Saxe-Gotha

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Duchy of Saxe-Gotha

Herzogtum Sachsen-Gotha
1640–1680
Flag
Armoiries Saxe.svg
Coat of arms
SajoniaGotha1.jpg
Thuringia, showing the combined territory of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Altenburg from 1672, before it was again divided in 1680
Status State of the Holy Roman Empire
Capital Gotha
GovernmentPrincipality
Historical era Early modern Europe
 Partitioned from
     Saxe-Weimar
1640
 Acquired half of
     Saxe-Eisenach
 
1644
 Acquired major part
    of Saxe-Altenburg
 
1672
 Partitioned in seven
1680
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Armoiries Saxe.svg Saxe-Weimar
Saxe-Coburg Armoiries Saxe.svg
Saxe-Eisenberg Armoiries Saxe.svg
Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg Armoiries Saxe.svg
Saxe-Hildburghausen Blason Duche de Saxe-Hildbourghausen.svg
Saxe-Meiningen Blason Duche de Saxe-Meiningen.svg
Saxe-Römhild Armoiries Saxe.svg
Saxe-Saalfeld Armoiries Saxe.svg

Saxe-Gotha (German : Sachsen-Gotha) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch of the Wettin dynasty in the former Landgraviate of Thuringia. The ducal residence was erected at Gotha.

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.

Ernestine duchies duchy

The Ernestine duchies, also known as the Saxon duchies, were a changing number of small states that were largely located in the present-day German state of Thuringia and governed by dukes of the Ernestine line of the House of Wettin.

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.

Contents

History

Gotha: Schloss Friedenstein Schloss Friedenstein Gotha.JPG
Gotha: Schloss Friedenstein

The duchy was established in 1640, when Duke Wilhelm von Saxe-Weimar created a subdivision for his younger brother Ernest I the Pious. Duke Ernest took his residence at Gotha, where he had Schloss Friedenstein built between 1643 and 1654. At the same time, the Duchy of Saxe-Eisenach was created for the third brother Albert IV.

Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha Duke of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Altenburg

Ernest I, called "Ernest The Pious", was a duke of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Altenburg. The duchies were later merged into Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.

Saxe-Eisenach duchy in Central Europe until 1809

Saxe-Eisenach was an Ernestine duchy ruled by the Saxon House of Wettin. The state intermittently existed at three different times in the Thuringian region of the Holy Roman Empire. The chief town and capital of all three duchies was Eisenach.

Albert IV, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach Duke of Saxe-Eisenach

Albrecht, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach, was a ruler of the duchy of Saxe-Eisenach. He was the seventh son of Johann, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and Dorothea Maria of Anhalt. His regnal name Albert IV derives from the numbering of the duchy of Saxony as a whole, not specifically to the succession in Saxe-Eisenach.

Nevertheless, Albert died in 1644, and Ernest inherited large parts of his duchy, though not the core territory around the residence at Eisenach and the Wartburg, which fell to his elder brother Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar. Ernest could also incorporate several remaining estates of the extinct House of Henneberg in 1660, which had been vacant since 1583. Finally in 1672 he received the major part of Saxe-Altenburg through his wife Elisabeth Sophie, after Altenburg's last duke Frederick William III had died without heirs. Ernest would then be called Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.

Eisenach Place in Thuringia, Germany

Eisenach is a town in Thuringia, Germany with 42,000 inhabitants, located 50 kilometres west of Erfurt, 70 km southeast of Kassel and 150 km northeast of Frankfurt. It is the main urban centre of western Thuringia and bordering northeastern Hessian regions, situated near the former Inner German border. A major attraction is Wartburg castle, which has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1999.

Wartburg castle in Eisenach, Germany

The Wartburg is a castle originally built in the Middle Ages. It is situated on a precipice of 410 meters (1,350 ft) to the southwest of and overlooking the town of Eisenach, in the state of Thuringia, Germany. In 1999, UNESCO added Wartburg Castle to the World Heritage List. It was the home of St. Elisabeth of Hungary, the place where Martin Luther translated the New Testament of the Bible into German, the site of the Wartburg festival of 1817 and the supposed setting for the possibly legendary Sängerkrieg. It was an important inspiration for Ludwig II when he decided to build Neuschwanstein Castle. Wartburg is the most-visited tourist attraction in Thuringia after Weimar. Although the castle today still contains substantial original structures from the 12th through 15th centuries, much of the interior dates back only to the 19th century.

House of Henneberg noble family

Henneberg was a medieval German comital family (Grafen) which from the 11th century onwards held large territories in the Duchy of Franconia. Their county was raised to a princely county in 1310.

When Ernest died in 1675, he left his seven sons a significantly enlarged territory. The eldest, Frederick I at first ruled jointly with his brothers until in 1680 the duchy was divided. The area around Gotha and also Altenburg passed to Frederick I, who retained the title of a Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. For later history of the duchy, see Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.

Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg First Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, was a duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. He was the fourth but eldest surviving son of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Altenburg and Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg.

Altenburg Place in Thuringia, Germany

Altenburg is a city in Thuringia, Germany, located 40 kilometres south of Leipzig, 90 kilometres west of Dresden and 100 kilometres east of Erfurt. It is the capital of the Altenburger Land district and part of a polycentric old-industrial textile and metal production region between Gera, Zwickau and Chemnitz with more than 1 million inhabitants, while the city itself has a population of 33,000. Today, the city and its rural county is part of the Central German Metropolitan Region.

Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was a duchy ruled by the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in today's Thuringia, Germany. The extinction of the line in 1825 led to a major re-organisation of the Thuringian states.

Dukes of Saxe-Gotha

Albert V, Duke of Saxe-Coburg duke of Saxe-Coburg

Albert V was a duke of Saxe-Coburg.

Saxe-Coburg

Saxe-Coburg was a duchy held by the Ernestine branch of the Wettin dynasty in today's Bavaria, Germany.

Bernhard I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen duke of Saxe-Meiningen

Bernhard I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen was a duke of Saxe-Meiningen.

When the house of Saxe-Gotha and Altenburg became extinct in 1825, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was split. Saxe-Gotha passed to the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld who in turn gave Saalfeld to Saxe-Meiningen. The Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen received Saxe-Altenburg, and gave the district of Hildburghausen to Saxe-Meiningen.

After the abolition of German monarchies at the end of the First World War it became a part of the newly created state of Thuringia in 1920.

Related Research Articles

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha collective name for the duchies of Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Gotha in Germany

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was an Ernestine duchy ruled by a branch of the House of Wettin, consisting of territories in the present-day states of Bavaria and Thuringia in Germany. It lasted from 1826 to 1918. In November 1918, Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was forced to abdicate. Saxe (Gotha) was subsequently merged into Thuringia whereas Coburg merged into Bavaria.

Saxe-Altenburg duchy

Saxe-Altenburg was one of the Saxon duchies held by the 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 1323 square kilometers and a population of 207,000 (1905) of whom about one fifth resided in the capital, Altenburg. The territory of the duchy consisted of two non-contiguous territories separated by land belonging to the Principality of Reuss. Its economy was based on agriculture, forestry, and small industry. The state had a constitutional monarchical form of government with a parliament composed of thirty members chosen by male taxpayers over 25 years of age.

Saalfeld Place in Thuringia, Germany

Saalfeld is a town in Germany, capital of the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district of Thuringia. It is best known internationally as the ancestral seat of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha branch of the Saxon House of Wettin, which was renamed the House of Windsor during their British reign in 1917.

Saxe-Hildburghausen

Saxe-Hildburghausen was an Ernestine duchy in the southern side of the present State of Thuringia in Germany. It existed from 1680 to 1826 but its name and borders are currently used by the District of Hildburghausen.

Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was one of the Saxon Duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin Dynasty. Established in 1699, the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield line lasted until the reshuffle of the Ernestine territories that occurred following the extinction of the Saxe-Gotha line in 1825, in which the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld line received Gotha, but lost Saalfeld to Saxe-Meiningen.

Saxe-Weimar duchy

Saxe-Weimar was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch of the Wettin dynasty in present-day Thuringia. The chief town and capital was Weimar. The Weimar branch was the most genealogically senior extant branch of the House of Wettin.

John Ernest IV, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

Johann Ernest IV, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was a reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.

Princess Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg German princess

Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg, was a princess of Saxe-Altenburg and, by marriage, duchess of Saxe-Gotha.

Coat of arms of Saxony coat of arms

The coat of arms of the present-day German free state of Saxony shows a tenfold horizontally-partitioned (Barry) field of black (Sable) and gold/yellow (Or) stripes, charged with a green (vert) crancelin running from viewer's top-left to bottom-right. Although the crancelin is sometimes shown bent (embowed) like a crown, this is due to artistic license. The coat of arms is also displayed on the state flag of Saxony.

References