Christian I. (Saxony)

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Representation of Christian on a medal from 1574
Christian I. in armor
Christian I. - Excerpt from the Dresden prince procession

Christian I (born October 29, 1560 in Dresden ; † September 25, 1591 ibid) from the Albertine line of the Wettins was elector of Saxony since 1586 .


Christian was a son of Elector August of Saxony (1526–1586) from his marriage to Anna (1532–1585), daughter of King Christian III. from Denmark . After the death of his older brother Alexander in 1565, Christian became elector prince, he was the only one of his nine brothers to survive his father. Contemporary witnesses described him as talented but completely uneducated. Christian was trained by the Calvinist Christian Schütz , among others , and was involved in his father's government work at an early stage. After the death of his father and the takeover of the government in 1586, Christian showed little interest in state affairs and indulged in amusements, especially hunting and alcohol. So he liked to let his buddies carry him up a mountain while drunk, so that he could race down the slope with his horse at full gallop.

Christian disliked the conflict between Lutheran orthodoxy and the Philippism based on Melanchthon , which had ruled during the reign of his parents. As early as 1585 as co-regent of his father, he passed a law against theological bickering. He also rejected the concord formula initiated by his father . In 1587 Christian called Johann Salmuth to Dresden as court preacher who, among other things, abolished exorcism during baptism . Here Christian's adviser and influential Chancellor Nikolaus Krell was in charge, bringing Saxony closer to Calvinism without, however, officially changing denominations. There was considerable resistance to this cryptocalvinism , supported by Christian's wife Sophie von Brandenburg .

Domestically, Krell's influence asserted itself in the curtailment of the powers of the Privy Council and the estates in government affairs. In terms of foreign policy, Christian was dependent on his brother-in-law Johann Kasimir von Simmern . Christian was even convinced that his sister, Johann Kasimir's wife Elisabeth , was planning a murder plot against her husband. With Johann Kasimir Christian concluded an evangelical protection alliance and supported the Protestants in France . However, Christian refused to take command of an auxiliary army to be dispatched.

Christian had a preference for festivals and spectacles of all kinds, especially for jousting games, which is why he had the stable yard in Dresden laid out as a tournament site from 1586 . In addition, under his rule Königstein was expanded as a fortress.

The first survey of Electoral Saxony, the first land survey of Electoral Saxony by the surveyor Matthias Oeder , which began in 1586 under his father, was continued under Christian's reign. After Oeder's death in 1614, Balthasar Zimmermann's work was continued until 1633 and largely completed.

Christian died in Dresden at the age of thirty after a lengthy stomach and intestinal problem. The elector was buried in Freiberg Cathedral .

The eldest, Prince Elector Christian, was barely eight years old when he died. The Dreibrüdertaler minted in the Dresden mint shows the three young princes under the tutelage of Friedrich Wilhelm of Saxony in Weimar and Altenburg

The motto of Christians was: "Fide sed vide" - "maid, but show" or "maid, Look Who".

Marriage and offspring

On April 25, 1582 Christian married Sophie (1568–1622), daughter of Elector Johann Georg von Brandenburg in Dresden , with whom he had the following children:

⚭ 1602 Princess Hedwig of Denmark (1581–1641)
⚭ 1604 Princess Sibylle Elisabeth of Württemberg (1584–1606)
⚭ 1607 Princess Magdalena Sibylle of Prussia (1586–1659)
  • Anna Sabine (* / † 1586)
  • Sophie (1587-1635)
⚭ 1610 Duke Franz I of Pomerania-Stettin (1577–1620)
  • Elisabeth (1588–1589)
  • August (1589-1615)
⚭ 1612 Princess Elisabeth of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1593–1650)
  • Dorothea (1591–1617), Abbess of Quedlinburg


Pedigree of Christian I of Saxony

Friedrich II. (1412–1464)
⚭ 1431
Margaretha of Austria (1416–1486)

George of Podebrady (1420–1471)
⚭ 1441
Kunigunde von Sternberg (1425–1449)

Heinrich IV of Mecklenburg (1417–1477)
⚭ 1432
Dorothea of ​​Brandenburg (1420–1491)

Erichs II of Pommern-Wolgast (1425–1474)
⚭ 1451
Sophia of Pommern-Stolp

Christian I (1426–1481)
⚭ 1449
Dorothea of ​​Brandenburg (1430–1495)

Johann Cicero of Brandenburg (1455–1499)
⚭ 1476
Margaret of Saxony (1449–1501)

Johann IV of Saxony-Lauenburg (1439–1507)
⚭ 1464
Dorothea of ​​Brandenburg (1446–1519)

Heinrich I of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1463–1514)
⚭ 1486
Catherine of Pomerania

Great grandparents

Duke Albrecht the Courageous (1443–1500)
⚭ 1464
Sidonia of Bohemia (1449–1510)

Duke Magnus II (1441–1503)
⚭ 1478
Sophie of Pomerania (1460–1504)

King Friedrich I (1471–1533)
⚭ 1502
Anna of Brandenburg (1487–1514)

Duke Magnus I of Saxony-Lauenburg (1470–1543)
⚭ 1509
Katharina von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1488–1563)


Duke Heinrich the Pious (1473–1541)
⚭ 1512
Catherine of Mecklenburg (1487–1561)

King Christian III (1503–1559)
⚭ 1525
Dorothea von Sachsen-Lauenburg (1511–1571)


Elector August of Saxony (1526–1586)
⚭ 1548
Anna of Denmark (1532–1585)

Christian I of Saxony


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Thomas Nicklas: The rulers of Saxony . Ed .: Frank-Lothar Kroll. 2nd Edition. Verlag CH Beck, ISBN 978-3-406-65166-3 , p. 127 .
  2. ^ Wilhelm Ernst Tentzel: Saxonia Numismatica ... (1714), p. 312

Web links

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predecessor Office successor
August Elector of Saxony
Christian II