Albrecht III. (Saxony-Wittenberg)

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Portrait of Albrecht III. after Johann Agricola 1562
Seal of Albrecht III. of Saxony-Wittenberg

Albrecht III. , called the poor (* around 1375/1380 in Wittenberg ; † before November 12, 1422 ibid), was Duke of Saxony-Wittenberg as well as elector and arch marshal of the Holy Roman Empire . With him died the Wittenberg line of Askanier out.

He should not be confused with his cousin of the same name, Albrecht von Sachsen-Wittenberg, Prince of Lüneburg .


He was the youngest son of Duke and Elector Wenceslaus I of Saxony-Wittenberg from his marriage to Cäcilia von Carrara.

When his father died in 1388, his title and territories initially fell to Albrecht's eldest brother, Rudolf III. Only when he fell victim to a poison attack in 1419 and left no male descendants did Albrecht inherit the duchy of Saxony-Wittenberg, including the electoral dignity. When he ascended the throne, he found a country that had been exhausted by many wars and an empty treasury. Because of this he could hardly afford servants, led a very lonely life and is also called Albrecht the Poor . In order to generate income, he challenged the city of Wittenberg in 1421 for the right to the rent on the market in the city. He got into such a quarrel with the citizens that there was almost an armed clash, as this right had been owned by the city for generations. Finally, the Elector Friedrich von Brandenburg was consulted as an arbitrator. This decided that the behavior of the citizens towards their sovereigns was inappropriate, but granted them market rights under the condition of an apology to the sovereign. In the third year of his reign, the elector died of the consequences of a fire accident in a farmhouse in the Lochauer Heide , where he spent the night hunting with his wife. The fire had come so close that he and his wife were only able to save themselves through a window in their nightgown. Several of his servants perished in the flames. The elector was so shocked by this event that he died a few days later in Wittenberg. He was buried in the local Franciscan chapel.

Since he left no children behind, the Ascan government in Saxony-Wittenberg ended with his death. His duchy of Saxony-Wittenberg and the electoral dignity were granted in 1423 to Friedrich the arguable , Margrave of Meißen, from the House of Wettin .


On January 14, 1420, he married Euphemia (Offka) von Oels , the daughter of Duke Conrad III. from Oels . This marriage remained childless. His widow received the castle in Liebenwerda as a personal property in 1422 and married Prince Georg I of Anhalt-Zerbst in 1432 . She died in 1444.


  • Heinrich Kühne : The Ascanians. From the history of the Saxon-Ascanian dukes and electors of Saxony-Wittenberg (1180-1422). Drei Kastanien Verlag, Wittenberg 1999, ISBN 3933028140 .

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predecessor Office successor
Rudolf III. Elector of Saxony
Friedrich I.