County (Principality) of Anhalt
Grafschaft (Fürstentum) Anhalt
Map of Anhalt (Zerbst, Dessau, Köthen, Bernburg) in 1793
|Capital||Dessau (when united)|
|Prince of Anhalt|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
• Partitioned from Saxony
• Elevated to principality
• Joined Council of Princes
• Principalities³ raised to duchies
|Today part of||Germany|
The Principality of Anhalt (German : Fürstentum Anhalt) was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, located in Central Germany, in what is today part of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.
Under the rule of the House of Ascania, the Anhalt territory was split off the German stem duchy of Saxony in 1212 and granted to Count Henry I, who was raised to the rank of a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1218. Ruled by Ascanian princes from the High Middle Ages to the Early modern period, Anhalt was divided several times amongst various lines of the dynasty until the dissolution of the Empire in 1806, when Napoleon elevated the remaining states of Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen to duchies.
The Anhalt territory stretched from the Harz mountain range in the west to the Elbe River and beyond to the Fläming Heath in the east. Upon the 1315 loss of Anhalt-Aschersleben, the lands around Ballenstedt formed a western exclave. The area of the later duchy was 906 sq mi (2,300 km2).
In the west, the land is undulating and in the extreme northwest, where it forms part of the Harz mountains, hilly, with the Ramberg (Harz) peak as the tallest point at 1,900 ft (579 m). From the Harz the country gently shelves down to the Saale; the land between this river and the Elbe is particularly fertile. East of the Elbe, the land is mostly a flat sandy plain, with extensive pine forests, interspersed with bog-land and rich pastures. The Elbe is the chief river, intersecting the eastern portion of the former duchy, from east to west, and at Rosslau is met by the Mulde. The navigable Saale takes a northerly direction through the central portion of the territory and receives, on the right, the Fuhne and, on the left, the Wipper and the Bode.
The climate is generally mild, less so in the higher Harz regions to the south-west.
From the 9th century onward, the western parts of the later Anhalt territory up to the Elbe and Saale rivers were included in the Schwabengau region of Eastphalia, the eastern part of the medieval Duchy of Saxony. In the 11th century, it came under the rule of Count Esico of Ballenstedt (died 1059 or 1060), mentioned in a 1036 deed issued by Emperor Conrad II at Tilleda. Possibly a descendant of the Saxon margrave Odo, he owned large allodial lands around Ballenstedt in the Schwabengau as well as in the adjacent Gau Serimunt in the former Saxon Eastern March.
Count Esico was succeeded by his son Adalbert II of Ballenstedt, who also appeared as a count in the Saxon Nordthüringgau and further territories in the Eastern March. Adalbert joined the Saxon Rebellion against King Henry IV and was slain in a feud with Egeno II of Konradsburg in 1180. His son Count Otto the Rich appeared as a "Count of Ballenstedt" from 1106. When Emperor Henry V temporarily deprived Lothair of Supplinburg of the Saxon ducal title in 1112, Otto was enfeoffed with the Duchy of Saxony, which, however, he had to renounce shortly afterwards, as Lothair and Henry had reconciled. On the eve of the 1115 Battle of Welfesholz, Otto campaigned the lands of the Polabian Slavs, gaining large estates around Zerbst up to the Hevelli lands ruled by the Hevelli princes.
Until his death in 1123, Count Otto had Anhalt Castle built in the Harz mountains near Harzgerode and appears to have been among the first to assume the title of a "Count of Anhalt". He was the father of Albert the Bear, who temporarily was appointed Margrave of the Saxon Eastern March (or March of Lusatia) by the Saxon duke Lothair of Supplinburg and struggled for the ducal title himself. Albert could not prevail against the Welf duke Henry the Lion, nevertheless he conquered the eastern territories of the former Northern March, which had been lost in the 983 Great Slav Rising, where he established the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1157. When he died in 1170, his younger son Count Bernhard inherited the Ascanian home territories around Anhalt Castle and after the deposition of Henry the Lion by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa finally became Duke of Saxony in 1180. However, he effectively only ruled over the Eastphalian territories, while the Westphalian and Engern parts of Saxony fell under the control of the Prince-Archbishops of Cologne.
The County of Anhalt finally arose upon the death of Duke Bernhard in 1212, when his sons divided their heritage. The younger Albert I became Duke of Saxony, while the elder Henry I went on to rule the Ascanian lands, now definitely separated from Saxony, as Count of Anhalt. In 1218, Henry I assumed the title of a prince and thereby was the real founder of the princely House of Anhalt.
On Henry's death in 1252, his three sons partitioned the principality and founded, respectively, the lines of Aschersleben, Bernburg and Zerbst. The family ruling in Aschersleben became extinct in 1315, and this district was subsequently incorporated in the neighboring Bishopric of Halberstadt, thus dividing the territory of Anhalt-Bernburg in two separate pieces. The last prince of the original line of Anhalt-Bernburg died in 1468 and his lands were inherited by the princes of the sole remaining line, that of Anhalt-Zerbst. The territory belonging to this branch of the family had been divided in 1396, and after the acquisition of Bernburg Prince George I made a further partition of Zerbst (Zerbst and Dessau). Early in the 16th century, however, owing to the death or abdication of several princes, the family had become narrowed down to the two branches of Anhalt-Köthen and Anhalt-Dessau (issued both from Anhalt-Dessau in 1471).
Wolfgang of Anhalt, called the Confessor, who became prince of Anhalt-Köthen in 1508, was the second ruler in the world to introduce the Reformation to his country. He was a co-signer of the Augsburg Confession in 1530, and after the Battle of Mühlberg in 1547 was placed under Imperial ban and deprived of his lands by Emperor Charles V. After the peace of Passau in 1552 he bought back his principality, but as he was childless he surrendered it in 1562 to his kinsmen the princes of Anhalt-Dessau. Ernest I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (d. 1516) left three sons, John V, George III, and Joachim, who ruled their lands together for many years, and who favoured the Lutheran doctrine, which thus became dominant in Anhalt. About 1546 the three brothers divided their principality and founded the lines of Zerbst, Plötzkau and Dessau. This division, however, was only temporary, as the acquisition of Köthen, and a series of deaths among the ruling princes, enabled Joachim Ernest, a son of John V, to unite the whole of Anhalt under his rule in 1570.
The first united principality of Anhalt was short-lived, and in 1603 it was split up into the mini states of Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Köthen, Anhalt-Zerbst and Anhalt-Plötzkau.
Joachim Ernest died in 1586, and his five sons ruled the land in common until 1603, when owing to the lack of primogeniture, Anhalt was again divided, and the lines of Dessau, Bernburg, Plötzkau, Zerbst and Köthen were re-founded. The principality was ravaged during the Thirty Years' War, and in the earlier part of this struggle Christian I of Anhalt-Bernburg took an important part. In 1635 an arrangement was made by the various princes of Anhalt, which gave a certain authority to the eldest member of the family, who was thus able to represent the principality as a whole. This proceeding was probably due to the necessity of maintaining an appearance of unity in view of the disturbed state of European politics.
In 1665, the branch of Anhalt-Köthen became extinct, and according to a family compact this district was inherited by Lebrecht, Prince of Anhalt-Plötzkau, who surrendered Plötzkau to Bernburg, and took the title of prince of Anhalt-Köthen. In the same year the princes of Anhalt decided that if any branch of the family became extinct its lands should be equally divided between the remaining branches. This arrangement was carried out after the death of Frederick Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst in 1793, and Zerbst was divided between the three remaining princes. During these years the policy of the different princes was marked, perhaps intentionally, by considerable uniformity. Once or twice Calvinism was favoured by a prince, but in general the house was loyal to the doctrines of Martin Luther. The growth of Prussia provided Anhalt with a formidable neighbour, and the long-delayed establishment of primogeniture by all branches of the family prevented further divisions of the principality.
In 1806, Napoleon elevated the remaining states of Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen to duchies; in the meantime, Anhalt-Plötzkau and Anhalt-Zerbst had ceased to exist. These duchies were united again in 1863, due to the extinction of the Köthen and Bernburg lines. The new duchy consisted of two large portions, Eastern and Western Anhalt, separated by the interposition of a part of the Prussian Province of Saxony and of five exclaves surrounded by Prussian territory: Alsleben, Mühlingen, Dornburg, Gödnitz and Tilkerode-Abberode. The eastern and larger portion of the duchy was enclosed by the Prussian government district of Potsdam (in the Prussian province of Brandenburg) and by Magdeburg and Merseburg, belonging to the Prussian province of Saxony. The western or smaller portion, the so-called Upper Duchy or Ballenstedt, was also enclosed by the two latter districts as well as by the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
When a united state, the capital of Anhalt was Dessau.
Along with the fall of all German monarchies, the Duchy of Anhalt came to an end in 1918–19 during the revolution that followed the end of World War I. It was replaced by the Free State of Anhalt within the Weimar Republic. After World War II, the Free State was united with the Prussian parts of Saxony to form Saxony-Anhalt. Subsequently, Saxony-Anhalt was dissolved in 1952, but re-established prior to the German reunification in 1990, since when it has been one of the sixteen (Bundes)länder (states) of Germany.
The duchy, by virtue of a fundamental law, proclaimed on September 17, 1859 and subsequently modified by various decrees, was a constitutional monarchy. The duke, who bore the title of "Highness", wielded the executive power while sharing the legislation with the estates. The diet (Landtag) was composed of thirty-six members, of whom two were appointed by the duke, eight were representatives of landowners paying the highest taxes, two of the highest assessed members of the commercial and manufacturing classes, fourteen of the other electors of the towns and ten of the rural districts. The representatives were chosen for six years by indirect vote and must have completed their twenty-fifth year. The duke governed through a minister of state, who was the praeses of all the departments — finance, home affairs, education, public worship and statistics.
In 1905 the population of the Duchy of Anhalt was 328,007, a ratio of about 351 to the square mile (909 km²). The country was divided into the districts of Dessau, Köthen, Zerbst, Bernburg and Ballenstedt, of which that of Bernburg was the most, and that of Ballenstedt the least, populated. Of the towns, four, viz. Dessau, Bernburg, Köthen and Zerbst, had populations exceeding 20,000.
The inhabitants of the duchy, with the exception of about 12,000 Roman Catholics and 1700 Jews, were members of the Evangelical State Church of Anhalt. The supreme ecclesiastical authority was the consistory in Dessau; while a synod of 39 members, elected for six years, assembled at periods to deliberate on internal matters touching the organization of the church. The Roman Catholics were under the bishop of Paderborn.
|County of Anhalt|
|Principality of Anhalt|
|Annexed to |
Bishopric of Halberstadt
|Principality of Anhalt|
(from Anhalt-Zerbst line)
|Duchy of Anhalt|
(from Anhalt-Dessau line)
|Esico||?||c.1030-1060||1060||Anhalt||Matilda of Swabia|
|First known ruler of the lands of Anhalt. Also Count of Ballenstedt.|
|Adalbert||c.1030||1060-1076/83||1076/83||Anhalt||Adelaide of Weimar-Orlamünde|
|Also Count of Ballenstedt.|
|Otto I the Rich||c.1070||1076/83-1123||9 February 1123||Anhalt|| Eilika of Saxony |
|Also Count of Ballenstedt.|
|Albert I the Bear||c.1100||1123-1170||18 November 1170||Anhalt|| Sophie of Winzenburg |
|Also Count of Ballenstedt, Duke of Saxony and Margrave of Brandenburg.|
|Bernard I||c.1134||1170-1212||2 February 1212||Anhalt||Brigitte of Denmark|
Sophia of Thuringia
Judith of Poland
|Also Count of Ballenstedt and Duke of Saxony|
|Henry I||1170||1212-1252||1252||Anhalt|| Irmgard of Thuringia |
|First independent ruler of Anhalt. In 1218 becomes Prince of Anhalt. After his death his sons divided the Principality.|
|Henry II the Fat||1215||1252-1266||12 June 1266||Anhalt-Aschersleben|| Matilda of Brunswick-Lüneburg |
|Eldest son of Henry I, received Aschersleben.|
|Bernard I||1218||1252-1287||1287||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Sophia of Denmark |
3 February 1258
|Second son of Henry I, received Bernburg.|
|Siegfried I||1230||1252-1298||25 March 1298||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Catherine of Sweden |
17 October 1259
|Third son of Henry I, received Zerbst.|
|Matilda of Brunswick-Lüneburg (regent)||After 1228||1266-1270||1295/7||Anhalt-Aschersleben|| Henry II |
|Regent on behalf of her sons. From 1275 was elected Abbess of Gernrode.|
|Otto I||c.1245||1270-1304||25 June 1304||Anhalt-Aschersleben|| Hedwig of Wrocław |
|Sons of Henry II, ruled jointly. In 1283 Henry renounced his rights in Otto's favor.|
|Henry III||c.1245||1270-1283||12 June 1266||Anhalt-Aschersleben||Unmarried|
|Bernard II||1260||1287-1323||After 26 December 1323||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Helena of Rügen |
27 December 1302
|Ruled jointly. After the death of John, Bernard ruled alone.|
|John I||1258/60||1287-1291||5 June 1291||Anhalt-Bernburg||Unmarried|
|Albert I||c.1260||1298-1316||17 August 1316||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Liutgard of Holstein-Itzehoe |
Agnes of Brandenburg-Stendal
|Otto II||c.1260||1304-1315||24 July 1315||Anhalt-Aschersleben|| Elisabeth of Meissen |
24 August 1309
|After his death in 1315 without male heirs, the Principality was annexed by the Bishopric of Halberstadt.|
|Definitively annexed by the Bishopric of Halberstadt|
|Albert II||after 1277||1316-1362||17 July 1362||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Agnes of Rügen |
2 September 1324
Beatrix of Saxe-Wittenberg
|Albert III and Valdemar I ruled jointly, as sons of Albert II. In 1359 Albert III associated his eldest son, Albert IV, but he predeceased him. In 1362, after Albert III's death, is brother Valdemar continued the co-ruling with his nephew John II. Valdemar II, Valdemar I's son, joined John II after his father's death.|
|Valdemar I||after 1277||1316-1368||7 January 1368||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Elisabeth of Saxe-Wittenberg |
22 June 1344
|Albert III||c.1337||1359||1 August 1359||Anhalt-Zerbst||Unmarried|
|John II||after 1337||1362-1382||11 April 1382||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Elisabeth of Henneberg-Schleusingen |
|Valdemar II||c.1337||1368-1371||before 24 August 1371||Anhalt-Zerbst||Unmarried|
|Bernard III||1300||1323-1348||20 August 1348||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Agnes of Saxe-Wittenberg |
Matilda of Anhalt-Zerbst
Matilda of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
|Bernard IV||Before 1339||1348-1354||28 June 1354||Anhalt-Bernburg||Unmarried|
|Henry IV||Before 1339||1354-1374||7 July 1374||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Sophia of Stolberg |
|Bypassed by his older brother Bernard IV as ruler of Anhalt-Bernburg, he only assumed rule of the principality when Bernhard died in 1354.|
|Otto III||Before 1348||1374-1404||27 February 1404||Anhalt-Bernburg||Unknown|
|Bypassed his nephew Bernard.|
|Sigismund I||After 1366||1382-1396||19 January 1405||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Judith of Querfurt |
|Sons of John II. Ruled jointly. In 1396 divided the land. Sigismund received Anhalt-Dessau and Albert Anhalt-Köthen.|
|Albert IV||After 1366||1382-1396||24 November 1423||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Elisabeth of Mansfeld I |
Elisabeth of Querfurt
before 4 January 1419
|Valdemar III||After 1366||1382-1391||1391||Anhalt-Zerbst||Unmarried|
|Bernard V||Before 1374||1404-1420||24 June 1420||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Elisabeth of Hohnstein-Kelbra |
8 September 1396
|Succeeded in reaching the pwer jointly with his eldest cousin, Otto. As he left no male heirs, the land was inherited by his other cousin, Bernard.|
|Otto IV||Before 1391||1404-1415||7 July 1374||Anhalt-Bernburg||Unmarried||Ruled jointly with his cousin. Left no descendants.|
|Bernard VI||Before 1391||1420-1468||2 February 1468||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Matilda of Querfurt-Burgscheidungen |
21 October 1419
Hedwig of Żagań
11 March 1434
|His children predeceased him, which left him no heirs at his death in 1468. Bernburg was inherited by Anhalt-Dessau line.|
|Anhalt-Bernburg was annexed to Anhalt-Dessau|
|George I the Elder||1390||1405-1474||21 September 1474||Anhalt-Dessau|| Matilda of Anhalt-Bernburg I |
Euphemia of Oleśnica
Sophia of Hohnstein
Anna of Lindow-Ruppin
7 September 1453
|Sons of Sigismund I, ruled jointly. In 1468 inherited Anhalt-Bernburg.|
|Albert V||After 1390||1405-1469||1469||Anhalt-Dessau|| Sophie of Hadmersleben |
|Valdemar IV||c.1386||1405-1417||After 22 July 1417||Anhalt-Dessau||Unmarried|
|Sigismund II||After 1390||1405-1452||After 22 May 1452||Anhalt-Dessau|| Matilda of Anhalt-Bernburg II |
|Adolph I||After 1398?||1423-1473||28 August 1473||Anhalt-Köthen|| Cordula of Lindow-Ruppin |
2 November 1442
|Ruled jointly. Adolph ruled with his brother Valdemar V until 1436 and then with Valdemar's son John. In 1471, Adolph concluded a succession contract with George I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, which put his youngest son in Köthen's throne, as Valdemar VI, next to Adolph. After the death of Adolph in 1473, his youngest son Albert VI managed to succeed him, always side-by-side with Valdemar VI. With Albert's death two years later, Valdemar VI (from Dessau) ruled Köthen with Albert VI's son (Philip) and nephews (Magnus and Adolph II, sons of Adolph I) until his own death in 1508. In that year, all his co-rulers abdicated to Valdemar VI's son, Wolfgang.|
|Valdemar V||After 1398?||1423-1436||28 August 1473||Anhalt-Köthen|| Sophie of Hadmersleben |
| Valdemar VI |
(from Anhalt-Dessau line)
|1450||1471-1508||1 November 1508||Anhalt-Köthen|| Margaret of Schwarzburg |
24 January 1485
|Albert VI||After 1419?||1473-1475||9 January 1475||Anhalt-Köthen|| Elisabeth of Mansfeld II |
27 March 1454
|Philip||31 May 1468||1475-1500||13 November 1500||Anhalt-Köthen||Unmarried|
|Magnus||1455||1475-1508||29 October 1524||Anhalt-Köthen||Unmarried|
|Adolph II||16 October 1458||24 March 1526||Anhalt-Köthen||Unmarried|
|Ernest I||1454||1474-1516||12 June 1516||Anhalt-Dessau|| Margaret of Münsterberg |
20 January 1494
|Sons of George I, ruled jointly.|
|George II the Strong||1454||1474-1509||25 April 1509||Anhalt-Dessau|| Agnes of Pomerania-Barth |
|Sigismund III||1456||1474-1487||27 November 1487||Anhalt-Dessau||Unmarried|
|Rudolph I the Valiant||1466||1474-1510||7 September 1510||Anhalt-Dessau||Unmarried|
|Wolfgang the Confessor||1 August 1492||1508-1562||23 March 1566||Anhalt-Köthen||Unmarried||Sole ruler of Köthen. After his abdication without descendants, the Principality was incorporated in the recreated Anhalt-Zerbst.|
|Margaret of Münsterberg (regent)||25 August 1473||1516-1524||28 June 1530||Anhalt-Dessau|| Ernest I |
20 January 1494
|Regent on behalf of her sons.|
|Joachim I||7 August 1509||1524-1561||6 December 1561||Anhalt-Dessau||Unmarried||Sons of Ernest I, ruled jointly. In 1544, the brothers divided the land. Joachim mainteined Dessau to himself; John took Zerbst and refounded Anhalt-Zerbst; George took Plotzkau. After George and Joachim's deaths without descendants, their lands were inherited by their nephews, sons of John III.|
|John IV||4 September 1504||1524-1544||4 February 1551||Anhalt-Dessau|| Margaret of Brandenburg |
15 February 1534
|George III the God-Blessed||15 August 1507||1524-1544||17 October 1553||Anhalt-Dessau||Unmarried|
|Charles I||17 November 1534||1551-1561||4 May 1561||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Anna of Pomerania |
16 May 1557
|Sons of John III. In 1553 inherited Plotzkau from their uncle George III. In 1561 inherited Dessau and Bernburg from their uncle Joachim. In the next year inherited Kothen. From 1570 Joachim Ernest was the sole owner of all Anhalt.|
|Joachim Ernest||21 October 1536||1551-1562||6 December 1586||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Agnes of Barby-Mühlingen |
3 March 1560
Eleonore of Württemberg
9 January 1571
|Bernard VII||17 March 1540||1551-1562||1 March 1570||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Clara of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Gifhorn |
28 May 1565
|John George I||9 May 1567||1586-1603||24 May 1618||Anhalt|| Dorothea of Mansfeld-Arnstein |
22 February 1588
Dorothea of Palatinate-Simmern
21 February 1595
|Sons of Joachim Ernest, ruled jointly. In 1603 divided the land again: John George received Dessau; Christian received Bernburg; Augustus received Plötzkau; Rudolph received Zerbst; Louis received Köthen. Augustus served also as regent for his minor nephews in Anhalt-Kothen and Anhalt-Zerbst.|
|Christian I||11 May 1568||1586-1603||17 April 1630||Anhalt|| Anna of Bentheim-Steinfurt-Tecklenburg-Limburg |
2 July 1595
|Rudolph II||28 October 1576||1586-1603||30 July 1621||Anhalt|| Dorothea Hedwig of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel |
29 December 1605
|Louis I||17 June 1579||1586-1603||7 January 1650||Anhalt|| Amöena Amalie of Bentheim-Steinfurt-Tecklenburg-Limburg |
31 October 1606
Sophia of Lippe
12 September 1626
|Augustus||14 July 1575||1586-1603||22 August 1653||Anhalt|| Sibylle of Solms-Laubach |
25 January 1618
|John Casimir||17 December 1596||1618-1660||15 September 1660||Anhalt-Dessau|| Agnes of Hesse-Kassel |
18 May 1623
Sophie Margaret of Anhalt-Bernburg
14 July 1651
|John V||24 March 1621||1642-1667||4 July 1667||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Sophie Augusta of Holstein-Gottorp |
16 September 1649
|Christian II||11 August 1599||1630-1656||22 September 1656||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Eleonore Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön |
28 February 1625
|William Louis||3 August 1638||1659-1665||13 April 1665||Anhalt-Köthen|| Elisabeth Charlotte of Anhalt-Harzgerode |
25 August 1663
|After his death without descendants, his previous regents took over the principality for themselves.|
|Lebrecht I||8 April 1622||1653-1665||7 November 1669||Anhalt-Plötzkau|| Sophie Ursula Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode |
18 January 1655
|Cousins of William Louis, and princes of Anhalt-Plötzkau, they served as regents for their cousin alongside their uncle, Augustus. After William Louis' death in 1665, they took the principality of Köthen for themselves, giving away their inheritance in Plötzkau to Anhalt-Bernburg.|
as de facto ruler
|Emmanuel I||6 October 1631||1653-1665||8 November 1670||Anhalt-Plötzkau|| Anna Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode |
23 March 1670
as de facto ruler
|Definitively annexed to the Principality of Anhalt-Bernburg|
|Victor Amadeus||6 October 1634||1656-1718||14 February 1718||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Elisabeth of Palatinate-Zweibrücken |
16 October 1667
|Annexed Anhalt-Plötzkau in 1665.|
|John George II||17 November 1627||1660-1693||7 August 1693||Anhalt-Dessau|| Henriette Catherine of Nassau |
9 September 1659
|Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, he also served as regent for his cousin, Emmanuel Lebrecht of Anhalt-Kothen, together with the prince's mother, Anna Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode.|
|Sophie Augusta of Holstein-Gottorp (regent)||5 December 1630||1667-1674||12 December 1680||Anhalt-Zerbst|| John IV |
16 September 1649
|Charles William||16 October 1652||1674-1718||3 November 1718||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Sophia of Saxe-Weissenfels |
18 June 1676
|Anna Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode (regent)||26 March 1651||1670-1690||27 January 1690||Anhalt-Köthen|| Emmanuel I |
23 March 1670
|Regent on behalf of her son, together with her husband's cousin, John George II of Anhalt-Dessau.|
|Emmanuel Lebrecht||20 May 1671||1692-1704||30 May 1704||Anhalt-Köthen|| Gisela Agnes of Rath |
30 September 1692
|Henriette Catherine of Nassau (regent)||10 February 1637||1693-1698||3 November 1708||Anhalt-Dessau|| John George II |
9 September 1659
|Regent on behalf of her son.|
|Leopold I||3 July 1676||1698-1747||7 April 1747||Anhalt-Dessau|| Anna Louise Föhse |
8 September 1698
|Gisela Agnes of Rath (regent)||9 October 1669||1704-1715||12 March 1740||Anhalt-Köthen|| Emmanuel Lebrecht |
30 September 1692
|Regent on behalf of her son.|
|Leopold||29 November 1694||1715-1728||19 November 1728||Anhalt-Köthen|| Frederica Henriette of Anhalt-Bernburg |
11 December 1721
Charlotte Frederike of Nassau-Siegen
27 June 1725
|With no male heirs, he was succeeded by his brother.|
|Charles Frederick||13 July 1668||1718-1721||22 April 1721||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Sophie Albertine of Solms-Sonnenwalde |
25 June 1692
Wilhelmine Charlotte Nüssler
1 May 1715
|John Augustus||29 July 1677||1674-1718||7 November 1742||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Fredericka of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg |
25 May 1702
|Died without issue. Zerbst was inherited by his cousins from Dornburg.|
|Victor Frederick||20 September 1700||1721-1765||18 May 1765||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Louise of Anhalt-Dessau |
25 November 1724
Sophie Albertine Fredericka of Brandenburg-Schwedt
22 May 1733
Konstanze Fredericka Schmidt
13 November 1750
|Augustus Louis||9 June 1697||1728-1755||6 August 1755||Anhalt-Köthen|| Agnes Wilhelmine von Wuthenau |
23 January 1722
Christine Johanna Emilie of Promnitz-Pless
14 January 1726
Anna Fredericka of Promnitz-Pless
21 November 1732
|John Louis||23 June 1688||1742-1746||5 November 1746||Anhalt-Zerbst||Unmarried||First cousins of their predecessor, they were Princes of Dornburg, until its ending by joining it with the inherited Principality of Zerbst. Ruled jointly. after John Louis' death, Christian tuled alone.|
|Christian August||29 November 1690||1742-1747||16 March 1747||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Joanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp |
8 November 1727
|Leopold II Maximilian||25 December 1700||1747-1751||16 December 1751||Anhalt-Dessau|| Gisela Agnes of Anhalt-Köthen |
25 May 1737
|Joanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp (regent)||24 October 1712||1747-1752||30 May 1760||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Christian August |
8 November 1727
|Regent on behalf of her son.|
|Frederick August||8 August 1734||1752-1793||3 March 1793||Anhalt-Zerbst|| Caroline Wilhelmina Sophia of Hesse-Kassel |
17 November 1753
Friederike Auguste Sophie of Anhalt-Bernburg
22 May 1764
|Definitively annexed by the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau|
|Dietrich of Anhalt-Dessau (regent)||2 August 1702||1751-1758||2 December 1769||Anhalt-Dessau||Unmarried||Regent on behalf of his nephew.|
|Leopold III Frederick Franz||10 August 1740||1758-1817||9 August 1817||Anhalt-Dessau|| Louise Henriette Wilhelmine of Brandenburg-Schwedt |
25 July 1767
|Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, also served as regent for his cousin, Louis Augustus Karl Frederick Emil of Anhalt-Kothen. After his death the regency in Anhalt-Kothen passed together with the principality of Anhalt-Dessau to his son.|
|Charles George Lebrecht||15 August 1730||1755-1789||17 October 1789||Anhalt-Köthen|| Louise Charlotte of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg |
26 July 1763
|Frederick Albert||15 August 1735||1765-1796||9 April 1796||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Louise Albertine of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön |
25 November 1724
|Augustus Christian Frederick||18 November 1769||1789-1812||5 May 1812||Anhalt-Köthen|| Fredericka of Nassau-Usingen |
9 February 1792
|In 1806 became Duke of Anhalt-Köthen. Left no descendants, and was succeeded by his nephew.|
|Alexius Frederick Christian||15 August 1735||1796-1834||9 April 1796||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Marie Friederike of Hesse-Kassel |
29 November 1794
Dorothea Fredericka of Sonnenberg
11 January 1818
Ernestine Charlotte of Sonnenberg
2 May 1819
|In 1803 became Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg.|
|Louis Augustus Karl Frederick Emil||20 September 1802||1812-1818||18 December 1818||Anhalt-Köthen|| Louise Charlotte of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg |
26 July 1763
|Died as a minor, never ruled by his own.|
|Frederick Ferdinand||25 June 1769||1818-1830||23 August 1830||Anhalt-Köthen|| Maria Dorothea Henriette Louise of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck |
26 July 1763
Lindenau bei Heiligenbeil
Julie of Brandenburg
20 May 1816
|From the Anhalt-Pless line, cousin of his predecessor. Attempted, with no success, to reinstall Catholicism in his duchy.|
|Henry V||30 July 1778||1830-1847||23 November 1847||Anhalt-Köthen|| Auguste Fredericka Espérance Reuss of Köstritz |
18 May 1819
|Left no descendants. His lands were inherited by Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau.|
|Definitively annexed to the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau|
|Alexander Charles||2 March 1805||1834-1863||19 August 1863||Anhalt-Bernburg|| Friederike of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg |
30 October 1834
|Left no male descendants. Bernburg reverted to Anhalt-Dessau.|
|Definitively annexed to the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau|
|Leopold IV Frederick||1 October 1794||1817-1863||22 May 1871||Anhalt-Dessau|| Frederica Wilhelmina of Prussia |
18 April 1818
|Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, ended the regency in Kothen after his cousin's death (1818). In 1863 he reunites Anhalt under his rule, and becomes its first duke.|
|Frederick I||29 April 1831||1871-1904||24 January 1904||Anhalt|| Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg |
22 April 1854
|Frederick II||19 August 1856||1904-1918||21 April 1918||Anhalt|| Marie of Baden |
2 July 1889
|Left no descendants. He was succeeded by his brother.|
|Edward||18 April 1861||1918||13 September 1918||Anhalt|| Louise Charlotte of Saxe-Altenburg |
6 February 1895
(annulled 26 January 1918)
|Brother of his predecessor. Ruled 18 April to 13 September.|
|Joachim Ernest II||11 January 1901||1918||18 February 1947||Anhalt|| Elisabeth Strickrodt |
3 March 1927
(morganatic, annulled 1929)
Edda-Charlotte von Stephani-Marwitz
15 October 1929
|Ruled 13 September to 12 November. Monarchy abolished in that year.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Anhalt .|
The House of Ascania is a dynasty of German rulers. It is also known as the House of Anhalt, which refers to its longest-held possession, Anhalt.
The Duchy of Anhalt was a historical German duchy. The duchy was located between the Harz Mountains in the west and the river Elbe and beyond to the Fläming Heath in the east. The territory was once ruled by the House of Ascania, and is now part of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.
The history of Saxony-Anhalt began with Old Saxony, which was conquered by Charlemagne in 804 and transformed into the Duchy of Saxony within the Carolingian Empire. Saxony went on to become one of the so-called stem duchies of the German Kingdom and subsequently the Holy Roman Empire which formed out of the eastern partition of the Carolingian Empire. The duchy grew to become a powerful state within the empire, ruling over much of what is now northern Germany, but following conflicts with the emperor it was partitioned into numerous minor states around the end of the 12th century.
The Duchy of Saxony was originally the area settled by the Saxons in the late Early Middle Ages, when they were subdued by Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars from 772 and incorporated into the Carolingian Empire (Francia) by 804. Upon the 843 Treaty of Verdun, Saxony was one of the five German stem duchies of East Francia; Duke Henry the Fowler was elected German king in 919.
Köthen was a district (Kreis) in the middle of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Neighboring districts were Anhalt-Zerbst, Schönebeck, Anhalt-Zerbst, the district-free city Dessau, Bitterfeld, Saalkreis and Bernburg.
Zerbst is a town in the district of Anhalt-Bitterfeld, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Until an administrative reform in 2007, Zerbst was the capital of the former Anhalt-Zerbst district.
Ballenstedt is a town in the Harz district, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
Anhalt-Dessau was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire and later a duchy of the German Confederation. Ruled by the House of Ascania, it was created in 1396 following the partition of the Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst, and finally merged into the re-united Duchy of Anhalt in 1863. The capital of the state was Dessau in present-day Saxony-Anhalt.
Anhalt-Köthen was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the House of Ascania. It was created in 1396 when the Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst was partitioned between Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen. The first creation lasted until 1562, when it fell to Prince Joachim Ernest of Anhalt-Zerbst, who merged it into the reunited Principality of Anhalt.
Anhalt-Bernburg was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire and a duchy of the German Confederation ruled by the House of Ascania with its residence at Bernburg in present-day Saxony-Anhalt. It emerged as a subdivision from the Principality of Anhalt from 1252 until 1468, when it fell to the Ascanian principality of Anhalt-Dessau. Recreated in 1603, Anhalt-Bernburg finally merged into the re-unified Duchy of Anhalt upon the extinction of the line in 1863.
Falkenstein/Harz is a town in the Harz district, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was created in 2002 by merging the town of Ermsleben with the former municipalities of Endorf, Meisdorf, Neuplatendorf, Pansfelde, Reinstedt und Wieserode. The new community was named after Falkenstein Castle.
The Duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg was a medieval duchy of the Holy Roman Empire centered at Wittenberg, which emerged after the dissolution of the stem duchy of Saxony. The Ascanian dukes prevailed in obtaining the Saxon electoral dignity until their duchy was finally elevated to the Electorate of Saxony by the Golden Bull of 1356.
Anhalt-Aschersleben was a short-lived principality of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the House of Ascania with its residence at Aschersleben in present-day Saxony-Anhalt. It emerged as a subdivision from the Principality of Anhalt from 1252 to 1315.
Anhalt-Zerbst was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the House of Ascania, with its residence at Zerbst in present-day Saxony-Anhalt. It emerged as a subdivision of the Principality of Anhalt from 1252 until 1396, when it was divided into the principalities of Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen. Recreated in 1544, Anhalt-Zerbst finally was partitioned between Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-Köthen, and Anhalt-Bernburg in 1796 upon the extinction of the line.
Bernhard, a member of the House of Ascania, was Count of Anhalt and Ballenstedt, and Lord of Bernburg through his paternal inheritance. From 1180 he was also Duke of Saxony.
Henry I, a member of the House of Ascania, was Count of Anhalt from 1212 and the first ruling Anhalt prince from 1218 until his death.
Joachim Ernest of Anhalt, was a German prince of the House of Ascania, ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Zerbst from 1551, and from 1570 sole ruler of all the Anhalt lands.
Augustus of Anhalt-Plötzkau, was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the unified principality of Anhalt. From 1603, he was ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Plötzkau.
The Schwabengau was an early medieval shire (Gau) in the Eastphalia region of the medieval Duchy of Saxony. Ruled by the House of Ascania, it became the nucleus of the later Principality of Anhalt, today part of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
The Köthen–Aschersleben railway is one of the oldest railway lines in Germany, with its eastern half opened in 1846. It forms an east-west link in the state of Saxony-Anhalt and connects several major towns.