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County of Stolberg-Wernigerode

Grafschaft Stolberg-Wernigerode
Coat of arms
Status State of the Holy Roman Empire (until 1806)
Historical era Middle Ages
  Wernigerode inherited by
     counts of Stolberg
 Partitioned from
 Partitioned to create
 Under Vogterei of
  Awarded to Prussia
Preceded by
Succeeded by
DEU Stolberg (Harz) COA.svg Stolberg-Stolberg
Kingdom of Westphalia Flag of the Kingdom of Westphalia.svg

The County of Stolberg-Wernigerode (German : Grafschaft Stolberg-Wernigerode) was a county of the Holy Roman Empire located in the Harz region around Wernigerode, now part of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was ruled by a branch of the House of Stolberg.



The Counts of Wernigerode had become extinct in 1429 and their lands were inherited through Salic law by the Counts of Stolberg, sovereign counts of the Empire since the early 11th century. On 31 May 1645, the Harz line of Stolberg-Stolberg was divided between a senior Stolberg-Wernigerode line and a junior Stolberg-Stolberg line. Because Wernigerode was heavily damaged by the Thirty Years' War, the Counts of Stolberg-Wernigerode also resided in the castle of Ilsenburg.

Wernigerode Castle WernigerodeCastleWinter.jpg
Wernigerode Castle

The town of Gedern in Hesse, acquired in 1535, became the seat of the cadet branch of Stolberg-Gedern in 1677. This junior line, raised to an imperial principality by Emperor Charles VII of Wittelsbach in 1742, was reacquired by Stolberg-Wernigerode in 1804. The Wernigerode line also re-acquired Stolberg-Schwarza on 14 September 1748.

In 1714, Count Christian Ernest surrendered his military and the fiscal independence of Stolberg-Wernigerode to King Frederick William I of Prussia, although he still maintained subordinated rule over his territories as a count. The county was mediatised in 1807 and made part of the Kingdom of Westphalia. In the 1815 Congress of Vienna, Stolberg-Wernigerode was granted to Prussia, although successive counts retained sovereign rights until 1876. The territory was incorporated into the Prussian Province of Saxony in 1815.

The Counts of Stolberg-Wernigerode were considered Reichsfrei . The children of Fürsten , Fürstinnen and Erbprinzen (Princes and Princesses) zu Stolberg-Wernigerode bore the title of Prince(ss) zu Stolberg-Wernigerode and were styled as Serene Highness. Other members of this line bore the equal title of Graf/Gräfin zu Stolberg-Wernigerode (not to be confused with ordinary Counts) and were styled as Illustrious Highness.

Rulers of Stolberg-Wernigerode

Counts of Stolberg-Wernigerode

Princes of Stolberg-Wernigerode

See also

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    • Köbler, Gerhard (1988). Historisches Lexikon der deutschen Länder (in German). Munich: Verlag C. H. Beck. p. 639. ISBN   3-406-33290-0.
    • Schwineköper, Berent (1987). Handbuch der historischen Stätten Deutschlands, Band 11, Provinz Sachsen/Anhalt (in German). Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner Verlag. p. 644. ISBN   3-520-31402-9.