HOME

TheInfoList




Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg () was a duchy ruled by the
ErnestineErnestine is a feminine given name. Ernest is the male counterpart of this name. Notable people with the name include: * Ernestine Anderson (1928–2016), American jazz and blues singer * Ernestine Bayer (1909–2006), American athlete * Ernestine B ...
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 today's
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 ...
,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
. The extinction of the line in 1825 led to a major re-organisation of the
Thuringian states The Thuringian states (german: Thüringische Staaten) refers to the following German federal states within the German Reich: *The Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, officially the Grand Duchy of Saxony (''Großherzogtum Sachsen'') from 1903 *The ...
.


History

In 1640 the sons of the late Ernestine duke John II of Saxe-Weimar divided their paternal heritage (''Ernestinische Teilung'') whereby Duke Ernest the Pious, a younger son, received the newly established Duchy 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 ...
. In 1636 Ernest had married Elisabeth Sophie, the only child of Duke John Philip of Saxe-Altenburg. Upon her father's death in 1639, the Duchy of
Saxe-Altenburg Saxe-Altenburg (german: Sachsen-Altenburg, links=no) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine duchies, Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in present-day Thuringia. It was one of the smallest of the German states with an area of 132 ...
passed to her uncle Duke Frederick William II and her cousin
Frederick William III Frederick William III (german: Friedrich Wilhelm III.; 3 August 1770 – 7 June 1840) was king of Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent Germans, German state that originated in 1525 with Duc ...
. The Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was nominally created in 1672, when Duke Frederick William III of Saxe-Altenburg died at the age of 14 and Ernest the Pious, by his marriage with Elisabeth Sophie, inherited the major part of his possessions. It was common for the
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 ...
to merge and split; Ernest's combined duchy was divided again after his death in 1675, and the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg proper came into existence in 1680 with the completion of this division and the accession of his eldest son,
FrederickFrederick may refer to: People * Frederick (given name), the name Nobility Anhalt-Harzgerode *Frederick, Prince of Anhalt-Harzgerode (1613–1670) Austria * Frederick I, Duke of Austria (Babenberg), Duke of Austria from 1195 to 1198 * Frederick ...
to the subdivision centered on the towns of
Gotha Gotha () is the fifth-largest city in Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazi ...
and
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
. Frederick had already served as
regent A regent (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
in Saxe-Altenburg since 1672 and assumed responsibility for government affairs from his diseased father two years later. His residence remained at
Friedenstein Castle Friedenstein Palace (german: Schloss Friedenstein) is an early Baroque palace built in the mid-17th century by Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha Ernest I, called "Ernest the Pious" (25 December 1601 – 26 March 1675), was a duke of Saxe-Gotha and S ...
in Gotha, he also had the
Baroque The Baroque (, ; ) is a style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style, the features that make a building or structure historically identifiable * Design, the process of creating something * Fashi ...
palace of Friedrichswerth built nearby. Frederick I decisively secured his family's possessions with the implementation of the primogeniture in 1685. His son and successor Duke Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Frederick II gained further Ernestine territories upon the death of Duke Albert V, Duke of Saxe-Coburg, Albert V of Saxe-Coburg in 1699 and Duke Christian, Duke of Saxe-Eisenberg, Christian of Saxe-Eisenberg in 1707. Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg remained one of the mightiest Ernestine duchies under the rule of Duke Frederick III, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Frederick III from 1732. He had the palaces and gardens in Gotha rebuilt in a lavish Baroque style and supported the religious refugees of the Moravian Church in Neudietendorf. His sister Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, Augusta married Prince Frederick, Prince of Wales, Frederick of Wales in 1736, their first-born son George III of the United Kingdom, George III was crowned List of British monarchs, King of Great Britain and Ireland in 1760. Frederick made his court a centre of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment (''Aufklärung''), continued by his son and successor Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Ernest II, who ruled from 1772. At the instigation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, he promoted the painting oeuvre of Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein; he also appointed Franz Xaver von Zach director of the Gotha Observatory established in 1787. Nevertheless, when the last dukes Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Emil August, a fervent admirer of the rise of Napoleon, and his brother Frederick IV, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Frederick IV had both died without male heirs, the house of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg finally became extinct in 1825 and quarrels arose between the three remaining Ernestine lines about the succession. As a result of an arbitration issued by King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony in 1826, the Ernestine duchies were rearranged and Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was again split: *Saxe-Gotha passed to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, which had to cede Saxe-Saalfeld to Saxe-Meiningen. The territories constituted the newly created Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. *Saxe-Altenburg was given to the Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, who in turn passed his own domain to Saxe-Meiningen and again assumed the title of a Saxe-Altenburg, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg. After the abolition of German monarchies in the course of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, all former duchies became part of the newly created 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.


Dukes of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

* Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha, Ernest I ''the Pious'' (1640–1675), ''inherited Saxe-Altenburg in 1675'' * Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Frederick I (1675–1691), ''son of previous; first to bear the title Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg '' * Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Frederick II (1691–1732), ''son'' * Frederick III, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Frederick III (1732–1772), ''son'' * Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Ernest II (1772–1804), ''son'' * Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Emil August (1804–1822), ''son'' * Frederick IV, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Frederick IV (1822–1825), ''brother'', line extinct


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 ...


References

*''Handbook of Imperial Germany'' AuthorHouse, Sep 1, 2009 pg. 87 {{Authority control 1680 establishments in the Holy Roman Empire 1826 disestablishments in Europe States and territories established in 1680 States of the Confederation of the Rhine States of the German Confederation Ernestine duchies, Gotha-Altenburg Dukes of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, House of Wettin Altenburg House of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg,