Katharina von Henneberg

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History painting by Katharina von Henneberg in the Albrechtsburg in Meißen

Katharina von Henneberg , also Katherina von Henneberg , since 1347 Margravine of Meißen, Landgravine of Thuringia etc. (* around 1334 in Schleusingen ; † July 15, 1397 in Meißen ) was the wife of Margrave Friedrich des Strengen von Meißen . From her paternal inheritance, she brought Franconian possessions around Coburg to the Wettins .


Katharina was the second of four daughters of Count Heinrich VIII von Henneberg-Schleusingen and his wife Jutta von Brandenburg, daughter of Hermann von Brandenburg .

When the Coburg country passed from the Hennebergers ( Grafschaft Henneberg ) to the Wettins, there were complications. Henry VIII set his wife and daughters as heiresses for the part of the country called “new rule”, while the rest of the Henneberg territory went to his brother Johann. The result was a division of the Henneberg property. The consequence of the female line of succession was that after Henry VIII's death in 1347, the sons-in-law could not immediately enter the inheritance. This only became possible after the death of Jutta von Brandenburg on February 1, 1353. Already on February 9, 1353, Margrave Friedrich appeared to Emperor Charles IV in Prague to be enfeoffed with the area around Coburg.

The complicated succession regulation contradicted the expectations of Katharina's still living father-in-law, Friedrich the Serious . This is reflected in the chronically widely transmitted episode after which Katharina was sent back to her parents' house because her dowry had not been handed over. Another tradition says that after the early death of her first-born and while waiting for the next son, Katharina only wore black clothes and renounced all jewelry. Both cases are likely to be legends, but they revolve around the central points in Katharina's life, the unusual succession and the good 20-year waiting period for the birth of heirs. It was only between 1370 and 1380 that she became the mother of three surviving sons, Friedrich , Wilhelm and Georg .

When her husband died in 1381, the sons were still minors. According to the will of her deceased husband, Katharina took over the guardianship until the end of her life and ruled with them both her Coburg inheritance and the parts of the middle Saale or between Saale and Mulde that were assigned to the sons during the division of Chemnitz in 1382. As Landgrave of Thuringia and Margravine of Meißen, Katharina has documented many times and used her own seal for this purpose. She took her widow's seat in Coburg , where her mother Jutta had also resided. She stayed there frequently during her marriage, while Friedrich III. traveled a lot in the country in the exercise of a typical travel rule at the time. She had also received Weißenfels as personal items from her husband .

Katharina von Henneberg also emerged as the commissioner of the prince mirror "Katherina divina" , which was written by Heinrich von Vippach and named after her .


  • Georg Spalatin : Chronicle of the Saxons and Thuringians. Illuminated manuscript from the first half of the 16th century. 3 vols. Coburg State Library Ms Cas 9–11. For Miss (Katharina) von Henneberg especially vol. 3, bl. 215r - 218v.
  • Reinhardt Butz and Gert Melville (eds.): Coburg 1353. City and country Coburg in the late Middle Ages. Coburg 2003. (Series of publications of the Historischen Gesellschaft Coburg eV 17).
  • Wilhelm Füßlein: The transition of the rulership of Coburg from the House of Henneberg-Schleusingen to the Wettiner in 1353. In: Journal of the Association for Thuringian History and Antiquity NF 28 (1929) pp. 325–434.
  • Eckart Hennig: The new rule Henneberg 1245-1353. In: Yearbook of the Coburger Landesstiftung 26 (1981) pp. 43–70.
  • Johann Gottlieb Horn: Life and hero story (...) Friedrichs the arguable. Leipzig 1733.
  • Michael Menzel : The "Katherina divina" by Johann von Vippach. A prince mirror from the 14th century. Cologne, Vienna 1989. (Central German Research 99).
  • August Wilhelm Müller: The illustrious ancestral mothers of the House of Saxony Ernestine line in sketches and a detailed life picture of the margravine and landgrave Katherina, born Countess von Henneberg. Meiningen 1862.
  • Silvia Pfister: The chicken that lays golden eggs - Katharina von Henneberg (before 1334–1397) and her legacy. In: “Be sensible!”. Women of Coburg History. Edited by Gaby Franger, Edmund Frey, Brigitte Maisch. Coburg 2008, pp. 18-33.
  • Franz Otto Stichart: Gallery of the Saxon Princesses. Leipzig 1857. (Katherina von Henneberg pp. 102–110).
  • Britte Streich : Between travel rule and residence formation: The Wettin court in the late Middle Ages. Cologne, Vienna 1989.