Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst

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Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst
Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst, Electress of Brandenburg
Spouse(s) John George, Elector of Brandenburg
Father Joachim Ernest, Prince of Anhalt
Mother Agnes of Barby
Born (1563-09-15)15 September 1563
Died 8 November 1607(1607-11-08) (aged 44)
Buried Cathedral in Berlin

Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst (15 September 1563 – 8 November 1607) was a princess of Anhalt by birth and Electress of Brandenburg by marriage.


Elizabeth was a daughter of Joachim Ernest, Prince of Anhalt (1536–1585), from his first marriage to Agnes of Barby (1540–1569), daughter of Count Wolfgang I of Barby.

On 6 October 1577 married John George (1525–1598), in Jagdschloss Letzlingen. Her husband was almost 40 years older than she was. Elisabeth was his third wife, and was 16 years younger than her stepson Joachim Frederick. The marriage was celebrated without many festivities, and Elizabeth was promised 400 guilders annually as her dower. Elizabeth brought as a dowry into the marriage 15 000 dollars and received as jointure, besides a considerable pension, the city of Crossen, including Crossen Palace, plus the district and city of Züllichau and the lordship of Bobrowice (German: Bobersberg).

Elisabeth was a patron of the scholar Leonhard Thurneysser. After her husband's death, weakened by child-bearing, she retired with her younger children to her widow seat of Crossen Palace. She is buried in the crypt of the Hohenzollerns in the Berliner Dom.


Her marriage to John George of Brandenburg produced the following children:

  1. Christian (1581–1655)
  2. Magdalene (7 January 1582 – 4 May 1616), married in 1598 to Landgrave Louis V of Hesse-Darmstadt
  3. Joachim Ernst (1583–1625)
  4. Agnes (1584–1629), married:
    1. in 1604 Duke Philipp Julius of Pomerania;
    2. in 1628 Duke Francis Charles of Saxe-Lauenburg
  5. Frederick (1588–1611)
  6. Elisabeth Sophia of Brandenburg (July 13, 1589 – December 24, 1629), married:
    1. in 1613 to Reichsfürst (Prince) Janusz Radziwiłł;
    2. on 27 February 1628 to Duke Julius Henry of Saxe-Lauenburg
  7. Dorothea Sibylle (19 October 1590 – 9 March 1625), married in 1610 to Duke John Christian of Brieg
  8. George Albert (1591–1615)
  9. Sigismund (20 November 1592 – 30 April 1640)
  10. John (1597–1627)
  11. John George (1598–1637)

References and sources[edit]

  • Friederike Bornhak: Elisabeth von Anhalt: Kurfürstin von Brandenburg, dritte Gemahlin des Kurfürsten Johann Georg von Brandenburg, geboren 1563, gestorben 1607, S. Geibel, 1889
  • Ernst Daniel Martin Kirchner: Die Kurfürstinnen und Königinnen auf dem Throne der Hohhenzollern, part 2l: Die letzten acht Kurfürstinnen, Berlin, 1867, p. 34 ff. (digitized)
Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst
Born: 15 September 1563 Died: 8 November 1607
German nobility
Title last held by
Sabina of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Electress consort of Brandenburg
6 October 1577 – 8 January 1598
Succeeded by
Catherine of Brandenburg-Küstrin