Dorothea Maria of Saxe-Weimar, Duchess of Saxe-Zeitz

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This article is about the consort of Duke Maurice of Saxe-Zeitz. For the consort of Duke John II of Saxe-Weimar, see Dorothea Maria of Saxe-Weimar.
Dorothea Maria of Saxe-Weimar
Spouse(s) Maurice, Duke of Saxe-Zeitz
Noble family House of Wettin
Father William, Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Mother Eleonore Dorothea of Anhalt-Dessau
Born (1641-10-14)14 October 1641
Died 11 June 1675(1675-06-11) (aged 33)
Moritzburg Palace in Zeitz
Buried Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in Zeitz

Duchess Maria Dorothea of Saxe-Weimar (14 October 1641 in Weimar – 11 June 1675 at Moritzburg Palace in Zeitz) was Duchess of Saxe-Weimar from the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin and by marriage a Duchess of Saxe-Zeitz.



Dorothea Maria was the youngest daughter of Duke William IV of Saxe-Weimar from his marriage to Eleonore Dorothea of Anhalt-Dessau, the daughter of Prince John George I of Anhalt-Dessau. She was named after her maternal grandmother Dorothea Maria of Anhalt, who had already died at that point in time.

Marriage to Maurice of Saxony, and activity in the Principality of Saxe-Zeitz[edit]

Her marriage to Duke Maurice of Saxe-Zeitz can be understood against the background of the fact that Maurice had been administrator of the Bishopric of Naumburg-Zeitz since 1653 and lived in City Palace in Naumburg. Furthermore, Maurice had been a member since 1646, of the Fruitbearing Society, led by Dorothea Maria's father.

Maurice had been married before and had been a widower since 7 October 1652. When the customary mourning period had ended, he married Dorothea Maria, who was only 15 years old. Maurice's father, Elector John George I of Saxony died. Maurice inherited the Lordship of Zeitz as an apanage, making him the founder of the Saxe-Zeitz branch of the House of Wettin.

Maurice held that the City Palace in Naumburg was not a befitting residence for a person of his station and summoned his father court architect, Johann Moritz Richter, to discuss the design of a magnificent baroque palace, Moritzburg Palace, in his new capital Zeitz.

The Duke and Duchess saw as their main task to revive the economy and to repair the devastation of the infrastructure of their principality during the Thirty Years' War. They also devoted themselves to the reconstruction of the seminary in Zeitz. Christoph Cellarius would later add great prestige to this seminary.

Dorothea Maria died on 11 June 1675, at the age of 33. She was buried in a magnificent sarcophagus in the hall crypt below the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in Zeitz. Her husband remarried after her death. This third marriage, however, remained childless, so that the Saxe-Zeitz line descends from Dorothea Maria. However, the line died out after the third generation, due to lack of male heirs.

Marriage and issue[edit]

She married on 3 July 1656 in Weimar with Duke Maurice of Saxe-Zeitz, the youngest surviving son of Elector John George I of Saxony, from his second marriage, with Duchess Magdalene Sibylle of Prussia. Maurice and Dorothea Maria had ten children:

  • Eleonore Magdalena (30 October 1658 in Weimar – 26 February 1661 in Dresden), Princess of Saxe-Zeitz
  • Wilhelmine Eleonore (born and died in September 1659 in Dresden)
  • Erdmuthe Dorothea (1661-1720), Princess of Saxe-Zeitz, married Duke Christian II of Saxe-Merseburg
  • Maurice William (1664-1718), succeeded Maurice as Duke of Saxe-Zeitz, married Marie Amalie of Brandenburg
  • John George (27 April 1665 at Moritzburg Palace – 5 September 1666, ibid.), Prince of Saxe-Zeitz
  • Christian August (1666-1725), Prince of Saxe-Zeitz, Cardinal-Archbishop of Esztergom, Bishop of Raab, Primate of Hungary, and Principal Imperial Commissioner at the Perpetual Diet in Regensburg
  • Frederick Henry (1668-1713), Duke of Saxe-Zeitz-Pegau-Neustadt, married:
    1. Sophie Angelika of Württemberg-Bernstadt
    2. Anna Fredericka Philippine of Scheleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Wiesenburg
  • Maria Sophia (3 November 1670 at Moritzburg Palace – 31 May 1671, ibid.), Princess of Saxe-Zeitz
  • Magdalena Sibylla (7 April 1672 at Moritzburg Palace – 20 August 1672 ibid), Princess of Saxe-Zeitz
  • Wilhelmine Sophie (born and died on 11 June 1675 at Moritzburg Palace), Princess of Saxe-Zeitz

External links[edit]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.