County Barby

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The County of Barby was an exclave in the Duchy of Magdeburg (later in the Kingdom of Prussia ), a territorial administrative unit of the Electorate of Saxony, which was converted into a kingdom in 1806 . It was connected to the Kurkreis .

Until it was ceded to the Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807, as an imperial county or, after 1746, as a Saxon office, it formed the spatial reference point for the demand for sovereign taxes and compulsory services , for the police , jurisdiction and army successes .

Geographical expansion

The small county of Barby was south of Schönebeck (Elbe) at the confluence of the Saale and Nuthe into the Elbe in the southeast of the Magdeburg Börde . The Beesedau exclave was located far south of the office near Alsleben on the east bank of the Saale between the Principality of Anhalt and the Saalkreis of the Duchy of Magdeburg under Prussian suzerainty.

The county of Barby with the office of Walternienburg and the electoral Saxon office of Gommern to the north formed an exclave of the Electorate of Saxony between the Principality of Anhalt and the Duchy of Magdeburg (later: the Kingdom of Prussia ). Around 1494 the "Grafschaft Barby" comprised the "Amt Barby" in the center, the Amt Mühlingen (Grafschaft Mühlingen) in the west, the Amt Rosenburg in the south and the Amt Walternienburg in the east on the right bank of the Elbe. This area ranged from Großmühlingen in the west, Walternienburg in the east, Rosenburg in the south and Zackmünde in the north. After the division of rule in 1659, only the Barby office remained as "County Barby". Their new border was the Saale to the south and the Elbe or Nuthe (Elbe) to the east.

Today the area of ​​the County of Barby lies in the Salzlandkreis in the center of Saxony-Anhalt . The left Elbe area today largely forms the unified municipality "City of Barby ". Beesedau belongs to the city of Könnern .

Adjacent administrative units

The data refer to the rule after the division of County Barby in 1659.

Duchy of Magdeburg (later: Kingdom of Prussia ) Amt Gommern (Electorate of Saxony, Kingdom of Saxony from 1806) Duchy of Magdeburg (later: Kingdom of Prussia) Principality of Anhalt (exclave Dornburg (Elbe) )
Principality of Anhalt (exclave County Mühlingen ) Neighboring communities Office Walternienburg ( Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst under electoral or royal Saxon suzerainty)
Duchy of Magdeburg (later: Kingdom of Prussia) ( wooden circle ) Duchy of Magdeburg (later: Kingdom of Prussia) ( Office Rosenburg , wood circle )


Creation of the county

The Burgward Barby was mentioned in documents from Emperor Ludwig the Pious of 814 and later in a document from King Otto I in 961. In 974, Emperor Otto II gave the Barby court in the Gau of Northern Thuringia to his sister Mathilde , the abbess of Quedlinburg and Emperor Otto III. confirmed this donation in 999.

Awarded to the Counts of Arnstein-Barby

The abbess of the Quedlinburg monastery enfeoffed the Counts of Arnstein with the rule of Barby. In 1064 the nobles von Barby appeared with Walther, who came from the Arnstein family and first called himself Count von Barby after the new estate .

The nobles of Barby acquired the neighboring county of Mühlingen to the west in 1282 and were now called "Counts of Mühlingen and nobles of Barby". Around 1300, the adjacent rulership of Rosenburg (fiefdom of the Archbishopric of Magdeburg ) with six localities was added, soon after that the Amt Walternienburg (fiefdom of the Quedlinburg Abbey ) with seven localities, east of the Elbe . Also Schoenebeck (until 1372) and the offices Egeln (until 1430) and Wanzleben , such as the rule of Zerbst (to 1307) were temporarily the nobles of Barby.

Feudal rule by the Electors of Saxony

From 973 and 974 the abbess of Quedlinburg was liege mistress of Walternienburg and Barby (von Mühlingen had been since 936). From 1356 the Ascanian electors of Saxony were feudal lords, who were formally enfeoffed by the abbess in 1359. The last Ascanian Elector of Saxony Albrecht III. Although he had transferred the fiefs of Barby and Walternienburg to his Ascanic relatives of the House of Anhalt , they were nevertheless transferred to the Wettins through imperial fief , who became new rulers of the Electorate of Saxony in 1423 after the Ascanian electors died out.

Also the entitlement to the county after the extinction of the male line of the Counts of Barby , which Elector Friedrich II had given the Prince of Anhalt in 1435 , was limited in 1652 by Elector Johann Georg I to the office of Walternienburg .

Elevation to the county and introduction of the Reformation

The rule of Barby was raised to an imperial county by the Roman-German King Maximilian in 1497 . After receipt of this imperial estate shaft , the owner called the county "Counts of Barby and Mühlingen" and sat on the diets on the Westphalian bank.

Under Count Wolfgang I, the Reformation was introduced in the county in 1540 . Wolfgang himself was friends with Luther , and his wife Agnes was also a Mansfeld princess. In the following years the county was divided several times among the descendants. Ultimately, however, there was only one male heir, Count August Ludwig (born 1639).

Division of the county

On October 17, 1659, August Ludwig, the last of the Counts of Barby , died at the age of 20 without an heir. On the basis of family relationships, some rulers at that time derived their (legal) claims (entitlement) to the settled County of Barby, a legal conception that was quite common at the time. August von Sachsen-Weißenfels , who was also the administrator of the Magdeburg Archbishopric , secured entitlement to the Saxon part (Barby and Walternienburg) from the Saxon Elector Johann Georg I in 1652 and from the Magdeburg Cathedral Chapter for the Magdeburg part (Rosenburg ) the county. Despite these measures, after the Earls of Barby died out in 1659, it was divided. The offices of Walternienburg in the east and Mühlingen in the west went to the Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst to satisfy older entitlements , with the office of Walternienburg remaining a fiefdom of the Electorate of Saxony . The offices of Barby and Rosenburg fell as fiefs to the Albertine secondary school principality under Duke August von Sachsen-Weißenfels . In 1679 , the office of Rosenburg in the south was ceded to the Brandenburg Duchy of Magdeburg via intermediate routes.

The county of Barby under the house of Sachsen-Weißenfels

Despite the small territorial area, Barby was of enormous importance to Duke August - he was able to gain access to an imperial estate through the rights of a Count of Barby . The city ​​of Barby, badly devastated by the Thirty Years' War , was restored under Duke August . He took great care of the Bohemian exiles and gave them the desert wasps to settle. In 1680, the only existing county of Barby fell to the Sachsen-Weißenfels-Barby sideline of the House of Sachsen-Weißenfels under August's son Heinrich. In 1688 he converted to the Reformed Church in Dessau and founded a Reformed congregation in Barby, which existed until 1833. The contract signed on October 13, 1723 between Duke Heinrich and Kursachsen brought the recognition of the electoral sovereignty and ended the county’s formal independence.

With Heinrich's son Georg Albert, the Barby line died out in 1739 and the county fell back to the main line of Saxony-Weissenfels . After this line also died out with Johann Adolf II in 1746, Barby came to the Electorate of Saxony , which it remained with until 1807. The administration was led by a magistrate who had his seat in Barby . The Saxon office of Barby was affiliated with the Kurkreis .

The domain office of the Moravian Brethren in Barby

In 1748, Barby Castle, along with the official works, was leased to the Moravian exiles , who set up a theological seminar at the castle. This was later converted into an academic teaching institution and has been called Pedagogy since 1789. The domain office, which the Moravians had given up again, was leased to the Chamber Commissioner Dietze in 1802 with the associated goods and works in Augustusgabe, Marstall, Kolphus, Monplaisir and Zeitz. Because of the war riots, the Moravians moved the pedagogy to Niesky near Görlitz in 1808 and moved more and more to the newly founded town of Gnadau .

Dissolution of County Barby

After Napoléon's victory over Prussia , the West Elbe regions of Prussia were integrated into the Kingdom of Westphalia under Napoléon's brother Jérôme . The Kingdom of Saxony , allied with Napoléon, left the offices of the Burggrafschaft Magdeburg (i.e. the office of Gommern ) and the neighboring county of Barby to Napoléon's brother Jérôme after the Tilsit Peace Treaty in 1807 . This incorporated the areas into the department of the Elbe of his Kingdom of Westphalia . The Beesedau exclave of the County of Barby, however, came to the department of the Saale and was incorporated into the canton of Cönnern .

In 1813 the Prussian conquest of Gommern and the county of Barby took place. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, they were integrated into the Prussian province of Saxony and assigned to the district of Jerichow I (Amt Gommern) and the district of Calbe a./S. (County Barby). Beesedau was integrated into the Prussian Saalkreis . The Walternienburg office, which had previously been lent to the Principality of Anhalt , also fell to the Jerichow I district of the Province of Saxony in 1815. The new Prussian government set up a main customs office in the city of Barby in 1820, which was closed again in 1829. A school teachers' seminar was established in the castle in 1853, and a few years later the provincial blind institution.


The following components belonged to County Barby until the division in 1659:

Associated places

The following places were part of County Barby after the partition of 1659 (Amt Barby):





Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Description of the Saale Department (PDF)
  2. ^ The hall circle in the municipality register 1900
  3. ^ Other information 1766: Peter Findeisen, Dehio, Sachsen-Anhalt I, p. 271