Elisabeth of Denmark (1573–1626)

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Princess Elisabeth of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel

Elisabeth of Denmark (born August 25, 1573 in Kolding ; † July 19, 1626 in Braunschweig ) was a Danish princess and by marriage from 1590 to 1613 Duchess of Braunschweig and Lüneburg and Princess of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel .

Lineage, Early Life, and Marriage

Elisabeth was the eldest daughter of the Danish-Norwegian King Friedrich II and his wife Sophie von Mecklenburg . She first grew up with her maternal grandparents in Mecklenburg, but returned to Denmark in 1579. After the death of her father on April 4, 1588, she attended his funeral on the following May 24, together with her widowed mother and siblings at the age of 30. The late king found his final resting place in Roskilde Cathedral .

For Elisabeth, Duke Heinrich Julius of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel was chosen as the future husband . When he traveled to his bride in 1590, he disguised himself as a traveling jeweler, showed Elisabeth his goods and answered her question about the price that she should give him her favor. Initially imprisoned for this insolence, he was only released when his entourage arrived and the incident was cleared up. On April 19, 1590, his wedding to Elisabeth took place at Kronborg Castle . Elisabeth's sister Anna and her husband Jacob VI were also present at this ceremony . of Scotland, who married in Oslo in November 1589 and then traveled to Denmark for a stopover. After their wedding, Elisabeth traveled to Wolfenbüttel with her husband and her mother , while the Scottish royal couple went to Edinburgh .

Duchess of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel

The Duchess Elisabeth, who placed importance on luxurious clothing, was distant from her new subjects and, despite her command of the German language, never found the right contact with them. Their princely residence was Wolfenbüttel. She also lived in Gröningen Castle , which was built for the bishops of Halberstadt. After the death of her mother-in-law Hedwig (1602), Elisabeth often lived in her widow's residence, Schloss Hessen . The metropolis of Braunschweig, on the other hand, closed its gates to both her and her husband.

Elisabeth was in lively correspondence with her brother, the Danish monarch Christian IV . She also devoted herself to expensive plans to embellish her residences, which she gave an elegant character. Meanwhile, her husband stayed longer and longer in Prague and died there in July 1613.

Widowhood and death

Together with her brother Christian IV of Denmark, Elisabeth gained significant influence on the government of her son Friedrich Ulrich , who succeeded his deceased father as Duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel. When Friedrich Ulrich married Anna Sophia von Brandenburg in September 1614, Elisabeth left Wolfenbüttel. Since her son Christian Gröningen became the residence, the dowager duchess, who only had Hesse Castle, was assigned Schöningen as a second residence. She had Sophia Jagiellonica 's conversion of Castle Schöningen into a palace continued, her rooms there were decorated splendidly and King Christian IV was able to receive King Christian IV with dignity on his visit. In 1617 she founded a monastery for penniless noble ladies in Hesse Castle.

In the early phase of the Thirty Years War , Elisabeth took in her niece Elisabeth Stuart for a while at the beginning of 1621 when she came through Wolfenbüttel on her flight from Bohemia to the Netherlands. At the end of her life, the dowager duchess was finally admitted to Braunschweig, where she died on July 19, 1626. Since the city was under siege at the time, Elisabeth's remains were first buried in the Brunswick Cathedral and transferred to the crypt under the Marienkirche in Wolfenbüttel in October 1628 .


King Friedrich I (1471–1533)
King Christian III (1503–1559)
Anna of Brandenburg (1487–1514)
King Friedrich II. (1534–1588)
Magnus I of Saxony-Lauenburg (1470–1543)
Dorothea of ​​Saxony-Lauenburg (1511–1571)
Katharina of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1488–1563)
Elisabeth of Denmark
Albert VII Duke of Mecklenburg , (1486–1547)
Ulrich of Mecklenburg (1527–1603)
Anna of Brandenburg (1507–1567)
Sophie of Mecklenburg (1557–1631)
King Friedrich I (1471–1533)
Elisabeth of Denmark (1524–1586)
Anna of Brandenburg (1487–1514)

As a result of family marriages, King Frederick I of Denmark and his wife Anna of Brandenburg are two great-grandparents of Elisabeth.


Elisabeth and her husband had five sons, several of whom died young, and five daughters:

  • Friedrich Ulrich (born April 5, 1591; † August 11, 1634), Duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel
⚭ 1614 Princess Anna Sophia of Brandenburg (* 1598; † 1659)
⚭ 1607 Prince Ernst Casimir von Nassau-Dietz (* 1573; † 1632)
⚭ 1. 1612 Duke August of Saxony (* 1589; † 1615)
⚭ 2. 1618 Duke Johann Philipp von Sachsen-Altenburg (* 1597; † 1639)
  • Hedwig (born February 19, 1595 - † June 26, 1650)
⚭ 1619 Duke Ulrich of Pomerania (* 1589; † 1622)
  • Dorothea (July 8, 1596 - September 1, 1643)
⚭ 1615 Margrave Christian Wilhelm of Brandenburg (* 1587; † 1665)
  • Heinrich Julius (7 October 1597 - 11 July 1606)
  • Christian (born September 20, 1599 - † June 16, 1626), Bishop of Halberstadt, the great Halberstadt
  • Rudolf (June 15, 1602 - June 13, 1616), Bishop of Halberstadt
  • Heinrich Karl (7 September 1609 - 11 June 1615), Bishop of Halberstadt
  • Anna Auguste (born May 19, 1612 - † February 17, 1673)
⚭ 1638 Count Georg Ludwig von Nassau-Dillenburg (* 1618; † 1656)



  1. ^ Elisabeth E. Kwan, Anna Eunike Röhrig : Women at the court of the Guelphs . P. 36 f.
  2. ^ Elisabeth E. Kwan, Anna Eunike Röhrig: Women at the court of the Guelphs . P. 38 f. and 41 f.
  3. ^ Elisabeth E. Kwan, Anna Eunike Röhrig: Women at the court of the Guelphs . P. 42 f.