Sophia Hedwig of Brunswick-Lüneburg

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Sophia Hedwig of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Sophia Hedwig van Brunswijk-Wolfenbüttel, gravin van Nassau-Dietz.jpg
Sophie Hedwig of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, in 1620–25
Born(1592-06-13)13 June 1592
Died13 January 1642(1642-01-13) (aged 49)
BuriedGrote of Jacobijnerkerk in Leeuwarden
Noble familyHouse of Guelph
Spouse(s)Ernest Casimir I, Count of Nassau-Dietz
FatherHenry Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
MotherPrincess Elisabeth of Denmark

Sophie Hedwig of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (13 June 1592 in Wolfenbüttel – 13 January 1642 in Arnhem), was a Duchess of Brunswick and Lüneburg by birth and by marriage a Countess of Nassau-Dietz.


Sophia was the daughter of Duke Henry Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1564–1613) and his second wife Princess Elisabeth of Denmark (1573–1625), the eldest daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark.

Sophia took up residence at widow seat, the Countly Castle at Diez, and managed to minimize damage caused during the Thirty Years' War. She prevented looting and quartering in the city and county during the Thirty Years' War by skillfully negotiating with army commanders. Sophia made a name for herself outside the county when she turned to Axel Oxenstierna in 1633 and demanded compensation for the damage his troops had done to her territory. Domestically, she cared for the rural population and made sure there was a sufficient supply of food and water. When Diez was affected by a plague epidemic in 1635, she was ready to help.

Sophia was a Calvinist, but this did not prevent her from benefitting from a cooperation with her brother-in-law John Louis of Nassau-Hadamar, who had reverted to Catholicism.

Sophia Hedwig and some of her children, by Paulus Moreelse.

Marriage and issue[edit]

On 8 June 1607, Sophie Hedwig married Count Ernest Casimir I of Nassau-Dietz (1573–1632). Only two of her children reached adulthood:


In the mid-1990s, the gymnasium in Diez was named after her: Sophie-Hedwig-Gymnasium.

A street in Diez was also named after her.