Balthasar (Thuringia and Meissen)

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Reproduction of a drawing in the Lucas-Cranach-Haus in Gotha on an information board for the construction of the Leinakanal initiated by Balthasar
Landgrave Balthasar fighting the robber barons (fresco by Moritz von Schwind in the Landgrave's room of the Wartburg in Eisenach )

Balthasar von Wettin (born December 21, 1336 in Weißenfels , † May 18, 1406 at the Wartburg near Eisenach ) was Margrave of Meissen and Landgrave of Thuringia from the Wettin family .


Balthasar was born as the second son of Frederick the Serious († 1349). After his father's death he was initially under the tutelage of his older brother Friedrich des Strengen , but then ruled jointly and alternately with him and his younger brother Wilhelm .

He took part on the side of the English King Edward III. participated in the Hundred Years War and was knighted in 1369.

Under Balthasar, the construction of the 29 km long Leina Canal, which is so important for the Gotha water supply, took place in 1366–1369 .

After the death of Frederick the Strict, on November 13, 1382, the brothers Balthasar and Wilhelm as well as their nephews Friedrich the arrogant , Wilhelm the Rich and Georg came to the so-called Chemnitz division , in which Balthasar received the Landgraviate of Thuringia . He leased the Weimar and Langensalza (Salza) mints to these cities for coinage and had the Thuringian Sangerhausen mint built in 1391 . The Meissen groschen of the new mint were the first groschen struck outside the state mint in Freiberg . Here Balthasar was to support the in silver content continuously decreased Grosch currency quality penny, the helmet or Thuringian penny coin , the value of the relationship with the Rhine guilders as 20: had the first

In 1378 Balthasar had the detailed income register of the Wettins drawn up , which listed the taxes of the villages and towns and presented Gotha as one of the richest towns in Thuringia. He had Grimmenstein Castle , the predecessor of Friedenstein Castle, expanded in Gotha , and Tenneberg Castle in Waltershausen .

In several skirmishes with Thuringian counts and knights, Balthasar was able to expand his land holdings, which he had King Wenzel confirm in 1397 .

In his first marriage, Balthasar was married to Margaretha, the daughter of Burgrave Albrecht of Nuremberg , from the spring of 1374 , and after her death was married to Anna of Saxony for the second time . In the government of Thuringia he was followed by his son from his first marriage, Friedrich “the peaceable” .

In honor of Balthasar, a footpath in the Gotha Castle Park was named "Landgraf-Balthasar-Weg".


Individual evidence

  1. Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde (1974), p. 66: Münzverschenkenung

Web links

Commons : Balthasar (Thuringia and Meißen)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files