban was an open conflict of interest between the Electors of Saxony and the Roman Curia or the Emperor. This persistent determination, but also his reluctance to intervene in warlike conflicts with the House of Wettin realized his striving for political balance basic setting, in the later history earned him the nickname of Friedrich the Wise. Many historians trace the nickname also due to be considered action at the election of Emperor Maximilian's successor. Because choosing the Roman-German king in 1519, the Saxon Elector played a crucial role: on the one hand, Friedrich was the way first supported as a candidate of Pope Leo X. who out of interest of the Papal States at this time neither of the two main competitors, the French King Francis I and the Emperor's grandson Karl, who as Karl I. was crowned  King of Aragon in 1518. On the other hand, accepted temporarily the French side the Saxon electors a compromise candidate. Thus he would have had a good chance to be elected by the electors. But he rejected the imperial dignity in advance of the election from and worked better as a mediator in the Electoral College. Finally, the 19-year-old Habsburg was elected on 28.06.1519 in Frankfurt unanimously.  After his death in 1525 his younger brother Johann succeeded him as Elector.  He had already reigned together with his brother and the entire joint reign of the two brothers was marked by good understanding and cooperative collaboration. Neither of them made important decisions without asking the other previously for advice. Although this approach often led to a paralysis of decision-making, on the other hand, would also quarrels between the ruling prince or political unilateralism certainly not exactly been conducive to an effective and successful policy. After his second marriage with Margaret of Anhalt, he and his brother shared the Saxon lands among themselves. Johann settled then in Weimar, where he founded his own farm and from then on was responsible for the Thuringian, Frankish and Vogtland parts of the country. Since Johann had never shown a great interest in the administration and finances of his State, that were, after he had received his own yard, neglected. Both before Friedrich's death and afterwards, when Johann was in charge of the finances of the entire electorate, the administration has been described as very corrupt. It is alleged that officials should have enriched at the expense of the electors and done Written only very superficial, which is why Johann Friedrich had to struggle after the death of his father in 1532 with dilapidated financial system and administration. Because of disagreements gave 1530 to the end of 1533 to the so-called Saxon coin separation between Johann and the Albertinian Duke George the Bearded. Johann took the view that the high-Saxon Guldengroschen of the population harmed because they lower-significance for money would be introduced brought by usurers out of the country and demanded to reduce the silver content of the coins. The Duke was in contrast to retaining the previous value of the coins. Then the common Schneeberger mint was shut down in the area of ​​the elector. The Mint of Zwickau, which was temporarily reopened in 1530 and the mint Buchholz coined from this time for Johann to lighter monetary standard. Under his successor Johann Friedrich the former Münzgemeinschaft came back into power.
As his nickname suggests, he had against the Reformation, the same positive attitude as his brother. His firmness and courage to stand by his confession, probably earned him the most fame among his contemporaries. Christian beliefs were the basis of his political decisions that were considered very fair. In political matters he behaved often hesitant. The interaction between him and the Landgrave Philip of Hesse, with whom he had a close relationship due to the common denomination, Philip was the driving force and called for more of an aggressive foreign policy. Johann, however, remained particularly on the question of whether to defend themselves as Protestants against the Emperor, very back and stood for a long time on the side of Luther, who was a defensive alliance against the Catholics not to be good, as it was officially prohibited, each to ally the Emperor. As ruler of Martin Luther Johann maintained a very close, almost friendly relationship with the leading theologians of the Protestant. Luther also commented frequently positive about Johann. Especially for his behavior at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, he praised him very much, "I think certainly that the Elector Johann of Saxony has had the Holy Spirit. He has in Augsburg admirably demonstrated by its commitment (...) ". Often Johann supposed to have said: "Tell my scholars that they do what is right, take God to praise and honor, and to me and my country no consideration." He is even the Protestant theologians through his insistence on the Protestant creed which have held to behave too yielding to the emperor. In 1527 Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded, whose bishop was the Elector. He belonged in 1529 to the princely adherents of the Protestant minority (protest) at the Diet of Speyer. The 1531 founded to defend the Reformation Schmalkaldic Federation of Protestant estates of the Empire was under the leadership of the Electorate of Saxony and Hesse. His son and successor Johann Friedrich promoted the Reformation as before him, his uncle and his father. He consolidated the National Church and promoted the University of Wittenberg. Since the year 1539, he erected a new consistory to regulate the management of church property. In 1534 he reached into the feud of Hans Kohlhase against the Knights of Zaschwitz by he canceled a temporary compromise agreement. As leader of the Smalcald League, he was the head of the Protestants. Politically little talented and physically disadvantaged to alcohol by its considerable weight and his addiction, Johann Friedrich was obstinate and little statesmanlike. As a patron of the diocese of Naumburg he replaced the legally elected by the Chapter, Catholic Bishop Julius von Pflug by the Lutheran Nicholas of Amsdorf which he appealed to the emperor to take steps against the Reformation. Similarly, high-handed approach as in Naumburg considered Johann Friedrich also for the pin sausages, but that was under the joint auspices with his cousin Duke Moritz of Saxony, which led to the alienation of both princes. At the Diet of Speyer in 1544 confirmed the Emperor Karl V. after prolonged refusal the marriage contract of Johann Friedrich and the Saxon succession in the two lines of the House of Wettin. Because of his attacks against Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and the capture of Duke Heinrich, imposed Emperor Karl V on 19.07.1546 imperial ban on Johann Friedrich I and the members of the Smalcald League. The following Smalcald War also be Lutheran cousin Duke Moritz of Saxony sided with the emperor and invaded electoral Saxony. In the battle of Miihlberg the emperor was victorious. Johann Friedrich was captured on 24.04.1547 by imperial troops on the Lochauer Heath. On 10.05. John Frederick was sentenced to death. He heard the verdict very indifferently during a game of chess with his friend Ernst of Brunswick-Grubenhagen.  The death sentence was (among other things Moritz) converted by intercession of influential princes in lifelong prison. Johann Friedrich lost the electoral dignity and most of its countries to Moritz of Saxony. He remained optimistic despite this defeat, and still left during his captivity the hunting lodge happy return build. Similarly, during his captivity Johann Friedrich had let start as a substitute for the lost State University Wittenberg High School in Jena, but this was only in 1558, collected after his death, by Emperor Ferdinand I. to the University of Jena. Attempts of the Emperor Karl, Johann Friedrich move the adoption of the Augsburg Interim, the prisoner refused steadfastly why his detention was aggravated.

In 1547 the Ernestines lost due to the Wittenberg surrender the electoral dignity with the Duchy of Saxony (Wittenberg) and most of their hereditary lands to the Albertine line and could initially also claim only a portion of their possessions in Thuringia, namely the offices, cities and castles Gerstungen, Eisenach , Wartburg, cross Castle, Tenneberg, Walter Hausen, Leuchtenburg, Roda, Orlamünde, Gotha, Jena, Chapel Village, Roßla, Weimar, Wachsenburggemeinde, Thorn Castle, Camburg, Buttstädt, Arnshaugk, Weida, Mildenfurth and goats back.  To the  Ernestine total holdings came after the death of Duke Johann Ernst I. of Coburg 1553 even the offices Coburg, Sonneberg, Hildburghausen, Königsberg, Veilsdorf and Schalkau. Other territories received the Ernestine in 1554 by the Treaty of Naumburg Elector Augustus of the Albertine line; 1555 through Exchange with the Counts of Mansfeld, the rule Römhild. Finally, the Ernestine House a share of 7/12, definitely, however, acquired from the henebergian inheritance (1583) until 1660, namely the offices Meiningen, Themar, Maßfeld, Behrungen, Henneberg, spleen, Ilmenau, Kaltennordheim, Frauenbreitungen, sand and Wasunge.

After the death of Duke and former Elector Johann Friedrich his sons at first reigned the Duchy together but in 1565 the agreed to a Division of the Country.
  • Johann Friedrich II. got Saxe-Coburg and Eisenach and took his residence in Gotha.
    Through its policy, which was directed to a recovery of the lost 1547 of his father and areas of Elector Title and through his involvement in the Grumbach Handel, Johann Friedrich drew the ire of the Middle Emperor Maximilian II.. The emperor finally imposed the imperial ban on him, the Elector of Saxony was in charge of the imperial execution, in which Johann Wilhelm involved. After a siege of Castle in Gotha Johann Friedrich was finally defeated in 1567 and ran until the end of his life in imperial captivity.
  • Johann Wilhelm, got Saxe-Weimar

Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Eisenach

The Duchy was created by the Erfurt division in 1572, with the were separated in implementing the decisions of the Diet of Speyer of 1570 Coburg and Eisenach from the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar, and the two sons Johann Friedrich II., Johann Casimir and Johann Ernst as owned was passed.
However, since the two princes were minors at the time, the country was first ruled by a Regency, which was performed by Elector August of Saxony. In  1586 the guardianship and the regency was abolished, and Johann Casimir and John Ernest came together to rule the Duchy.
However, Johann Ernst retired soon to  a hunting lodge in Mark Suhl back and renounced in 1590 for five years all on its participation in the government of the country. After the end of this time, the two brothers agreed on a division of the state. Johann Casimir kept Saxe-Coburg, while Johann Ernst received Saxe-Eisenach. 
Under Duke Johann Casimir the residence of Coburg had its first cultural heyday with a construction activity. The buildings can be visited to this day. The City Palace was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. The former castle Callenberg was extended to a magnificent hunting lodge; their 1618 inaugurated the first Protestant chapel is a sacred space in the Coburg area. The Veste Coburg fortress was converted into a country, and the arsenal and the government building on the square were rebuilt. The chorus of the Moritz Church adorned Johann Casimir in 1598 in honor of his parents with a twelve meter high alabaster monument with richly sculptured image program that is one of the most beautiful Renaissanceepitaphen in Germany. He also founded the school Casimirianum, the castle library extended to the inherited book inventories and dedicated in 1603 the composer Melchior Franck as court conductor. The royal household consisted partly 213 people and 130 horses. The Tenneberg castle was rebuilt under John Casimir's reign from 1612 to 1622 into a hunting lodge. In 1593 followed the divorce of  Duke Johann Casimir of his first wife for adultery, which he held then captured first in Eisenach until 1596 in the solar field monastery and then until her death in 1613 at the Veste Coburg. On 16.09.1599 he married Margarethe, daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Politically succeeded Johann Casimir to subdue the kingdom knights of his reign, he assured by this jurisdiction on their country estates. He issued a church order for the Lutheran Church with the Duke as summus episcopus, which was later adopted by many Thuringian States. As own supreme authority of the judiciary and the church he built in Coburg in 1589 a royal court (special court for nobles), a Appellationsrat, a Schöpp chair (Court) and in 1593 a consistory, after they have previously also responsible for Saxony-Weimar, located in Jena were. Above all, he built a core Coburg law an administrative apparatus, which consisted of time long after his death and many political upheavals survived. During the Thirty Years War Duke Johann Casimir succeeded to remain neutral. After his accession to the Swedish alliance was made in 1632 by imperial and Bavarian troops under Wallenstein the occupation of Coburg and unsuccessful siege of the fortress. Duke John Casimir fled in time to Thuringia. During Casimir's reign had the witch trials and -verbrennungen in Coburg its peak. 178 witch trials he brought. In 1633 Johann Casimir died childless, his inheritance fell to his brother Johann Ernst of Saxe-Eisenach.  Duke Johann Ernst reigned until his death in 1638 both countries in Personal-Union. As his 2 marriages remained childless this line became extinct with his death.

Duchy of Saxe-Weimar

When in 1565 Duke Johann Friedrich II. and his brother Johann Wilhelm divided the Wettin countries Johann Wilhelm got Weimar. When the Emperor put the imperial ban on Johann Friedrich II. because of his the Elector of Saxony was in charge of the imperial execution, in which Johann Wilhelm involved. After a siege of Castle in Gotha Johann Friedrich was finally defeated in 1567 and ran until the end of his life in imperial captivity. His possessions were confiscated by the emperor and handed over to Johann Wilhelm I. who thus became the sole ruler of the whole duchy of Saxony. But Johann Wilhelm I soon fell out of favor in imperial, when he became the General to King Charles IX. of France in the campaign went against the Huguenots. This he called not only the head shaking his Protestant subjects produced (a Wettin, whose dynasty since Friedrich was the sage as the protector of the Protestants in Germany, allied with the Catholic king of France against the Protestants denominationally affiliated Huguenots) but also earned the wrath of the Emperor, as the French kings were hereditary enemies of the Habsburgs. The emperor therefore, the two sons of the still trapped Johann Friedrich II. got back their inheritance and put together with the Elector of Saxony in 1572, the Erfurt division by. The duchy of Saxony was divided into three parts. The elder of the two sons of Johann Friedrich II.  Johann Casimir received Saxe-Coburg, the younger Johann Ernst received Saxe-Eisenach, Johann Wilhelm I therefore remained limited to only a small part of the country Saxe-Weimar. Since this division there has always been more Ernestine dynasties in Thuringia side by side, the Ernestine total ownership (the Duchy of Saxony) was no longer united. From Johann Wilhelm so descended from the House of Saxe Weimar, and the older house of Saxe-Altenburg, the later of Saxe-Weimar separated.
Johann Wilhelm was never able to get over this limitation of his territory, he died only a year later exacerbated in Weimar. His successor was his oldest son Friedrich Wilhelm who was still a minor at that time
a regency was therefore initially used for the Duchy. In his will, Duke Johann Wilhelm had  Elector Ludwig of the Palatinate and Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg determined as regent. The regency was, however, claimed by the Dowager Duchess Dorothea Susanne, but they could not prevent, be urged in its place, the Saxon Elector Augustus of the Albertine relationship as the next agnate of the Prince in the regency. August could be homage on 08.04.1575 by Altenburger stands and dismissed numerous clergy, including the educator Friedrich Wilhelm Kaspar bee man. As guardian he signed in Friedrich Wilhelm's name the Formula of Concord of 1577 and the Book of Concord of 1580. 1583 Friedrich Wilhelm I. came of age, but began to rule independently after the death of the Elector August 1586. He issued in 1589 a new police and provincial system and founded the year after the Order against the misuse of God's name, however, which went down again soon. In 1591 he renewed the privileges and rights of the University of Jena. In 1591 died in Saxony Elector Christian I, whose oldest son Christian II. was also a minor at this time, Friedrich Wilhelm I. was, according to the Testament of Christian I. used as Regent for the Electorate of Saxony. This kept on as "Administrator of the Saxon Electorate" especially in the capital of Saxony Torgau, where he held lavish courtyard. He neglected the business of government in Weimar, led by his younger brother John, who was involved, according to the Ernestine House bill to the government. In Saxony, Friedrich Wilhelm followed the Kryptocalvinismus and let the former Chancellor Nikolaus Krell arrest. Its annual expenditure amounted to 83,000 florins. Only when he had to intervene because of the mismanagement of his relatives in Coburg, he reduced his own spending to 8000 guilders. Friedrich Wilhelm founded a printing plant in Torgau. 1601 ended the regency regency in Saxony with the majority of the Elector Christian II. And Friedrich Wilhelm I returned to Saxony-Weimar but he died already a year later.
As Weimar fell to his younger brother Johann in 1603 the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg was separated as a independ Duchy from Saxe-Weimar for the sons of Friedrich Wilhelm's second marriage.The new Duke Johann was more interested in science and art, as in politics, sickly life and therefore became reluctant to the regency of the duchy. His nephew's Johann Pilipp, Friedrich, Johann Wilhelm and Friedrich Wilhelm II., The 1603 own inheritance demanded, he relented. The anyway small Duchy of Saxe-Weimar was therefore divided again, Altenburg was separated and became an independent duchy for the sons of Friedrich Wilhelm I. While Johann is politically hardly have appeared, but he was in other respects, however, important for the dynasty of Saxony-Weimar. From Johann's eleven sons reached eight adulthood. Thus Johann had secured the existence of the House of Saxe-Weimar for the future and is the ancestor of all later existing Ernestine lines of the House of Wettin. Duke Johann died in 1605 only three years after his accession. As his oldest son Johann Ernst was still a minor he came under the guardianship of the Elector's Saxony. In 1615 Duke Johann Ernst took over the reign and the guardianship over his younger brothers. On 24.08.1617 the Fruitful Society was founded at the Weimar Hornstein Castle. Duke Johann Ernst was one of the founding members. From 1620 he served as colonel under the Elector Friedrich V of the Palatinate, the "Winter King". After its defeat in the Battle of White Mountain on 08.11.1620 Duke Johann Ernst refused to submit unconditionally to the Emperor. Therefore, he resigned as Duke of Saxe-Weimar and handed over the affairs to his brothers. Basically, set against the House of Habsburg, he fought alternately as a Dutch captain or lieutenant general of the Danish cavalry in Westphalia and Lower Saxony. As such, he was at the conquest of Silesia there, and then followed the Count Peter Ernst II. of Mansfeld to Hungary. where he died in 1626 at the age of 32. After his death his younger brother Wilhelm IV. finally assumed the ducal throne. He also his dedicated focus initially on the Protestant side in the Thirty Years' War and was in 1631 Swedish general governor of Thuringia and in 1632 lieutenant general of the Swedish Army, the second-highest office in the army after the king. Wilhelm IV. hopes, by the war to expand his territory, however remained unfulfilled, he also came after the death of the Swedish king Gustav II. Adolf in increasing opposition to his Chancellor Oxenstierna, who took over the leadership of the Swedish policy after the death of the King. In 1635 he joined therefore the Peace of Prague between the Emperor and the Elector of Saxony; the Thirty Years' War was thus completed for the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar. However the Thirty
Years' War had for Saxony-Weimar, as for so many other German countries also  catastrophic consequences. Although the city of Weimar was largely spared from war, since they were isolated from the major highways and the mercenary armies therefore hardly strayed there. This led, however, to many people fled to Weimar. At times, the city was home to more refugees than locals. The overpopulation led to plague epidemics  The rural areas of the Duchy, however, were greatly moved by acts of war affected. After the war the Duke Wilhelm IV.  in 1642 performed a "country Visitation", which revealed the full extent of the damage. Half of all homes and nearly all the livestock were destroyed, two-thirds of agricultural land lay fallow. After the war, the Duke went according to plan on the reconstruction of his country. Already in 1633 he had reformed with the "Appeal Procedure" the administration of the duchy. In 1647 he issued a ducal patent that anyone who rebuilt a devastated by war farm and managed, granted a two-year tax exemption. The reconstruction of the Weimar castle he could finish. In the cultural field, he achieved great things. In 1650 he was head of the fruit-bearing Society, which moved from Köthen to Weimar. During this time there was significant territorial changes. 1638 the dukes of Saxe-Coburg-Eisenach became extinct. Its territory was divided between Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Altenburg, two-thirds fell to the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar. The so enlarged duchy was divided, however, almost immediately again. Wilhelm had initially want to participate his younger brothers in the government of the duchy, but to rid themselves of this obligation in 1640 the duchies of Saxe-Eisenach and Saxe-Gotha were separated for this. However, his brother Albert who got  Saxe-Eisenach died already in 1644 without issue, and the Duchy of Saxe-Eisenach was then divided between Weimar and Gotha, so that half of it  fell back to Weimar. Duke Wilhelm died in 1662. His youngest brother Ernst got the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha. Duke Wuilhelm IV. was married to Princess Eleonore Dorothea of Anhalt-Dessau. They had the following children
  • Wilhelm, died young
  • Johann Ernst he succeeded his father as Duke of Saxe-Weimar
  • Johann Wilhelm, died Young
  • Adolf Wilhelm, he became in 1672 Duke of Saxe-Eisenach
  • Johann Georg I., he succeeded his brother Adolf Wilhelm as  Duke of Saxe-Eisenach
  • Wilhelmine Eleonore, died young
  • Bernhard, he became in 1672 Duke of Saxe-Jena
  • Friedrich, died young
  • Dorothea Maria, married to Duke Moritz of Saxe-Zeitz

After the death of Duke Wilhelm IV. and the Partition of the Country among the surviving Brothers the oldest Johann Ernst II. became Duke of Saxe-Weimar. While his father, Wilhelm IV., especially in the cultural field Major made ​​ Johann Ernst II. only followed his passion for hunting and left the government of his country in large part to his chancellor. After a fall from a horse in 1680 one of his legs was paralyzed, he died of dropsy three years later in 1683.
Duke Johan Ernst II. married in 1656 Princess Christine Elisabeth of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg. They had the following children:
  • Anna Dorothea, Abbess of Quedlinburg
  • Wilhemine Christine, married to Fürst Christian Wilhelm of Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen
  • Eleonore Sophie, married to Duke Philipp of Saxe-Merseburg
  • Wilhelm Ernst, succeeded his father as Duke of Saxe-Weimar
  • Johann Ernst, married first to Princess Sophie August of Anhalt-Zerbst. second to Princess Charlotte of Hesse-Homburg
    from the first marriage:
    • several children who died young
    • Ernst August, who succeeded his uncle Duke Wilhelm Ernst as Duke of Saxe-Weimar
    from the second marriage:
    • several children who died young
    • Johann Ernst

After the death of Duke Johann Ernst II. his 2 sons shared the Regency. Because Johann Ernst  was an alcoholic, Wilhelm Ernst succeeded relatively quickly: to neutralize him politically, so that he himself was de facto sole ruler. Formally, the brother remained until his death in 1707 co-ruler, then gave his son Ernst Wilhelm Ernst August I. this role - also without him really to participate in power. Wilhelm Ernst married in 1683 his cousin Charlotte Maria of Saxe-Jena,  daughter of Duke Bernhard of Saxe-Jena. However, since the marriage remained childless, his nephew Ernst August I became his successor.  In 1691, he founded the current Duchess Anna Amalia Library, and a year later he bought the Kromsdorf lock and let it expand. Duke Wilhelm Ernst was characterized by a strict Lutheranism and a bigoted piety. His court was in winter at eight, enacted by nine clock bed rest in the summer, he commanded his soldiers into the service and was then retell them of the content of the sermon. Famous became Wilhelm Ernst especially by his confrontation with Johann Sebastian Bach. The composer worked since 1708 as court organist and concertmaster in Weimar. When the Duke Bach went on the replacement of Hofkapellmeisterstelle, this requested him to resign from the state service. Annoyed by this obstinacy of the musician, Wilhelm Ernst Bach was four weeks throw in imprisonment before he directed him in favor of the country. This process led to Wilhelm Ernst awarded a place as authoritarian Kunstbanause in all Bach biographies. During the reign of Wilhelm Ernst  the Duchy enlarged because in 1690 the Ernestine branch line Sachsen-Jena became extinct and Wilhelm Ernst therefore inherited parts of that Duchy. After his death in 1728 his nephew Duke Ernst August I. began to ecercise de facto began the government of Saxony-Weimar.  Ernst August I was a magnificent Baroque-loving ruler who drove his country through his escapades in financial ruin. He was notorious for detaining former confidant of the court, on whose property he had his eye, without any reason and they only release them when the Duke overwritten their assets or high ransoms were paid. A number of his victims, this behavior but did not like it and complained when Reichshofrat in Vienna and the Imperial Chamber Court in Wetzlar against the Duke. It may serve as a sign of how great it Ernst August I drove, that he lost all brought against it processes. The process lasted for years and contributed to the financial ruin of the Duchy at. The Duke maintained a standing army whose size was grossly disproportionate to the population of this small country and its financial resources. The soldiers were rented to the Electorate of Saxony or the Emperor. His building mania, the further plunged the country into the financial abyss, while leaving behind gems like Castle Belvedere in Weimar and the rococo castle in thorns castle, but many other projects had the character Potemkin villages and fell into disrepair after its construction quickly. The passion for hunting, he was also in abundance out at his death he bequeathed 1,100 dogs and 373 horses. The Duke maintained a veritable harem, where he had two noble "maids of honor" and three bourgeois "maids" to services. Since 1716 Duke Ernst Augustr I. was married to Princess  Eleonore Wilhelmina  of Anhalt-Köthen. To the Wedding which was held at Nienburg (Saale)  took with his band including Johann Sebastian Bach, and it was here where the composer met the brother of the bride, his future master Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen.  After the death of his first wife married Ernst August I. initially not again, but gave himself up to his maids of honor and chambermaids. It was not until 1732, when his son the Hereditary Prince Johann Wilhelm died, that  the Duke went again looking for a wife, because he had to witness a new son in order to preserve the dynasty from extinction. In 1734 he eventually married Sophia Charlotte Albertina, a born Princess of Brandenburg-Bayreuth. 1737 then came the Hereditary Prince Ernst August Constantin to the world. When in 1741 Duke Wilhelm of Saxe-Eisenach died without leaving male Issue Eisenach fell to Saxe-Weimar. 



Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg

Because Duke Friedrich Wilhelm had made an agreement with his brother Johann that the country should be divíded and his sons get Altenburg after his death in 1602 his oldest son Johann Philipp became the first Duke of Saxe-Altenburg- As he was still a minor he came under the guardianship of the Elector of Saxony and their uncle Johann; after his death in 1605 the former alone. Between the lines Weimar and Altenburg soon broke the so-called "Präzedenzstreit" to former common ownership, mainly by the amount of the County of Henneberg, judicial and protection money from Erfurt, Jena University and the mint Saalfeld and the primacy of the houses in case of extinction Albertine, was despite mediation settled by the Emperor only in 1672 with the extinction of the line of Saxe-Altenburg. After the Jülich-Kleve succession dispute, the brothers used the title of Dukes of Jülich, Cleves and Berg, but only nominally. In 1612 the brothers went to further education at the University of Leipzig, where Johann Philipp was appointed rector the following year. In 1618 Johann Philipp came of age and took over the government. His brothers he took off with Leibgedingen. In 1621 Johann Philipp acquired the rule Grafenthal, adopted an improved country and order a printed Taxordnung for craftsmen. Further territorial gains made ​​by Johann Philipp extinction of the Counts of peers and the older line of Saxe-Coburg. In the Thirty Years' War, the country suffered greatly. The population decreased rapidly and in 1632 the city was sacked by Wallenstein. When Johann Philipp protested and appealed to a promise from the captains of Heinrich Holk, Wallenstein replied: "If the Lord Christ himself comes, the apostles must be silent." duke Johann Philipp died in 1639. As he had only a daughter he was succeeded as Regent of Saxe-Altenburg by his youngest brother Friedrich Wilhelm II. wo had from 1631 served in Saxon services and participated in the Battle of Leipzig. Two years later he became a colonel and under Hans Georg von Arnim-Boitzenburg general of the cavalry and under his absence, commander of the Saxon troops.
In 1639, all three older brothers of Friedrich Willhelm had died. He resigned from the military service and became a sovereign Duke of Saxe-Altenburg. Following the Thirty Years War, the country was completely prostrate. Friedrich Wilhelm II.  focused on a directed to the common good policy. He issued various orders, invested in churches and schools and brought the mining industry in Saalfeld running againAfter the death of Duke Johann Ernst of Saxe-Eisenach it came with the line Weimar on 13.02.1640 to a division of the lands. Friedrich Wilhelm  II. received  the offices Coburg, Hildburghausen, Römhild, Sonnenberg, Mönchröden, Unterrodach, Gestungshausen, Neustadt, Schalkau and monastery Sonnenfeld.  In 1660, he also acquired a portion of the former county of Henneberg with Meiningen, Themar and Behrungen. Ongoing disputes with Saxony-Weimar passed until his death. Friedrich Wilhelm II had. 1,664 a hunting lodge built in Hummelshain. A year later he built his second wife in Altenburg with the Magdalene pen a worthy widow seat. He was married twice. First to Princess Sophie Elisabeth of Brandenburg. This marriage remained childless and after her death he married in 1652 Princess Magdalene Sibylle of Saxony, a daugher of Elector  Johann Georg I. and widoe of Crown Prince Christian of Denmark. With her he had 3 children. After his death in 1660 his younger only 12 years old son succeeded him as Duke. His regency was regulated by a guardianship scheme of Elector Johann Georg II., Moritz of Saxony and Duke of Saxe-Zeitz. Only 14 years old the the young Duke on  14.04.1672 at from smallpox shortly after returning from a trip to Dresden.
He was succeeded by Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Gotha  because of the testamentary provision of Friedrich Wilhelm II. that the eldest agnate should inherit alone.


Duchy of Saxe-Gotha from 1672 Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

When in 1640 the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar divided among the sons of Duke Johann III. of Saxe-Weimar his youngest son Ernst got Saxe-Gotha. As there was no befitting residence at his accession in Gotha he  began in 1643 with the construction of the castle Friedenstein which was completed in 1654. In his residence Gotha 1650 he built a new mint for his Duchy of Saxe-Gotha. The location of the coin was in rooms of the west wing of the Friedenstein Castle. In 1672 he succeeded, the successor of Frederick William III. to the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg and to inherit three quarters of its possession. Through this inheritance, as well as, for example, by the random half of the duchy of Saxe-Eisenach in 1645 and other acquisitions Ernst I.  could greatly increase his territory.  Duke Ernst I. appears as a ruler of the transition. His political thinking was rooted in traditional notions of the prince as the country paternal authority, which is why his reign practice distinguished by a strong patriarchal train. He stood off to politics theoretical doctrines of the primacy of the quest for power; Religion and church were important pillars for his policy, which was committed even eschatological expectations of salvation. At the same time broke in the princely state of Ernst the Pious strict management thinking path that reached out to almost all areas of social life. A restless reform activity determined the Gotha territorial politics, the case broke new ground in many areas. He tried to take by comprehensive regulations have a positive influence on morality, education and welfare of the citizens. Under Ernst Sigismund I. Evenius initiated the Weimar Bible work. He invited the Ethiopian theologians Abba Gregorius to his court and encouraged the beginnings of Ethiopian Studies, which was founded in Gotha of Job LudolfErnst I. was an important ruler of his time, who sought to resolve through comprehensive reforms, the damages of the war. In addition to the elite promotion with founding of the Gotha Gymnasium (1524), the promotion took place also universal primary education by the "Schulmethodus" (1641), the first independent and independent of the Church wrote the school rules elementary education institutionalized. This was followed by the introduction of compulsory education for five to twelve years (1642), the establishment of an orphanage, the reorganization of the judiciary, state supervision of health care, all of these partly forward-looking measures go back to Duke Ernst I.  At high school students learned from Hungary, Silesia, Poland, Russia and Scandinavia, all were welcome, mostly sons of persecuted Lutherans, where the Duke in Gotha asylum offered. The Duke was in a separate school Printer Print new, epoch-making textbooks and promoted its translation into Italian and French. For the Lutheran congregation in Moscow, he financed a free school, which was open also to the sons of non-Christian peoples of the Russian Empire. An embassy of the Tsar was received magnificently and showered with good advice. Ernst offered to help the German mathematician for the measurement of Russia, but also scientists and professionals of various disciplines as "development aid".  The successful reform activity was widespread recognition. After Duke Ernst I. died on 26.03.1675 his 7 sons reigned to the  Country at first together before they it divided by a contract from 24.02.1680.
  • Friedrich, he received the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
  • Albrecht,  he received the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. he recievied in the Division also the next town and Office of Coburg, the court Unterrodach, office and city Neustadt, court and city Sonnenberg monastery Mönchröden, Office Sonnenfeld and office management Neuhaus. Albrecht resided in the Coburg Castle Ehrenburg, which he built again as new baroque palace complex after a fire in 1690. [1] The year before Albrecht was involved in the conquest of the French-occupied city of Mainz and the fortress of Bonn. After the death of his elder brother Frederick I of Saxe-Gotha in 1691, Albrecht was a senior Ernestine House of the Office OldislebenAlbrecht was considered musically gifted and especially his first wife, daughter of the founder of the famous library, had a significant influence on him. After Duke Albrechts death without male Issue in 1699 follow a dispute erupted among his brothers, or their descendants, which the youngest brother Johann Ernst finally in 1714 could largely decide for himself.
  • Bernhard, he received the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen
  • Heinrich,  he received the Duchy of Saxe-Römhild. Duke Heinrich moved on 16.11.1680 with his young wife Marie Elisabeth, née Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt  in Römhild and resided in the castle, which he called "Glücksburg" and rebuilt according to his ideas and let set. Duke Heinrich unfolded elsewhere brisk construction activity. Under his rule, among other things, the castle church, a public exchange and customs house, four Kavalierhäuser of the Court nobility, a riding school, a racecourse and the orangery originated. The magnificent structures were the cave house  and the pleasure palace in Mertzelbach, built according to plans by the royal sculptor Lux, who also created the high altar in the Stiftskirchg. Many of these buildings no longer exist, but are in the self-published work he described in detail "The prince's desire to build the Duke Heinrich of Saxony-Römhild". The book is one of the few remaining,-written accounts of ephemeral architecture. Heinrichwas also the Bürgersee dry up and turn it into a pleasure garden and equipped the city church with a Baroque high altar, a magnificent royal box and a new organThe versed in mechanics, architecture and mathematics Heinrich maintained at  Glücksburg Castle a princely library, which he constantly expanded and came after his death to the Duke of Saxe-Gotha. From 1691 to 1693 he had performed with his brother Bernard, for the Duke Friedrich II. the regency in Saxe-Gotha. The luxurious court life and the representative royal household of the Duke helped the small country town Römhild to economic prosperity and cultural flowering. The costs exceeded the financial strength of Duke by far. As the popular ruler died unexpectedly in 1710, he left considerable debts. In his last four years he was the senior of the ernestinian line of the House Wettin. After he died on 13.05.1710 without Issue Saxe-Römhild was divided under Saxe.Gotha-Altenburg, Saxe-Meiningen, Saxe-Hildburghausen and Saxe-Saalfeld.
  • Christian,  he received the Duke pf Saxe-Eisenberg. In the Division he also got the   offices Ronneburg, Eisenberg, Roda and CamburgBy his exaggerated Hofhaltung the country began to borrow quickly. In his later years he was facing the alchemy and are believed to be in connection with spirits. Christian stood with many scholars of his time in correspondence with them what he had created a post in Eisenberg. He promoted the education (establishment of a lyceum, the later Christian High School) and set up a mint. The city Eisenberg he provided at his own expense with spring water through leaden pipes, which he had made ​​himself in his laboratory.
    He died with significant debts and like brothers Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Heinrich of Saxony-Römhild without heirs. Shortly before his death, he had adopted his subjects to three years any taxes.
  • Ernst,  he received the Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen
  • Johann Ernst,  he received the Duke of Saxe-Saalfeld
The oldest son Friedrich retained the offices Gotha, Tenneberg, Wachsenburggemeinde, Ichterhausen, George valley, Black Forest, Reinhardsbrunn, Volkenrode, Upper crane field, Altenburg, Leuchtenburg and Orlamünde. The State formed from these offices was  called Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. It consisted of three large, non-contiguous areas around Gotha, Kahla and Altenburg and six smaller enclaves. As a residence Friedrich continued to serve the castle built by the father of peace stone. The Gotha land partition of 1680 took Friedrich to lay the riedrich retained the offices Gotha, Tenneberg, Wachsenburggemeinde, Ichterhausen, George valley, Black Forest, Reinhardsbrunn, Volkenrode, Upper crane field, Altenburg, Leuchtenburg and Orlamünde. The molded from these offices State called Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. It consisted of three large, non-contiguous areas around Gotha, Kahla and Altenburg and six smaller enclaves. As a residence Friedrich continued to serve the castle built by the father of peace stone. The Gotha land partition of 1680 took Friedrich to move  the gilding mint Saalfeld to Gotha. Duke Friedrich I.  I tried to continue his father's works. To prevent future land divisions he introduced for his house in 1685 primogeniture  whioch was confirmed by  the Emperor in 1688. From 1677 he built the summer palace Friedrichswerth in the village Erffa, around 15 kilometers from Gotha, which was renamed in his honor in FriedrichswerthIn 1683 Friedrich I. founded the still existing Gotha Castle Theater. He was also an avid diarist; obtained his diaries are among the most important princely autobiographies of the period and show a very far-reaching, and practical interest in alchemy. Friedrich I participated in the relief of Vienna, when it was besieged by the Turks in 1683  and the  war against France in part. The finances of his small country he ruined but by building a standing army, which 10,000 men involved at the time of his death. Friedrich I. died in August 1691 for a stay on his summer residence Friedrichswerth  He had married in 1669 Princess Magdalene Sibyllel of Saxe-Weissenfels.  After her death in 1681 he married in the same year Princess Chrswtine of Baden-Durlach.
From his first marriage he had the following children:
  • Anna Sophie, married to Fürst Ludwig Friedrich  I. of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
  • Magdalene Sibylle, died young
  • Dorothea Maria, married to Duke Ernst Ludwig I. of Saxe-Meiningen
  • Friederike, married to Fürst Johann August of Anhalt-Zerbst
  • Freidrich, who succeeded him  as a Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
  • Johann Wilhelm
  • Elisabeth, died young
  • Johanna, married to Duke Adolf Friedrich II. of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
As his son the new Duke Friedrich II. was still a minor on the death of his father  therefore was initially a guardianship and regency under the Dukes Bernhard I. of Saxe-Meiningen and Heinrich of Saxe-Römhild formed. In 1693, after he returned from a trip to Holland and England, he was declared the  of age by the Emperor and joined independently of the government. Friedrich II. was a magnificent Baroque-loving ruler, his court and the standing army, which he had inherited from his father, and even expanded, devouring large sums. II. Friedrich II.  rented soldiers to foreign princes, which brought him into big trouble in 1702, when he rented his troops to Louis XIV. of France and this put them in his war against the Emperor. Domestically cotinued  Friedrich II. Essentially the policy of his father. He founded an orphanage in Altenburg (1715), a breeding and madhouse in Kahla (1726), and the Altenburger Magdalene pin (1705), a noble lady pin. For 100,000 dollars from his private property he bought the famous numismatic collection of Fürst Anton Günther of Schwarzburg-Arnstadt, this formed the basis of today still in peace Flintlock Coin Cabinet. Since 1697 Friedrich II had incidentally Held  the Board on the Protestant church in the Electorate of Saxony, which had given him Elector Friedrich August I of Saxony (Augustus the Strong), as this had to convert to Catholicism because of his ascent of the Polish king throneA lasting memorial to Friedrich II. Gotha in his capital with the construction of the eponymous Friedrichsthal Castle. In the years 1708 to 1711 he sat on the east below the fortifications of the castle Peace stone from the Duke of Gotha Oberbaudirektor Wolf Christoph wrath of Plobsheim (1655-1721), the summer palace built on the model of the Château de Versailles. Behind the Baroque three wings he left a vast baroque pleasure garden with statues and a grotto with water features create, which however, no longer exists. By seizure of parts of Saxe-Coburg (died 1699), Sachsen-Eisenberg (died 1707) and Saxony-Römhild (died 1710), succeeded Friedrich territorial gains for his country reach.
Duke Friedrich II. was married to Princess Magdalene Auguste of Anhalt-Zerbst. The had 18 children from which 9 survived childhood
  • Sophie, died young
  • Friedrich III., succeeded his father as Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
  • Wilhelm, married to Princess Anna of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp
  • Karl Friedrich, died young
  • Johann August, married to Countess Louise Reuß zu Schleiz
  • Christian, died young
  • Christian Wilhelm, married to Countess Luise Reuß zu Schleiz
  • Ludwig Ernst
  • Emanuel. died young
  • Moritz, Regent in Saxe-Eisenach
  • Sophie, died young
  • Karl, died young
  • Friederike, married to Duke Johann Adolf II. of Saxe-Weißenfels
  • Magdalene Sibylle, died young
  • Augusta, married to Prince Frederick Louis of Great Britain, Prince of Wales etc.
  • Johann Adolf
After the death of Duke Friedrich II. in 1732 his oldest son succeeded him as Duke Friedrich III. The new Duke  drove since 1734, after the invasion of French troops, soldiers flourishing trade with the Emperor Karl VI., Fürst zu  Waldeck and the King of Prussia, which put him in a position to adopt a tax in his own country. The country, especially the Altenburger part had to suffer severely in the Seven Years' War and Friedrich III.. involved the land itself in a war with his neighbors Duke Anton Ulrich of Saxe-Meiningen (Wasunger war). In 1744 reached Friedrich III. that the children  from the first not befitting marriage Anton Ulrich where declared by  the Emperor as not able to succeed , which would have him given parts of Saxe-Meinignen  in the case of inheritance. With Anton Ulrich, he also came into conflict over the regency for the minor Ernst August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, which Friedrich III. finally, from 1748 to 1755 took overWith the introduction of the coined in large quantities in its mint Gotha low grade dimes and half dimes hoped for FriedrichIII. big win. The embossed in huge amounts of coins should not only meet its own needs, but were intended for profitable export to neighboring countries. Since the littoral states also impressed impaired coinage that flocked to his Duchy, such policy was doomed to failure. [
From 1747 Friedrich III. let build the Gotha orangery in the French style by  Weimar builder Gottfried Heinrich Krohne. He issued numerous orders of the Church concerning nature and supported the Moravian Church in Neudietendorf, which had been founded there in 1742Under Frederick's government remained his country the most powerful in the small Thuringian States and his court became a center of the Enlightenment. But the latter is mainly due to its brilliant, far intellectually superior to him wife. Duke Friedrich III. was married to Prince Luise Dorothea of Saxe-Meingen, a daughter of Duke Ernst Ludwig I.
They had the following children:
  • Friedrich Ludwig, died as young adult
  • Ludwig, died young
  • Friederike Luise
  • Ernst II. succeeded his father as Duke
  • Sophie, died young
  • August
Duke Friedrich III. died in 1772 and his second survivings son succeeeded him as Duke Ernst II. who  was interested as a liberal and enlightened ruler versatile artistically and scientifically and developed a purposeful regime. He promoted education, the economy, the theater, art collections, the library and the natural sciences in his country, reaching the top position of the Saxon duchies in Thuringia. Privately, he was particularly interested in astronomy and physics. He called on all these areas, competent professionals. In 1783 he granted upon negotiation of Goethe painter Tischbein (Goethe-Tischbein) a scholarship for his second stay in Rome, in the result of a history image (Conradin of Swabia and Friedrich of Austria heard her death sentence in chess) got to the Gotha court. For his special interests he won the major astronomer Franz Xaver von Zach of Gotha. With it, he built the observatory Gotha, which developed into a European center of astronomyAfter his ideas originated from 1769, coinciding with the Dessau-Wörlitz, with the Ducal Park in the south of Gotha Castle Friedenstein, one of the earliest examples of an English garden on the continent. For the plans he could win the gardener John Haverfield from Kew Gardens by family ties his Aunt Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. Meanwhile, plans were implemented until 1813 by the court gardener Christian Heinrich WehmeyerHe managed to make  Gotha despite the small size a widely acclaimed city, which by many significant representatives of that time (including Goethe) was visited several times.  Since 1774 he was a Freemason in the Grand Lodge of Germany and member of the Gotha Lodge 'Zum diamond ring', 1775 State Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Germany (Zinnendorfisches system), and caused 1784 to connect the Gotha Lodge at the Eclectic covenant. He was in 1783 a member of the Illuminati under the religious name 'Quintus Severus', and 'Timoleon', 1784 'inspector' of 'Abyssinia' (which was in the order of name for Upper Saxony) and Coadjutor of the National Upper, 1785 'National' of the Order in Germany and 'Docet'. He promoted since 1787 the plan for 'Confederation of German Freemasons' and granted Adam Weishaupt after he fled from Ingolstadt asylum in Gotha.
Under Duke Ernst II. th
e Gotha mint had to  cease operations. The enormous volume of Thuringian coinage and the accrued foreign money as a result of misguided monetary policy of his father was a major reason for the shut-down of its mint from 1776 to 1828, The old mint building was torn down in 1799 by  the Duke.
Duke Ernst II. married in 1769 Princess Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen.
They had four sons
  • Ernst, died young
  • August, succeeded his father as Duke
  • Friedrich IV., succeeded his brother Duke August as Duke
  • Ludwig, died young
Duke Ernst II. died on 20.04.1804 and succeeded by his second but oldest durviving son. The new Duke August was  even at this time an ardent admirer of Napoleon I., which him and the country benefitted in the Napoleonic Wars. 1806 Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg joined  the Confederation of the Rhine. During the march of the French army that year Duke August  remained in Gotha and thus prevented a possible escalation. He also argued for the detained journalists critical Rudolph Zacharias Becker and obtained the military commander whose immediate releaseNapoleon Bonaparte, who began his letters to August always with mon cousin (my cousin) and ended with votre cousin (your cousin), visited the Duke as a token of his appreciation several times in Gotha, but stayed ever  on the Friedenstein. From 1811 to 1813 the Duke celebrated each 15.08.  the birthday of Napoleon Bonaparte with a gala reception at Schloss Friedenstein. Already in 1807 he had purchased from Napoleon's valet, Louis Constant Wairy a cocked hat of the Emperor, which is shown to this day in Friedenstein Castle. Napoleon's visit on  23.07.1807 August appropriated the French Emperor a fancy black coach, the use of Napoleon, however, because of the similarity with a skull (hence the current name Skull coach) declined. August Napoleon-mania culminated in the establishment of a decorated in Empire style and personally designed by him Napoleon Room at Friedenstein Castle - still a highlight of the museum. The ceiling of the room shows a starry sky with the sun and moon, the sun bears the features of Napoleon, which shines on the moon with the facial features of Augustus.  Duke August was known as a patron and art collector. Carl Maria von Weber, whose debt he was discharging were dedicated to him in gratitude the II. Piano concert. Moreover August was a maverick with a penchant for provocative and shocking performances. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe called it "pleasant and repulsive at the same time" and noted: "I have nothing to complain about him, but it was always anxious to accept an invitation to his table, because you could not foresee what the guests of honor, he relentlessly to treat want to be randomly tilted ". Characteristic is August's tendency to transvestism by like showed up in women's clothing and shocking as the Gotha court knew. The well-known painter Caroline Louise Seidler, the court stayed the Gotha in winter 1811 to portray the ducal family, described the Duke as "the largest original of his time", whose appearance had something "ladylike". Allusions found in August literary works on a presumed homosexual orientation. In 1805 he wrote the poetic novel "Kyllenion - A year in Arcadia". He also stood in lively correspondence among others with Jean Paul, Madame de Staël and Bettina von ArnimWith the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo and the Congress of Vienna  August was persona non grata in aristocratic diplomatic circles, the nationalistic public he was also frowned upon. When he died suddenly on 27.05.1822 after a short illness the cicumstanxces remained  unresolved.
Duke August was twice married. Fist he married Duchess Luise zu Mecklenburg, a daughter of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz I. of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. After her early death he married Princess Karoline Amalie of Hesse-Casel. From his first marriage he had 1 daughter

  • Luise, married to Duke Ernst I. of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who became because of this marriage in 1826 Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The marriage was later divorced and Luise remarried to Baron Alexander of Hanstein, Count of Pölzig and Beiersdorf.
After the death of Duke August his only brother succeeded his as Duke Friedrich IV.  He fought in the Napoleonic campaigns, and was severely wounded in 1793 by an overturning powder trolley. As a result of this injury, he retired to a suffering that forced him to stop his life much in spas.  Because of his illness, he had for long cure to stay outside of his country and ruled hardly itself. Government led him to be privy Bernhard August von Lindenau.
Friiedrich IV. had a strong interest in Egypt and the Orient; he was the main promoter of the Orient Travel by Ulrich Jasper Seetzen. His collected in Italy works of art and antiquities are now part of the collections of Castle Friedenstein. In his last years he had almost completely lost his ability to speak and was only by gestures in a position to give himself to his environment. All religious questions the country was responsible, because of his change of faith, Frederick Ministry. During the reign of Friedrich IV., The royal household, the Page Institute and the Life Guards were disbanded.
Only three years after his accession to the throne died Duke Friedrich IV. on 11.02.1825 childless. Because he had been denied an appropriate appanage, he had never married. With him, the House of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg became extinct. The territory fell to the othjer Ernestine Houses  and went partly to the newly created Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha





Duchy of Saxe-Eisenach


When in 1672 with the death of Duke Friedrich Wilhelm III. of Saxe-Altenburg this line of the Family became extinct Duke Erst I. of Saxe-Gotha was the heir but he agreed with his nephews from the line Weimar to the assignment of certain offices, revenues and rights of the heir and his own possession against waiver of any possible further Claims. Therefore the new posessions where dived under the sons of Duke Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar and his sonj Adolf Wilhelm got Saxe-Eisenach. He made Eisenach his Residence. Duke Adolf Wilhelm was married to Princess Maria Elisabeth of Brunswick. With her he had 5 sons but 4 of them died already soon after their bith. The youngest Wilhelm August was born a fewe days after his death on 21.11.1668. Duke Johann Georg Therefore younger brother of Adolf Wilhelm took over the administrationm of the Country but the young Duke Wilhelm August died in 1671 and  Johann Georg I. also became Duke of Saxe-Eisenach. He introduced in 1685 the Pimogenitur in Saxe-Eisenach to avoid further divisions. He died in 1685 and was succeeded by his second son Johan Georg. dzuke Johann Georg II. died childless in 1698 from the smapppox. Huis successor was his younger brother Johann Wilhelm. Due to the will of his parents by 1685 he had but to get his befitting of living already in 1686, brought by his mother to the house of Saxe-Eisenach the County Sayn-Altkirchen with all sovereignty. Eisenach saw below him a cultural flowering, which was not least due to the court orchestra, whose most prominent member was Georg Philipp Telemann. Duke Johann Wilhelm was married four times. From his first marriage he had an son Wilhelm  Heinrich who succeeded him in 1729. Already since 1723 by marriage with a Prussian Princess knight of the Order of the Black Eagle Duke Wilhelm, Heinrich showed great interest in all things military. Two of his Eisenacher regminents he gave to  foreign service, as in the Netherlands and the Imperial Army. He also promised to the 17.10.1740 his nephew-by-marriage the Prussian King Friedrich II., Another regiment, which later Füsilierregiment no. 40th had the already 1732 with two musketeer battalions established regiment already in the Polish Succession War, in imperial service fought on the Rhine, in northern Italy and Lake Constance, since 1734 with three battalions. After the Peace of Vienna and the return to Eisenach in 1739 it was reduced to a battalion; most officers resigned from. On 08.10.1739 sworn in on Prussia, it was taken over by Derschau in Magdeburg by Colonel Christian Reinhold 1740. The Duke committed 25 non-eisenachische officers, procured a substitute for the second battalion and was commander of the Regiment. Duke Wilhelm Heinrich was married twice. In his first marriage he married in 1713 Princess Albertine Juliana of Nassau-Idstein. His second  married in 1723 Princess Anna Sophie Charlotte of Brandenburg-Schwedt. Both marriages were childless.
With the death of Wilhelm Heinrich therefore the family of the Dukes of Saxe-Eisenach became extinct in the male line and the Principality fell as an inheritance to Saxe-Weimar





Duchy of Saxe-Jena

When in 1672 with the death of Duke Friedrich Wilhelm III. of Saxe-Altenburg this line of the Family became extinct Duke Erst I. of Saxe-Gotha was the heir but he agreed with his nephews from the line Weimar to the assignment of certain offices, revenues and rights of the heir and his own possession against waiver of any possible further Claims. Therefore the new posessions where dived under the sons of Duke Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar and his youngest got Saxe-Jena. He however reigned for only 6 years. Because his only son Johann Wilhelm was only 3 years old for him  first his uncle Johann Ernst of Saxe-Weimar led in accordance with the testamentary instructions of his father as Guardian the government where he died  1683  took over Johann Georg I of Saxe-Eisenach this office, as this in 1686, also died, the office fell to Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar.  Duke Johann Wilhelm died before reaching the age of majority and has therefore never ruled themselves. With his death the line of the Dukes of Saxe-Jena was extinct, so the duchy reverted to Sachsen-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach



Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach


When in 1741 Duke Wilhelm of Saxe-Eisenach died without leaving male Issue Eisenach fell again thi time permanent to Saxe-Weimar and Duke Ernst August I. of Saxe-Weimar became duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. One of the few positive decisions of the Duke was that he now introduced primogeniture (confirmed by Emperor Karl VI. 1724) for Saxony-Weimar, so that further land divisions in future where omitted. Since 1741 the state of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach was called and had reached the country figure that should keep it up to the Napoleonic wars. The country consisted of two larger areas around the two main residences of Weimar and Eisenach, which were not related to each other, and a patchwork of smaller areas and offices in between.  After the seizure of Saxe-Eisenach, the hunting-obsessed Ernst August I. held on to a large extent in Eisenach part of the country, since this seemed to him better suited for hunting. The Hereditary Pince, he left in Weimar in the castle Belvedere in the care of the Lord Chamberlain. He cared only rarely to his son, sent at most, mostly nonsensical, written instructions concerning the education of Eisenach. The Prince saw his father for the last time in 1743 and thereafter until his death in 1748 no longerErnst August I tried to impose absolutism in the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar. The Secret Council College as an advisory body to the rulers (the former government) was dissolved. Political decisions were made according to the French model "in the Cabinet", ie the Duke precipitated his decision after presentation of senior officials in his private chambers. 1746 present the country stands the Duke of Eisenach, a memorandum, in which the constant breaches of the Duke against the traditional rights of the estates are denounced. The process showed that the introduction of absolutism came across resistors, the absolutist, in the case of Ernst August I even despotistische style of government could not be fully realized. The death of the Duke prevented an escalation of the dispute between sovereign and Eisenach stands. Whenj Duke Ernst August I. died on 19.01.1748  a financially ruined country and a minor heir to the throne.
From his 2 marriages he had the following children
from the first marriage:
  • Wilhelm Ernst died young
  • Wilhelmine Auguste
  • Johann Wilhelm, died young
  • Charlotte Agnesa, died young
  • Johanna Eleobnora, died young
  • Ernestine Albertine, married to Count Ernst II. zu Schaumburg-Lippe
  • Bernhardine Christiane Sophie, married to Fürst Johann Firedrich of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
  • Emanuel Friedrich, died young
from the second marriage:
  • Karl August, died young
  • Ernst August II., succeeded his father as Duke
  • Ernestine Auguste Sophie, married to Duke Ernst Friedrich III. Carl of Saxe-Hildburghausen
  • Ernst Adolf, died young


When Duke Ernst August I. died in 1748 his only surviving son Duke Ernst August II. was only 11 years old. Since he therefore  was still too young for the takeover of government affairs Duke Friedrich III. of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg took the regency. Ernst August II. came to the court of the Duke of Gotha, who saw to it that he got a proper education. After Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Meiningen had filed an appeal against this guardianship with the Emperor and the Imperial Assembly from  1748 also Duke Franz Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was involved in the regency. The duchy of Weimar was managed by Franz Josias, the Eisenach country part by Friedrich III. In 1750, the Office of the Court Marshall was erected in Weimar. In  1755 Ernst August IIwas declared of age by the Emperor and began to rule independently. Because of his short reign he is hardly  known by particular acts. His tutor, the Imperial Count Heinrich von Bünau, he appointed chancellor, this led on behalf of the Duke, the actual business of government. Just weeks after Ernst August's accession to the throne he and his chancellor had left for bridal journey to Brunswick. Since Duke Ernst August II. since his youth had health problems, the court urged a quick marriage, as in the case of his death without heirs the Weimar dynasty would be extinct. On 16.03.1756 he married in Brunswick Anna Amalia,  daughter of Duke Karl I of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, from the family of the Guelphs. A year later, the heir to the throne, the future Duke and Grand Duke Carl August was born. The Duke was concerned about the Earned potato cultivation, which he promoted with payment of premiums and a supplement to agriculture rulesIn the year after the birth of the heir Ernst August II died before his 21st birthday, after four weeks of illness to "exhaustion".  Anna Amalia was again pregnant at the time, so that his second son Friedrich Ferdinand Konnstantin was born after the death of his father.
Because his oldest son Duke Carl August was still a minor the  long and blessed regency of the Duchess Anna Amalia began., which laid the foundation for the Weimar Classics. Under his wise, open-minded and art-loving mother of the education of the young Duke was in different hands, last in which the poet Christoph Martin Wieland, whom Duchess Anna Amalia brought from the University of Erfurt to WeimarUnder the supervision of his tutor John Eustace of Goertz took Carl August 1774 an educational trip to France and met with Melchior Grimm. On the return trip he visited the court in Darmstadt, where he became engaged to the Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt. Then the trip to Frankfurt was interrupted because the Duke wanted to  meet the famous poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe, whom he invited to Weimar. With his 18th birthday the following year he was declared of age and married Luise on 03.10.1775 in Karlsruhe. In February 1783 the Hereditary Prince Karl Friedrich was born. Goethe fulfilled his promise and arrived in Weimar on 07.11.,1775. Between him and the young Duke soon a deep friendship developed with the elder by eight years poet presented his experience of life in the service of Carl August. The Duke gave him high government offices and obtained in 1782 for Goethe an imperial nobilityOn 05.02.1782, he was in the Lodge Amalia in Weimar Masonic and in December of the same year under the name "a Falcone albo" Knights of Strict Observance. In his efforts towards the dormant since 1782 Weimar lodge was reopened in 1808. On 10.02.1783, he joined the Illuminati with the name "Aeschylus" and got into him until the "regent" on. The prussian King Friedrich II. made him onm 19.01.1786 a Kinght of Otrder of the Black Eagle.  For the enterprising young Duke  the operation in his small country was not enough. With the attempt to establish a federal prince as a counterweight to the Austro-Prussian dualism he went into the imperial policy, but had little success. At the Prussian invasion of Holland he took in 1787 as a trainee in the company of Prussian commander in chief, the Duke Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand part. He entered the Prussian service, was major general of cavalry, and on 16.12.1787 Chief of cuirassiers "pipe" no. 6th  From the 1789 revolution erupted in France the Austrian Netherlands were first detected (Brabant Revolution), but also Hungary was after the death of Emperor Joseph II., 1790 on the brink of open rebellion against Austrian rule. A group of disgruntled Hungarian nobleman offered Karl August, the Crown of St. Stephen, which, however, to accept him Goethe successfully discouraged. With his regiment, Carl August took part in the campaign against France from June 1792 to December 1793.  During the subsequent retreat he led the vanguard. For this he received on 11.01.1794 to the rank of lieutenant general. However, he resigned due to disagreements with Friedrich Wilhelm II. from the army. Only after the accession of Friedrich Wilhelm III. returned Carl August back in the Prussian service, and was appointed on 21.08.1798 Inspector-General of Cavalry Magdeburg inspection. On 20.05.1802 this was followed by his promotion to General of Cavalry. During the Fourth Coalition War he commanded in October 1806, the vanguard of the main Prussian army. After the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Jena and Auerstedt, the looting Weimar was one of the immediate consequences of the French, he was lucky to in December 1806 with the resignation of his command and the entry into the Confederation of the Rhine a deposition by Napoleon Bonaparte . escape After the break, Carl August had to fight against Prussia his soldiers before Kolberg. After the Battle of Leipzig Carl August went to the headquarters of the coalition against Napoleon to Frankfurt am Main and got here on 24.11.1813 the command of the III. German army corps. This was part of the Northern Army and consisted of about 24,000 troops of the line and 20,000 man militia. In mid-January 1814, he was with his corps in Holland, where Carl August took over the supreme command in the Netherlands and from there marched in Brussels on 07.02.1814. End of March besieged Carl-August with his troops unsuccessfully Maubeuge. By the advent of coalition troops in Paris, it came on 09.04.1814, a cease-fire and Karl-August announced on April 20, 1814 the command from. In recognition of his many years of service to the King of Prussia appointed him on 15.09.1822 Chief of the 8th Cuirassier Regiment.



Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (from 1903 Saxony) 


During the Congress of Vienne in 1815 Saxe-Weimar.Eisenach was raised to the rank of a Grand Duchy and Carl August therefore became the first Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. In 1815 He prevented  not the establishing the German students (Burschenschaften) in Jena. As the first German state Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in 1816 received a landesständische Constitution, which granted freedom of the press and freedom of expression, among others his subjects. Subsequently, he was a supporter of constitutional monarchy. In 1817 he did not celebrate the Wartburg festival without hesitation the Jena students. However, the Carlsbad Decrees in 1819 also affected the liberal policy of Charles Augustus and forced him to be careful. Politically the Grand Duke held to the old ties with Russia and Prussia. Grand Duke Carl August died on 14.06,.1828.
From his marriage to Princess Luise of Hesse-Darmsadt he had the following children: 
  • Luise Auguste Amalie, died young
  • daughter, died young
  • Carl Friedrich, who succeded him as Grand Duke
  • son, died young
  • Karoline, Luise married to Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
  • son, died young
  • Karl Bernhard, married to Pricness Ida of Saxe-Meiningen
    • Luise
    • Wilhelm, died young
    • Amalie, died young
    • Eduard, made a morgantic marriage to Lady Augusta Gordon-Lennox, who was created Countess of Dornburg, In the UK however where the couple lived Queen Victoria recognized her as Princess Eduard of Saxe-Weimar
    • Hermann, married to Princess Auguste of Württemberg
      • Pauline, married to Hereditary Grand Duke Carl Alexander of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
      • Wilhelm, married to Princess Gerta zu Isenburg and Büdingen in Wächtersbach
        • Hermann, renounced his rigth and was created Count of Ostheim in 1909. He made three morgantic marriages. First from 1909-1911 to Wanda Paola Lotter, second to Aagot Midling and third to Isavel Nielson
          from the second marriage:
          • Alexander, Count of Ostheim
        • Albert, fallen in 1918 in France
        • Sophie
      • Bernhard, renounced his rights and was created Count of Crayenburg in 1901, married first to marie Luise Brockmüller, after her death he married Countess Elisabeth vond er Schulenberg
      • Alexander
      • Ernst
      • Olga, married to Prince Leopold zu Isenburg and Büdingen in Birstein
    • Gustav, he made a morganatic marriage to Pierina Marocchia di Marcaini who was created Baroness of Neiperg
    • Anna
    • Amalie, married to Prince Hendrik of the Netherlands

The successor of Grand Duke Carl August was his oldest son Carl Friedrich who was the firm favourite of his mother. After completing his training, for which Johann Gottfried Herder was responsible, the he went on his grand tour which brought him to France and Russia. On 03.08.1804 he married in St. Petersburg, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovnaof Russia, one of the  daughter's of the Russian Tsar Paul I. His time as Heir spent Carl Friedrich partly in Weimar, partly in St. Petersburg. After his father's death he became Grand Duke in 1828. The principles of management Carl Friedrich continued his father's policy, however, limited the court a considerable. Under the influence of his wife emerged from 1821 the first savings banks in the duchy as well as numerous charities. Carl Friedrich promoted agriculture, trade and industry, joined in 1834 the German Zollverein in and joined with other Thuringian duchies and Prussia signed a contract for the construction of the Thuringian Railway of Halle (Saale) about Weimar to Eisenach. In the aftermath of the civil movement of 1848, the Constitution of 1816 was further liberalized. In the days of March 1848, there came to the castle to riots because the people demanded liberal ministers. Ernst Christian August von Gersdorff had to be dismissed, and the following Cabinet adopted numerous regulations that restricted the rights of the Grand Duke.
Carl
Friedrich was completely in the shadow of his father. Although he was more economical than this, but he had no sense of the trends of the new age. The initiatives for cultural fresh start almost always went out of his highly talented wife.

Grand Duke Carl Friedrich and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna had the following children:
  • Carl, died as child
  • Marie, married to Prince Carl of Prussia
  •  Augusta married to Wilhelm I., German emperor and King of Prussia
  • Carl Alexander, who succeeded his father as Grand Duke

 Grand Duke Carl Friedrich died on 08.07.1853. His successor was his only son Carl Alexander. Carl Alexander had got an careful  training by the respected Swiss tutor, Frédéric Soret. A special talent was granted to him in the acquisition of foreign languages. In 1835 two-year studies (law, history and natural sciences) at the universities of Leipzig and Jena as well as military training followed the  private lessons. In 1841 he finished his studies as Dr. jur. in Jena. Carl Alexander married on 08.10.1842 in The Hague, his cousin Princess Sophie of the Netherlands, daughter of King Willem II. Netherlands and his wife Anna Pavlovna, a sister of his mother. With his more liberal views Carl Alexander was in aristocratic circles a nerd, good contacts with many political journalists and writers of the 48s like him mind protected from possible domestic political issues. In this revolutionary period Weimar was the safe haven of refuge for persecuted liberal artist. In 1851 he took over the protectorate of the Weimar Masonic Lodge. Although Carl Alexander was a friend of Fanny Lewald and Hans Christian Andersen, he resigned as Grand Duke in 1849 under the Paulskirchenverfassung in the war against Denmark in favor of the acquisition of Schleswig-Holstein, a (first German-Danish War). On 08.07.1853 he became Grand Duke - with constitutionalaccession to the  throne at Goethe's Birthday  on 28.08.1853. Carl Alexander began as early as 1838 significant funding for the renewal of the Wartburg, leaving in many places of the town of Eisenach, his tracks. He promoted Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner (in Eisenach an important Richard-Wagner-collection is in the home Fritz Reuter), preserved the tradition of Weimar Classicism and gave the Weimar Oldtown their appearance with the erection of monuments Herder, Wieland and 1857 of Goethe -Schiller monument. In 1860 he founded the Grand Ducal School of Arts Weimar (with Arnold Böcklin, Franz von Lenbachplatz and the sculptor Reinhold Bega). Landscape painting made ​​the Thuringian countryside aware that history painting was the realization historical events at the Wartburg and the genre painting of the representation of the people in his daily environment. It followed the 1872 establishment of the Weimar School of Music, 1886, the partial transformation of the Goethe House and Goethe-opening of the archives in 1887 and finally in 1889 the creation of the Carl-Alexander Library in Eisenach. In the German-French War 1870-1871 Carl Alexander took only in "Samaritan services" part, but stressed life his entry into the war in favor of Schleswig 1849The Grand Duke took part, along with his son Karl August, at the imperial proclamation in Versailles on 18.01.1871. His with the  Weimar Congress of the Goethe-Federal (Lex Heinze) November 1900 ending reign is known as the Silver Age of Weimar.
Grand Duke Carl August and his wife wife had four children
  • Karl August, married to Princess Pauline of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
    • Wilhelm Ernst, succeeded his grandfather as Grand Duke
    • Bernhard Heinrich
  • Marie Alexandrine, married to Prince Heinrich VII. Reuß of Köstritz
  • Anna, died young
  • Elisabeth, married to Duke Johann Albrecht zu Mecklenburg
Grand Duke Carl Alexander died on 05.01.1901. As his only son the Hereditary Grand Duke Carl August had already died in 1894 from tubercolsis his grandson Wilhelm Ernst succeeded him. As Heir of the assets of his grandmother SophieWilhelm Ernst was one of the richest German Prince's of his time. First was from 1881 to 1889 Karl Muthesius, later seminar director in Weimar, been obliged for schooing him.  Then he came into the care of the senior teacher Karl Georg Brandis, then from 1902 to 1926 led the University Library in Jena. For the military education was from 1886 to 1895 Captain Max von Griesheim responsibleAfter his military training  Wilhelm Ernst was Gerneral of the Infanterie. His  significant funds Wilhelm Ernst flow to a large extent in the promotion of culture. Although the Grand Duke was described as amusisch and "the Prussian officer out sweeping", he created so the new Weimar. Hans Olde, Harry Graf Kessler, Henry van de Velde and Adolf Brütt were called to Weimar. The Grand Duke renewed the University of Jena by Theodor Fischer in Munich and the Weimar theater by then known as the innovator of the theater art Max Littmann from Munich. The publisher Eugen Diederichs moved to Jena, the writer Johannes sleep after Weimar. Later Wilhelm Ernst promoted more and more the conservative Prussian forces, so that Weimar soon became a center of ethnic-nationalist conceptions of art, as reflected in the fact that Gerhart Hauptmann and August Strindberg dared contained solely in the Court Theatre Jena, while the historical dramas Ernst von Wild break were celebrated in the Weimar residence. The sociologist Max Weber called Wilhelm Ernst therefore as "a mockery of this place". Wilhelm Ernst was considered a complicated personality; violent and short-tempered. Count Kessler, the Wilhelm Ernst blamed his failure in the radical views of art, described him as "pathological object", [3] Baroness von Spitzemberg as "completely uneducated and foolish prince". Particularly disliked the Prince was in the Netherlands, where he was regarded as presumptive heir to the throne temporarily as there was no other until in 1909 Queen Wilhelmina gave birth to her only daughter Juliana.  However in 1922 the suceession was limited to descendants of Queen Wilhelmina. One of the last acts of Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst at the time of the November Revolution of 1918 was the appointment of Walter Gropius. The Soldiers under the leadership of the Social Democrats August Baudert forced the Grand Duke on 09.11.1918 to abdicate. Baudert had Wilhelm Ernst as "most hated" prince in Germany called. However, Wilhelm Ernst awarded the opportunity to give the government responsibility in it deems appropriate hands. Shortly before were citizens of Weimar approached the Grand Duke with the suggestion to do everything possible to prevent the parliamentary system. Shortly before his abdication noticed Wilhelm Ernst. "I had done everything I could. I had currently much good. " Wilhelm Ernst drew on his own private property HeinrichauCcastle in Silesia, where he lived until his death; in the local park contains his grave. In the confrontation between contract Wilhelm Ernst and the "Weimar area" of November 1921, regulated, among other things, the mandrel Castle of the Goethe Society to assign them as a gift
Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst married twieve. first he married in 1903 Princess karolie Reuß older line. The marriages which was counted as unhappy remained childless and the young Grand Duchess died already in 1905. In 1910 he made a second marriage to Princess Feodoria of Saxe-Meiningen. 
With her he had 4 children
  • Sophie, married in 1938 Prine Friedrich Günther of Schwarzburg. The marriage was divorced in the same year
  • Carl August, who succeeded his father as head of the Grand Ducal House
  • Bernhard, married (divorced)  to Pricness Felizitas of Salm-Horstmar
    • Katharina, married (divorced to Prince Emanuel Joseph of Hohenzollern
    • Alexander Georg, died as child
    • Wilhelm Ernst, married (divorced) to Eva Katharina Kovarcz de Kovarczfalva
      • Désirée, married to Count Raphael of Hoenbroech
      • Georg-Constantin
  • Georg Wilhelm, he renounced in 1953 his right and took the name Jörg Brena, married to Gisela Jänisch
    • Ariane Brena
    • Cornelia Brena
    • Isobel Brena
After the death of Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst hid oldest son Hereditary Grand Duke Carl August succeeded him as head of the Grand Ducal House. On  04.10.1944, he married Baroness Elisabeth of Wangenheim-Winterstein, daughter of the Royal. Prussian Chamber Lord  Othmar Freiherr von Wangenheim. The couple lived at the Wartburg castle and later on Good Behringen. Karl August was an officer in the army and served in a tank regiment. In June 1945 he fled with his family to West Germany just before the Red Army replaced the U.S. occupation in Thuringia. After the Grand Ducal family had fled after the Second World War in the Western occupation zones, whose property was confiscated in the Soviet occupation zone. As Agents of the family the Grand Duchess Feodora waived by signature on the Goethe-Schiller Archive under the condition that it be converted into a private foundation, and the family fortune would be released. The dispute over the archive between the family and the state of Thuringia still holds goes on. Herediatry Grand Duke Karl August  died on 14.10.1988 in Schienen at Lake Constance, without ever being returning to his homecountry.
With his wife he had 3 children
  • Elisabeth, married (divorced) to Mindert Diderik de Kant
  • Michael, who succeeded his father as Head of the Grand Ducal House
  • Beatrice, married to Martin Charles Davidson
HH Princes Leonie, HRH Priince Michael and
HRH Princess Dagmar
After the death of Hereditary Grand Duke Carl August his only son M ichael succeeded him as Head of the Grand Ducal House. He had grown up in Weikersheim and later in Tübingen, Stuttgart and Freiburg. He attended the Schule Schloss Salem in 1966 and was there a high school. He then studied law in Freiburg and KielThe Thuringian State Government had the members of the House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in 1948, during the Soviet occupation, deprived of civil rights, to the against the recourse to ordinary courts against the breach of the treaty with the House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in 1921 and Thuringian State Constitution to protect. In the late 1990s sought Prince Michael  the part of the legacy of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, who was privately owned until 1918 his father back. He based his claims with the prevailing legal situation (the Property Act / EALG). Likewise in conversation were real estate and movable art goods that belonged objects according to the Unification Treaty of 1921 as private property his father Carl-August. With amicable settlement of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in 2004 transferred all claims for return of estate values ​​after EALG on the state of Thuringia. The waiver immensely valuable cultural assets was (AsKI) were honored on September 20, 2005 by the award ceremony of the Maecenas of the Working Group of Independent Cultural Institute e. V. in the Bundesrat. Prince Michael is politically very interested, especially in the cultural development in Thuringia and especially in Weimar and at the Wartburg. He has a home and a business in Thuringia and has here over larger forest holdings. He feels  particularly obligated according to the tradition of his house, the care of the home and landscape. He stands the landscape changes caused by wind turbines and overhead power lines very skeptical, as he sees a threat to the industrial location Germany by the "energy revolution". Prince Michael is  an active Board of Trustees closely with the development of classical Foundation Weimar and connected with the Wartburg-Stiftung, Eisenach, which was founded in 1921 by his grandfather and for which he himself, hired as Trustees and Advisory Board Chairman of the Wartburg-farms whose construction he closely monitored since 1990Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Thuringia is active and connected closely and through its membership in advisory boards and associations.
Pricne Michael married om 09.06.1970 Renate Henkel. The childess marriage was however divorced four years later in 1974. On 15.11.1980 he married in second marriage Dagmar Hennings. They have on daughter. As in the House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach the salic Law counts his successor will become his cousin Prince Wilhelm Ernst.
  • Leonie