Johann Adolf (Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf)

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Duke Johann Adolf

Johann Adolf (born February 27, 1575 at Gottorf Castle ; † March 31, 1616 in Schleswig ) was the first Evangelical Prince-Bishop of Lübeck (1586-1607) and the second Evangelical Elected Archbishop of the Archbishopric of Bremen (1585-1596), as well as Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf (1590-1616).


Johann Adolf was the sixth child and third son of Adolf I of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf and Christine of Hessen . He had a twin sister Anna, who in 1598 became the second wife of Enno III. of East Frisia was.

He was educated at the crypto-calvinist Hessian court of his uncle Wilhelm IV of Hessen-Kassel in Kassel . For his provisions, Caspar Hoyer , his father's advisor, negotiated two bishop's fries for the then eleven-year-old. After the death of his two older brothers Friedrich II (1568–1587) and Philipp (1570–1590), Johann Adolf became Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf at the age of 15. Later he gave both bishoprics to his youngest brother Johann Friedrich . With the support of local and Hessian councilors, Johann Adolf managed to reorganize the Gottorfish state. Together with the Danish King Christian IV , whose sister Augusta he married, he pushed back the influence of the estates in the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein by introducing the primogeniture .

In religious matters, Johann Adolf alienated himself from his wife and brother-in-law through his affection for the more elegant Calvinism of his wife and brother-in-law. After he replaced the Lutheran general superintendent and court preacher Jacob Fabricius with the reformed Philipp Caesar in 1610 , the Lutheran Orthodox Augusta no longer attended the service in the palace chapel, but in the Schleswig Cathedral . As soon as Duke Johann Adolf died in 1616, they achieved the dismissal of Caesar and the reinstatement of Fabricius in his office.

Soon after taking office, Johann Adolf began expanding Gottorf Castle , where he also collected coins and weapons and had a large library built by the librarian Heinrich Lindenbrog . In order to offset the high expenses for his building work and the luxurious life on the farm, he went into debt heavily and had to leave large parts of his land to the lenders as pledge. His mother-in-law, the Danish Queen Sophie , lent him particularly generously . In the offices of Kiel, Bordesholm, Lügumkloster and Aabenraa, which he gave her for a total of 300,000 Reichstaler, she broke with the practice of appointing nobles as bailiffs , a model that Johann Adolf followed, as it saves money on the one hand, and the in Denmark has traditionally been able to curtail very strong influence of the nobility.


On August 30, 1595 in Copenhagen, he married Augusta (April 8, 1580 - February 5, 1639), the daughter of the Danish King Frederick II. Together, the couple had the following children:

  • Friedrich III. (* December 22, 1597 - † August 10, 1659), Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf
  • Elisabeth Sofie (* December 12, 1599 - † November 25, 1627) - married to Duke August von Sachsen-Lauenburg
  • Adolf (September 15, 1600 - September 19, 1631)
  • Dorothea Auguste (* May 12, 1602; † March 13, 1682) - married to Duke Joachim Ernst of Schleswig-Holstein-Plön (1595–1671)
  • Hedwig (* December 23, 1603; † March 22, 1657) - married to Count Palatine August von Sulzbach
  • Anna (December 19, 1604 - March 20, 1623)
  • Johann (March 18, 1606 - February 21, 1655)
  • Christian (born December 1, 1609)


Web links

Commons : Johann Adolf (Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. CR Rasmussen, E. Imberger, D. Lohmeier, I. Mommsen: The princes of the country - dukes and counts of Schleswig-Holstein and Lauenburg . Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 2008, p. 152
predecessor Office successor
Philip Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp
Friedrich III.
Heinrich III., Of Saxe-Lauenburg Archbishop of Bremen
Johann Friedrich of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf
Eberhard von Holle Prince-Bishop of Lübeck
Johann Friedrich of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf