Catherine of Brandenburg

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Katharina von Brandenburg, Princess of Transylvania
Catherine at the age of 2, oil painting by Daniel Rose, 1605.

Katharina von Brandenburg (born May 28, 1602 in Koenigsberg , † August 27, 1644 in Schöningen ) was a princess of Brandenburg and, through marriage, was successively Princess of Transylvania and Duchess of Saxony-Lauenburg . From 1629 to 1630 she was officially Princess of Transylvania, but renounced the regency again.


Katharina was a daughter of Elector Johann Sigismund von Brandenburg (* 1572– † 1619) from his marriage to Anna (1576–1625), daughter of Duke Albrecht Friedrich of Prussia . In 1623, when she was staying with her sister Maria Eleonora in Sweden, Tsar Michael sought her hand in vain.

She married Prince Gabor Bethlen of Transylvania (* 1580– † 1629) in her first marriage on March 2, 1626 in Kaschau . During his lifetime, Katharina was elected Princess of Transylvania in 1626 and recognized as her successor. She followed her husband as sovereign princess and was confirmed in office by the Sublime Porte . Because of her inclination to Catholicism , her love affair with Count Istvan Csáky and her lack of assertiveness in the throne disputes, she resigned after the state parliament in Medias had strongly criticized her and the estates in Cluj forced her to resign.

Her brother-in-law Istvan followed as Prince of Transylvania, but he also resigned a few weeks later. The following Prince Georg I. Rákóczi deprived Katharina of the castle and rule of Făgăraş , the only possessions that her husband had left according to her will. Rákóczi also forced her to adopt his son Georg .

Katharina withdrew to Stuhlweissenburg and in 1633 converted to the Catholic faith on her widow's residence Tokaj . Emperor Ferdinand II then put them back into possession of their possessions, which were assured in a will.

Her second husband became Duke Franz Karl von Sachsen-Lauenburg (1594-1660) on August 27, 1639 in Ödenburg . Katharina sold all of her Hungarian possessions and moved to Germany. She died in 1644 at Schöningen Palace , the widow's residence of her sister Anna Sophia .

Katharina had remained childless in both marriages.


  • Count János Nepomuk Jozsef Mailáth: History of the Magyars , Volume 3, GJ Manz, 1853, p. 233 ff.
  • Johann Samuel Publication: Volume 48 of General Encyclopedia of Sciences and Arts , J. f. Gleditsch, 1848, p. 96

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hungarian: Katalin Brandenburgi
  2. ^ Magazine for history, literature and all the monuments and peculiarities of Transylvania , Gött, 1846, p. 443 ( digitized version )
  3. ^ J. Soellner: Statistics of the Grand Duchy of Siebenbürgen , 1856, p. 108
  4. ^ Georg Daniel Teutsch: History of the Transylvanian Saxons for the Saxon People , Gött, 1858, p. 833
  5. Ludwig Rohbock , János Hunfalvy : Hungary and Transylvania in picturesque original views , Gustav George Lange, 1864, p. 25
  6. Ignaz Lenk: Transylvania geographical, topographical, statistical, hydrographical and orographic lexicon , Strauss, 1839, p. 372
predecessor Office successor
Gábor Bethlen Princess of Transylvania
István Bethlen