Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen

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Painting on oil, 1775

Charlotte, Princess of Saxony-Meiningen (full name Princess Marie Charlotte Amalie Ernestine Wilhelmine Philippine of Saxony-Meiningen ; born September 11, 1751 in Frankfurt am Main ; † April 25, 1827 in Genoa ) was a Duchess of Saxony-Gotha- Altenburg .


Charlotte was born the daughter of Duke Anton Ulrich von Sachsen-Meiningen and his wife Charlotte Amalie , a born princess of Hessen-Philippsthal . On March 21, 1769 she married in Meiningen Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg , who succeeded his father Friedrich III from 1772 . the duchy ruled.

Ernst II was considered an enlightened monarch , a great patron of art and science who led his country to a cultural boom. In these efforts he was supported by Charlotte as much as possible.

Like her husband, the duchess was a patron of astronomy. She calculated auxiliary tables for the court astronomer Franz Xaver von Zach , she also took part in observations and the astronomical congress in 1798 at the Seeberg observatory and corresponded independently with leading astronomers of the time.

After Duke Ernst's death in 1804, difficulties arose with his son and successor, Duke August . Charlotte left Gotha with Zach as chief steward and spent some time in Eisenberg . She later traveled south with Zach, lived for several years in Marseille and later in Genoa, where she died in 1827.


The marriage of Charlotte and Ernst produced four sons, two of whom reached adulthood:

  • Ernst (1770–1779), Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
  • August (1772–1822)
  • Frederick IV (1774-1825)
  • Ludwig (* / † 1777)

Artistic activities

Like many noble ladies of the time, Charlotte was artistically active. She created several musical compositions, copies of which have been preserved in the Barchfeld music collection, which is kept in the Hessian Music Archive in Marburg. These include:

  • three contretances, HA IV 190
  • two minuets for harpsichord, D and G major, HA IV 193
  • Minuet for harpsichord, F major, HA IV 307 - lost

Charlotte's miniatures probably entered the collection through family relationships. Her sister Wilhelmine Luise married Landgrave Adolf von Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld in 1781 .


In the royal seat of Gotha, Charlotte created a permanent memorial for herself by building the tea castle , which was her most popular summer stay. To this day, the pleasure palace located above the orangery in the form of a neo-Gothic chapel reminds of the Duchess.


  • August Beck:  Ernst II. Ludwig, Duke of Saxe-Gotha and Altenburg . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 6, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1877, pp. 308-313.
  • Christoph Köhler, Andreas Klinger, Werner Greiling: Ernst II of Saxony-Gotha-Altenburg . Böhlau, Cologne et al. 2005, ISBN 3-412-19905-2 * Bärbel Raschke: Charlotte Amalie Duchess of Saxony-Meiningen (1730–1801). Life and work in the context of Western European and German Enlightenment. In: Francia 2 . Vol. 25, 1999, ISSN  0937-7743 , pp. 69-103.
  • Ingeborg Titz-Matuszak and Peter Brosche (eds.): The travel diary 1807 of the Duchess Charlotte Amalie of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg . Thuringian State Archives Gotha, Gotha 2003 (= series: Writings of the Thuringian State Archives Gotha . Vol. 1. ISSN  1612-0582 ).
  • Gisa Steguweit: From Gotha to the stars: Charlotte Amalie (1751 - 1827) - Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. quartus-Verlag, 2018 (= PALMBAUM texts series. Kulturgeschichte Vol. 41 ISBN 9783943768961 ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld in the Hessian Music Archive of the University of Marburg, at
  2. ^ Daniela Wissemann-Garbe: Catalog of the music manuscripts of the Hessian Music Archive, Musicological Institute of the Philipps University of Marburg . In: Music manuscripts in Germany. Catalogs of selected collections . tape 11 . Frankfurt am Main and Munich 2014.