Johann Kasimir (Pfalz-Zweibrücken-Kleeburg)

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Count Palatine Johann Kasimir von Zweibrücken-Kleeburg

Johann Kasimir (or Johann Casimir ) von Pfalz-Zweibrücken-Kleeburg (born April 20, 1589 in Zweibrücken , †  June 18, 1652 at Stegeborg Castle in Östergötland , Sweden ) was a younger agnate from the Pfalz-Zweibrücken line of the Wittelsbach family .

Through his marriage to Katharina Wasa , the sister of Gustav II Adolf , he increasingly oriented himself to Sweden. During Gustav Adolf's wars, he received increasingly important military assignments in Sweden, where he became the king's commander in chief and, in 1631, actually head of the Swedish financial administration. In 1632 he was also responsible for the copper coin, which was so important in the Swedish war economy . His son Charles X Gustav became King of Sweden in 1654.


Johann Kasimir was a younger son of Johann I von Pfalz-Zweibrücken and his wife Magdalena von Jülich-Kleve-Berg . In 1588 the father had replaced the Lutheran creed in his principality with the Calvinist Reformed one, which had put a lasting strain on relations with his brothers, especially with his older brother Philipp Ludwig , who ruled the Duchy of Palatinate-Neuburg . Further differences within the family arose when Philipp Ludwig's son Wolfgang Wilhelm von Pfalz-Neuburg converted to Catholicism in 1614 in order to take over the succession in the duchies of Jülich-Kleve-Berg .

Like his siblings, Johann Kasimir held the title of Duke and Count Palatine of Zweibrücken . He resided in Neukastel from 1611 to 1617 and from 1617 to 1652 as paraged Count Palatine in Birlenbach in the Kleeburg district ( Lower Alsace ). The name of the (Swedish) line of the House of Pfalz-Zweibrücken , Pfalz-Zweibrücken-Kleeburg , which he founded, derives from the latter office .

The young Count Palatine traveled to Stockholm in 1613 to see King Gustav II Adolf on behalf of the Protestant Union in order to win him over to an alliance with the German Protestants. In doing so, he found his future wife. On June 21, 1615, he married Princess Katharina Wasa of Sweden (1584–1638), daughter of King Charles IX, in Stockholm . of Sweden and half-sister of Gustav II Adolf. Because of the turmoil of the Thirty Years War , he settled in Sweden in 1622, where King Gustav Adolf gave him Stegeborg Castle as a fiefdom.

After the king's death in the battle of Lützen in 1632 and during the subsequent government of the chancellor Axel Oxenstierna for the underage Queen Christina , a group of opponents of the Chancellor Oxenstierna gathered around Johann Kasimir auf Stegeborg, with whose help Johann Casimir paved the way for his family sought to prepare for the Swedish throne.

When Christina came of age in 1644, she used the support of Johann Kasimir and his two sons Karl Gustav and Adolf Johann, with whom she had grown up, to free herself from the tutelage of Oxenstierna. In 1647 she appointed Karl Gustav "Generalissimo" of the Swedish troops in Germany and at the same time signaled her intention to marry him. When Karl Gustav was appointed heir to the throne and hereditary prince by the Reichstag in 1649, Johann Casimir had achieved his goal.

Christina declared in 1650 that she would never marry, but when she abdicated on June 6, 1654, Karl Gustav became King of Sweden as Charles X the next day . He left his German inheritance to his brother Adolf Johann. This property, the Zweibrückische Amt Kleeburg with the residence Birlenbach, the Katherinenburg Castle , which was destroyed again soon afterwards, and the later so-called "Swedish Villages", was acquired by Johann Kasimir's grandson, the Swedish King Karl XI. , Swedish crown domain.


Johann Kasimir and Katharina Wasa had eight children:


  • Michael Busch: Absolutism and Army Reform: Sweden's Military at the End of the 17th Century; Europe in History, Volume 4; Winkler, Bochum, 2000. Ktn. ISBN 978-3-930083-58-9 , Ln. ISBN 978-3-930083-62-6 (pp. 61-62).
  • Ludwig Holzfurtner: The Wittelsbacher: State and Dynasty in Eight Centuries, W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-17-018191-2 .
  • Andreas Kappelmayer: Johann Casimir von Pfalz-Zweibrücken-Kleeburg (1589-1652). Preservation of class and experience of foreignness in Sweden of Gustav II Adolf and Christina . Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2017, ISBN 978-3-402-13234-0 .
  • Lothar K. Kinzinger: Sweden and Pfalz-Zweibrücken. Problems of mutual integration. The Principality of Pfalz-Zweibrücken under Swedish rule (1681–1719) . Diss., Saarbrücken University 1988.
  • Åke Kromnow:  Johann Casimir. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 10, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1974, ISBN 3-428-00191-5 , p. 515 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Anny Wienbruch: A Life for Gustav Adolf. The story of the Count Palatine of Zweibrücken and Gustav Adolf's sister . St. Johannis-Druckerei, Lahr-Dinglingen 1974, ISBN 3-501-01048-6 .
  • Marlis Zeus: A Palatine in Stockholm: Johann Casimir von Pfalz-Zweibrücken, brother-in-law and confidante of Gustav II. Adolf in the Thirty Years War , 2nd edition, Helmesverlag, Karlsruhe 2004, ISBN 3-9808133-7-1 .

Web links

Commons : Johann Kasimir  - Collection of Images


  1. ^ Andreas Kappelmayer: Johann Casimir von Pfalz-Zweibrücken-Kleeburg (1589-1652). Preservation of class and experience of foreignness in Sweden of Gustav II Adolf and Christina . Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2017, pp. 305–321.
predecessor Office successor
- Duke of Pfalz-Kleeburg
Adolf Johann I.