Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony

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Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony
Maria Anna of Saxony.JPG
Electress of Bavaria
Tenure 9 July 1747 – 30 December 1777
Born (1728-08-29)29 August 1728
Dresden Castle, Dresden
Died 17 February 1797(1797-02-17) (aged 68)
Fürstenried Palace, Munich
Burial Katholische Hofkirche
Spouse Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria
Full name
Maria Anna Sophia Sabina Angela Franciska Xaveria
House Wettin
Father Augustus III of Poland
Mother Maria Josepha of Austria
Religion Roman Catholicism

Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony (Maria Anna Sophia Sabina Angela Franciska Xaveria; 29 August 1728 – 17 February 1797) was a daughter of King Augustus III of Poland and his wife Maria Josepha of Austria who became Electress of Bavaria.


In all, Maria Anna's parents had fifteen children; her most notable siblings were Frederick Christian, Elector of Saxony, Queen Maria Amalia of Spain and Maria Josepha, Dauphine of France, the mother of Kings Louis XVI, Louis XVIII of France, and Charles X of France.

Maria Anna was married to the Bavarian Elector Maximilian III Joseph in 1747.

Having no children of her own, Maria Anna negotiated with King Frederick II of Prussia after her husband's death in 1777 to secure Bavaria's independence against Austria and to support the succession rights of the Wittelsbach branch Palatinate Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld in Bavaria, when the new Elector of Bavaria Charles Theodore attempted to cede Lower Bavaria to Austria. A secret treaty with Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II had been concluded in the end. In exchange for Lower Bavaria, Charles Theodore was to receive the Austrian Netherlands (close to his ancestral domains), the Palatinate (already his patrimony), Jülich and Berg.

However, these plans failed with the War of the Bavarian Succession in 1778, in which King Frederick II stifled the Austrian attempts to exchange the Austrian Netherlands for Bavaria. When Emperor Joseph II tried the scheme again in 1784, Frederick II created the Fürstenbund.

After her husband Maximilian III Joseph died, Maria Anna Sophia spent the rest of her life at Fürstenried Palace and enjoyed the gratitude of the Bavarian people and the heirs of the Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld branch: Charles II, Duke of Zweibrücken, and his brother Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, who finally succeeded Charles Theodore in 1799 as first King of Bavaria.


Titles and styles[edit]

  • 29 August 1728 – 9 July 1747: Her Serene Highness Princess Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony
  • 9 July 1747 – 30 December 1777: Her Serene Highness The Electress of Bavaria
  • 30 December 1777 – 17 February 1797: Her Serene Highness The Dowager Electress of Bavaria