Frederick II, Elector of Brandenburg

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Frederick II, Elector of Brandenburg Friedrich II 300f.jpg
Frederick II, Elector of Brandenburg

Frederick II of Brandenburg (German : Friedrich II.) (19 November 1413 – 10 February 1471), nicknamed "the Iron" (der Eiserne) and sometimes "Irontooth" (Eisenzahn), was a Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg from 1440 until his abdication in 1470, and was a member of the House of Hohenzollern.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Prince-elector members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire

The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, or Electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor.

Margraviate of Brandenburg major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806

The Margraviate of Brandenburg was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806 that played a pivotal role in the history of Germany and Central Europe.


Statue by Alexander Calandrelli, 1898, former Siegesallee, Berlin FriedrichII Brbg Siegesallee.JPG
Statue by Alexander Calandrelli, 1898, former Siegesallee, Berlin


Frederick II was born at Tangermünde Castle (German: Burg Tangermünde ), when Tangermünde was within the Margraviate of Brandenburg, to Frederick I, Brandenburg's first Hohenzollern ruler, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Frederick, Duke of Bavaria-Landshut, and Maddalena Visconti. The latter was a daughter of Bernabò Visconti and Beatrice della Scala. As the second son, his brothers included John the Alchemist and Albert Achilles, both of whom also ruled Brandenburg as margraves.

Tangermünde Place in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Tangermünde is a historic town on the Elbe River in the district of Stendal, in the northeastern part of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

Frederick I, Elector of Brandenburg 1371 – 1440, Burgrave of Nuremberg as Frederick VI and Elector of Brandenburg as Frederick I

Frederick was the last Burgrave of Nuremberg from 1397 to 1427, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach from 1398, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach from 1420, and Elector of Brandenburg from 1415 until his death. He became the first member of the House of Hohenzollern to rule the Margraviate of Brandenburg.

Maddalena Visconti was a daughter of Bernabò Visconti and his wife Beatrice Regina della Scala. Maddalena was Duchess of Bavaria-Landshut by her marriage to Frederick, Duke of Bavaria.

In 1421, at age 8, Frederick was betrothed to Princess Jadwiga of Lithuania, but she died on 8 December 1431, before the marriage could take place.

When Frederick I retired in 1437, he compensated his incapable eldest son John with the Principality of Bayreuth while Frederick II assumed the government of Brandenburg. Unlike his father, he turned away from imperial politics and concentrated on his efforts to pacify the nobility and towns of the electorate. Quarrels with the city of Berlin began in 1440 with his plans to build a new residence on the Cölln island of the Spree river. In 1448 the Berliner Unwille (indignation) against the cession of the city's territory for an electoral stronghold culminated in open revolt, when the citizens flooded the excavation of the future Stadtschloss . Nevertheless, Frederick II prevailed, had the palace built and the city's rights decisively curtailed.

Principality of Bayreuth principality

The Principality of Bayreuth or Margraviate of Brandenburg-Bayreuth was an immediate territory of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by a Franconian branch of the Hohenzollern dynasty. Since Burgrave Frederick VI of Nuremberg was enfeoffed with the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1415/17, the Hohenzollern princes transferred the margravial title to their Franconian possessions, though the principality never had been a march. Until 1604 they used Plassenburg Castle in Kulmbach as their residence, hence their territory was officially called the Principality of Kulmbach or Margraviate of Brandenburg-Kulmbach until the Empire's dissolution in 1806.

German town law

The German town law or German municipal concerns was a set of early town privileges based on the Magdeburg rights developed by Otto I. The Magdeburg Law became the inspiration for regional town charters not only in Germany, but also in Central and Eastern Europe who modified it during the Middle Ages. The German town law was used in the founding of many German cities, towns, and villages beginning in the 13th century.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

In 1453, Frederick II, in his position as the Margrave of Brandenburg, was sent a letter from Rhodes, penned by the Grand Master of the Knights of St John, notifying him of the Fall of Constantinople and requesting he send them support so as to allow them to continue to combat the Turkish threat. His response is unknown. [1]

In 1454 and 1455, he concluded the Treaties of Cölln and Mewe and thereby re-gained the Neumark (New March) from the Teutonic Order state. Weary of the long struggle with the Duchy of Pomerania, he abdicated in 1470 in favour of his younger brother Albert Achilles, he retired to the Bayreuth Principality and died one year later in Neustadt an der Aisch.

The Treaties of Cölln and Mewe, concluded in 1454 and 1455, transferred the Neumark from the State of the Teutonic Order to the Electorate of Brandenburg. The Teutonic Knights had received the area as a pawn from Brandenburg in 1402, and as a possession in 1429. Financial shortages due to the onset of the Thirteen Years' War (1454–1466) forced Ludwig von Erlichshausen, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, to pawn the Neumark to Frederick II, Elector of Brandenburg, by the Treaty of Cölln on 22 February 1454, and to subsequently sell it by the Treaty of Mewe on 16 September 1455.

Neumark A region of the mediaeval and early modern Margraviate of Brandenburg, and later the Prussian province of Brandenburg, Germany.

The Neumark, also known as the New March or as East Brandenburg, was a region of the Margraviate of Brandenburg and its successors located east of the Oder River in territory which became part of Poland in 1945.

Neustadt an der Aisch Place in Bavaria, Germany

Neustadt an der Aisch is a small town of around 12,000 in the northern part of Bavaria (Germany), within the Franconian administrative region Middle Franconia. It is the district town of the district Neustadt (Aisch)-Bad Windsheim.

Family and children

On 11 June 1441, Frederick II married Catherine of Saxony (1421 – August 23, 1476), a daughter of Elector Frederick I of Saxony and Katharina of Brunswick-Lüneburg. They had three children (and Frederick had one bastard):


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  1. A. Pertusi, Testi inediti e poco noti sulla caduta di Constantinopoli, ed. A Carile. Il Mondo Medievale: sezione di bizantina e slava 4
Frederick II, Elector of Brandenburg
Born: 19 November 1413 Died: 10 February 1471
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Frederick I
Elector of Brandenburg
Succeeded by
Albert III Achilles