Catherine of Saxony, Archduchess of Austria

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Catherine of Saxony
Archduchess of Austria
1468 Katharina.jpg
Born 24 July 1468
Grimma, Saxony
Died(1524-02-10)10 February 1524
Calenberg, Brunswick-Lüneburg
BuriedSt. Blaise's Church, Münden
Noble family House of Wettin
Spouse(s) Sigismund, Archduke of Austria
Eric I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Father Albert III, Duke of Saxony
Mother Sidonie of Poděbrady

Catherine of Saxony (Katharina von Sachsen; 24 July 1468 10 February 1524), [1] a member of the House of Wettin, was the second wife of Sigismund, Archduke of Austria and Regent of Tyrol.

House of Wettin noble family

The House of Wettin is a dynasty of German counts, dukes, prince-electors and kings that once ruled territories in the present-day German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The dynasty is one of the oldest in Europe, and its origins can be traced back to the town of Wettin, Saxony-Anhalt. The Wettins gradually rose to power within the Holy Roman Empire. Members of the family became the rulers of several medieval states, starting with the Saxon Eastern March in 1030. Other states they gained were Meissen in 1089, Thuringia in 1263, and Saxony in 1423. These areas cover large parts of Central Germany as a cultural area of Germany.

Sigismund, Archduke of Austria Archduke of Austria

Sigismund, a member of the House of Habsburg, was Duke of Austria from 1439 until his death. As a scion of the Habsburg Leopoldian line, he ruled over Further Austria and the County of Tyrol from 1446 until his resignation in 1490.

County of Tyrol former county of Austria

The (Princely) County of Tyrol was an estate of the Holy Roman Empire established about 1140. Originally a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of the Counts of Tyrol, it was inherited by the Counts of Gorizia in 1253 and finally fell to the Austrian House of Habsburg in 1363. In 1804 the Princely County of Tyrol, unified with the secularised Prince-Bishoprics of Trent and Brixen, became a crown land of the Austrian Empire in 1804 and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary.

Life

Born in Grimma, Catherine was the eldest child of Duke Albert III of Saxony and his wife, the Bohemian princess Sidonie of Poděbrady. Her paternal grandparents were Elector Frederick III of Saxony and Margaret of Austria, daughter of the Habsburg duke Ernest the Iron. Her maternal grandparents were King George of Poděbrady and his first wife Kunigunde of Sternberg. Catherine had three surviving brothers George, Henry and Frederick.

Grimma Place in Saxony, Germany

Grimma is a town in the Free State of Saxony, Central Germany, on the left bank of the Mulde, 25 kilometres (16 mi) southeast of Leipzig. Founded in c. 1170, it is part of the Leipzig district.

Albert III, Duke of Saxony Duke of Saxony

Albert III was a Duke of Saxony. He was nicknamed Albert the Bold or Albert the Courageous and founded the Albertine line of the House of Wettin.

Kingdom of Bohemia Monarchy in Central Europe, predecessor of modern Czech Republic

The Kingdom of Bohemia, sometimes in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom, was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Central Europe, the predecessor of the modern Czech Republic. It was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Bohemian king was a prince-elector of the empire. The kings of Bohemia, besides Bohemia, also ruled the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which at various times included Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia, and parts of Saxony, Brandenburg, and Bavaria.

At the age of 16, in 1484 at the Innsbruck court, Catherine became the second wife of Archduke Sigismund, who was already 56 years old and regarded as senile. The archduke had previously been married to Princess Eleanor of Scotland, who had left him no surviving children. Likewise, the marriage of Catherine and Sigismund remained childless. Catherine played little part in the politics of Tyrol; moreover, a former lover of Sigismund intrigued against the young bride and falsely claimed in 1487 that Catherine was trying to poison her husband. As the political style of the archduke was no longer tenable, he was gradually losing control over his Tyrolean possessions to his cousin Emperor Frederick III. Constant quarrels with local nobles followed due to the newly introduced limitations Sigismund made. By his resignation in 1490, his wife Catherine had significantly less budget than before. In 1496 Sigismund died.

Innsbruck Place in Tyrol, Austria

Innsbruck is the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria and the fifth-largest city in Austria. It is in the Inn valley, at its junction with the Wipp valley, which provides access to the Brenner Pass some 30 km (18.6 mi) to the south.

Eleanor of Scotland Scottish princess

Eleanor of Scotland was an Archduchess of Austria by marriage to Sigismund, Archduke of Austria, a noted translator, and regent of Austria in 1455-58 and 1467. She was a daughter of James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort.

Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor Austrian archduke and duke

Frederick III was Holy Roman Emperor from 1452 until his death. He was the first emperor of the House of Habsburg, and the third member of the House of Habsburg to be elected King of Germany after Rudolph I of Germany and Albert I in the 13th century. He was the penultimate emperor to be crowned by the Pope, and the last to be crowned in Rome.

Soon after the archduke's death, in 1496/97, Catherine married the Welf duke Eric I of Brunswick-Lüneburg, ruler over the Principality of Calenberg. The marriage produced one short-lived daughter, Anna Maria. Catherine died in 1524 and was buried in St. Blaise's Church, Münden; her tombstone was created by Loy Hering. Duke Eric remarried Elisabeth of Brandenburg and had surviving children.

House of Welf noble family

The House of Welf is a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century.

Eric I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg, Prince of Calenberg

Eric I, the Elder was Duke of Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg from 1495 and the first reigning prince of Calenberg-Göttingen.

Principality of Calenberg principality

The Principality of Calenberg was a dynastic division of the Welf duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg established in 1432. Calenberg was ruled by the House of Hanover from 1635 onwards; the princes received the ninth electoral dignity of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692. Their territory became the nucleus of the Electorate of Hanover, ruled in personal union with the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1714 onwards. The principality received its name from Calenberg Castle, a residence of the Brunswick dukes.

Sigismund, Archduke of Austria and his betrothed Radegonde of Valois and successive wives Eleanor of Scotland and Catherine, Archduchess of Austria. Zikmund tyrolsko.jpg
Sigismund, Archduke of Austria and his betrothed Radegonde of Valois and successive wives Eleanor of Scotland and Catherine, Archduchess of Austria.

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References

  1. Constantin von Wurzbach (1860). Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich: enthaltend die Lebensskizzen der denkwürdigen Personen, welche 1750 bis 1850 im Kaiserstaate und in seinen Kronländern gelebt haben. Guadagni - Habsburg (Agnes - Ludwig). 6 (in German). Zamarski. pp. 402–.