Albrecht Achilles

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Albrecht I of Brandenburg
Signature Albrecht Achilles.PNG
Albrecht Achilles of Brandenburg and his second wife Anna of Saxony

Albrecht von Brandenburg , also known as Albrecht Achilles (born November 9, 1414 in Tangermünde ; † March 11, 1486 in Frankfurt am Main ), from the House of Hohenzollern , was Margrave of Ansbach as Albrecht I from 1440 and Kulmbach from 1464 and later as Albrecht III. Margrave and from 1470 Elector of Brandenburg .

His nickname Achilles goes back to the lawyer and poet Aeneas Sylvius, later Pope Pius II , who called him "the German Achilles " in view of his military successes .


He was the third son of the margrave and elector Friedrich I of Brandenburg from his marriage to Elisabeth von Bayern-Landshut .

In 1434 Albrecht Achilles organized a big tournament in Neustadt an der Aisch , at which the Emperor Sigismund was present (in Neustadt he later resided often and for a long time). Albrecht went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with his brother Johannes in 1435, accompanied by Hans Lochner, his father's personal doctor and travel reporter on this trip to Palestine.

After the death of his father in 1440, he first inherited the principality of Ansbach , while his brothers received the remaining territories. Plans that he had for the revival of the Duchy of Franconia could not be implemented, mainly because of the Nuremberg resistance ( Nuremberg City War or First Margrave War , Bavarian War ). When his eldest brother Johann the Alchemist died in 1464, he inherited the Principality of Kulmbach . When his older brother Friedrich II abdicated in his favor in 1470, his margravate Brandenburg, including the dignity of elector and arch chamberlain of the Holy Roman Empire, also fell to Albrecht. He thus united the entire Franconian and Brandenburg property of the House of Hohenzollern.

Albrecht Achilles is one of the most important princes of his time. He moved in politics both as a war leader and as a diplomat. In 1447, in the spirit of the bishops, he had the Hussite preacher Friedrich Müller, who had already preached successfully in the Sugenheim area (Krautostheim, Ingolstadt) in 1446 , captured and brought to Würzburg. After he had taken over the rule in Brandenburg, he managed to victoriously end the long War of Succession in 1472 and to achieve suzerainty over the entire Duchy of Pomerania .

With the Würzburg bishop Rudolf II von Scherenberg and the Bamberg bishop Philipp von Henneberg there was a battle of strength between secular and spiritual power. After he had refused to pay the Turkish tax and had countered himself by levying a “priest's tax ”, he was banned from church and interdict .

In 1459 he established a southern German branch of the Brandenburg Swan Order .

In 1460 he made Ansbach his residence. From 1457 to 1486 he also ruled from the Plassenburg . In 1469 he took over Triesdorf from the Seckendorff family on Mannlehen. Triesdorf later became the hunting seat of the Margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach.

In 1473 he documented the indivisibility of the Kurmark Brandenburg in the Dispositio Achillea , the Hohenzollern house law. This now fell to the eldest son of the deceased elector. In the same year he handed over the business of government in Brandenburg to Johann Cicero , his eldest son from his first marriage. After his death, his two eldest sons from their second marriage, Friedrich and Siegmund, were to receive his Frankish possessions.

In 1486, despite a serious illness, he took part in the Reichstag in Frankfurt am Main, where Maximilian I was elected king. Under the burdens of the Reichstag, Albrecht Achilles died there on March 11, 1486. ​​On June 19, 1486 he was buried in the monastery church of Heilsbronn . His widow, the Electress Anna of Saxony , moved from Ansbach, where she had initially lived with her son Friedrich, to her widow's seat in Neustadt an der Aisch, determined by Albrecht, and held court there.

Marriages and offspring

Albrecht Achilles was married twice. In 1446 he married Margarete von Baden (* 1431; † October 24, 1457 in Ansbach ), daughter of Margrave Jakob I of Baden . The marriage was not a happy one, however. Margarete died in 1457. The marriage resulted in three sons and three daughters:

In November 1458 he married Anna of Saxony , a daughter of Elector Friedrich II. Of Saxony . With her he had five sons and eight daughters:


Pedigree of Albrecht III. of Brandenburg

Friedrich IV of Nuremberg (1287–1332)

Margaret of Carinthia (1289–1348)

Berthold VII of Henneberg-Schleusingen (1272–1340)

Adelheid of Hesse (1268–1317)

Friedrich I of Meißen (1257–1323)
⚭ 1300
Elisabeth von Lobdeburg-Arnshaugk (1286–1359)

Ludwig IV. (1282–1347)
⚭ 1308
Beatrix von Schlesien-Schweidnitz (1290–1322)

Frederick II of Sicily (1272–1337)
⚭ 1302
Eleanor of Anjou (1289–1341)

Stefano Visconti (1288–1327)
⚭ 1318
Valentina Doria

Mastino II. Della Scala (1308–1351)
⚭ 1323
Taddea of ​​Carrara

Great grandparents

Johann II of Nuremberg (1309–1357)

Elisabeth von Henneberg-Schleusingen (1310–1377)

Friedrich II of Meissen (1310-1349)
⚭ 1328
Mathilde of Bavaria (1313-1346)

Stephan II of Bavaria (1319–1375)
⚭ 1328
Elisabeth of Sicily (1309–1349)

Bernabò Visconti (1323–1385)
Beatrice Regina della Scala (1330–1384)


Burgrave Friedrich V of Nuremberg (1333–1398)
⚭ 1350
Elisabeth of Meißen (1329–1375)

Duke Friedrich of Bavaria-Landshut (1339–1393)
⚭ 1381
Maddalena Visconti (1366–1404)


Elector Friedrich I of Brandenburg (1371–1440)
⚭ 1401
Elisabeth of Bavaria-Landshut (1383–1442)

Elector Albrecht Achilles (1414–1486)

Still image in the Siegesallee

The sculptor Otto Lessing erected a statue of Albrecht Achilles as the central statue for monument group 17 in the Siegesallee , which the Berlin population calls Puppenallee . As minor characters the monument were busts of Werner von der Schulenburg and Ludwig von Eyb the Elder (1417-1502), Erbkämmerer and chronicler of the family Eyb assigned. The monument group was unveiled on August 28, 1900. Lessing's portrayal was largely based on the donor picture of Albrecht from the Swan Order Altar in the Gumpert Church in Ansbach. Lessing also underlined Albrecht's knighthood in the Swan Order with an order chain that Albrecht wears around his neck.


In 1476 he had the following title:

"Wy albrecht von god's grace Marggrave to Brandemborg, the holy Roman Rikes ertzkemerer (and Kurfurste) to Stettin Pomerania, the Cassuben and Wenden Hertzoge, Burggrave zu Noremberg and Furste to Rugen".
(" We Albrecht by the grace of God, Margrave of Brandenburg , Arch-Chamberlain (and Elector ) of the Holy Roman Empire , Duke of Stettin , Pomerania , Duke of the Kashubians and the Wends , Burgrave of Nuremberg , Prince of Rügen ".)


  • Rudolf Zapf: Albrecht Achilles and his relationship to the German Empire . 1868 ( digitized version )
  • Willy Böhm:  Albrecht, Elector of Brandenburg . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 1, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1875, pp. 243-252.
  • Erhard Waldemar Kanter: Margrave Albrecht Achilles of Brandenburg, Burgrave of Nuremberg . Vol. 1 [single volume], Berlin 1911 digitized .
  • Erich Freiherr von Guttenberg:  Albrecht Achilles. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 1, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1953, ISBN 3-428-00182-6 , pp. 161-163 ( digitized version ).
  • Cordula Nolte : family, court and rule. The family relationship and communication network of the imperial princes using the example of the Margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1440 - 1530) . Ostfildern 2005.
  • Gabriel Zeilinger: Group picture with Margrave. Albrecht "Achilles" von Brandenburg (1414-1486), the imperial princes of his time and the question of contemporary and historical prominence , in: Princes at the turn of the ages between group image and individuality. Forms of princely self-representation and their reception (1450-1550) (Residences research, vol. 22), ed. O. eye u. a., Ostfildern 2009, pp. 291–307, with additional literature.
  • Wolfgang Wüst: The Imperial General and Nuremberg Burgrave Margrave Albrecht Achilles of Brandenburg (1414–1486) , in: Yearbook of the Historical Association Dillingen 113 (2012), pp. 151–170 ( online ); concerns: Battle and siege of the north Swabian town of Gundelfingen in the Imperial War of 1462 by the margrave. ISSN  0073-2699 .
  • Mario Müller (Ed.): Elector Albrecht Achilles (1414-1486). Elector of Brandenburg, Burgrave of Nuremberg. (Yearbook of the Historical Association for Middle Franconia, vol. 102), Ansbach 2014. ISSN  0341-9339 . [713 pages of essay volume with 26 articles, family table and itinerary as well as extensive bibliography.]

Web links

Commons : Albert Achilles, Elector of Brandenburg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ADB, p. 243
  2. ^ Max Döllner : History of the development of the city of Neustadt an der Aisch up to 1933. Ph. CW Schmidt, Neustadt ad Aisch 1950. (New edition 1978 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Ph. CW Schmidt Neustadt an der Aisch 1828-1978. ) P. 50 and 298.
  3. ^ Gundolf Keil : Lochner, Hans. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil, Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 859 f.
  4. Max Döllner (1950), p. 90 f. and 192.
  5. ^ Historical Lexicon of Bavaria: Nuremberg, Burgraviate .
  6. Max Döllner (1950), pp. 51 and 166.
  7. Uta Lehnert: The Kaiser and the Siegesallee. Réclame Royale , Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 1998, p. 161 ISBN 3-496-01189-0 .
  8. ^ Georg Wilhelm von Raumer: Codex diplomaticus Brandenburgensis continuatis. Collection of unprinted documents on Brandenburg history. Volume 2, Fr. Nicolaische Buchhandlung, Berlin 1833, No. XXIII 1476, p. 20.
predecessor Office successor
Friedrich I. Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Friedrich V.
Johann Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach
Friedrich II. Elector of Brandenburg
Johann Cicero