Sophie of Brandenburg (1568–1622)

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Princess Sophie of Brandenburg
Electress Sophie of Saxony
Sophiendukat, Dresden Mint . Minted from 1616 to 1838 as a coin, from 1846 to 1873 as a medal with the year 1616. The ducat minting was arranged for her children by the Electress Sophia.

Sophie von Brandenburg (born June 6, 1568 in Flecken Zechlin , † December 7, 1622 in Colditz ) was a princess of Brandenburg and by marriage Electress of Saxony .


Sophie was a daughter of the Brandenburg Elector Johann Georg (1525–1598) from his second marriage to Sabina (1529–1575), daughter of Margrave Georg von Brandenburg-Ansbach .

On April 25, 1582, Sophie married Elector Christian I of Saxony (1560–1591) in Dresden . At the time of the wedding, Sophie was 14 years old and had her first child a year later.

After the death of her husband, who died at the age of 31, Sophie became regent of the electorate for their eldest son , together with Duke Friedrich Wilhelm von Sachsen-Weimar .

Sophie was an Orthodox Lutheran and fought against crypto-calvinism in Saxony. After Christian I's death in 1591, he had his Calvinist Chancellor Nikolaus Krell , an opponent of Lutheran Orthodoxy, imprisoned at the Königstein Fortress and executed in 1601 on the Neumarkt in Dresden. In allusion to the devout widow Judith in the book of Judith , the Orthodox Lutherans then celebrated her as "Judith of Saxony".

The mother house in 1617.

As a widow, Sophie lived at Rochlitz Castle until 1602 , then at Colditz Castle until 1611 , which she had decorated with lavish gardens, and later in the so-called “Woman Mother House” in Dresden. With the Sophienducat she had her own coin minted and had the old Franciscan Church in Dresden ready for worship again (1599–1610), which was named after her Sophienkirche . The Duchess Garden in Dresden also got its name from Duchess Sophie .

She died in Colditz Castle in 1622.


From their marriage, Sophie had the following children:

⚭ 1602 Princess Hedwig of Denmark (1581–1641)
⚭ 1604 Princess Sibylle Elisabeth of Württemberg (1584–1606)
⚭ 1607 Princess Magdalena Sibylle of Prussia (1586–1659)
  • Anna Sabine (* / † 1586)
  • Sophie (1587-1635)
⚭ 1610 Duke Franz I of Pomerania-Stettin (1577–1620)
  • Elisabeth (1588–1589)
  • August (1589-1615)
⚭ 1612 Princess Elisabeth of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1593–1650)
  • Dorothea (1591–1617), Abbess of Quedlinburg



A series of commemorative sermons appeared on Sophie's death. Exemplary:

  • Matthias Hoë von Hoënegg : Trawrige / but highly respected homeward journey / and schüldigest Christian memory of honor: The former ... Frawen Sophiae, duchess of Saxony / and electorate / bored Marggräffin from the electoral tribe of Brandenburg ... Wittib / most blissful memory: as your churf. Gn. faded body / December 15th 1622. in the SchlossKirchen zu Dreßden / later on January 26th. 1623. led to the Creutz churches there / and January 28th. in the beautiful electoral rest chamber at Freyberg; With three different sermons / unusual grace orders / in many Chur and princely persons ... assembly / held / and given in print , Leipzig 1623.
  • Aegidius Strauch : Aeterna Iustorum Memoria = Eternal memory of honor of the righteous. From the 112 psalms. The / Weiland / Serene / Highly Born Princess / and Frawen / Frawen Sophien, Hertzogin / and ChurFürstin zu Sachssen / Born out of Chur, Princely tribe of Brandenburg ... Wittiben / Christmilder Gedechtnüß: Deren Churfürstl. Gn. the 7th Decembris, Anno 1622. to Dreßden… to fall asleep / the 26th Januarii, Anno 1623. outside of the Chur-Fürstl. Accompanied from the castle to the Creutz churches / and the 28th afterwards in that ... hereditary funeral / zu Freyberg ... has been adjudicated / to Christian ... honorary memorial / to Dreßden / in the churches of Holy Creutz / in three sermons ... , Dresden 1623.
  • Friedrich Balduin : Juditha Saxonica. This is / explanation of the histories of the Judith holy walk / and blessed death from the book Judith cap. 16th: Gethan in the parish churches of Wittenberg / January 28th. of the 1623rd year ... because of the blessed one of the most serene weyland ... Frawen / Frawen Sophien Born from the Electoral Tribe Brandenburg / Hertduchin and Electress of Saxony / Wittib / Landgravine in Thuringia ... the 17, Decemb. 1622. fell asleep to Dreßden in the Lord / and pondered 28. Ian. 1623. zu Freyberg in Meissen ... has been adopted , Wittenberg 1623
  • Vincentius jewelry : Christian trawler preaching / Bey of the once dearly dearest / high-born princess and Frawen / Sophia, duchess of Saxony and electoral princess / born margravine from the electoral tribe of Brandenburg ... Widwen: After the fatal ... entry / on the day of your churf. Gn. Funeral at Freybergk / as January 28th of the 1623rd year / honorary counterpart employed at Leipzig / held in a popular gathering. Leipzig 1623 ( digitized version )


Older representations:

  • Franz Blanckmeister: Electress Anna Sophie of Saxony: a Protestant confessor , Barmen [around 1891]
  • Franz Otto Stichart: Gallery of the Saxon Princesses; Biographical sketches all. Ancestors d. Royal House of Saxony. According to the source. , Leipzig 1857
  • Heinrich Theodor FlatheSophie (Electress of Saxony) . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 34, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1892, p. 689.

Newer representations:

  • Maike Günther: Rochlitz Castle as a residence and widow's seat. The project of a permanent exhibition . In: Schattkowsky, Martina (ed.): Widowhood in the early modern times. Princely and noble widows between foreign and self-determination. Leipzig 2003, pp. 65-83. [to Sophie pp. 79–84]
  • Ute Essegern: Princesses at the Electoral Saxon Court , Leipzig 2007.
  • Hans-Joachim Böttcher : The time of my life was little and bad - Anna von Sachsen (1567-1613), Dresdner Buchverlag, Dresden 2016, ISBN 978-3-941757-70-7 .


  1. From: Images of Dresden's old and new magnificent buildings, folk and court festivals. Copper notebook for the Chronicle of the Kgl. Saxon. Residenz-Stadt Dresden and the collector for history and antiquity, art and nature in the Elbthale. In the Ch. Fr. Grimmerschen Buchhandlung, Dresden 1835. SLUB Dresden Hist.Sax.G.0601.o .
predecessor Office Successor
Agnes Hedwig von Anhalt Electress of Saxony
Hedwig of Denmark and Norway