Coat of arms of Brandenburg
This article is about the coat of arms of the German state of Brandenburg. According to tradition, the Märkischer Adler, or red eagle of the March of Brandenburg, was adopted by Margrave Gero in the 10th century. Gustav A. Seyler states, he divided his territory among his children, thereby creating the territories which would become Anhalt and Meissen. The March of Brandenburg, known as the Holy Roman Empire's'sandbox', was granted in 1415 to Burggrave Frederick VI of Nuremberg of the House of Hohenzollern. Over the centuries, the Hohenzollerns made these poor marshes and woodlands the nucleus of a powerful state. After being formally enfeoffed as Elector Frederick I of Brandenburg, he quartered the arms of Hohenzollern and the burgraviate of Nuremberg with the Brandenburg red eagle; the blue escutcheon with the golden sceptre, as symbol of the office of archchamberlain of the Empire, was added under Frederick II. In December 1470, Emperor Frederick III gave the duchies of Pomerania, Kashubia and Wenden in liege to the electors of Brandenburg, making them in turn the overlords of the dukes of Western Pomerania.
The quarters and crests of these duchies and the Principality of Rügen, were incorporated in the Brandenburg arms. Elector John Sigismund inherited the Duchy of Prussia, outside the Holy Roman Empire on the Baltic Sea, in 1618. In 1609 John Sigismund's wife had inherited rights to Cleves, Mark, Jülich and Berg in the Rhineland. A compromise over them with the House of Wittelsbach, giving Brandenburg only Cleves and Mark, was reached in the 1614 Treaty of Xanten, but the arms of the other principalities were put in nevertheless; the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 brought Brandenburg the former prince-bishoprics of Magdeburg, Halberstadt and Cammin. Rügen and Hither Pomerania, had to be given up to Sweden as part of Swedish Pomerania, it was around this time to that Elector Frederick William, called the "Great Elector", adopted the Pomeranian "wild man" as supporters of his arms. He placed the outer helmets over the heads of the supporters; when the Duchy of Prussia gained full sovereignty from Poland in the Treaty of Wehlau on 19 September 1657, the electoral cap, which had until crowned the smaller versions of the arms on coins, was adorned with arches as in a ducal crown.
Elector Frederick III changed the arms when he took the title Frederick I, "King in Prussia", on 18 January 1701. In 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars, the March of Brandenburg was reorganized as the Province of Brandenburg within the Kingdom of Prussia, its arms depicted the red eagle of Brandenburg flanked by a knight. With the dissolution of Prussia after World War II, new arms were created for Brandenburg in 1945, avoiding any heraldic resemblance with the traditional crests, it showed an oak in front of a rising sun on a background in red and red also used in the official flag. A shield in blue and green was shown in the upper left corner; the little shield is a reversed variant of the flag of the city of Brandenburg upon Havel. This new coat of arms never gained popularity and was thus not considered when Brandenburg regained statehood after 1990; the arms of the state of Brandenburg became a red eagle without adornment. The current arms are declared thus: § 1 State colors The state colors are red-white.§ 2 State coat of arms The coat of arms of the state shows on a shield in white a red eagle, looking to the right, with wings decorated with stalks of clover in gold and armored gold..
The original painting of the coat of arms is preserved at the main public record office of Brandenburg. Order of the Red Eagle Coat of arms of Prussia Coat of arms of Germany Origin of the coats of arms of German federal states
Siston is a small village and former manor in South Gloucestershire, England 7 miles east of Bristol Castle, ancient centre of Bristol. The village lies at the confluence of the two sources of the Siston Brook, a tributary of the River Avon; the village consists of a number of cottages and farms centred on St Anne's Church, the grand Tudor manor house of Siston Court. Anciently it was bordered to the west by the royal Hunting Forest of Kingswood, stretching westward most of the way to Bristol Castle, always a royal possession, caput of the Forest; the local part of the disafforested Kingswood became Siston Common but has been eroded by the construction of the Avon Ring Road and housing developments. In 1989 the village and environs were classed as a conservation area and thus have statutory protection from overdevelopment. An electoral ward in the same name exists; some additional areas are covered and the total ward population taken at the 2011 census was 4,809. At the time of the Roman conquest the area was woodland.
It has been known throughout time as Sistone, Systun and Sytone. The name may derive from "Size-town" or may have been derived from the Saxon "Sige's Farmstead". In 1273 the occupants used Marchling as part of their agricultural practices; the Manor of Siston lay in the Hundred of Gloucestershire. In 1086, Roger of Berkeley was the tenant-in-chief; the manor adjoined the Royal Forest of Kingswood to the west, claimed right of purlieu over a portion of it. It was subsequently held by the families of Walerand, Corbet, Billingsley and Rawlins. Siston Court is a grade, it is situated on a ridge overlooking the Siston Brook Valley and was constructed on the site of a previous medieval mansion of the Denys family. The building is U-shaped with two wings flanking a courtyard. In 1607 when owned by Mr. Weekes who had purchased Siston Court from the Denys family, it was recorded as: "a new house of stone which cost £3,000 built by Dennis. In the following century landscaping resulted in a park-like setting with a more natural garden.
The architect Sanderson Miller, husband of Susannah Trotman, daughter of Samuel Trotman of Siston Court, may have influenced the creation of informal gardens. The 18th century "pepper-pot" lodges and 19th century "The Grange", once a home to the nurseryman, may have been influenced by Miller, whose style included the "ogee-shaped roofs and door heads and Gothic Revival windows alternating with cross-loops."The pair of now empty niches on the internal facades of the wings are similar to the niches on the facade of Montacute House, which contain statues of the Nine Worthies, dressed as Roman soldiers, Italian Renaissance in inspiration. Houses were built locally for estate workers at Siston Court in the 19th century. During the 20th century the estate was subdivided, farm land was converted to woodland by the Forestry Enterprise or for pony paddocks; the ornate Renaissance Tudor chimneypiece in the great hall was purchased by Emperor Haile Selasse in exile in Bristol, who shipped it to Addis-Ababa Palace.
Siston Court still retains much of the character of the 16th-century manor house and its original Elizabethan façade. In the middle of the 20th century the manor was subdivided into flats. Queen Anne of Denmark, wife of King James I, stayed at Siston Court in June 1613 whilst waiting to board ship at Bristol, as guest of Sir Henry Billingsley, she had been lavishly entertained by the Corporation of Bristol during the day, with massive military displays and mock sea battles between Turk and English mariners having been staged for her, immortalised in a versified account by Naile, an apprentice. According to a Siston Court servant, she stayed in the "room upstairs called'the Queen's Chamber'"; the Prince of Wales King Edward VIII, visited the Court as guest of the Rawlins family. Mounts Court, demolished in 1922, was another important local mansion house. Sir Maurice Denys's patron was thought to have been Admiral Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley the ambitious and reckless younger brother of Protector Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, brother of Queen Jane Seymour and uncle of King Edward VI.
Having been refused as a spouse by Princess Elizabeth, he was determined to wed the ex-Queen Katherine Parr before a nine-month delay, considered by courtiers to have been seemly and constitutionally prudent, had expired. It may have been as a result of Denys's complicity in these arrangements that Katherine, widowed by King Henry VIII in 1547, resided for eight weeks of her future short life in a house within the vicinity of Siston, known as Mount's Court, held by the Strange family. On 23 October 1989, the area was designated as the "Siston Conservation Area" to protect historical sites such as Siston Court and its buildings, the hamlet of Siston, including St Anne's Church and historic farms and open fields; the original Norman church was built of rubble in the mid-12th century. St Anne's Church, located between Siston Court and the village of Siston, is at the edge of open fields and has scenic views of the countryside, it was expanded in the 13th century and from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
It has a west tower and a gabled sou
In heraldry, cadency is any systematic way to distinguish arms displayed by members of the nuclear family of the holder of a coat of arms, when those family members have not been granted arms in their own right. Cadency is necessary in heraldic systems in which a given design may be owned by only one person at any time the head of the senior line of a particular family; as arms may be used by sons or wives'by courtesy' whilst their father or husband is still living, some form of differencing may be required so as not to usurp those arms, known as the undifferenced or "plain coat". Arms were only heritable by males and therefore cadency marks have no relevance to daughters, except in the modern era in Canadian and Irish heraldry; these differences are formed by adding to the arms small and inconspicuous marks called brisures, similar to charges but smaller. They are in-chief in the case of the label. Brisures are exempt from the rule of tincture. One of the best examples of usage from the medieval period is shown on the seven Beauchamp cadets in the stained-glass windows of St Mary's Church, Warwick.
It was recognised that there was a need to difference the arms of the head of the family from those of cadets. This need was recognised in Europe during the 14th century. Presently, differencing arms for those entitled to is rarely done in Continental Europe, it is only in Scotland. In heraldry's early period, uniqueness of arms was obtained by a wide variety of ways, including: changing tincture adding a label or bordure adding, removing, or replacing an ordinary. Varying the lines of partition of an ordinary the use of brisures or marks of differenceSee Armorial of Capetians and Armorial of Plantagenet for an illustration of the variety. Systematic cadency schemes developed in England and Scotland, but while in England they are voluntary, in Scotland they are enforced through the statutorily required process of matriculation in the Public Register; the English system of cadency allows nuclear family members to use the arms of the head of that family'by courtesy'. This involves mark of difference to the original coat of arms.
The brisure identifies the bearer's family relationship to the actual bearer of the arms, although there is some debate over how the system should be followed, the accepted system is shown below: †also known as an octofoil Daughters have no special brisures, use their father's arms on a lozenge, together with any marks of cadency their father may use. This is. On marriage, they impale their father's arms to the sinister with those of their husband to the dexter, unless the woman happens to be a heraldic heiress, into which case her father's arms are borne on an inescutcheon on her husband's arms. In England, arms are the property of their owner from birth – subject to the use of the appropriate mark of cadency. In other words, it is not necessary to wait for the death of the previous generation before arms are inherited; the eldest son of an eldest son uses a label of five points. Other grandchildren combine the brisure of their father with the relevant brisure of their own, which would in a short number of generations lead to confusion and complexity.
However, in practice cadency marks are not much used in England and when they are, it is rare to see more than one or, at most, two of them on a coat of arms. At times arms with a cadency mark may be used on a hereditary basis: for instance, the arms of the Earls Russell are those of the Duke of Bedford differenced by a mullet, as the 1st Earl was the third son of the 6th Duke. Although textbooks on heraldry always agree on the English system of cadency set out above, most heraldic examples ignore cadency marks altogether. Oswald Barron, in an influential article on Heraldry in the 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, noted: Now and again we see a second son obeying the book-rules and putting a crescent in his shield or a third son displaying a molet, but long before our own times the practice was disregarded, the most remote kinsman of a gentle house displayed the "whole coat" of the head of his family. Nor have cadency marks been insisted upon by the College of Arms. For example, the College of Arms website, far from insisting on any doctrine of "One man one coat" suggested by some academic writers, says: … The arms of a man pass to all his legitimate children, irrespective of their order of birth.
Cadency marks may be used to identify the arms of brothers, in a system said to have been invented by John Writhe, Garter, in about 1500. Small symbols are painted on the shield in a contrasting tincture at the top. ... It does not say. In correspondence published in the Heraldry Society's newsletter, Garter King of Arms Peter Gwynn-Jones rejected a suggestion that cadency marks should be enforced, he said: I have never favoured the system of cadency unless there is a need to mark out distinct branches of a particular family. To use cadency marks for each and every generation is something of a nonsense as it results in a pile of indecipherable marks set one above the other. I therefore adhere to the view that they should
Vair is a fur, a set of patterns in heraldry. It represents a kind of fur common in the Middle Ages, made from the greyish-blue backs of squirrels sewn together with the animals' white underbellies. Vair is the second-most common fur in heraldry, after ermine; the word vair, with its variant forms veir and vairé, was brought into Middle English from Old French, from Latin varius "variegated", has been alternatively termed variorum opus. The squirrel in question is a variety of the Eurasian red squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris. In the coldest parts of Northern and Central Europe the Baltic region, the winter coat of this squirrel is blue-grey on the back and white on the belly, was much used for the lining of cloaks called mantles, it was sewn together in alternating cup-shaped pieces of back and belly fur, resulting in a pattern of grey-blue and grey-white which, when simplified in heraldic drawing and painting, became blue and white in alternating pieces. In early heraldry, vair was represented by means of straight horizontal lines alternating with wavy lines.
It mutated into a pattern of bell or pot-like shapes, conventionally known as panes or "vair bells", of argent and azure, arranged in horizontal rows, so that the panes of one tincture form the upper part of the row, while those of the opposite tincture are on the bottom. The early form of the fur is still sometimes found, under the name vair vair ancien; the only mandatory rule concerning the choice of tincture is the respect of the heraldic rule of tincture, that orders the use of a metal and a color. When the pattern of vair is used with other colours, the field is termed vairé or vairy of the tinctures used. Vairé consists of one metal and one colour, although ermine or one of its variants is sometimes used, with an ermine spot appearing in each pane of that tincture. Vairé of four colours is known consisting of two metals and two colours. Traditionally vair was produced in three sizes, each size came to be depicted in armory. A field consisting of only three rows, representing the largest size, was termed gros vair or beffroi.
This distinction is not observed in English heraldry, is not observed in continental heraldry, although in French heraldry it is customary to specify the number of rows if there are more than four. There are forms of vair in which the arrangement of the rows is changed; the most familiar is counter-vair, in which succeeding rows are reversed instead of staggered, so that the bases of the panes of each tincture are opposite those of the same tincture in adjoining rows. Less common is vair in pale, in which the panes of each tincture are arranged in vertical columns. In German heraldry one reversed vair in pale. Vair in bend and vair in bend sinister, in which the panes are arranged in diagonal rows, is found in continental heraldry. Vair in point is formed by reversing alternate rows, as in counter-vair, displacing them by half the width of a pane, forming an undulating pattern across adjoining rows. German heraldry uses a form called Wechselfeh, or "alternate vair", in which each pane is divided in half along a vertical line, one side being argent and the other azure..
Any of these may be combined with size or color variations, though the variants which changed several aspects are correspondingly rarer. Potent is a similar pattern. In this form, the familiar "vair bell" is replaced by a T-shaped figure, known as a "potent" due to its resemblance to a crutch; the pattern used with tinctures other than argent and azure is termed potenté or potenty of those colours. The appearance of this shape is thought by some authorities to have originated from crude draftsmanship, although others regard it as an old and acceptable variation. A encountered variation of potent is counter-potent or potent-counter-potent, produced in the same fashion as counter-vair. Three other, rarer furs are seen in continental heraldry, of unclear derivation but most from variations on vair made to imitate other types of animals: in plumeté or plumetty, the panes are depicted as feathers. In German heraldry there is a fur known as Kürsch, or "vair bellies", consisting of panes depicted hairy and brown.
Here the phrase "vair bellies" may be a misnomer, as the belly of the red squirrel is always white, although its summer coat is indeed reddish brown. Tincture This article incorporates text from A. C. Fox-Davies' 1914 edition of Charles Boutell's The Handbook to English Heraldry at Project Gutenberg, in the public domain in the United States. Veale, Elspeth M.: The English Fur Trade in the Later Middle Ages, 2nd Edition, London Folio Society 2005. ISBN 0-900952-38-5
Szczecin is the capital and largest city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. Located near the Baltic Sea and the German border, it is a major seaport and Poland's seventh-largest city; as of June 2018, the population was 403,274. Szczecin is located on the Bay of Pomerania; the city is situated along the southwestern shore of Dąbie Lake, on both sides of the Oder and on several large islands between the western and eastern branches of the river. Szczecin is adjacent to the town of Police and is the urban centre of the Szczecin agglomeration, an extended metropolitan area that includes communities in the German states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; the city's recorded history began in the 8th century as a Slavic Pomeranian stronghold, built at the site of the Ducal castle. In the 12th century, when Szczecin had become one of Pomerania's main urban centres, it lost its independence to Piast Poland, the Duchy of Saxony, the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark. At the same time, the House of Griffins established themselves as local rulers and the population was Christianized.
After the Treaty of Stettin in 1630, the town came under the control of the Swedish Empire and became in 1648 the Capital of Swedish Pomerania until 1720, when it was acquired by the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire. Following World War II Stettin became part of Poland in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, resulting in expulsion of the pre-war German population. Szczecin is the administrative and industrial centre of West Pomeranian Voivodeship and is the site of the University of Szczecin, Pomeranian Medical University, Maritime University, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin Art Academy, the see of the Szczecin-Kamień Catholic Archdiocese. From 1999 onwards, Szczecin has served as the site of the headquarters of NATO's Multinational Corps Northeast. Szczecin was a candidate for the European Capital of Culture in 2016; the names "Szczecin" and "Stettin" are of Slavic origin, though the exact etymology is the subject of ongoing research. In Etymological dictionary of geographical names of Poland, Maria Malec lists eleven theories regarding the origin of the name, including derivations from either: a Slavic word for hill peak, or the plant fuller's teasel, or the personal name Szczota.
Other medieval names for the town are Burstenburgh. These names, which mean "brush burgh", are derived from the translation of the city's Slavic name; the recorded history of Szczecin began in the eighth century, as Vikings and West Slavs settled Pomerania. The Slavs erected a new stronghold on the site of the modern castle. Since the 9th century, the stronghold was expanded toward the Oder bank. Mieszko I of Poland took control of Pomerania during the Early Middle Ages and the region became part of Poland in the 10th century. Subsequent Polish rulers, the Holy Roman Empire, the Liutician federation all aimed to control the territory. After the decline of the neighbouring regional centre Wolin in the 12th century, the city became one of the more important and powerful seaports of the Baltic Sea. In a campaign in the winter of 1121–1122, Bolesław III Wrymouth, the Duke of Poland, gained control of the region, including the city of Szczecin and its stronghold; the inhabitants were Christianized by two missions of Bishop Otto of Bamberg in 1124 and 1128.
At this time, the first Christian church of Saints Peter and Paul was erected. Polish minted coins were used in trade in this period; the population of the city at that time is estimated to be at around 5,000–9,000 people. Polish rule ended with Boleslaw's death in 1138. During the Wendish Crusade in 1147, a contingent led by the German margrave Albert the Bear, an enemy of Slavic presence in the region, papal legate, bishop Anselm of Havelberg and Konrad of Meissen besieged the town. There, a Polish contingent supplied by Mieszko III the Old joined the crusaders. However, the citizens had placed crosses around the fortifications, indicating they had been Christianised. Duke Ratibor I of Pomerania, negotiated the disbanding of the crusading forces. After the Battle of Verchen in 1164, Szczecin duke Bogusław I, Duke of Pomerania became a vassal of the Duchy of Saxony's Henry the Lion. In 1173 Szczecin castellan Wartislaw II, could not resist a Danish attack and became vassal of Denmark. In 1181, Bogusław became a vassal of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1185 Bogusław again became a Danish vassal. Following a conflict between his heirs and Canute VI of Denmark, the settlement was destroyed in 1189, but the fortress was reconstructed and manned with a Danish force in 1190. While the empire restored its superiority over the Duchy of Pomerania in the Battle of Bornhöved in 1227, Szczecin was one of two bridgeheads remaining under Danish control. In the second half of the 12th century, a group of German tradesmen settled in the city around St. Jacob's Church, donated in 1180 by Beringer, a trader from Bamberg, consecrated in 1187. Hohenkrug was the first village in the Duchy of Pomerania, recorded as German in 1173. Ostsiedlung accelerated in Pomerania during the 13th century. Duke Barnim I of Pomerania granted Szczecin a local government charter in 1237, separating the German settlement from the Slavic community settled around the St. Nicholas Church in the neighbourhood of Kessin. In the charte
Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design and study of armorial bearings, as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement; the achievement, or armorial bearings includes a coat of arms on an shield and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, heraldic banners, mottoes. Although the use of various devices to signify individuals and groups goes back to antiquity, both the form and use of such devices varied and the concept of regular, hereditary designs, constituting the distinguishing feature of heraldry, did not develop until the High Middle Ages, it is often that the use of helmets with face guards during this period made it difficult to recognize one's commanders in the field when large armies gathered together for extended periods, necessitating the development of heraldry as a symbolic language but there is little actual support for this view.
The beauty and pageantry of heraldic designs allowed them to survive the gradual abandonment of armour on the battlefield during the seventeenth century. Heraldry has been described poetically as "the handmaid of history", "the shorthand of history", "the floral border in the garden of history". In modern times, individuals and private organizations, cities and regions use heraldry and its conventions to symbolize their heritage and aspirations. Various symbols have been used to represent groups for thousands of years; the earliest representations of distinct persons and regions in Egyptian art show the use of standards topped with the images or symbols of various gods, the names of kings appear upon emblems known as serekhs, representing the king's palace, topped with a falcon representing the god Horus, of whom the king was regarded as the earthly incarnation. Similar emblems and devices are found in ancient Mesopotamian art of the same period, the precursors of heraldic beasts such as the griffin can be found.
In the Bible, the Book of Numbers refers to the standards and ensigns of the children of Israel, who were commanded to gather beneath these emblems and declare their pedigrees. The Greek and Latin writers describe the shields and symbols of various heroes, units of the Roman army were sometimes identified by distinctive markings on their shields; until the nineteenth century, it was common for heraldic writers to cite examples such as these, metaphorical symbols such as the "Lion of Judah" or "Eagle of the Caesars" as evidence of the antiquity of heraldry itself. The Book of Saint Albans, compiled in 1486, declares that Christ himself was a gentleman of coat armour, but these fabulous claims have long since been dismissed as the fantasy of medieval heralds, for there is no evidence of a distinctive symbolic language akin to that of heraldry during this early period. The medieval heralds devised arms for various knights and lords from history and literature. Notable examples include the toads attributed to Pharamond, the cross and martlets of Edward the Confessor, the various arms attributed to the Nine Worthies and the Knights of the Round Table.
These too are now regarded as a fanciful invention, rather than evidence of the antiquity of heraldry. The development of the modern heraldic language cannot be attributed to a single individual, time, or place. Although certain designs that are now considered heraldic were evidently in use during the eleventh century, most accounts and depictions of shields up to the beginning of the twelfth century contain little or no evidence of their heraldic character. For example, the Bayeux Tapestry, illustrating the Norman invasion of England in 1066, commissioned about 1077, when the cathedral of Bayeux was rebuilt, depicts a number of shields of various shapes and designs, many of which are plain, while others are decorated with dragons, crosses, or other heraldic figures, yet no individual is depicted twice bearing the same arms, nor are any of the descendants of the various persons depicted known to have borne devices resembling those in the tapestry. An account of the French knights at the court of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I at the beginning of the twelfth century describes their shields of polished metal, utterly devoid of heraldic design.
A Spanish manuscript from 1109 describes both plain and decorated shields, none of which appears to have been heraldic. The Abbey of St. Denis contained a window commemorating the knights who embarked on the Second Crusade in 1147, was made soon after the event. In England, from the time of the Norman conquest, official documents had to be sealed. Beginning in the twelfth century, seals assumed a distinctly heraldic character. A notable example of an early armorial seal is attached to a charter granted by Philip I, Count of Flanders, in 1164. Seals from the latter part of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries show no evidence of heraldic symbolism, but by t
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was created as a duchy in 1809 by the merger of the Ernestine duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach, in personal union since 1741. It was raised to a Grand duchy in 1815 by resolution of the Vienna Congress. In 1903, it changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Saxony, but this name was used; the Grand Duchy came to an end in the German Revolution of 1918–19 with the other monarchies of the German Empire. It was succeeded by the Free State of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, merged into the new state of Thuringia two years later; the full grand ducal style was Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Landgrave in Thuringia, Margrave of Meissen, Princely Count of Henneberg, Lord of Blankenhayn and Tautenburg. The Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach branch has been the most genealogically senior extant branch of the House of Wettin since 1672; the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach consisted of three larger areas, each of which formed a Kreis administratively, plus several exclaves. Neighboring countries were Prussia, Bavaria, Hesse-Kassel, all the other Thuringian states.
The northern part of the Weimar district was flat and part of the Thuringian Basin. The northern part of Eisenach district was hilly; the district Neustadt was located in hills with altitudes between 400 meters. The main rivers in the country were: the Saale flowing through Jena in the east the Werra in Vacha and Eisenach, its tributaries the Felda and Ulster in the west the Unstrut in the exclaves Allstedt and Oldisleben in the north the White Elster in Berga in the far east the Ilm, flowing through Ilmenau and the capital Weimar in the centre. Acting Prime Minister Goethe once described Weimar as "Athens on the Ilm"; the highest elevation in the grand duchy were the Kickelhahn near Ilmenau, the Ellenbogen in the Rhön and the Ettersberg near Weimar. In 1895, the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was administratively divided into three districts Kreise: Furthermore, the districts of Weimar and Eisenach were each subdivided into two Bezirke. In the case of Weimar, these were: Weimar and Apolda, in the case of Eisenach they were the Eisenach and Dermbach.
In all, there were 594 municipalities in the Grand Duchy. The Grand Dukes of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach granted "city" status to three localities in the state, namely Berka/Werra, Ruhla and Münchenbernsdorf. In 1840, there were 13 cities with over 2,000 inhabitants. In the 70 years to 1910, the Grand Duchy industrialized and the population of the largest cities grew, while the medium-sized cities remained constant or lost population; the population of Stadtlengsfeld shrank after the Jewish emancipation, when most of the city's Jewish citizens migrated to larger cities. In 1910, several other towns had grown past the 2,000 inhabitants mark: Ruhla, Bad Sulza, Triptis, Bad Berka, Oberweimar and Mihla; the duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach had been ruled in personal union by the same branch of the House of Wettin since 1741, after the Eisenach line had died out upon the death of Duke Wilhelm Heinrich. The first Duke of the personal union was Ernest Augustus I, who built the Belvedere Palace in Weimar.
His son Ernest Augustus II reigned for only three years, died at the age of 20 years. At the age of 18, he married the Brunswick Princess Anna Amalia, one year his junior and a niece of King Frederick the Great of Prussia. A year she gave birth to her son, Charles Augustus and after another year, when she was a widow, to her son Constantine; as Dowager Duchess Anna Amalia took up the regency, with the approval of the Empress Maria Theresa and the support of her ethical Minister Baron von Fritsch. As educator for her sons, she employed the poet Christoph Martin Wieland, a professor at the university of Erfurt. At 18 years of age, Charles Augustus married Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt, he employed the poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, with. Goethe, in turn, invited the authors Johann Gottfried Herder and Friedrich Schiller to Weimar, thus laying the foundation for the Weimar Classicism circle, supported in the background by Anna Amalia. Regents would see it as main task to guard this heritage.
In 1804 Duke Charles Augustus' eldest son and heir Charles Frederick married Maria Pavlovna Romanova, sister of Emperor Alexander I of Russia, a conjugal union which decisively promoted the rise of the Ernestine Saxe-Weimar dynasty. It gave the duchy some protection during the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars. Though at first an ally of Prussia in the Napoleonic War of the Fourth Coalition, Duke Charles Augustus escaped his deposition by joining