Frederick V of the Palatinate
Frederick V was, as the son and heir of Frederick IV, Elector Palatine, the Elector of the Rhine Palatinate in the Holy Roman Empire upon his fathers death in 1610. This defeat was followed by an Imperial invasion of Fredericks Palatinate lands and he was forced to flee to Holland in 1622 and he lived the rest of his life in exile with his wife and family at the Hague. Frederick was born at the Jagdschloss Deinschwang near Amberg in the Upper Palatinate and he was the son of Frederick IV and of Louise Juliana of Orange-Nassau, the daughter of William the Silent and Charlotte de Bourbon-Montpensier. An intellectual, a mystic, and a Calvinist, he succeeded his father as Prince-Elector of the Rhenish Palatinate in 1610 and he was responsible for the construction of the famous Hortus Palatinus gardens in Heidelberg. In 1618 the largely Protestant estates of Bohemia rebelled against their Catholic King Ferdinand, Frederick was asked to assume the crown of Bohemia. He accepted the offer and was crowned on 4 November 1619, James opposed the takeover of Bohemia from the Habsburgs and Fredericks allies in the Protestant Union failed to support him militarily by signing the Treaty of Ulm.
His brief reign as King of Bohemia ended with his defeat at the Battle of White Mountain on 8 November 1620 – a year and four days after his coronation. After this battle, the Imperial forces invaded Fredericks Palatine lands and he had to flee to his uncle Prince Maurice, an Imperial edict formally deprived him of the Palatinate in 1623. He lived the rest of his life in exile with his wife and family, mostly at The Hague and his eldest surviving son Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine returned to power in 1648 with the end of the war. His daughter Princess Sophia was eventually named heiress presumptive to the British throne, Frederick was born on 26 August 1596 at the Jagdschloss Deinschwang near Amberg in the Upper Palatinate. His father, Frederick IV was the ruler of Electoral Palatinate, his mother was Louise Juliana of Nassau, Frederick was related to almost all of the ruling families of the Holy Roman Empire and a number of diplomats and dignitaries attended his baptism at Amberg on 6 October 1596.
In 1604, at his mothers urging, he was sent to Sedan to live in the court of his uncle Henri de La Tour dAuvergne, during his time at Sedan, Frederick was a frequent visitor to the court of Henry IV of France. His tutor was Calvinist theologian Daniel Tilenus, a professor of theology at the Academy of Sedan and these views are likely to have shaped Fredericks future policies. On 19 September 1610, Fredericks father, Frederick IV, died from extravagant living, under the terms of the Golden Bull of 1356, Fredericks closest male relative would serve as his guardian and as regent of the Palatinate until Frederick reached the age of majority. Frederick V welcomed John to Heidelberg, whereas Wolfgang William was denied entry and this led to a heated dispute among the princes of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1613, Holy Roman Emperor intervened in the dispute, the dispute ended in 1614, when Frederick attained his eighteenth birthday. However, much bad blood among the houses was caused by this dispute, Frederick IVs marriage policy had been designed to solidify the Palatinates position within the Reformed camp in Europe.
Frederick IV had hoped that his daughter Katharina would marry the future Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, in keeping with his fathers policy, Frederick V sought a marriage to Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I of England and VI of Scotland
Kingdom of Bohemia
The Kingdom of Bohemia, sometimes in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom, was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Central Europe, the predecessor of the modern Czech Republic. It was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, the kings of Bohemia, besides Bohemia ruled the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which at various times included Moravia and parts of Saxony and Bavaria. Numerous kings of Bohemia were elected Holy Roman Emperors and the capital Prague was the seat in the late 14th century. After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the became part of the Habsburg Austrian Empire. The Czech language was the language of the Diet and the nobility until 1627. German was formally made equal with Czech and eventually prevailed as the language of the Diet until the Czech national revival in the 19th century. German was used as the language of administration in many towns after Germans immigrated and populated some areas of the country in the 13th century. The royal court used the Czech and German languages, depending on the ruler, following the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I, both the Kingdom and Empire were dissolved.
Bohemia became the part of the newly formed Czechoslovak Republic. In 1204 Ottokars royal status was accepted by Otto IV as well as by Pope Innocent III and it was officially recognized in 1212 by the Golden Bull of Sicily issued by Emperor Frederick II, elevating the Duchy of Bohemia to Kingdom status. Under these terms, the Czech king was to be exempt from all obligations to the Holy Roman Empire except for participation in the imperial councils. The imperial prerogative to ratify each Bohemian ruler and to appoint the bishop of Prague was revoked, the kings successor was his son Wenceslaus I, from his second marriage. Corresponding with the Pope, she established the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star in 1233, four other military orders were present in Bohemia, the Order of St. John of Jerusalem from c. 1160, the Order of Saint Lazarus from the late 12th century, 1200–1421, and the Knights Templar from 1232–1312. The 13th century was the most dynamic period of the Přemyslid reign over Bohemia, at the same time, the Mongol invasions absorbed the attention of Bohemias eastern neighbors and Poland.
Přemysl Ottokar II married a German princess, Margaret of Babenberg and he thereby acquired Upper Austria, Lower Austria, and part of Styria. He conquered the rest of Styria, most of Carinthia, and he was called the king of iron and gold. He campaigned as far as Prussia, where he defeated the natives and in 1256, founded a city he named Královec in Czech
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was created as a duchy in 1809 by the merger of the Ernestine duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach. It was raised to a Grand duchy in 1815 by resolution of the Vienna Congress, in 1903, it officially changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Saxony, but this name was rarely used. The Grand Duchy came to an end in the German Revolution of 1918–19 with the monarchies of the German Empire. It was succeeded by the Free State of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, which was 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, the Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach branch is the most genealogically senior extant branch of the House of Wettin. The Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach consisted of three areas, each of which formed a Kreis administratively, plus several exclaves. Neighboring countries were Prussia, Bavaria, Hesse-Kassel, the northern part of the Weimar district was flat and part of the Thuringian Basin, the southern and eastern parts were situated on the Ilm-Saale Plateau and in the Saale valley.
The district Neustadt was located in hills with altitudes between 200 and 400 meters, acting Prime Minister Goethe once described Weimar as Athens on the Ilm. The highest elevation in the duchy were the Kickelhahn near Ilmenau, the Ellenbogen in the Rhön. In 1895, the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was administratively divided into three districts Kreise, the districts of Weimar and Eisenach were each subdivided into two Bezirke. In the case of Weimar, these were and Apolda, in all, there were 31 cities and 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 heavily, the population of Stadtlengsfeld shrank dramatically after the Jewish emancipation, when most of the citys Jewish citizens migrated to larger cities. In 1910, several towns had grown past the 2,000 inhabitants mark, Blankenhain, Bad Sulza, Triptis, Bad Berka, Oldisleben.
The first Duke of the union was Ernest Augustus I. His son Ernest Augustus II reigned for three years, and died at the age of 20 years. At the age of 18, he married the Brunswick Princess Anna Amalia, one year his junior, a year she gave birth to her son, Charles Augustus and after another year, when she was already a widow, to her son Constantine. As Dowager Duchess Anna Amalia actively took up the regency, with the approval of the Empress Maria Theresa, as educator for her sons, she employed the poet Christoph Martin Wieland, who was a professor at the university of Erfurt
Battle of White Mountain
The Battle of White Mountain was an important battle in the early stages of the Thirty Years War. It was fought on 8 November 1620, the site is now part of the city of Prague. The battle marked the end of the Bohemian period of the Thirty Years War and its aftermath drastically changed the religious landscape of the Czech lands after two centuries of Protestant dominance. Roman Catholicism retained majority in the Czech lands until the late 20th century, Ferdinand saw Protestantism as inimical to the Empire, and wanted to impose absolutist rule on Bohemia while forcefully encouraging conversion to the Roman Catholic faith. Particularly galling to Protestants were perceived violations of Emperor Rudolf IIs 1609 Letter of Majesty and this incident, known as the Second Defenestration of Prague, triggered the Bohemian Revolt. In November 1619, Elector Palatine Frederick V, who many of the rebels was a Calvinist, was chosen as King of Bohemia by the Bohemian Electorate. In 1620, now established as Emperor, Ferdinand II set out to conquer Bohemia.
Tillys army enjoyed the advantage of including two of the most successful leaders in European history - Tilly himself and the future General Wallenstein. Tillys force was made up of two groups, Imperial troops commanded by Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy. All of the armies of the day employed numerous mercenaries, including, by some definitions, serving with the Catholic League as an official observer was the future father of modern philosophy, René Descartes. After conquering most of western Bohemia, the Imperial army made for Prague, the Bohemians attempted to block them by setting up defensive positions, which the Imperial army simply bypassed. Force-marching his men, Christian of Anhalt managed to get ahead of the Imperial army just before Prague and he thus gained an advantageous position on the White Mountain, actually a low plateau, but had little time to set up defensive works. Enthusiasm for joining battle was low on both sides, on November 8 a small Imperial force was sent to probe the Protestant flank.
To their surprise, the Bohemians retreated at their advance, Tilly quickly sent in reinforcements, and the Bohemian flank began to crumble. Anhalt tried to retrieve the situation by sending infantry and cavalry led by his son Christian II. The cavalry charged into the Imperial infantry, causing significant casualties, the Bohemian infantry, who were only now approaching the Imperial army, saw the cavalry retreating, at which they fired one volley at extreme range before retreating themselves. A small group of Imperial cavalry began circling the Protestant forces, with the Bohemian army already demoralized, company after company began retreating, most without having actually entered the battle. The Battle of White Mountain was more a skirmish than a full-fledged battle, the Bohemian army was no match for the Emperor Ferdinands troops
Weimar is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately 80 kilometres southwest of Leipzig,170 kilometres north of Nuremberg and 170 kilometres west of Dresden. Together with the neighbour-cities Erfurt and Jena it forms the metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants. Weimar is well known because of its cultural heritage and its importance in German history. The city was a point of the German Enlightenment and home of the leading characters of the literary genre of Weimar Classicism. Until 1948, Weimar was the capital of Thuringia, many places in the city centre have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites and tourism is one of the leading economic sectors of Weimar. Relevant institutions in Weimar are the Bauhaus University, the Liszt School of Music, in 1999, Weimar was the European Capital of Culture. Archaeological finds dating back to the Thuringii epoch show that the Weimar part of the Ilm valley was settled early, the oldest records regarding Weimar date to 899.
Its name changed over the centuries from Wimares through Wimari to Wimar and finally Weimar, it is derived from Old High German wīh-, another theory derives the first element from OHG win. The place was the seat of the County of Weimar, first mentioned in 949, in 1062 it was united with the County of Orlamünde to the new County of Weimar-Orlamünde, which existed until the Thuringian Counts War in 1346 and fell to the Wettins afterwards. The Weimar settlement emerged around the wooden castle and two small churches dedicated to St Peter, and to St James. In 1240, the count founded the monastery in Oberweimar. Soon after, the counts of Weimar founded the town, which was an independent parish since 1249, from 1262 the citizens used their own seal. Nevertheless, the influence of the Weimar counts was declining as the influence of the Wettins in Thuringia increased. Hence, the new town was relatively marginal in a regional context. The settlement around St James Church developed into a suburb during the 13th century, after becoming part of the Wettins territory in 1346, urban development improved.
The Wettins fostered Weimar by abolishing socage and granting privileges to the citizens, now Weimar became equal to other Wettinian cities like Weißensee and grew during the 15th century, with the establishment of a town hall and the current main church. Weimar acquired woad trade privileges in 1438, the castle and the walls were finished in the 16th century, making Weimar into a full city
Electorate of Saxony
Upon the extinction of the House of Ascania, it was enfeoffed to the Margraves of Meissen from the Wettin dynasty in 1423, who moved the residence up the Elbe river to Dresden. After the Empires dissolution in 1806, the Wettin electors raised Saxony to a kingdom, when Emperor Frederick Barbarossa deposed the Saxon duke Henry the Lion in 1180, the Wittenberg lands belonged to Alberts youngest son Count Bernhard of Anhalt, who assumed the Saxon ducal title. Bernards eldest son, Albert I, ceded Anhalt to his younger brother Henry, retained the ducal title and his sons divided the possessions into the duchies of Saxe-Wittenberg and Saxe-Lauenburg. Louis was succeeded by the Luxembourg king Charles of Bohemia, after being crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1355, Charles issued the Golden Bull of 1356, the fundamental law of the Empire settling the method of electing the German King by seven Prince-electors. In this way, the country, though small in area, the electoral dignity was connected with it the obligation of male primogeniture, that is, only the eldest son could succeed as ruler.
This forbade the division of the territory among several heirs, preventing the disintegration of the country, the importance of this stipulation is shown by the history of most of the fragmented German principalities which were not electorates. Late Alberts Ascanian relative Duke Eric V of Saxe-Lauenburg protested in vain, thus, in 1423, Saxe-Wittenberg, the Margraviate of Meissen and Thuringia were united under one ruler, and the unified territory gradually received the name of Saxony. The partition decisively enfeebled the Wettin dynasty in the rivalry with the rising House of Hohenzollern, the Protestant movement of the 16th century was largely effected under the protection of the Saxon rulers. The Elector did not become at once an adherent of the new opinions, owing to his intervention, Pope Leo X decided against summoning Luther to Rome in 1518, and the Elector secured for Luther Imperial safe-conduct to the 1521 Diet of Worms. When Luther was declared to be under the ban of the empire by Emperor Charles V.
Lutheran doctrines spread first in Ernestine Saxony, in 1525, Frederick died and was succeeded by his brother, John the Constant. John was followed in 1532 by his son, John Frederick the Magnanimous, in 1542, he seized the Diocese of Naumburg-Zeitz, and confiscated the secular possessions of the Dioceses of Meissen and Hildesheim. The Catholic faith was forcibly suppressed, after the outbreak of the Schmalkaldic War, Elector John Frederick was placed under the Imperial ban and finally defeated and captured by Emperor Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg on 24 April 1547. In the Capitulation of Wittenberg of May 19, he was obliged to yield former Saxe-Wittenberg with the dignity to his Albertine cousin Duke Maurice. The Saxon Electorate after the Wittenberg Capitulation consisted of former Saxe-Wittenberg and Meissen together, Maurice secretly shared in all the princely conspiracies against the Emperor, who only escaped capture by flight. During the same year, Charles V was obliged by the Peace of Passau to grant freedom of religion to the Protestant Estates, Maurice died in 1553 at the age of 32.
His brother and successor Elector Augustus seized the Catholic dioceses of Merseburg, the last Bishop of Merseburg, Michael Helding called Sidonius, died at Vienna in 1561. In the same manner after the death of Julius von Pflug, the last Catholic Bishop of Naumburg, in 1564 and those cathedral canons who were still Catholic were only permitted to exercise their religion for ten years more
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
He led Sweden to military supremacy during the Thirty Years War, helping to determine the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe. He was formally and posthumously given the name Gustavus Adolphus the Great by the Riksdag of the Estates in 1634 and he is often regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time, with innovative use of combined arms. His most notable victory was the Battle of Breitenfeld. He was ably assisted in his efforts by Count Axel Oxenstierna, the Lord High Chancellor of Sweden, within only a few years of his accession, Sweden had become the largest nation in Europe after Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Some have called him the father of modern warfare, or the first great modern general and he was known by the epithets The Golden King and The Lion of the North by neighboring sovereigns. He made Sweden one of the powers of Europe in part by reforming the administrative structure. For example, he began Parish registration of the population, so that the government could more efficiently tax.
Gustavus Adolphus was born in Stockholm as the oldest son of Duke Charles of the Vasa dynasty and his second wife, at the time, the King of Sweden was Gustavus Adolphus cousin Sigismund. Crown Prince Gustav Adolph had Gagnef-Floda in Dalecarlia as a duchy from 1610, upon his fathers death in October 1611, a sixteen-year-old Gustavus inherited the throne, as well as an ongoing succession of occasionally belligerent dynastic disputes with his Polish cousin. Sigismund III wanted to regain the throne of Sweden and tried to force Gustavus Adolphus to renounce the title, in a round of this dynastic dispute, Gustavus invaded Livonia when he was 31, beginning the Polish-Swedish War. He intervened on behalf of the Lutherans in Germany, who opened the gates to their cities to him and his reign became famous from his actions a few years when in June 1630 he landed in Germany, marking the Swedish Intervention in the Thirty Years War. Gustavus intervened on the side, which at the time was losing to the Holy Roman Empire and its Catholic allies.
Gustavus was married to Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg, the daughter of John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg and he died in the Battle of Lützen in 1632. His early death was a loss to the Lutheran side. This resulted in parts of Germany and other countries, which had been conquered for Lutheranism. His involvement in the Thirty Years War gave rise to the saying that he was the incarnation of the Lion of the North, scholars all agree that Gustavus Adolphus was an extremely able military commander. His innovative tactical integration of infantry, cavalry and particularly his use of artillery, future commanders who studied and admired Gustav II Adolf include Napoleon I of France and Carl von Clausewitz. His advancements in military science made Sweden the dominant Baltic power for the one hundred years
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of both the Spanish Empire from 1516 and the Holy Roman Empire from 1519, as well as of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1506. He voluntarily stepped down from these and other positions by a series of abdications between 1554 and 1556, through inheritance, he brought together under his rule extensive territories in western and southern Europe, and the Spanish colonies in the Americas and Asia. As a result, his domains spanned nearly four square kilometers and were the first to be described as the empire on which the sun never sets. Charles was the heir of three of Europes leading dynasties, the Houses of Valois-Burgundy and Trastámara and he inherited the Burgundian Netherlands and the Franche-Comté as heir of the House of Valois-Burgundy. From his own dynasty, the Habsburgs, he inherited Austria and he was elected to succeed his Habsburg grandfather, Maximilian I, as Holy Roman Emperor, a title held by the Habsburgs since 1440. Charles was the first king to rule Castile and Aragon simultaneously in his own right, the personal union, under Charles, of the Holy Roman Empire with the Spanish Empire resulted in the closest Europe would come to a universal monarchy since the death of Louis the Pious.
France recovered and the wars continued for the remainder of Charless reign, enormously expensive, they led to the development of the first modern professional army in Europe, the Tercios. The struggle with the Ottoman Empire was fought in Hungary and the Mediterranean, after seizing most of eastern and central Hungary in 1526, the Ottomans’ advance was halted at their failed Siege of Vienna in 1529. A lengthy war of attrition, conducted on his behalf by his younger brother Ferdinand, in the Mediterranean, although there were some successes, Charles was unable to prevent the Ottomans’ increasing naval dominance and the piratical activity of the Barbary Corsairs. Charles opposed the Reformation and in Germany he was in conflict with the Protestant Princes of the Schmalkaldic League who were motivated by religious and political opposition to him. Once the rebellions were quelled the essential Castilian and Burgundian territories remained mostly loyal to Charles throughout his rule, Charles’s Spanish dominions were the chief source of his power and wealth, and they became increasingly important as his reign progressed.
In the Americas, Charles sanctioned the conquest by Castillian conquistadors of the Aztec, Castillian control was extended across much of South and Central America. The resulting vast expansion of territory and the flows of South American silver to Castile had profound long term effects on Spain. Charles was only 56 when he abdicated, but after 34 years of rule he was physically exhausted and sought the peace of a monastery. Upon Charles’s abdications, the Holy Roman Empire was inherited by his younger brother Ferdinand, the Spanish Empire, including the possessions in the Netherlands and Italy, was inherited by Charles’s son Philip II. The two empires would remain allies until the 18th century, Charles was born in 1500 as the eldest son of Philip the Handsome and Joanna of Castile in the Flemish city of Ghent, which was part of the Habsburg Netherlands. The culture and courtly life of the Burgundian Low Countries were an important influence in his early life and he was tutored by William de Croÿ, and by Adrian of Utrecht.
He gained a decent command of German, though he never spoke it as well as French, a witticism sometimes attributed to Charles is, I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian II, a member of the Austrian House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor from 1564 until his death. He was crowned King of Bohemia in Prague on 14 May 1562, on 8 September 1563 he was crowned King of Hungary and Croatia in the Hungarian capital Pressburg. On 25 July 1564 he succeeded his father Ferdinand I as ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, maximilians rule was shaped by the confessionalization process after the 1555 Peace of Augsburg. Though a Habsburg and a Catholic, he approached the Lutheran Imperial estates with a view to overcome the denominational schism and he was faced with the ongoing Ottoman–Habsburg wars and rising conflicts with his Habsburg Spain cousins. According to Fichtner, he failed to achieve his three major aims, rationalizing the government structure, unifying Christianity, and evicting the Turks from Hungary and he was named after his great-grandfather, Emperor Maximilian I. At the time of his birth, his father Ferdinand succeeded his brother-in-law King Louis II in the Kingdom of Bohemia, having spent his childhood years at his fatherss court in Innsbruck, Tyrol, he was educated principally in Italy.
Among his teachers were humanist scholars like Kaspar Ursinus Velius and Georg Tannstetter, Maximilian came in contact with the Lutheran teaching and early on corresponded with the Protestant prince Augustus of Saxony, suspiciously eyed by his Habsburg relatives. From the age of 17, he gained experience of warfare during the Italian War campaign of his uncle Charles V against King Francis I of France in 1544. On 13 September 1548 Emperor Charles V married Maximilian to Charless daughter Mary of Spain in the Castile residence of Valladolid, by the marriage his uncle intended to strengthen the ties with the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs, but to consolidate his nephews Catholic faith. Maximilian temporarily acted as the representative in Spain, however not as stadtholder of the Habsburg Netherlands as he had hoped for. He returned to Germany in December 1550 in order to part in the discussion over the Imperial succession. However, Charles brother Ferdinand, who had already designated as the next occupant of the imperial throne.
Maximilian sought the support of the German princes such as Duke Albert V of Bavaria and even contacted Protestant leaders like Maurice of Saxony and Duke Christoph of Württemberg. At length a compromise was reached, Philip was to succeed Ferdinand, the relationship between the two cousins was uneasy. While his cousin was reserved and shy, Maximilian was outgoing and his adherence to humanism and religious tolerance put him at odds with Philip who was more committed to the defence of the Catholic faith. Also, he was considered a promising commander, while Philip disliked war, the two remained committed to the unity of their dynasty. In Vienna, he had his Hofburg residence extended with the Renaissance Stallburg wing, the site of the Spanish Riding School, the court held close ties to the University of Vienna and employed scholars like the botanist Carolus Clusius and the diplomat Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq. Maximilians library curated by Hugo Blotius became the nucleus of the Austrian National Library and he implemented the Roman School of composition with his court orchestra, his plans to win Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina as Kapellmeister foundered on financial reasons
The Free State of Thuringia is a federal state in central Germany. It has an area of 16,171 square kilometres and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area, most of Thuringia is within the watershed of the Saale, a left tributary of the Elbe. Thuringia has been known as the heart of Germany from the late 19th century. It is home to the Rennsteig, Germanys most well-known hiking trail, half of Germanys 136 Winter Olympic gold medals have been won by Thuringian athletes. Johann Sebastian Bach spent the first part of his life and important further stages of his career in Thuringia and Schiller lived in Weimar and both worked at the University of Jena, which today hosts Thuringias most important science centre. Other Universities in this state are the Ilmenau University of Technology, the University of Erfurt. The name Thuringia or Thüringen derives from the Germanic tribe Thuringii, an older theory claims that they were successors of the Hermunduri, but research rejected the idea.
Other historians argue that the Thuringians were allies of the Huns, came to central Europe together with them, publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus first mentioned the Thuringii around 400, during that period, the Thuringii were famous for their excellent horses. The Thuringian Realm existed until after 531, the Landgraviate of Thuringia was the largest state in the region, after the Treaty of Leipzig, Thuringia had its own dynasty again, the Ernestine Wettins. Their various lands formed the Free State of Thuringia, founded in 1920, the Prussian territories around Erfurt, Mühlhausen and Nordhausen joined Thuringia in 1945. The coat of arms of Thuringia shows the lion of the Ludowingian Landgraves of 12th-century origin, the eight stars around it represent the eight former states which formed Thuringia. The flag of Thuringia is a bicolor, derived from the white. The coat of arms and flag of Hesse are quite similar to the Thuringian ones, symbols of Thuringia in popular culture are the Bratwurst and the Forest, because a large amount of the territory is forested.
Named after the Thuringii tribe who occupied it around AD300, Thuringia became a landgraviate in 1130 AD. Most of the remaining Thuringia came under the rule of the Wettin dynasty of the nearby Margraviate of Meissen, in Mühlhausen and elsewhere, the Anabaptists found many adherents. Thomas Müntzer, a leader of some groups of this sect, was active in this city. Some reordering of the Thuringian states occurred during the German Mediatisation from 1795 to 1814, in 1920, after World War I, these small states merged into one state, called Thuringia, only Saxe-Coburg voted to join Bavaria instead. Weimar became the new capital of Thuringia, the coat of arms of this new state was simpler than those of its predecessors
Saxe-Altenburg was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in present-day Thuringia. It was one of the smallest of the German states with an area of 1323 square kilometers, the territory of the duchy consisted of two non-contiguous territories separated by land belonging to the Principality of Reuss. Its economy was based on agriculture and small industry, the state had a constitutional monarchical form of government with a parliament composed of thirty members chosen by male taxpayers over 25 years of age. The duchy had its origins in the medieval Burgraviate of Altenburg in the Imperial Pleissnerland, upon a partition treaty of 1485, Altenburg fell to Ernst, Elector of Saxony, the progenitor of the Ernestine Wettins. After the Division of Erfurt in 1572 among Duke Johann Wilhelm of Saxony and his nephews, when Johann Wilhelms son and successor Friedrich Wilhelm I died in 1602, the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar passed to his younger brother Johann II. In 1603 Frederick Williams eldest son Johann Philipp received the newly created Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg as compensation and this family ruled the duchy until the end of the monarchies in the course of the German Revolution of 1918–19.
The succeeding Free State of Saxe-Altenburg was incorporated into the new state of Thuringia in 1920, Saxe-Altenburg had an area of 1,323 km² and a population of 207,000. The Saxe-Altenburg line became extinct following the death of Prince George Moritz in 1991, the leadership of the house passed to Michael, head of the genealogically more senior house of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Its representation was merged with the one of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Ernestine duchies Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Saxe-Altenburg. Media related to Saxe-Altenburg at Wikimedia Commons Herzogtum Sachsen-Altenburg
The prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire. From the 13th century onwards, the Prince-Electors had the privilege of electing the King of the Romans, Charles V was the last to be a crowned Emperor, his successors were elected Emperors directly by the electoral college, each being titled Elected Emperor of the Romans. In practice, all but one Emperor from 1440 onwards came from the Austrian House of Habsburg, the dignity of Elector carried great prestige and was considered to be second only to that of King or Emperor. The Electors had exclusive privileges that were not shared with the princes of the Empire. The heir apparent to a secular prince-elector was known as an electoral prince, the German practice of electing monarchs began when ancient Germanic tribes formed ad hoc coalitions and elected the leaders thereof. Elections were irregularly held by the Franks, whose successor states include France, the French monarchy eventually became hereditary, but the Holy Roman Emperors remained elective, at least in theory, although the Habsburgs provided most of the monarchs.
While all free men originally exercised the right to vote in such elections, in the election of Lothar II in 1125, a small number of eminent nobles chose the monarch and submitted him to the remaining magnates for their approbation. Soon, the right to choose the monarch was settled on a group of princes. The college of electors was mentioned in 1152 and again in 1198, a letter of Pope Urban IV suggests that by immemorial custom, seven princes had the right to elect the King and future Emperor. The seven have been mentioned as the vote-casters in the election of 1257 that resulted in two kings becoming elected, the Count Palatine of the Rhine held most of the former Duchy of Franconia after the last Duke died in 1039. The Margrave of Brandenburg became an Elector when the Duchy of Swabia was dissolved after the last Duke of Swabia was beheaded in 1268, even with diminished territory, retained its eminent position. The Palatinate and Bavaria were originally held by the same individual, the King of Bohemia, who held the ancient imperial office of Arch-Cupbearer, asserted his right to participate in elections.
Sometimes he was challenged on the grounds that his kingdom was not German, though usually he was recognized, instead of Bavaria which after all was just a younger line of Wittelsbachs. The Declaration of Rhense issued in 1338 had the effect that election by the majority of the electors automatically conferred the title and rule over the empire. The Golden Bull of 1356 finally resolved the disputes among the electors, in 1621, the Elector Palatine, Frederick V, came under the imperial ban after participating in the Bohemian Revolt. The Elector Palatines seat was conferred on the Duke of Bavaria, the Duke held the electorate personally, but it was made hereditary along with the duchy. When the Thirty Years War concluded with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, since the Elector of Bavaria retained his seat, the number of electors increased to eight, the two Wittelsbach lines now sufficiently estranged so as not to pose a combined potential threat. In 1685, the composition of the College of Electors was disrupted when a Catholic branch of the Wittelsbach family inherited the Palatinate