Elisabeth of Saxe-Meiningen

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Johann Peter Harburg: Elisabeth Ernestine Antonie von Sachsen-Meiningen, Abbess of Gandersheim, around 1734, painting in the imperial hall of the Gandersheim monastery

Elisabeth Ernestine Antonie von Sachsen-Meiningen (* 3. December 1681 in Meiningen , † 24. December 1766 in gandersheim abbey ) was a Princess of Saxe-Meiningen and from 1713 to 1766 abbess of Imperial free secular realm pin of Gandersheim .


Elisabeth was a daughter of Duke Bernhard I of Saxony-Meiningen and his second wife Elisabeth Eleonore , daughter of the writer and art-loving Duke Anton Ulrich von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel .

Elisabeth spent her childhood and youth at Meininger Hof and developed an early interest in literature and music. She sang and also acted in the theater herself. In 1713 she became abbess of the Protestant imperial monastery in Gandersheim . As a result of her commitment to science and the arts, she created extensive art collections in addition to the library. The pen reached its peak under her reign. She is considered the most important post-Reformation abbess.

Together with the monastery chapter, Elisabeth founded the present monastery library on April 26, 1721 through extensive purchases. She was supported by her chief steward Anton Kroll von Freyhan and numerous donors. In the years 1713–1726 she had a summer palace built with collection and study rooms in Brunshausen . After the monastery was converted into a summer palace, a baroque garden was also created. From 1726 she had the magnificent baroque wing of the abbey built with the imperial hall. The construction was completed in 1736 and testifies to the princely court of Elisabeth.

She had a very close relationship with her brother Duke Anton Ulrich von Sachsen-Meiningen throughout her life, was in lively contact with him, supported him in his disputes with his brothers and was also at his side financially. Anton Ulrich's art and natural history collection in Meiningen was created in close collaboration with Elisabeth Ernestine. Anton Ulrich inherited a large part of his sister's collections, which were transferred to Meiningen after her death.

On Christmas Eve 1766, the elderly abbess died after 53 years in office. Your marble sarcophagus is in the collegiate church of Gandersheim .

See also


  • Martin Hoernes and Hedwig Röckelein (eds.): Gandersheim and Essen. Comparative studies on Saxon women's monasteries , (Essen research on women's monastery, volume 4), Essen (2006)
  • Hannelore Schneider: The Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen under its first dukes, South Thuringian research, issue 27. 300 years of Schloss Elisabethenburg. Meiningen 1994.
  • Kurt Kronenberg : Abbesses of the Reichsstiftes Gandersheim (1981).
  • Hans Goetting : The diocese of Hildesheim 1: The imperial canonical monastery Gandersheim (= Germania Sacra NF 7 ). Berlin / New York 1973, ISBN 978-3-11-004219-1 . Digitized

Web links