Elisabeth of Saxony

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Elisabeth of Saxony
Lucas Cranach the Younger - Portrait of Princess Elisabeth of Saxony - Google Art Project.jpg
Born(1552-10-18)18 October 1552
Wolkenstein Castle in Wolkenstein
Died2 April 1590(1590-04-02) (aged 37)
Noble familyHouse of Wettin
Spouse(s)John Casimir of the Palatinate-Simmern
FatherAugust, Elector of Saxony
MotherAnna of Denmark

Elisabeth of Saxony (born: 18 October 1552 at Wolkenstein Castle in Wolkenstein – died: 2 April 1590 in Heidelberg) was a Saxon princess from the House of Wettin by birth and by marriage Countess Palatine of Simmern.


Elisabeth was a daughter of the Elector August of Saxony (1526–1586) from his marriage to Anna (1532–1585), daughter of King Christian III of Denmark.

She married on 4 June 1570 in Heidelberg during the Diet of Speyer with Count Palatine John Casimir of Simmern (1543–1592). August opposed the policies of John Casimir, who was a Calvinist and friendly to France. With this marriage, August hoped to woo John Casimir over to the Lutheran side. However, he did not succeed. The Catholics in Germany regarded the marriage as a provocation against the Habsburg dynasty and an attempt to form a united Protestant front.

The Calvinist Johann Casimir tried to break the religious opposition of his Lutheran wife. In October 1585, she was arrested and accused of adultery and a murder plot against her husband. Even her brother, Elector Christian I, was convinced of her guilt. She converted to Calvinism while in captivity, and died shortly afterwards.

Marriage and issue[edit]

From her marriage with John Casimir, Elizabeth had the following children:

  • Unnamed son (1573)
  • Marie (1576–1577)
  • Elisabeth (1578–1580)
  • Dorothea (1581–1631), married in 1595 Prince John George I of Anhalt-Dessau (1598–1618)
  • Unnamed daughter (1584)
  • Unnamed daughter (1585)


Royal descendants[edit]


  • August von Kluckhohn (1877), "Elisabeth (Pfalzgräfin bei Rhein)", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 6, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 7–8
  • Friedrich von Bezold (1881), "Johann Casimir, Pfalzgraf bei Rhein", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 14, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 307–314
  • Karl von Weber: Archiv für die sächsische Geschichte, p. 215
  • Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften: Die letzten Jahre der Pfalzgräfin Elisabeth, Proceedings of the III Cl., 1873, 1879
  • Böttcher, Hans-Joachim (2018). Elisabeth von Sachsen und Johann Kasimir von der Pfalz: Ein Ehe- und Religionskonflikt [Elisabeth of Saxony and John Casimir of the Palatinate: A Marital and Religious Conflict] (in German). Dresden: Dresdner Buchverlag. ISBN 9783946906063.