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County (Principality) of
Grafschaft (Fürstentum) Salm-Salm
State of the Holy Roman Empire
1574 – 1793
1802 – 1811


Capital Badonviller; Senones
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages, Modern Age
 -  Partitioned from
 -  Partitioned to create
1608 1574
 -  Raised to principality 1739
 -  Annexed by France 1793
 -  Granted territories from
    Münster, with S-Kyrburg,
    to create unified Salm
 -  Joined the Confederation
    of the Rhine
 -  Annexed by France 1811 1811
 -  Mediatised to Prussia 1813

The Principality of Salm-Salm was a state of the Holy Roman Empire. It was located in the present-day French départements of the Bas-Rhin and the Vosges and was one of a number of partitions of Salm.


Salm-Salm was created as a partition of Salm-Dhaun in 1574, and was raised from a County to a Principality in 1739 after being inherited and renamed by Count Nicholas Leopold of Salm-Hoogstraten. Salm-Salm was partitioned between itself and Salm-Neuweiler in 1608.

The last territorial partition occurred in 1751, when Salm-Salm reorganized its borders with the Duchy of Lorraine.

In 1790, after the French Revolution, the princes of Salm fled the territory and moved to their castle in Anholt, Westphalia. Salm-Salm then was besieged by the revolutionary army, which blocked food supplies from reaching the state. As a consequence, the population was forced to surrender to France. On March 2, 1793, the French National Convention declared Salm-Salm to be a part of the French Republic and attached it to the Départment of the Vosges. This was recognized by the Holy Roman Empire in the Peace of Lunéville of 1801.

Some years later, in 1802/1803, together with Salm-Kyrburg, the prince of Salm-Salm was granted new territories formerly belonging to the Bishops of Münster (Westphalia). The new territory was governed in union with Salm-Kyrburg and was known as the Principality of Salm.


In 1165, the original County of Salm was divided into the counties of Lower Salm, in the Ardennes, and the county of Upper Salm, situated in the Vosges mountains. In 1738, the County of Upper Salm was elevated to Principality of Salm-Salm.

The capital of Salm-Salm was first Badonviller, and from 1751 on, Senones. The second part of the name of Salm-Salm derives from Salm Castle near Salm (today La Broque).

At the end of its existence, Salm-Salm had an area of about 200 km² and 10,000 inhabitants. It was separated from the main part of the Holy Roman Empire when most of Alsace was ceded to France in the 17th century. Until 1735, it was bordered by the Duchy of Lorraine to the west and by France to the east. After Lorraine became a part of France in 1735, Salm-Salm formed an exclave of the Holy Roman Empire surrounded by French territory.

The economy of Salm-Salm was mainly based on an iron mine near Grandfontaine.


Counts of Salm-Salm (1574–1738)[edit]

Sovereign princes of Salm-Salm (1739–1813)[edit]

Princely arms of Salm-Salm
  • Nicholas Leopold (Count of Salm-Hoogstraten) (1739–1770)
  • Louis Otto Charles (1770–1771)
  • Maximilian (1771–1773)
  • Louis Otto Charles (1773–1778)
  • Constantine Alexander (1778–1813)

Mediatised princes of Salm-Salm (1813–present)[edit]

  • Constantine Alexander (1813–1828)
  • Florentin (1828–1846)
  • Alfred (1846–1886)
  • Nikolaus (1886–1908)
  • Alfred (1908–1923)
  • Nikolaus Leopold (1923–1988)
  • Carl-Philipp (1988–present)
    • Heir: Hereditary Prince Emanuel (born 1961)

References and external links[edit]