Waldemar, Margrave of Brandenburg-Stendal

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Margrave of Brandenburg-Stendal

Waldemar Markgraf Unger.JPG

Statue of Waldemar at the Mühlendamm Bridge in Berlin, created in 1894/95 by the sculptor Max Unger, prototype for the early monuments in the Siegesallee
Reign 1308–1319
Bornc. 1280
Died(1319-08-14)14 August 1319
Bärwalde, Brandenburg
Noble family House of Ascania
Spouse(s) Agnes of Brandenburg
Father Conrad, Margrave of Brandenburg-Stendal
Mother Constance of Greater Poland

Waldemar the Great (German : Waldemar der Große; c.1280 14 August 1319), a member of the House of Ascania, was Margrave of Brandenburg-Stendal from 1308 until his death. He became sole ruler of the Margraviate of Brandenburg upon the death of his cousin John V of Brandenburg-Salzwedel in 1317. Waldemar is known as the last in the line of Ascanian margraves starting with Albert the Bear in 1157; he was only succeeded by his minor cousin Henry II, who died one year later.

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.

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.

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.



He was a son of Margrave Conrad of Brandenburg-Stendal and his wife Constance, eldest daughter of the Piast duke Przemysł I of Greater Poland. Waldemar was co-regent from 1302, and succeeded as margrave upon the death of his uncle Otto IV in 1308.

Margrave Conrad I of Brandenburg was a member of the House of Ascania and a co-ruler of Brandenburg.

Constance of Greater Poland was a princess of Greater Poland, a member of the House of Piast, and by marriage a Margravine of Brandenburg–Stendal.

The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland. The first documented Polish monarch was Prince Mieszko I. The Piasts' royal rule in Poland ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir III the Great.

Pomerelia within a map of the State of the Teutonic Order in 1410 Pommerellen.png
Pomerelia within a map of the State of the Teutonic Order in 1410

In 1307 Waldemar signed an agreement with the Swienca family ceding him the lands of Pomerelia (Gdańsk Pomerania), whereafter Brandenburg troops occupied Świecie, Tczew and all strategic locations up to Gdańsk (Danzig). In turn, the Polish king Władysław I called for the support of the Teutonic Knights, and after their takeover of Danzig, Waldemar by the 1309 Treaty of Soldin relinquished his claims on Pomerelia east of the Łeba River to the Teutonic Order for a payment of 10,000 silver Mark. The castle districts Schlawe and Stolp including the Swienca residence of Rügenwalde at first remained with Brandenburg.

The Swienca family was a medieval Pomeranian noble family which held high offices under various political powers in the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp and Pomerelia from the mid-13th to the mid-14th centuries. It is named after its founder, Swienca or Swieca, the elder of two brothers.


Pomerelia, also referred to as Eastern Pomerania or as Danzig Pomerania, is a historical region in northern Poland. Pomerelia lay on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, west of the Vistula river and east of the Łeba river. Its biggest city was Gdańsk. Since 1999 the region has formed the core of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Gdańsk Pomerania is traditionally divided into Kashubia and Kociewie.

Gdańsk Pomerania

For the medieval duchy, see Pomeranian duchies and dukes

In 1312, Waldemar also waged war against Margrave Frederick I of Meissen. Frederick was captured and arrested; to regain his freedom, he had to cede the March of Lusatia as well as the towns of Torgau and Großenhain to Brandenburg and to pay a ransom of 32,000 silver Mark. In the Imperial election of 1314, Waldemar voted for the Wittelsbach candidate Louis IV against his Habsburg rival Frederick the Fair. In 1316, Waldemar again occupied Dresden until the feud with Meissen was finally brought to an end in 1317.

Frederick I, Margrave of Meissen margrave of Meissen and landgrave of Thuringia

Frederick I, called the Brave or the Bitten was Margrave of Meissen and Landgrave of Thuringia.

March of Lusatia

The March or Margraviate of Lusatia was as an eastern border march of the Holy Roman Empire in the lands settled by Polabian Slavs. It arose in 965 in the course of the partition of the vast Marca Geronis. Ruled by several Saxon margravial dynasties, among them the House of Wettin, the lordship was contested by the Polish kings as well as by the Ascanian margraves of Brandenburg. The remaining territory was finally incorporated into the Lands of the Bohemian Crown in 1367.

Torgau Town in Saxony, Germany

Torgau is a town on the banks of the Elbe in northwestern Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district Nordsachsen.

In the ongoing conflict with Prince Henry II of Mecklenburg, Waldemar supported the citizens of Stralsund against an impending Mecklenburg invasion and occupied the Lordship of Stargard, a former possession of Henry's late wife Beatrix of Brandenburg. Thereby, he provoked a large coalition of Mecklenburg, Werle, and the Kingdom of Denmark against him. In August 1316, Waldemar's troops were defeated near Gransee. According to the 1317 Treaty of Templin, the margrave had to surrender Stargard and Neubrandenburg to Mecklenburg. He also had to waive the previous Pomerelian acquisitions of Schlawe and Stolp, which passed to Duke Wartislaw IV of Pomerania.

Henry II, Lord of Mecklenburg, nicknamed the Lion was regent of Mecklenburg from 1287 to 1298, co-regent from 1298 to 1302 and ruled alone again from 1302 to 1329.

Stralsund Place in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Stralsund, is a Hanseatic town in the Pomeranian part of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is located at the Southern coast of the Strelasund, a sound of the Baltic Sea separating the island of Rügen from the mainland.

Lordship of Stargard

The Lordship of Stargard was a county first set up in the 13th century as the terra Stargardiensis and first documented in the area of the border between Brandenburg, Pomerania and Mecklenburg.

In 1319 Waldemar acquired the Silesian towns of Züllichau and Schwiebus.

Duchy of Silesia

The Duchy of Silesia with its capital at Wrocław was a medieval duchy located in the historic Silesian region of Poland. Soon after it was formed under the Piast dynasty in 1138, it fragmented into various Duchies of Silesia. In 1327 the remaining Duchy of Wrocław as well as most other duchies ruled by the Silesian Piasts passed to the Kingdom of Bohemia as Duchies of Silesia. The acquisition was completed, when King Casimir III the Great of Poland renounced his rights to Silesia in the 1335 Treaty of Trentschin.

Sulechów Place in Lubusz, Poland

Sulechów is a town located within the Zielona Góra County, in Lubusz Voivodeship, western Poland. It is the administrative seat of the Gmina Sulechów. Established in the Middle Ages, the town features many historical monuments significant to the Polish Lubusz region.

Świebodzin Place in Lubusz, Poland

Świebodzin is a town in western Poland with 21,757 inhabitants (2004). It is the capital of Świebodzin County. Since the Local Government Reorganization Act of 1998, Świebodzin has been part of Lubusz Voivodeship. It was formerly part of the Zielona Góra Voivodeship (1975–1998).


Statue by Reinhold Begas as part of the Siegesallee, 1900 Siegesallee 08 Waldemar 2.jpg
Statue by Reinhold Begas as part of the Siegesallee, 1900

In 1309 he married his cousin Agnes (c.12961334), a daughter of Margrave Hermann of Brandenburg-Salzwedel. The marriage remained childless.

Waldemar was the last governing member of the Brandenburg line of the Ascanian House. With the death of his cousin John V in 1317, the younger Salzwedel line of the Brandenburg margraves became extinct. From 1318 Waldemar also acted as a guardian for his minor cousin Henry II, Margrave of Brandenburg-Stendal. His advance towards the Prussian lands was resumed more than 200 years later, when both Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia were under the rule of the Hohenzollern dynasty.

After Waldemar's death, his wife Agnes secondly married Duke Otto of Brunswick-Göttingen in December 1319. When Waldemar's ward Henry II died in July 1320, the Brandenburg branch of the Ascanian house died out in 1320. As a reverted fief, the margraviate fell back to the Wittelsbach king Louis IV. In 1323, he enfeoffed his eldest son Louis with Brandenburg, ignoring the claims of the Ascanian princes of Anhalt.

False Waldemar

In 1348, an impostor appeared in the Archbishopric of Magdeburg and successfully claimed that he was Waldemar, returning from pilgrimage to the Holy Land after somebody else had been buried in his place. Quickly gaining support due to the rivalries between the Wittelsbach and Luxembourg dynasties, King Charles IV reinvested him for about two years before "the last Ascanian" was unmasked and fled to the Anhalt court in Dessau, where he spent the rest of his life.


Waldemar, Margrave of Brandenburg-Stendal
Born:c.1280 Died: 14 August 1319
Preceded by
Otto IV
Brandenburg Wappen.svg Margrave of Brandenburg
Succeeded by
Henry II

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