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Hidda , officially also called Hitta , (* around 885 in Ostfalen ; † 969 or 970 in Jerusalem ) was an East Westphalian countess and an early medieval Jerusalem pilgrim .


Hidda was the daughter of Count Thietmar († June 1, 932) and Hildegard. Donald C. Jackman considers Hildegard to be a daughter of Glismut and thus a sister of King Konrad I. Hidda would be named after her mother, because the name is the contemporary pet form of women's names beginning with Hild, in Hildegard derived from ahd. Hiltja = Fight and ahd. Gard = shelter, protection. Hidda had two brothers, Siegfried von Merseburg († June 1, 937), the later legate, and Gero († May 20, 965), the later margrave.


After 900 her first son Gero was born by her husband Christian , so that a marriage that already existed at that time can be assumed. Christian was probably a Billunger and already at that time wealthy with Nienburg (Saale) on the border of northern Thuringia and Schwabengau .

In the year 906, Hidda's family and the Liudolfingers were related by marriage to Hidda's cousin Hatheburg von Merseburg through the marriage of Heinrich (later King Heinrich I) . Hidda's father Thietmar, as Heinrich's former tutor, was chosen to be his advisor.

A second son, Thietmar, was born around the year 920 and reached adulthood. There has been much speculation in the history of research about further sons born in between who are said to have died young, or about daughters who married into other noble families, without any clear evidence ever being able to be provided.

Her father died in 932, with the county of North Thuringia going to her brother Gero. After the death of her brother Siegfried in 937, Gero succeeded him as margrave and left the northern Thuringia to her husband Christian, which is now in the old settlements of the Saxons far beyond the new eastern border. On this occasion Christian was also called Graf im Schwabengau, where he had entered into the rights of the Suebian counts, who were initially defeated by the Liudolfingers. As early as 944, Christian transferred the county in Northern Thuringia to his second-born Thietmar, who was still very young at the time, because his first-born Gero had decided on a career as a cleric and in doing so also made it to the important office of Archbishop of Cologne . Christian's county in Schwabengau was also joined by that of the neighboring Serimunt district in 945 , after the ancestral Suebian counts were initially ousted there too.

In 950 her husband Christian died and was probably buried in the former imperial monastery of Ludwig the German of Frose in Swabia, which was founded around 869/870 . This pen had been renewed shortly before 950 by her brother Gero. The Nienburg monastery did not exist until 975.

In 959 her nephew Siegfried, Gero's last son, died childless. Before that, Gero's other son, the deacon Gero, had also died childless. Since this meant that the line of the mighty margrave would die out , the Gernrode memorial monastery was founded , to which the Frose monastery was also subordinate. There was already a holy grave niche in the first building of the Gernroder collegiate church (later expanded into the famous holy grave ). Here the wish of the founder Gero became clear to be buried as close as possible to the Holy Sepulcher in order to participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Gero had made two pilgrimages to Rome, but none to the Holy Land.

Following the same impulse typical of the time, Hidda undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem after the death of her youngest brother in 965, where she fell ill and died in 969 or 970. Her pious wish to be buried as close as possible to Christ was thus very real. She instructed her companions to leave Jerusalem as soon as possible after her burial, which was not long afterwards conquered by the Fatimids, also pillaging the Holy Sepulcher (979). She also wanted her son Gero to erect an altar in her memory in the St. Cäcilien monastery church in Cologne . At that time, Bereswinta was abbess (962–982) of the women's monastery, a daughter of King Heinrich, who had already died in 936. It was not until 965 that Bereswinta's brother Archbishop Brun bequeathed 50 pounds of silver to this pen to complete the church building, so that the church with its new crypt appeared to be a good basis for a memorial site. This Ottonian collegiate church was replaced by a new Hohenstaufen building in the 12th century, so that the Hiddas altar has not been preserved since then.

Dieter Riemer and Ulrich Kuder see Hidda as the founder of the Hitda Codex , after which Gero implemented his mother's foundation posthumously.


Her son Gero donated the Gero Codex around 969 and was elected Archbishop of Cologne in the same year ( confirmed by Emperor Otto I in 970 ). It is unlikely that Hidda found out about this. Gero died on June 28, 976 in the reputation of holiness and was buried in Cologne Cathedral, where he even received a tomb tomb in the St. Stephen's Chapel around 1260 . His feast day as a Catholic saint is June 29th.

Because of his power in several counties, her son Thietmar became margrave of a part of his uncle's area, the northern march, after the death of Margrave Geros in 965. In 970 he succeeded in acquiring the county in Gau Serimunt, and in 976 even the margravates of Meissen and Merseburg. He was not able to hold these many and high offices for long, which made him the main heir to Gero, because he died shortly afterwards in 978 and was buried in the monastery church in Nienburg . Only three years earlier he and his brother, Archbishop Gero of Cologne, had moved the Thankmarsfelde monastery there in the Harz Mountains. Only parts of his extensive possessions went to his only son Gero, while the margravates went back to the Ekkehardiner Gunther von Merseburg . In 993 Gero could at least become Margrave of the Lausitz region .


A daughter of the Lusatian Margrave Hodo I , a close relative of Margrave Gero, born around 970 was named after Hidda .

With the childless margrave (of Lausitz) Hodo II. , Their only male great-great-grandson, their line in the male line died out shortly after 1032, whereupon the genuine Suebian Wettins first acquired his margraviate and in 1089 also the important margraviate of Meissen . This sex subsequently provided the Saxon electors and kings until 1918.

The Schwabengau and the Serimunt district developed into the ancestral land of the genuine Suebian Ascanians , who subsequently owned the Principality of Anhalt (until 1918), the Margraviate of Brandenburg (until 1320) and the Duchy of Saxony (until 1423).

The once so powerful Saxon noble families of the Liudolfinger (Ottonen) and the Billunger, who were related by marriage to Hidda's family, died out as early as 1024 (Ottonen) and then 1106 (Billunger) in the male line.

In Mönchengladbach today, next to the Geropark and pond named after her son Gero Archbishop of Cologne, the "Hittastraße" that borders the park is named after her.



  • Herbert Ludat : On the Elbe and the Oder around the year 1000. Sketches on the politics of the Ottonian Empire and the Slavic powers in Central Europe. Böhlau, Weimar 1995.
  • Lutz Partenheimer : Albrecht the Bear. Founder of the Mark Brandenburg and the Principality of Anhalt. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2001.
  • Ruth Schölkopf: The Saxon Counts 919-1024 (= studies and preparatory work for the Historical Atlas of Lower Saxony. Volume 22). Goettingen 1957


  1. Donald C. Jackman : King Konrad, the last Carolingians and their Saxon relatives. in: Hans-Werner Goetz (Ed.): Konrad I. - On the way to the “German Reich”? Winkler, Bochum 2006, ISBN 3-89911-065-X , pp. 77–92, here p. 90. ( Review ; PDF; 111 kB)