Duchy of Bernstadt

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The Duchy of Bernstadt (in Czech Bernštatské knížectví ) was created by outsourcing from the Duchy of Oels . It was initially ruled by the Silesian Piasts . After this branch of the family died out in 1492, in 1495 it came to the Dukes of Münsterberg , who came from the Bohemian noble family Podiebrad, together with the Duchy of Oels . By marriage in 1647 it fell to the dukes of Württemberg . The place of residence was the city of the same name Bernstadt (today Bierutów in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship in Poland).


The area of ​​the Duchy of Bernstadt initially belonged to the Duchy of Oels, which had been a fiefdom of the Crown of Bohemia since 1329 . In 1412 it was outsourced to Duke Conrad IV , who later became Bishop of Breslau. After the Oels branch of the Silesian Piast family died out in 1492, it fell to the Crown of Bohemia as a settled fiefdom. In 1495 the Bohemian King Vladislav II gave it to Heinrich the Elder together with Oels . Ä. von Münsterberg , a son of the Bohemian King George of Podebrady . Due to a lack of money, his sons Bernstadt leased it to the city council of Wroclaw for four years in 1511 , after which they raised it to the seat of a royal seat.

Remains of the residential palace in Bernstadt

From 1542, Duke Heinrich II resided in Bernstadt . He was a supporter of the Reformation , which he also introduced in Bernstadt. The Bernstadt Palace was rebuilt during his reign and the south wing was added. His son of the same name, Heinrich III. sold Bernstadt together with the castle and some villages to the von Schindel family in 1574. Henry III acquired it from her in 1604. Brother, the Silesian governor Karl II. Back. He was succeeded as Duke of Bernstadt in 1617 by his son Heinrich Wenzel , who was inherited by his brother Karl Friedrich in 1639 . With him the Oelser Podiebrad branch died out in 1647. Since his only daughter Elisabeth Maria was married to Silvius Nimrod , Bernstadt and Oels came to the House of Württemberg . Under his sons, the area was divided into three parts in 1673. The Bernstadt sub-area fell to Duke Christian Ulrich I , who initiated the reconstruction of the city after a fire in 1659 and added a third floor to the palace. In 1697 he also took over the Oels area. His son Karl von Juliusburg , who died childless in 1745, was the last Duke of Bernstadt.

As early as 1742, like most of Silesia, the area fell to Prussia after the First Silesian War .


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