Principality of Grubenhagen

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Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Principality of Grubenhagen
coat of arms
Coa fam ITA braunschweig-grubenhagen.jpg

Arose from 1291 Division of the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg
Today's region / s DE-NI

Reichskreis Lower Saxon
Capitals / residences Heldenburg ( Einbeck )
Dynasties Guelphs
Language / n Low German , German

Incorporated into from 1596: Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel
from 1617: Principality of Lüneburg

The principality of Grubenhagen was a sub-principality of the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg that was created in 1291 on the territory of what is now the German state of Lower Saxony. The ruling dynasty was the Guelph family .


The rulership, which was divided into two separate parts, lay on the one hand between the northwestern edge of the Solling and the Leine near Salzderhelden and on the other in the southern Upper Harz and the southwestern Harz foreland north of the Eichsfeld , with the Lower Eichsfeld at times also being part of it . It included Einbeck with the Sankt Alexandri monastery , the Heldenburg , the Grubenhagen Castle , Osterode am Harz , Clausthal , Duderstadt (1366 to Mainz) and Herzberg am Harz with the Herzberg Castle .


Principality of Grubenhagen
Ducatus Brunsvicensis fereque Lunaeburgensis
The Principality of Grubenhagen (" Auf dem Grubenhagen ") on a map of the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg by Joan Blaeu , 1659.

After an inheritance division between the sons of Albrecht I , Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, in 1291 Heinrich the Wonderful received the newly founded principality of Grubenhagen. The principality of Grubenhagen is named after the castle of the same name, the ruins of which are located near Rotenkirchen south of Einbeck . The name Grubenhagen was only created around 1617, the previous name of the principality is unknown. The Grubenhagen Castle that gave the Principality of the name was not a residence. It did not appear as the “house” of the dukes until the early 15th century. Rather, one resided in the Heldenburg . The Grubenhagener Welfen initially only called themselves "Duke of Braunschweig" because of inheritance disputes. The addition "and Lüneburg" as part of the name of the other Guelph lines was only assigned to this line in the 16th century.

Heinrich's descendants, he had eight sons and eight daughters, all had to be looked after appropriately. Heinrich's eldest son, Heinrich of Greece , no longer held undivided rule, which caused him, who also had at least eleven descendants, to have major problems with their proper care. Like many other homeless aristocratic sons of that time, she was drawn to the distance. His son Otto , known as "the Tarentine", successfully hired himself as a condottiere in Italy and eventually became Prince of Taranto .

In total, the Grubenhagen line of the Guelphs had 68 members between 1291 and 1596 in over eight generations. Six of the total of 40 male descendants of Heinrich the Whimsical died early, twelve became clergy, six more went abroad or hired themselves out for foreign masters. The remaining sixteen shared - partly subsequently, partly simultaneously - the rule of the principality of Grubenhagen. They branched out into several lines and the already small Grubenhagener territory was continually divided into smaller and smaller principalities (Osterode, Herzberg, Salzderhelden, Einbeck). As a result, the Grubenhagen princes visibly lost their importance and fell behind their Guelph cousins ​​in Wolfenbüttel and Lüneburg .

With the death of Philip II , the youngest son of Philip I , in 1596, the Grubenhagen line died out. The Principality of Grubenhagen was then occupied by Duke Heinrich Julius from Wolfenbüttel . The Lüneburg line of the Welfs protested against the annexation to Wolfenbüttel and in 1617 won the right at the Imperial Court of Justice. Heinrich Julius' son, Duke Friedrich Ulrich , had to transfer the Grubenhagen inheritance to Christian the Elder , Prince of Lüneburg .

Family tree of the ruling dukes of the principality of Grubenhagen

Heinrich der Wunderliche
* 1267, † 1322
ruled 1291–1322
Henry of Greece
* around 1289, † 1351
ruled 1311, 1322–1351
Ernst I
* around 1297, † 1361
ruled 1322–1361
Wilhelm I
* around 1298, † 1360
ruled 1322–1360
Johann (clergyman)
* around 1300, † 1367
co-regent 1322–1325
Albrecht I
* around 1339, † 1383
ruled 1361–1383
Johann (clergyman)
* around 1340, † 1401
co-regent 1361–1364
Ernst (Abbot)
* around 1346, † around 1401
1383 claims to co-regency
1384 maintenance payments
* around 1350, † 1421
Guardian 1383–1398
Senior 1402–1421
* around 1383, † 1427
ruled 1398–1427
* around 1396, † 1452
co-regent 1404–1421
guardian 1427–1437
Henry III.
* around 1416, † 1464
ruled 1437–1464
* around 1418, † 1466
co-regent 1441
later clergyman
Albrecht (II.)
* Around 1419, † 1485
co-regent from 1441
Heinrich IV.
* Around 1460, † 1526
ruled 1478–1526
Philip I
* around 1476, † 1551
ruled 1496–1551
* 1478, † 1532
clergyman with a share in the rule
Ernst III. (IV.)
* Around 1518, † 1567
ruled 1551–1567
* around 1526, † 1557
* 1531, † 1595
ruled 1567–1595
Philip II.
* 1533, † 1596
1558 maintenance payments, ruled 1595–1596

Historic landscape

The coat of arms of the Calenberg-Grubenhagen landscape on a building in the city center of Göttingen

The Calenberg-Grubenhagensche landscape with its administrative headquarters in the House of the Stock Exchange in Hanover still exists today . The coat of arms can be found on a building in downtown Göttingen opposite the St. Johannis Church.


  • Wilhelm Havemann: History of the Lands Braunschweig and Lüneburg. 3 volumes. Emphasis. Hirschheydt, Hannover 1974/75, ISBN 3-7777-0843-7 (original edition: Verlag der Dietrich'schen Buchhandlung, Göttingen 1853-1857)
  • Hans Patze (Gre.): History of Lower Saxony. 7 volumes. Hahnsche Buchhandlung, Hanover 1977- (Publications of the Historical Commission for Lower Saxony and Bremen, 36) (publisher's overview ( memento of March 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive ))
  • Paul Zimmermann, The Braunschweig-Grubenhagen House , Wolfenbüttel 1911
  • Georg Max: The history of the principality of Grubenhagen. 1st part Schmorl Hannover 1862

Web links

Commons : Fürstentum Grubenhagen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files