Sophie of Brandenburg

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Sophie of Brandenburg
SophieBrandSachsen.jpg
Sophie of Brandenburg as princess
Spouse(s) Christian I, Elector of Saxony
Noble family House of Hohenzollern
Father John George, Elector of Brandenburg
Mother Sabina of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Born (1568-06-06)6 June 1568
Zechlin castle, Rheinsberg
Died 7 December 1622(1622-12-07) (aged 54)
Colditz Castle
Sophie, Electress of Saxony

Sophie of Brandenburg (6 June 1568 – 7 December 1622) was a Princess of Brandenburg and by marriage Electress of Saxony. From 1591 she was the regent of Saxony during the minority of her son Christian II.

Biography[edit]

Sophie was born at Zechlin castle, Rheinsberg, a daughter of the Elector of Brandenburg John George (1525–1598) by his second marriage with Sabina of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1548–1575), daughter of Margrave George of Brandenburg-Ansbach.

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

After the death of her husband, who died at the age of only 31, Sophie, together with Duke Frederick William I of Saxe Weimar, became Regent of the Electorate for her eldest son.

Sophie was an orthodox Lutheran, and fought against crypto-Calvinism in Saxony. After Christian I's death in 1591, she had the Calvinist Chancellor Nikolaus Krell, an opponent of Lutheran orthodoxy, imprisoned at the Königstein Fortress, and in 1601 had him executed at the Dresden Neumarkt. In allusion to the pious widow Judith in the Book of Judith, the orthodox Lutherans thereafter celebrated her as "Judith of Saxony".

As a widow, Sophie lived in the so-called "Fraumutterhaus" in Dresden or in Castle Colditz. She had her own gold coins ("Sophie ducats", Sophiendukaten) minted; she also had the old Franciscan church in Dresden again readied for divine service (1599–1610), which after her was called the Sophienkirche. The "Duchess's Garden" (Der Herzogin Garten) also takes its name from Duchess Sophie. She died at Colditz Castle.

Descendants[edit]

By her marriage, Sophie had the following children:

m. 1602 Princess Hedwig of Denmark (1581–1641)
m. 1604 Princess Sibylle Elisabeth of Württemberg (1584–1606)
m. 1607 Princess Magdalene Sibylle of Prussia (1587–1659)
  • Anna Sabine (*/† 1586)
  • Sophie (1587–1635)
married on 26 August 1610 to Duke Francis I of Pomerania.
  • Elizabeth (1588−1589)
  • Augustus (1589−1615)
m. 1612 Princess Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1593–1650)

Biographical accounts[edit]

  • Franz Blanckmeister: Kurfürstin Anna Sophie von Sachsen: eine evangelische Bekennerin, Barmen [um 1891]
  • Franz Otto Stichart: Galerie der Sächsischen Fürstinnen; Biogr. Skizzen sämmtl. Ahnfrauen d. Königl. Hauses Sachsen. Quellengemäß dargest., Leipzig 1857
  • Ute Essegern: Fürstinnen am kursächsischen Hof, Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2007

External links[edit]