Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

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coat of arms flag
Coat of arms of Saxony-Gotha-Altenburg Flag of Saxony-Gotha-Altenburg until 1815
State capital Gotha
Form of government monarchy
Last chief Duke Friedrich IV.
dynasty Wettiner
Consist 1672 to 1826
Arose from Saxe-Gotha
Incorporated into Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Environment map
Location of Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg in Thuringia

The Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was an Ernestine duchy in what is now the state of Thuringia . In 1806 Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg joined the Rhine Confederation and in 1815 the German Confederation .

The extinction of the dynasty in 1825 led to the division: Saxe-Gotha fell to Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Altenburg came to the Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen , who gave little Hildburghausen to Saxe-Meiningen .

Creation of the duchy

The house of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg can be traced back to Duke Ernst I, the pious of Saxe-Gotha (lived 1601 to 1675). This was a younger son of Duke Johann III. of Saxe-Weimar . In 1640 Ernst the Pious divided up the paternal inheritance with his brothers ( Ernestine division ), Saxe-Gotha was separated from Saxe-Weimar and handed over to Ernst the Pious. In 1672 the ducal family died out in Saxony-Altenburg , the land was then divided between Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Gotha, with Saxe-Gotha receiving the lion's share. This is how the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg came into being, and from that point on the Ernst the Pious family named themselves after their duchy.

In 1680, five years after the death of Ernst the Pious, his children were again divided up (Gotha Main Recess), in which the area was divided into seven duchies. Altenburg and Gotha stuck to it in one hand and the Pious was the oldest son Ernst Friedrich I. awarded. Friedrich kept the offices of Gotha , Tenneberg , Wachsenburg, Ichtershausen , Georgenthal , Black Forest , Reinhardsbrunn , Volkenroda , Oberkranichfeld , Altenburg , Leuchtenburg and Orlamünde when they were divided . The state formed from these offices was called Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg. It consisted of three larger, non-contiguous areas around Gotha, Kahla and Altenburg as well as six smaller exclaves . The Friedenstein Palace, built by his father, continued to serve Friedrich as his residence.

With the death of the childless Duke Christian von Sachsen-Eisenberg in 1707, the Duchy of Sachsen-Eisenberg , which was created in 1680 as a result of the Gotha main recession, became extinct and with its four offices Eisenberg , Camburg , Roda and Ronneburg fell back to Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg.

Extinction and successors

The last two rulers from the Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg family died without a male successor. Duke August had only one daughter, Duke Friedrich IV, who hardly ruled anyway because of illness, died unmarried and childless. After his death protracted inheritance disputes ensued among the other Ernestine princely houses, which were finally resolved by an arbitration award from King Friedrich August I, the Just of Saxony .

Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was divided in 1825/26 ( partition contract to Hildburghausen ), Altenburg fell to the Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen , while Gotha fell to the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld , who had to do without Saalfeld, so the new one The double duchy of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha was created.

Dukes of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

Name, life dates, government dates, married to

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Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Gotha ("Ernst the Pious") received Gotha as the capital of his new duchy in 1640. Since there was no suitable residence in the city , he had the Friedenstein Castle built in Gotha from 1643 to 1654 . From 1677 to 1689, Duke Friedrich I had Friedrichswerth Palace built as a summer residence 13 km northwest of Gotha . Between 1706 and 1744 Altenburg Castle was built by the dukes Friedrich II and Friedrich III. expanded to a castle. While Camburg and Ronneburg remained official residences, Stadtroda Castle , which was rebuilt from 1663 to 1734, temporarily served as a residence for the younger sons of the ruling dukes.


  • Andreas Klinger: The Princely State of Gotha. Rule, denomination and dynasty under Duke Ernst the Pious (= historical studies. Vol. 469). Matthiesen, Husum 2002, ISBN 3-7868-1469-4 .

Web links

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