Duchy of Holstein
Location and borders of the Duchy of Holstein by 1789
|Common languages||Low German, Danish|
|Christian I (first)|
|Christian IX (last)|
|Historical era||Early Modern|
|5 March 1460|
|14 February 1474|
|1 February 1864|
|30 October 1864|
The Duchy of Holstein (German : Herzogtum Holstein, Danish : Hertugdømmet Holsten) was the northernmost state of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the present German state of Schleswig-Holstein. It originated when King Christian I of Denmark had his County of Holstein-Rendsburg elevated to a duchy by Emperor Frederick III in 1474. Members of the Danish House of Oldenburg ruled Holstein – jointly with the Duchy of Schleswig – for its entire existence.
From 1490 to 1523 and again from 1544 to 1773 the Duchy was partitioned between various Oldenburg branches, most notably the dukes of Holstein-Glückstadt (identical with the Kings of Denmark) and Holstein-Gottorp. The Duchy ceased to exist when the Kingdom of Prussia annexed it in 1866 after the Austro-Prussian War.
The northern border of Holstein along the Eider River had already formed the northern border of the Carolingian Empire, after Emperor Charlemagne upon the Saxon Wars reached an agreement with King Hemming of Denmark in 811. The lands of Schleswig beyond the river remained a fief of the Danish Crown, while Holstein became an integral part of East Francia, the Kingdom of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.
| Holstein-Kiel |
| Holstein-Itzehoe |
| Holstein-Segeberg |
| Holstein-Plön |
| Holstein-Rendsburg |
| Holstein-Pinneberg |
| Duchy of |
| Imperial County of Rantzau |
Adolf VIII, the last Count of Holstein-Rendsburg and Duke of Schleswig had died without heirs in 1459. As Schleswig had been a Danish fief, it had to fall back to King Christian I of Denmark, who, himself a nephew of Adolf, also sought to enter into possession of Holstein. He was backed by the local nobility, who supported the continued common administration of both lands and by the 1460 Treaty of Ribe proclaimed him as the new Count of Holstein.
Nevertheless, the comital Holstein lands south of the Eider River officially remained a mediate fief held by the Ascanian dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg. In 1474 Emperor Frederick III conferred Imperial immediacy to Christian by elevating him to a Duke of Holstein.
In 1544, the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein were partitioned in three parts between Christian's grandson Christian III of Denmark and his two younger half-brothers (who had to renounce the Danish throne), as follows:
In addition, significant parts of Holstein were jointly administered by the Dukes of Holstein-Glückstadt and the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp, mainly on the Baltic Sea coast.
In 1640, the County of Holstein-Pinneberg, whose ruling house was extinct, was merged in the royal part of the Duchy of Holstein.
In 1713, during the Great Northern War, the estates of the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp in Schleswig including Schloss Gottorf were conquered by royal Danish troops. In the 1720 Treaty of Frederiksborg, Duke Charles Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp ceded them to his liege lord the Danish crown.
His remaining territories formed the Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp, administered from Kiel. In 1773, Charles Frederick's grandson, Paul, Emperor of Russia finally gave his Holstein lands to the Danish king, in his function as Duke of Holstein, in exchange for the County of Oldenburg, and Holstein was reunited as a single state.
With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Duchy of Holstein gained sovereignty.
After the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the Duchy of Holstein became a member of the German Confederation, resulting in several diplomatic and military conflicts about the so-called Schleswig-Holstein Question. Denmark defended its rule over Holstein in the First Schleswig War of 1848-51 against the Kingdom of Prussia. However, in the Second Schleswig War (1864) Prussian and Austrian troops conquered Schleswig. Christian IX of Denmark had to renounce both Schleswig and Holstein in the Treaty of Vienna (1864) on October 30. At first placed under joint rule in a condominium, Prussia and Austria then assumed administration of Schleswig and Holstein, respectively, under the Gastein Convention of August 14, 1865. However, tensions between the two powers culminated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. Following the Peace of Prague (1866), the victorious Prussians annexed both Schleswig and Holstein by decree of December 24, 1866, and later established the unified Province of Schleswig-Holstein.
The Danish king in his function as duke of Holstein, and duke of Schleswig, appointed statholders (German: Statthalter; Latin: produx) to represent him in the duchies. The statholders fulfilled the tasks related to the ducal power as patrimonial lords in the royal shares of Holstein and Schleswig, as well as the royal part in the condominial government with the houses of Gottorp and Haderslev (the latter extinct in 1580) for all the duchies of Holstein (until retreat of Gottorp in 1773) and Schleswig (until Gottorp's deposal from dukedom there in 1720).
Schleswig is a town in the northeastern part of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is the capital of the Kreis (district) Schleswig-Flensburg. It has a population of about 27,000, the main industries being leather and food processing. It takes its name from the Schlei, an inlet of the Baltic sea at the end of which it sits, and vik or vig which means "bay" in Old Norse and Danish. Schleswig or Slesvig therefore means "bay of the Schlei".
Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany.
The history of Schleswig-Holstein consists of the corpus of facts since the pre-history times until the modern establishing of the Schleswig-Holstein state.
Duke Frederick VIII was the German pretender to the throne of Schleswig-Holstein from 1863, although in reality Prussia took overlordship and real administrative power.
The House of Glücksburg, shortened from House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, is a Dano-German branch of the House of Oldenburg, members of which have reigned at various times in Denmark, Norway, Greece and several northern German states.
Holstein-Gottorp or Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp is the historiographical name, as well as contemporary shorthand name, for the parts of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, also known as Ducal Holstein, that were ruled by the dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp. Other parts of the duchies were ruled by the kings of Denmark.
The House of Oldenburg is a European dynasty of North German/Danish origin. It is one of Europe's most influential royal houses, with branches that rule or have ruled in Denmark, Iceland, Greece, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Schleswig, Holstein, and Oldenburg. The current Queen of Denmark and King of Norway, the former King of Greece, the consort of the monarch of the United Kingdom, as well as the first fourteen persons in the line of succession to the British throne, are all patrilineal members of the Glücksburg branch of this house.
Glückstadt is a town in the Steinburg district of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is located on the right bank of the Lower Elbe at the confluence of the small Rhin river, about 45 km (28 mi) northwest of Altona. Glückstadt is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.
Gottorf Castle is a castle and estate in the city of Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is one of the most important secular buildings in Schleswig-Holstein, and has been rebuilt and expanded several times in its over eight hundred years of history, changing from a medieval castle to a Renaissance fortress to a Baroque castle.
The Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, was a reichsfrei duchy that existed 1296–1803 and 1814–1876 in the extreme southeast region of what is now Schleswig-Holstein. Its territorial center was in the modern district of Herzogtum Lauenburg and originally its eponymous capital was Lauenburg upon Elbe, though in 1619 the capital moved to Ratzeburg.
Adolf of Denmark or Adolf of Holstein-Gottorp was the first Duke of Holstein-Gottorp from the line of Holstein-Gottorp of the House of Oldenburg.
Ahlefeldt is a German and Danish noble family. It has similar coat of arms with von Rumhor family, which indicates that they descended from the same House.
Holstein-Glückstadt or Schleswig-Holstein-Glückstadt is the historiographical name, as well as contemporary shorthand name, for the parts of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein that were ruled by the Kings of Denmark in their function as dukes of Schleswig and Holstein, thus also known as Royal Schleswig-Holstein. Other parts of the duchies were ruled by the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp. The territories of Holstein-Glückstadt are located in present-day Denmark and Germany. The main centre of administration was Segeberg and from 1648 Glückstadt on the River Elbe.
Frederick Ernest of Brandenburg-Kulmbach was a member of the Brandenburg-Kulmbach branch of the House of Hohenzollern. His most significant position was governor of the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein-Glückstadt.
The Treaty of Tsarskoye Selo was a territorial and dynastic treaty between the Russian Empire and Denmark-Norway. Signed on 1 June 1773, it transferred control of ducal Schleswig-Holstein to the Danish crown in return for Russian control of the County of Oldenburg and adjacent lands within the Holy Roman Empire. The treaty reduced the fragmentation of Danish territory and led to an alliance between Denmark-Norway and Russia that lasted into the Napoleonic Wars. It also made possible the construction of the Eider Canal, parts of which were later incorporated into the Kiel Canal.
Frederik Ahlefeldt was a Danish landowner and statesman. He was Grand Chancellor during the reign of King Christian V.