Principality of Reuss-Greiz

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Principality of Reuss-Greiz
Fürstentum Reuß-Greiz

Principality of the Reuss Elder Line
Fürstentum Reuß älterer Linie
Flag of Reuss-Greiz
of Reuss-Greiz
Coat of arms
Motto: Ich Bau Auf Gott
"I build on God"
Anthem: Gott, erhalt' in Deiner Gnaden Unsern Fürsten
"God, Save in Your Mercy Our Prince"
Reuss-Greiz within the German Empire
Reuss-Greiz within the German Empire
Reuss-Greiz within Thuringia
Reuss-Greiz within Thuringia
• 1778–1800
Heinrich XI
• 1800–1817
Heinrich XIII
• 1817–1836
Heinrich XIX
• 1836–1859
Heinrich XX
• 1859–1902
Heinrich XXII
• 1902–1918
Heinrich XXIV
Minister of State 
• 1782–1833
Franz von Grün (first)
• 1901–1918
Ernst von Meding (last)
• Established
12 May 1778
• Disestablished
11 November 1918
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Imperial County of Reuss
People's State of Reuss

The Principality of Reuss-Greiz (German: Fürstentum Reuß-Greiz), officially called the Principality of the Reuss Elder Line (German: Fürstentum Reuß älterer Linie) after 1848, was a sovereign state in the German Empire, ruled by members of the House of Reuss. The Counts Reuss of Greiz, Lower-Greiz and Upper-Greiz (German: Reuß zu Greiz, Untergreiz und Obergreiz) were elevated to princely status in 1778 and thereafter bore the title of Prince Reuss, Elder Line, or Prince Reuss of Greiz.

Similarly to the more numerous Reuss Junior Line, the male members of this house were all named "Heinrich", in honour of Emperor Heinrich VI, who had benefited the family. They were numbered sequentially by birth, rather than by reign, with the last series beginning with Heinrich I (born 1693) and ending with Heinrich XXIV (1878–1927).

The territory had an area of 317 km2 and over 72,000 inhabitants in 1910.

Reuss-Greiz preserved the Frankfurt Parliament flag, which later became the flag of Germany.


In 1919, in the aftermath of World War I, the territory of the Elder Line was merged with that of the Junior Line as the People's State of Reuss, which was incorporated into the new state of Thuringia in 1920. The Elder Line died out in 1927 with the death of the childless Heinrich XXIV, after which its claims were passed to the Junior Line.

Princes of Reuss-Greiz (1778–1918)[edit]

Notable figures[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Flag of Germany, whose modern colors match those of the Reuss-Greiz principality