Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen

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Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen
coat of arms flag
Coat of arms of Saxony-Meiningen Flag of Saxony-Meiningen
Situation in the German Reich
Location of Sachsen-Meiningen in the German Empire
State capital Meiningen
Form of government monarchy
Head of state duke
dynasty Ernestiner
Consist 1680-1918
surface 2468 km²
Residents 278,762 (1910)
Population density 113 inhabitants / km²
Arose from Saxe-Gotha
Incorporated into Free State of Saxony-Meiningen
anthem Meininger Hymne
("Brothers sings with a loud sound of joy ...")
Votes in the Federal Council 1 vote
License Plate SM
Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen

Saxony-Meiningen was an Ernestine duchy in what is now Thuringia , which was created in 1680 when the duchy of Saxony-Gotha was divided under the sons of Duke Ernst I of Saxony-Gotha (1601–1675). In 1867 Sachsen-Meiningen became a federal state in the North German Confederation and in 1871 in the German Empire .


1680 to 1826

Elisabethenburg Palace , 1682–1918 residence of the Dukes of Saxe-Meiningen
Saxony-Meiningen (around 1680)

When the Duchy of Saxony-Gotha- Altenburg was divided up in 1680, the third oldest son, Bernhard I , was awarded the former Henneberg offices of Meiningen , Maßfeld , Wasungen , Sand and Frauenbreitungen as well as the Saxon-Wettin offices of Salzungen and Altenstein with the Liebenstein court . From this he formed the new principality of Saxony-Meiningen and was the founder of the House of Saxony-Meiningen . As with the older brothers, Duke Friedrich von Sachsen-Gotha and Duke Albrecht von Sachsen-Coburg , Sachsen-Meiningen received full state sovereignty in the imperial association.

With the extinction of the Sachsen-Coburg lines in 1699 and Sachsen-Römhild in 1710, the territory of the principality was significantly enlarged after long and sometimes armed conflicts ( Themar war ). In 1735 the Neuhaus office and the Sonneberg court were awarded by Sachsen-Coburg and in 1753 two thirds of the rule of Römhild Sachsen-Meiningen. The state was now called Sachsen-Meiningen-Coburg from 1735-1826 . Sachsen-Meiningen had already acquired half of Sachsen-Hildburghausen in 1723 and also the Schaumbergian half of the Schalkau office in 1729 and the Schaumbergian judicial district of Rauenstein in 1732. From 1742 to 1826, the Sonneberg court was transformed into a Sonneberg office, which, together with the offices of Schalkau and Neuhaus and the Rauenstein court, was spatially separated from the core area around Meiningen by the Duchy of Saxony-Hildburghausen . The name “ Meininger Oberland ” became established for this area . The core area around the residential city of Meiningen was now called " Meininger Unterland ". Until 1806 the offices of Meiningen , Maßfeld , Wasungen , Sand , Frauenbreitungen and Salzungen were part of the Franconian Empire .

1826 to 1866

The last reorganization and change of territory of the Ernestine duchies took place after the Saxon-Gotha-Altenburg line died out in 1826 through the Hildburghausen Partition Treaty . Except for the offices of Königsberg and Sonnefeld , Sachsen-Meiningen received all of Sachsen-Hildburghausen , the offices of Saalfeld , Graefenthal and Themar (previously to Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld ), Camburg with 15 places of the Eisenberg district office , Kranichfeld and 1/3 of the Römhild office ( previously awarded to Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg). Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld received the offices of Sonnefeld and Königsberg and the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha , which was administered as the dual duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha . Duke Friedrich von Sachsen-Hildburghausen was compensated with Sachsen-Altenburg .

Saxony-Meiningen had been a member of the German Confederation since 1815 . The Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen was awarded in 1829 a constitution and from country stands united Meininger parliament , which was composed of 24 parliamentary deputies. In 1833 the Duchy became a member of the German Customs Union in the Customs and Trade Association of the Thuringian States .

1866 to 1918

In the German War of 1866, Sachsen-Meiningen sided with Austria , so a Prussian declaration of war was made on July 11th. After the defeat of Austria and the later exit from the German Confederation on July 26th, Duke Bernhard II applied for admission to the North German Confederation . This was only promised to him under the condition of abdication in favor of his son Georg II, who was then friendly to Prussia . After lengthy negotiations about a dispute agreement with his son, the duke finally abdicated on September 20 after a Prussian infantry regiment moved into Meiningen in favor of the Hereditary Prince Georg. A peace treaty was concluded on October 8th, which only made it possible to join the North German Confederation against the definitive cession of the controversial village of Abtlöbnitz near Camburg, without further war compensation.

In 1871 the duchy became a member of the German Empire , which replaced the North German Confederation. In the Bundesrat in Berlin, it was represented by the Kingdom of Bavaria and not, like most other Thuringian states, by the Grand Duchy of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach .

The ducal residence and state capital was today's district town of Meiningen ( district of Schmalkalden-Meiningen ) with the Elisabethenburg residence . The most famous and most used summer residence of the Meiningen dukes was in Altenstein Castle in Bad Liebenstein. Other residences were the Veste Heldburg , the Landsberg Castle and the Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo on Lake Como .

After the Duke's abdication in 1918, the Duchy became the Free State of Saxony-Meiningen , which was incorporated into the State of Thuringia in 1920.

coat of arms

Blazon : The coat of arms is divided five times and split twice with a central shield on the fifth and eighth field. In the fields:

  • Heart shield (field 5): Divided nine times by black and gold. (Main coat of arms of the Wettins , Ernestine line and small state coat of arms of Saxony-Meiningen)
  • Field 1: In blue a lion with a gold crown, divided seven times by silver and red. ( Landgraviate of Thuringia )
  • Field 2: In red a golden lily reel with eight lilies, covered with a white heart sign. ( Duchy of Kleve , inheritance claim)
  • Field 3: In gold, a black lion. ( Duchy of Jülich , inheritance claim)
  • Field 4: In gold, a black lion. ( Margraviate of Meissen )
  • Field 5: occupied by the center shield
  • Field 6: In silver, a gold-crowned red lion with a double tail. ( Duchy of Berg , inheritance claim)
  • Field 7: In blue a gold crowned golden eagle. ( Pfalzgrafschaft Saxony )
  • Field 8: Two blue posts in gold. ( Margraviate Landsberg )
  • Field 9: In black a golden eagle (Pfalzgrafschaft Thuringia)
  • Field 10: In the field sprinkled with ten red hearts, a black lion with a red crown. ( County of Orlamünde )
  • Field 11: Three blue bars in silver. (Lordship of Eisenberg in the Stadtroda district).
  • Field 12: Split of silver and blue, occupied by a gold crowned lion in mistaken tincture. ( Principality of Lichtenberg in the Palatinate)
  • Field 13: In silver, a red rose with a golden clasp and green sepals. ( Burggrafschaft Altenburg in Thuringia)
  • Field 14: Red. ( Regalienfeld )
  • Field 15: Three red sea leaves in silver (2: 1). (County of Brehna in the Bitterfeld district)
  • Field 16: In gold, a bar cut 21 times in three rows of silver and red. ( County of Mark in Westphalia, inheritance claim)
  • Field 17: In the divided field on the right in gold on a green three-hill a black rooster with a red comb, on the left in red a silver column with a gold crown on it. (Right: Fürstete Grafschaft Henneberg - Left: Römhild in the Hildburghausen district)
  • Field 18: Three red rafters in silver. ( County of Ravensberg in Westphalia, inheritance claim)

Castles of the House of Saxe-Meiningen

Further data

Border stone between Ellingshausen and Rohr
  • Population: 143,933 (1833), 187,957 (1871), 278,762 (1910)
city Resident
Dec. 1, 1833
Meiningen 5,656
Saalfeld 4,358
Hildburghausen 4,229
Poessneck 3,424
Sonneberg 3,347
bad Salzungen 2,804
Ice field 2,769
Wasungen 2,201
city Residents
Dec. 1, 1910
since 1833
Meiningen 17.131 + 203%
Sonneberg 15,878 + 374%
Saalfeld 14,347 + 229%
Poessneck 12,430 + 263%
Hildburghausen 7,708 + 82%
bad Salzungen 5.134 + 83%
Ice field 4,439 + 60%
Wasungen 3,021 + 37%

In addition, in 1910, compared to 1833, the following places were above the 2,000 mark: Steinach municipality (7,557 - 1,928; +292%), Lauscha (5,821 - 911; +539%), Oberlind municipality (3,602 - 864; +317%) ), Community of Schweina (3,533 - 1,357; +160%), city of Themar (2,960 - 1,323; + 124%), city of Camburg (2,846 - 1,530; +86 %), city of Gräfenthal (2,592 - 1,387; +87%), City of Schalkau (2,439 - 977; +150%), municipality of Breitungen (2,290 - 1,545; + 48 %), municipality of Steinheid (2,234 - 639; + 250%), municipality of Judenbach (2,151 - 918; +134%) and city of Lehesten (2,025 - 870; + 133%).

Administrative division

The Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen had been significantly expanded when the estate was divided after the Saxon-Gotha-Altenburg line had expired (1826). The national territory grew from approx. 970 km² to approx. 2400 km². By edict of January 29, 1829 No. 6, there was a division into 12 administrative offices: Meiningen, Salzungen, Sonneberg and Wasungen (for the old stock from before 1826), Eisfeld, Graefenthal, Heldburg, Hildburghausen, Kranichfeld, Römhild, Saalfeld and Camburg ( for the areas acquired during the division of the estate).

These administrative offices were abolished in 1868/69 and their districts were grouped into four districts :

Currency and mail shelf

The duchy joined the Dresden Mint Treaty in 1838 . Two dollars in the Prussian 14-taler monetary standard now corresponded to 3 1 / 2  South German Gulden in 24 1 / 2 -Gulden-feet, which should be considered as common club coin of the "contra end here states". This club coin of "2 Taler = 3 12  Gulden" was legally valid in every Zollverein country - regardless of who the respective issuer of the club coin was. Sachsen-Hildburghausen and Sachsen-Meiningen minted their own coins in the Bavarian Münzfuß (1 guilder to 60 kreuzers to 240 pfennigs). Mints existed in Hildburghausen 1786–1829, in Saalfeld 1828–1846, in Munich 1854–1915. It was only with the introduction of the mark as imperial currency on January 1, 1876 under the law of December 4, 1871, that the fragmentation of the monetary system was lifted.

The Thurn-und-Taxis-Post secured the post office shelf through contracts with the Ernestine duchies:

After Duke Friedrich IV of Gotha and Altenburg died on February 11, 1825, without leaving heirs, the Duchy of Gotha fell to Duke Ernst I of Coburg-Saalfeld in the inheritance distribution plan of November 12, 1826, who transferred Saalfeld to Saxony- Meiningen had to resign. Saxony-Altenburg was also created through the inheritance agreement of November 12, 1826 , when it fell to Duke Friedrich , who ceded Hildburghausen to Meiningen in return. Due to the Lineal-Gradual succession, Duke Bernhard II. Erich Freund raised the claim to the entire inheritance when the line to Gotha and Altenburg died out as a descendant of the second eldest son of Ernst the Pious , but only got the Duchy of Hildburghausen, the Principality of Saalfeld , the county Camburg , the rule Kranichfeld as well as the office Themar and the full sovereignty over Römhild were awarded. Because of the associated new territorial division, some of the contracts had to be renewed. On November 4, 1829 , Duke Bernhard II of Saxony-Meiningen concluded a new feudal mail contract with Prince Maximilian Karl von Thurn und Taxis .

The common administration could already be recognized from the outside by the name, the postal coat of arms and the uniforms, which differed by different collar colors. The name of the post office was: "Herzoglich Meiningische, Fürstlich Thurn und Taxissche Lehenspostexpedition". The postal coat of arms therefore combined both coats of arms, the ducal below and the princely Thurn and Taxissche above. From 1852 to 1866, the Thurn-und-Taxis-Post issued its own postage stamps in two different currencies. Saxony-Meiningen belonged to the southern district with a kreuzer currency. From 1867 the post office shelf passed to Prussia, which - like the North German Confederation - issued postage stamps in kreuzer currency until the Reich currency was introduced in 1876.


The higher regional court in Jena, which is common to all Thuringian states, had jurisdiction . It comprised the four Saxon-Ernestine states, the Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and the two Russian principalities as well as the Prussian districts of Schmalkalden, Schleusingen and Ziegenrück. The duchy had 16 local courts; the district court of Meiningen was responsible for the districts of Meiningen, Hildburghausen and Sonneberg, but also for the Duchy of Coburg and the Prussian districts of Schleusingen and Schmalkalden. The Saalfeld district belonged to the joint district court of Rudolstadt with a jury court in Gera.


The most important garrison town in the duchy was the residential town of Meiningen. From 1718 to 1866 the Meiningen troops were stationed here in several barracks. As a member of the German Confederation , the duchy provided a contingent of 1,150 infantry and formed the 3rd battalion of the reserve division of the armed forces . The infantry formed a battalion and a rifle detachment in five companies. It was not until 1856 that there was an increase to two battalions of four companies.

After the German War , the 2nd Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 32 of the Prussian Army, formed in 1815 from several Landwehr battalions and appointed in 1861, was stationed in Meiningen. There the 1st and 2nd Battalions moved into the main barracks, which were originally built for the Meiningen troops from 1865 to 1867. The III. (Fusilier) battalion was initially based in Kassel . After the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 it was stationed in Hersfeld and from 1895 also in Meiningen. There the battalion moved into the newly built north barracks in Leipziger Strasse. The regiment was disbanded in December 1918.

After the military convention concluded with Prussia on February 4, 1867, the Meiningen troops formed the 6th Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 95 with those from Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha , which belonged to the 11th Prussian Army Corps in Kassel. Its 1st battalion was garrisoned in Gotha , the 2nd battalion in Hildburghausen and the III. Battalion in Coburg.

List of the dukes of Saxe-Meiningen


Duke Georg I of Saxe-Meiningen (1761–1803)
Duke Georg II of Saxony-Meiningen (1826–1914), the "Theater Duke "
Adelheid von Sachsen-Meiningen (1792–1849) , Queen of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover
  • 1680–1706 - Bernhard I (1649–1706), son of Ernst I of Saxe-Gotha
  • 1706–1724 - Ernst Ludwig I (1672–1724), son of Bernhard I
  • 1724–1733 - as guardian of Friedrich Wilhelm and Anton Ulrich, sons of Bernhard I, instead of Ernst Ludwig II. (1709–1729) and Carl Friedrich, sons of Ernst Ludwig I.
  • 1733–1743 - Karl Friedrich (1712–1743), son of Ernst Ludwig I.
  • 1743–1746 - Friedrich Wilhelm (1679–1746), together with his brother Anton Ulrich
  • 1746–1763 - Anton Ulrich (1687–1763), son of Bernhard I
  • 1763–1779 - Regent Charlotte Amalie , second wife of Anton Ulrich, in place of and 1775–1779 under co-reign of son Karl Wilhelm
  • 1779–1782 - Karl Wilhelm August (1754–1782) together with his brother Georg
  • 1782–1803 - Georg I (1761–1803), son of Anton Ulrich
  • 1803–1822 - Regent Louise Eleonore , widow of George I, replacing her son Bernhard II.
  • 1822–1826 - Bernhard II. (1800–1882), son of George I.

After the reorganization, 1826–1918

  • 1826–1866 - Bernhard II. (1800–1882), son of George I.
  • 1866–1914 - George II (1826–1914), son of Bernhard II.
  • 1914–1918 - Bernhard III. (1851–1928), son of George II.

Heads of the House of Saxony-Meiningen

With the November Revolution of 1918, the monarchy was abolished in Germany. Since then the head of the House of Saxony-Meiningen has been referred to as the head of the House of Saxony-Meiningen ; the descendants are named Prinz (essin) von Sachsen-Meiningen Herzog (in) zu Sachsen . The current head of the house is Friedrich-Konrad Prince of Saxony-Meiningen (* 1952), who has represented the house since 1984.

See also


Web links

Commons : Sachsen-Meiningen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ordinance Collection Volume I, pp. 55–68.
  2. ^ "Edict of November 4, 1829, concerning the postal loan relationships and the postal administration"
  3. Jump up ↑ Heinrich Ambros Eckert and Dietrich Monten, Das deutsche Bundesheer, Volume II., Dortmund 1981, p. 15.