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Arms of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
Arms of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg

Löwenstein-Wertheim was a county of the Holy Roman Empire, part of the Franconian Circle. It was formed from the counties of Löwenstein (based in the town of Löwenstein) and Wertheim (based in the town of Wertheim am Main) and from 1488 until 1806 ruled by the House of Löwenstein-Wertheim who are morganatic descendants (and the most senior line) of the Palatinate branch of the House of Wittelsbach.


The county of Löwenstein belonged to a branch of the family of the counts of Calw before 1281, when it was purchased by the German king Rudolph I of Habsburg, who presented it to his natural son Albert. In 1441 Henry, one of Albert's descendants, sold it to the Frederick I, Count Palatine of the Rhine, head of the Palatine branch of the house of Wittelsbach, and later it served as a portion for Louis (1494-1524), a son of the elector by a morganatic marriage, who became a count of the Empire in 1494. Louis obtained Löwenstein in Suabia and received from Emperor Maximilian I the title of Count of Löwenstein.

The family lost Löwenstein to Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg, but Louis III, Count of Löwenstein, through his marriage to Anna, heiress of the Count of Wertheim, obtained that territory. Louis III left two sons: Christopher Louis, a Lutheran, and John Dietrich, who remained a Catholic, so the family was divided in two: Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, a Lutheran branch, and Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, a Catholic one. With the dissolution of the German Empire in 1806 and the protocol of Frankfurt on 20 July 1819 all the family lands were mediatised. The county was disbanded in 1806 and its territory was split among Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, and Hesse.

The current monarchs of Belgium, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, as well as the pretenders to the thrones of Portugal, Italy (Naples branch), Bavaria, and Austria–Hungary are descended (not in the male line) from the Rosenberg branch. Rupert zu Löwenstein, the longtime financial manager of the Rolling Stones, was a member of the Freudenberg branch.

Rulers of Löwenstein[edit]

Counts of Löwenstein (1494–1571)[edit]

Ruins of Löwenstein Castle

Counts of Löwenstein-Scharffeneck (1571–1633)[edit]

  • Wolfgang II, Count 1571–1596 (1555-1596), eldest son of Wolfgang I, Count of Löwenstein

Georg Ludwig survived his only son, with this line becoming extinct. His daughter and heiress Maria Christina of Löwenstein-Scharffeneck (1625–1673) married Gabriel Oxenstierna, Count of Korsholm and Vaasa (1619–1673). The further Counts of Korsholm and Vaasa were their descendants.

Counts of Löwenstein-Wertheim (1571–1636)[edit]

  • Ludwig III, Count 1571–1611 (1530-1611), third surviving son of Friedrich I, Count of Lowenstein, married heiress of Wertheim am Main.
    • Ludwig IV, Count 1611–1635 (1569-1635), second son, co-heir with his brothers
    • Wolfgang Ernst, Count 1611–1636 (1578-1636), third son, co-heir with his brothers

Ludwig IV has no known descendants. Wolfgang Ernst only had one daughter, Dorothea Walpurga of Löwenstein-Wertheim (1628–1634) who predeceased him. Their lines were extinct with their own deaths.

Counts of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Virneburg (1611–1812)[1][better source needed][edit]

Counts of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rochefort (1611–1712)[2][better source needed][edit]

  • Johann Dietrich, Count 1611–1644 (1585-1644), fourth son of Ludwig III, Count of Löwenstein-Wertheim, co-heir with his brothers

Princes of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rochefort (1712–1803)[edit]

Princes of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (1803–present)[3][better source needed][edit]

Kleinheubach Castle, residence of the princes of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg since 1720

Princes of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg (1812–present)[4][edit]

Kreuzwertheim Castle, residence of the princes of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg since 1736
  • Johann Karl, 1st Prince 1812–1816 (1740-1816), the last Count of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Virneburg
    • Georg, 2nd Prince 1816–1855 (1775-1855)
      • Adolf, 3rd Prince 1855–1861 (1805-1861)
    • Prince Wilhelm Ernst (1783-1847)
      • Wilhelm, 4th Prince 1861–1887 (1817-1887)
        • Ernst Alban Ludwig, 5th Prince 1887–1931 (1854-1931), abdicated 1918
        • Prince Alfred (1855-1925)
          • Udo, 6th Prince 1931–1980 (1896-1980)
            • Alfred-Ernst, 7th Prince 1980–2010 (1924-2010)
              • Ludwig, 8th Prince 2010–present (born 1951)
              • Prince Udo (born 1957)
                • Prince Georg (born 1993)
                • Prince Philipp (born 1998)
        • Prince Wilhelm Gustav Ludwig (1863-1915)
          • Prince Wolfgang Wilhelm Gustav Karl Ludwig (1890-1945)
            • Prince Wolfram Hubertus Wilhelm Heinrich (born 1941)
              • Prince Wolfram Michael Nikolaus Friedrich Jakob (born 1980)


External links[edit]