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Saxe-Altenburg (german: Sachsen-Altenburg, links=no) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the
Ernestine Ernestine is a feminine given name. Ernest Ernest is a given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study ...
branch of the
House of Wettin The House of Wettin () is a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of th ...
in present-day
Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a states of Germany, state of Germany. Located in central Germany, it covers , being the sixth smallest of the sixteen German States (including City States). It ...
. It was one of the smallest of the German states with an area of 1323 square kilometers and a population of 207,000 (1905) of whom about one fifth resided in the capital,
Altenburg Altenburg () is a city in Thuringia, Germany, located south of Leipzig, west of Dresden and east of Erfurt. It is the capital of the Altenburger Land district and part of a polycentric old-industrial textile and metal production region betw ...

Altenburg
. The territory of the duchy consisted of two non-contiguous territories separated by land belonging to the Principality of Reuss. Its economy was based on agriculture, forestry, and small industry. The state had a constitutional monarchical form of government with a parliament composed of thirty members chosen by male taxpayers over 25 years of age.


History

The duchy had its origins in the medieval Burgraviate of
Altenburg Altenburg () is a city in Thuringia, Germany, located south of Leipzig, west of Dresden and east of Erfurt. It is the capital of the Altenburger Land district and part of a polycentric old-industrial textile and metal production region betw ...

Altenburg
in the Imperial
Pleissnerland Pleissnerland, Pleissenland or the Imperial Territory of Pleissenland (german: Reichsterritorium Pleißenland; la, Terra Plisensis) was a ''Reichsgut'' of the Holy Roman Empire, which meant that it was directly possessed by the respective elected K ...
''(Terra Plisensis)'', a possession of the Wettin
Margraves of Meissen Margrave was originally the Middle ages, medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the border provinces of the Holy Roman Empire or of a monarchy, kingdom. That position became hereditary in certain Feudal ...
since 1243. Upon a partition treaty of 1485, Altenburg fell to
Ernst, Elector of Saxony Ernest (24 March 144126 August 1486) was Elector of Saxony from 1464 to 1486. Ernst was the founder and progenitor of the ''Ernestine line'' of Rulers of Saxony, Saxon princes, and a direct patrilineal ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II (United Kingd ...
, the progenitor of the Ernestine Wettins. After the Division of Erfurt in 1572 among Duke Johann Wilhelm of Saxony and his nephews, Altenburg fell to his
Duchy of Saxe-Weimar Saxe-Weimar (german: Sachsen-Weimar) was one of the Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic * * * * peoples whose name was given in the early Midd ...
. When Johann Wilhelm's son and successor Friedrich Wilhelm I died in 1602, the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar passed to his younger brother Johann II. In 1603 Frederick William's eldest son Johann Philipp received the newly created Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg as compensation. It was an
Imperial State An Imperial State or Imperial Estate ( la, Status Imperii; german: Reichsstand, plural: ') was a part of the Holy Roman Empire with representation and the right to vote in the Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire), Imperial Diet ('). Rulers of thes ...
in its own right, with a vote in the ''
Reichstag is a German word generally meaning parliament, more directly translated as ''Diet (assembly), Diet of the Realm'' or ''National diet'', or more loosely as ''Imperial Diet''. It may refer to: Buildings and places is the god specific German word ...
'', for much of the 17th century until the extinction of its ruling line in 1672 when it was inherited by Ernest I the Pious, the Duke of
Saxe-Gotha Saxe-Gotha (german: Sachsen-Gotha) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch The House of Wettin () is a dynasty of Germany, German counts, dukes, Prince Elector, prince-electors and monarch, kings that once ruled territories in ...
, who had married the heiress. Saxe-Altenburg thereafter remained part of
Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg () was a duchy ruled by the Ernestine duchies, Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in today's Thuringia, Germany. The extinction of the line in 1825 led to a major re-organisation of the Thuringian states. History In 1640 ...
until the extinction of that house in 1825, when Gotha and Altenburg were divided up, with Gotha going to the Duke of
Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld () was one of the Ernestine duchies, Saxon Duchies held by the Ernestine line of the House of Wettin, Wettin Dynasty. Established in 1699, the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield line lasted until the reshuffle of the Ernestine territories ...
and Altenburg to the Duke of
Saxe-Hildburghausen Saxe-Hildburghausen () was an Ernestine duchies, Ernestine duchy in the southern side of the present State of Thuringia in Germany. It existed from 1680 to 1826 but its name and borders are currently used by the Hildburghausen (district), Distric ...
, who in exchange gave up Hildburghausen to the Duke of
Saxe-Meiningen Saxe-Meiningen (; german: Sachsen-Meiningen ) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the ErnestineErnestine is a feminine given name. Ernest is the male counterpart of this name. Notable people with the name include: * Ernestine Anderson (1928–2 ...
. This family ruled the duchy until the end of the monarchies in the course of the
German Revolution of 1918–19 German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = Ge ...
. The succeeding Free State of Saxe-Altenburg was incorporated into the new state of
Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a states of Germany, state of Germany. Located in central Germany, it covers , being the sixth smallest of the sixteen German States (including City States). It ...
in 1920. Saxe-Altenburg had an area of 1,323 km2 (510 sq. mi.) and a population of 207,000 (1905). Its capital was
Altenburg Altenburg () is a city in Thuringia, Germany, located south of Leipzig, west of Dresden and east of Erfurt. It is the capital of the Altenburger Land district and part of a polycentric old-industrial textile and metal production region betw ...

Altenburg
. The Saxe-Altenburg line became extinct following the death of Prince George Moritz in 1991. The leadership of the house passed to
Michael Michael is a masculine given name derived from the Hebrew phrase ''mī kāʼēl'', 'Who like-El', in Aramaic: ܡܝܟܐܝܠ (''Mīkhāʼēl'' ). The theophoric name is a rhetorical question – "Who like
he Hebrew God He or HE may refer to: Language * He (pronoun) In Modern English Modern English (sometimes New English or NE (ME) as opposed to Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the N ...
El?", whose answe ...
, head of the genealogically more senior house of
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (german: Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach) was a historical German state, created as a duchy A duchy, also called a dukedom, is a , territory, , or domain ruled by a or , a high-ranking nobleman hierarchically second to the or ...
.


Dukes of Saxe-Altenburg


Elder line

*
Johann Philipp, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg Johann Philipp (25 January 1597 – 1 April 1639), was a duke of Saxe-Altenburg. He was born in Torgau, the eldest (but fourth in order of birth) surviving son of Friedrich Wilhelm I, Duke of Saxe-Weimar and Countess Palatine Anna Maria of N ...
(1603–1639) *
Friedrich Wilhelm II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg Friedrich may refer to: Names *Friedrich (surname), people with the surname ''Friedrich'' *Friedrich (given name), people with the given name ''Friedrich'' Other *Friedrich (board game), a board game about Frederick the Great and the Seven Years' ...
(1639–1669) *
Friedrich Wilhelm III, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg Friedrich Wilhelm III (b. Altenburg Altenburg () is a city in Thuringia, Germany, located south of Leipzig, west of Dresden and east of Erfurt. It is the capital of the Altenburger Land district and part of a polycentric old-industrial te ...
(1669–1672) Line extinct, inherited by
Saxe-Gotha Saxe-Gotha (german: Sachsen-Gotha) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch The House of Wettin () is a dynasty of Germany, German counts, dukes, Prince Elector, prince-electors and monarch, kings that once ruled territories in ...
, thereupon
Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg () was a duchy ruled by the Ernestine duchies, Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in today's Thuringia, Germany. The extinction of the line in 1825 led to a major re-organisation of the Thuringian states. History In 1640 ...


Junior line

*
Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen (29 April 1763 in Hildburghausen – 29 September 1834 in Altenburg), was duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen (1780–1826) and duke of Saxe-Altenburg (1826–1834). Biography He was the youngest child, but only s ...
(1826–1834) ''(Previously Duke of
Saxe-Hildburghausen Saxe-Hildburghausen () was an Ernestine duchies, Ernestine duchy in the southern side of the present State of Thuringia in Germany. It existed from 1680 to 1826 but its name and borders are currently used by the Hildburghausen (district), Distric ...
)'' *
Joseph, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg Joseph Georg Friedrich Ernst Karl, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg (27 August 1789, in Hildburghausen – 25 November 1868, in Altenburg), was a Duke of Saxe-Altenburg. Biography He was the second but first surviving son of Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Altenb ...
(1834–1848) *
Georg, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg Georg Karl Frederick (24 July 1796 in Hildburghausen – 3 August 1853 in Hummelshain) was a duke of Saxe-Altenburg. Family He was the fourth but second surviving son of Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen (of Saxe-Altenburg from 1826) and Duch ...
(1848–1853) *
Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg (German: Ernst I. Friedrich Paul Georg Nikolaus von Sachsen-Altenburg) (16 September 1826 in Hildburghausen Hildburghausen is a town in Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of T ...
(1853–1908) *
Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg Ernst is both a surname and a given name, the German, Dutch, and Scandinavian form of Ernest. Notable people with the name include: Surname * Adolf Ernst (1832–1899) German botanist known by the author abbreviation "Ernst" * Alice Henson Ernst ...

Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg
(1908–1918)


Heads of the Ducal House of Saxe-Altenburg, post monarchy

*
Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg Ernst is both a surname and a given name, the German, Dutch, and Scandinavian form of Ernest. Notable people with the name include: Surname * Adolf Ernst (1832–1899) German botanist known by the author abbreviation "Ernst" * Alice Henson Ernst ...

Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg
(1918–1955) * Georg Moritz, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Altenburg (1955–1991) In 1991 the Saxe-Altenburg line became extinct in the male line. Its representation was merged with the one of
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (german: Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach) was a historical German state, created as a duchy A duchy, also called a dukedom, is a , territory, , or domain ruled by a or , a high-ranking nobleman hierarchically second to the or ...
. Two branches descend from duke Ernest the Pious, the father of the progenitor of the Saxe-Altenburg branch:
Saxe-Meiningen Saxe-Meiningen (; german: Sachsen-Meiningen ) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the ErnestineErnestine is a feminine given name. Ernest is the male counterpart of this name. Notable people with the name include: * Ernestine Anderson (1928–2 ...
and
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (german: Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha), or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (), was an Ernestine duchies, Ernestine, Thuringian states, Thuringian duchy ruled by a branch of the House of Wettin, consisting of territories in the present-day ...
; according to old Wettin family law, they would have divided the actual territories between them (as happened to Gotha and Altenburg in 1826).


Secondary residences of the Dukes of Saxe-Altenburg

Eisenberg, Schloss Christiansburg.JPG, Christiansburg Castle at Eisenberg Schloss zur froelichen wiederkunft IMG 3141.jpg, Wolfersdorf Castle File:September 2016 ohne WZ (17 von 30).jpg, The Old Hunting Lodge at
Hummelshain Hummelshain is a municipality in the district Saale-Holzland, in Thuringia, Germany. References

Municipalities in Thuringia Saale-Holzland-Kreis Bezirk Gera {{SaaleHolzland-geo-stub ...
File:Neues Schloss Hummelshain Südseite.jpg, The New Hunting Lodge at Hummelshain


See also

*
Ernestine duchies The Ernestine duchies (), also known as the Saxon duchies (''Sächsische Herzogtümer'', although the Albertine appanage An appanage, or apanage (; french: apanage ), is the grant of an estate, title, office or other thing of value to a youn ...


Notes


References

*


External links


Herzogtum Sachsen-Altenburg
{{DEFAULTSORT:Saxe-Altenburg, Duchy of Dukes of Saxe-Altenburg, 1602 establishments in the Holy Roman Empire Altenburg, Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg Ernestine duchies, Altenburg House of Wettin States and territories disestablished in 1918 States and territories established in 1602 States of the German Confederation States of the German Empire States of the North German Confederation States of the Weimar Republic