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Friday, 23 January 2015

House of Wittelsbach.

Text and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

English: The House of Wittelsbach.
Deutsch: Wappen Deutsches Reich - Königreich Bayern (Großes).
This File: 25 November 2010.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Wittelsbach family is a European Royal Family and a German dynasty from Bavaria.

Members of the family reigned as Dukes, Electors and Kings of Bavaria (1180–1918), Counts Palatine of the Rhine(1214–1803 and 1816–1918), Margraves of Brandenburg (1323–1373), Counts of Holland, Hainaut and Zeeland(1345–1432), Elector-Archbishops of Cologne (1583–1761), Dukes of Jülich and Berg (1614–1794/1806), Kings of Sweden (1441–1448 and 1654–1720) and Dukes of Bremen-Verden (1654–1719).

Deutsch: Schloss Neuschwanstein ist das bekannteste der Königschlösser Ludwigs II. von Bayern.
English: Neuschwanstein Castle is a famous German Castle in Schwangau, Bavaria,
built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
Polski: Zamek Neuschwanstein to znany zamek w niemieckim Schwangau, Bawaria,
wybudowany przez Ludwika II Bawarskiego.
Photo: June 2007.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The family also provided two Holy Roman Emperors (1328-1347/1742-1745), one King of the Romans (1400-1410), two Anti-Kings of Bohemia (1619-20/1742-43), one King of Hungary (1305-1309), one King of Denmark and Norway(1440-1447) and one King of Greece (1832–1862).

The Wittelsbach Family's head, since 1996, is Franz, Duke of Bavaria.

Duke Franz von Bayern, Head of The House of Wittelsbach, attends the religious wedding of
Georg Friedrich Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia to Princess Sophie of Prussia,
in the Friedenskirche Potsdam, Germany, on 27 August 2011.
Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Berthold, Margrave in Bavaria (died 980 A.D.), was the ancestor of Otto I, Count of Scheyern (died 1072), whose third son, Otto II, Count of Scheyern, acquired the Castle of Wittelsbach (near Aichach). The Counts of Scheyern left Scheyern Castle (constructed around 940 A.D.) in 1119, for Wittelsbach Castle, and established Scheyern Abbey.

Scheyern Abbey, Bavaria, Germany.
Established by the Counts of Scheyern in 1119.
Photo: 1 May 2007.
Source: Own work.
Author: Marcel.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Otto I's son, Eckhard I, Count of Scheyern, was father to the Count Palatine of Bavaria, Otto IV (died 1156), whose son, Otto, was invested with the Duchy of Bavaria in 1180, after the fall of Henry the Lion. Duke Otto's son, Louis I, Duke of Bavaria, acquired, also, the Electorate of the Palatinate in 1214.

The Wittelsbach dynasty ruled the German territories of Bavaria from 1180 to 1918 and the Electorate of the Palatinate from 1214 until 1805; in 1815, the latter territory was partly incorporated as Rhine Palatinate into Bavaria, which Napoleon elevated to a Kingdom in 1806.

On Duke Otto II's death in 1253, his sons divided the Wittelsbach possessions between them: Henry became Duke of Lower Bavaria, and Louis II Duke of Upper Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine. When Henry's Branch died out, in 1340, the Emperor Louis IV, a son of Duke Louis II, reunited the Duchy.

Castle of Burghausen (Upper Bavaria)
viewed from the Austrian side of the Salzach River.
Photo: 10 September 2008.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Burghausen Castle in Burghausen, Upper Bavaria, Germany, is the longest Castle complex in Europe (1,043 m).

The Castle Hill was already settled in the Bronze Age. The Castle (which was Founded before 1025) was transferred to The Wittelsbachs after the death of the last Count of Burghausen, Gebhard II, in 1168. In 1180, The Wittelsbachs were appointed Dukes of Bavaria and the Castle was extended under Duke Otto I of Wittelsbach.

The Family provided two Holy Roman Emperors: Louis IV (1314–1347) and Charles VII (1742–1745), both Members of the Bavarian Branch of the Family, and one German King with Rupert of the Palatinate (1400–1410), a Member of the Palatinate Branch.

The House of Wittelsbach split into these two Branches in 1329: Under the Treaty of Pavia, Emperor Louis IV granted the Palatinate, including the Bavarian Upper Palatinate, to his brother Duke Rudolf's descendants, Rudolf II, Rupert I and Rupert II. Rudolf I, in this way, became the ancestor of the older (Palatinate) line of the Wittelsbach dynasty, which returned to power also in Bavaria in 1777 after the extinction of the younger (Bavarian) line, the descendants of Louis IV.

The Wittelsbach dominions within The Holy Roman Empire (Bavaria, The Netherlands and Palatinate), 1373 A.D., are shown as Wittelsbach, among the Houses of Luxembourg, which acquired Brandenburg that year, and Habsburg, which had acquired Tyrol in 1369.
English: The Holy Roman Empire in the 14th-Century.
Deutsch: Das Heilige Römische Reich im 14 Jahrhundert.
Date: 2005.
Source: Own work (see uploader's comment).
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Bavarian Branch kept the Duchy of Bavaria until its extinction in 1777.The Wittelsbach Emperor, Louis IV, acquired Brandenburg (1323), Tyrol (1342), Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut (1345), for his House, but he had also released the Upper Palatinate for the Palatinate Branch of the Wittelsbach in 1329.

His six sons succeeded him as Duke of Bavaria and Count of Holland and Hainaut in 1347. The Wittelsbachs lost the Tyrol with the death of Duke Meinhard and the following Peace of Schärding - the Tyrol was finally renounced to the Habsburgs in 1369. In 1373, Otto, the last Wittelsbach Regent of Brandenburg, released the Country to the House of Luxembourg. On Duke Albert's death in 1404, he was succeeded in the Netherlands by his eldest son, William. A younger son, John III, became Bishop of Liège. However, on William's death in 1417, a War of Succession broke out between John and William's daughter, Jacqueline of Hainaut. This last episode of the Hook and Cod Wars finally left the Counties in Burgundian hands in 1432.

Emperor Louis IV had reunited Bavaria in 1340, but, from 1349 onwards, Bavaria was split among the descendants of Louis IV, who created the Branches of Bavaria-Landshut, Bavaria-Straubing, Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Bavaria-Munich. With the Landshut War of Succession, Bavaria was reunited in 1505, against the claim of the Palatinate Branch, under the Bavarian Branch Bavaria-Munich.

Early Coat-of-Arms of The House of Wittelsbach.
Wittelsbach Coat-of-Arms: With The Palatinate, The Wittelsbach Family acquired the Lion as an Heraldic symbol; the White-and-Blue Lozenges came to the Family when Otto II Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria, acquired the County of Bogen in 1240.
Date Constructed: 11 June 2007.
Author: Ipankonin.
(Wikimedia Commons)

From 1549 to 1567, the Wittelsbachs owned the County of Kladsko in Bohemia.

Strictly Catholic by upbringing, the Bavarian Dukes became Leaders of the German Counter-Reformation. From 1583 to 1761, the Bavarian Branch of the dynasty provided the Prince-Electors and Archbishops of Cologne and many other Bishops of The Holy Roman Empire, namely Liège (1581-1763). Wittelsbach Princes served, for example, as Bishops of Regensburg, Freising, Liege, Münster, Hildesheim, Paderborn and Osnabrück, and as Grand Masters of The Teutonic Order.

Bavaria, Germany.
Photo: 4 August 2013.
Source: Hohenschwangau.
Uploaded by tm.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Hohenschwangau Castle or Schloss Hohenschwangau (English: High Swan County Palace) is a 19th-Century Palace in Southern Germany. It was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria. It is located in the German village of Hohenschwangau, near the town of Füssen, part of the County of Ostallgäu in, Bavaria, Germany, very close to the border with Austria.

Deutsch: Schloss Hohenschwangau bei Nacht.
English: Hohenschwangau Castle at night.
Français: Château de Hohenschwangau de nuit.
Photo: 22 March 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Aconcagua.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In 1623, under Maximilian I, the Bavarian Dukes were invested with the Electoral dignity and the Duchy became the Electorate of Bavaria. His grandson, Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, served also as Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands (1692–1706) and as Duke of Luxembourg (1712–1714). His son, Emperor Charles VII, was also King of Bohemia (1741–1743). With the death of Charles' son, Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria, the Bavarian Branch died out in 1777.

The Palatinate Branch kept The Palatinate until 1918 and succeeded also in Bavaria in 1777. With the Golden Bull of 1356, the Counts Palatine were invested with the Electoral dignity, their County became the Electorate of The Palatinate. Princes of The Palatinate Branch served as Bishops of the Empire and also as Elector-Archbishops of Mainz and Elector-Archbishops of Trier.

English: Heidelberg Castle of The Electors of Palatinate.
Deutsch: Heidelberger Schloss.
Photo: Summer 2005.
Source: Own work.
Author: Solaris2006.
(Wikimedia Commons)

After the death of the Wittelsbach King, Rupert of Germany, in 1410, the Palatinate Lands began to split under numerous Branches of the Family, such as Neumarkt, Simmern, Zweibrücken, Birkenfeld, Neuburg and Sulzbach. When the Senior Branch of the Palatinate Branch died out in 1559, the Electorate passed to Frederick III of Simmern, a staunch Calvinist, and The Palatinate became one of the major centres of Calvinism in Europe, supporting Calvinist rebellions in both The Netherlands and France.

The Neuburg Cadet Branch of The Palatinate Branch kept also the Duchy of Jülich and Berg from 1614, onwards: When the last Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg died without direct heirs, in 1609, the War of the Jülich Succession broke out, ended by the 1614 Treaty of Xanten, which divided the separate Duchies between Palatinate-Neuburg and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Jülich and Berg fell to the Wittelsbach Count Palatine Wolfgang William of Neuburg.

In 1619, the Protestant Frederick V, Elector Palatine, became King of Bohemia, but was defeated by the Catholic Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, a Member of the Bavarian Branch. As a result, the Upper Palatinate had to be ceded to the Bavarian Branch in 1623. When The Thirty Years' War concluded with The Treaty of Münster (also called The Peace of Westphalia), in 1648, a new additional Electorate was created for the Count Palatine of The Rhine. During their exile, Elector Frederick V's sons, especially Prince Rupert of The Rhine, gained fame in England.

The Old Royal Palace in Athens, Greece,
built for King Otto I by Friedrich von Gärtner, 1841.
English: The Hellenic Parliament building in Athens.
Русский: Здание греческого парламента в Афинах.
中文(简体)‎: 雅典希腊议会大厦
Photo: 5 February 2007.
Source: originally posted to Flickr as Love the clouds over the mountains.
Author: Gerard McGovern.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The House of Palatinate of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg, as heir to the Swedish Throne, ruled simultaneously the Duchy of Bremen-Verden (1654–1719).

In 1685, the Simmern Line died out, and the Catholic Philip William, Count Palatine of Neuburg, inherited The Palatinate (and also Duke of Jülich and Berg). During the Reign of Johann Wilhelm (1690–1716), the Electoral residence moved to Düsseldorf ,in Berg. His brother and successor, Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine, moved The Palatinate's Capital back to Heidelberg, in 1718, and then to Mannheim, in 1720.

To strengthen the union of all Lines of The Wittelsbach dynasty, Charles Philip organised a wedding on 17 January 1742, when his grand-daughters were married to Charles Theodore of Palatinate-Sulzbach and to the Bavarian Prince Clement. In the Imperial Election a few days later, Charles III Philip voted for his Bavarian cousin, Prince-Elector Charles Albert. After extinction of the Neuburg Branch, in 1742, The Palatinate was inherited by Duke Charles Theodore of the Branch Palatinate-Sulzbach.

Nederlands: De 20 jarige Ludwig II in kroningsmantel.
Deutsch: Der 20 jährige Ludwig II im Krönungsmantel.
English: King Ludwig II of Bavaria, in Generals' Uniform and Coronation Robe.
Artist: Ferdinand von Piloty (1828-1895).
Date: 1865.
Current location: Bayerische Staatsgemaldesammlungen, Munich, Germany.
Source/Photographer: scan from Michael Petzet, Ludwig II. und seine Schlösser.

After the extinction of the Bavarian Branch in 1777, a Succession Dispute and the brief War of the Bavarian Succession, The Palatinate-Sulzbach Branch, under Elector Charles Theodore, succeeded also in Bavaria.

With the death of Charles Theodore in 1799, all Wittelsbach Land in Bavaria and The Palatinate was reunited under Maximilian IV Joseph, a Member of the Branch Palatinate-Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld. At the time, there were two surviving Branches of The Wittelsbach Family: Palatinate-Zweibrücken (headed by Maximilian Joseph) and Palatinate-Birkenfeld (headed by Count Palatine William). Maximilian Joseph inherited Charles Theodore's Title, of Elector of Bavaria, while William was compensated with the Title of Duke in Bavaria.

The form Duke in Bavaria was selected because, in 1506, primogeniture had been established in the House of Wittelsbach, resulting in there being only one Reigning Duke of Bavaria at any given time. Maximillian Joseph assumed the Title of King, as Maximilian I Joseph, on 1 January 1806. The new King still served as an Prince-Elector until the Kingdom of Bavaria left The Holy Roman Empire on 1 August 1806.

English: Exterior of the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany.
Español: Exterior del Palacio de Nymphenburg, Múnich, Alemania.
Photo: 17 March 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Poco a poco.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Under Maximilian's descendants, Bavaria became the third-most-powerful German State, behind Prussia and Austria. It was also, far-and-away, the most powerful secondary State. When the German Empire was formed in 1871, Bavaria became the new Empire's second-most-powerful State, after Prussia.

The Wittlesbachs reigned as Kings of Bavaria until 1918. On 12 November 1918, King Ludwig III issued the Anif Declaration (German: Anifer Erklärung) at Anif Palace, Austria, in which he released his Soldiers and Officials from their Oath of Loyalty to him and ended the 738-Year-Rule of The House of Wittelsbach in Bavaria. The Republican Movement thereupon declared a Republic.

During The Second World War, the Wittelsbachs were Anti-Nazi. The Family initially left Germany for Hungary, but were eventually arrested. Family Members spent time in several Nazi Concentration Camps, including Oranienburg and Dachau.

English: New Schleissheim Palace, Oberschleissheim, Germany.
Español: Nuevo Palacio Schleissheim, Oberschleissheim, Alemania.
Photo: 31 August 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diego Delso.
(Wikimedia Commons)

With Duke Otto III of Lower Bavaria, who was a maternal grandson of Béla IV of Hungary, and was elected Anti-King of Hungary and Croatia as Bela V (1305–1308), the Wittelsbach dynasty came to power outside The Holy Roman Empire for the first time. Otto had abdicated the Hungarian Throne by 1308.

Christopher III, of the House of Palatinate-Neumarkt, was King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway in 1440/1442–1448, but he left no descendants. The House of Palatinate-Zweibrücken contributed to the Monarchy of Sweden again, 1654–1720, under Charles X, Charles XI, Charles XII and Ulrika Eleonora. The Wittelsbach Princess Sophia of Hanover (1630–1714) was the mother of George I of Great Britain; she died as Heiress Presumptive of Great Britain, a few weeks before the Case of Succession.

The Line of Jacobite Succession is currently within The House of Wittelsbach. Franz, Hereditary Prince of Bavaria, is recognised by the Jacobites as "Francis II". The Wittelsbach Prince Otto of Bavaria was elected King of newly-independent Greece in 1832 and was forced to abdicate in 1862.

English: Herrenchiemsee Castle, Bavaria, Germany.
Deutsch: Schloss Herrenchiemsee.
Photo: 2 August 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Guido Radig.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated her Throne, on 5 June 1654, in favour of her cousin, Charles X Gustavus, a Member of The Wittelsbach Branch Palatinate-Zweibrücken. It was the second term for the Rule of The House of Wittelsbach, in Sweden, since 1448, when Christopher III of The Palatinate Branch was King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Sweden reached its largest territorial extent under the Rule of Charles X, after the Treaty of Roskilde, in 1658. Charles' son, Charles XI, rebuilt the economy and refitted the army. His legacy to his son, Charles XII, was one of the finest arsenals in the world, a large Standing Army and a Great Fleet. Charles XII was a skilled Military Leader and Tactician. However, although he was also skilled as a Politician, he was reluctant in making Peace. Although Sweden achieved several large-scale Military Successes early on, and won the most battles, the Great Northern War eventually ended in Sweden's defeat and the end of The Swedish Empire. Charles was succeeded to The Swedish throne by his sister, Ulrika Eleonora. Her abdication, in 1720, marked the end of The Wittelsbach Rule in Sweden.

King Otto I of The House of Wittelsbach was made the first modern King of Greece, in 1832, under the Convention of London, whereby Greece became a new Independent Kingdom under the protection of The Great Powers (The United Kingdom, France and The Russian Empire). Throughout his Reign, Otto faced political challenges concerning Greece's financial weakness and the role of the government in the affairs of The Church. The politics of Greece of this era was based on affiliations with the three Great Powers, and Otto’s ability to maintain the support of The Powers was key to his remaining in power.

Portrait of Frederick V, Elector Palatine (1596-1632), as King of Bohemia.
Artist: Gerard van Honthorst (1590–1656).
Date: 1634.
Current location: Kurpfälzisches Museum, Heidelberg, Germany.
Note: Painting depicting Frederick V, Elector Palatine (1596 - 1632) as King of Bohemia. Painted by Gerard van Honthorst in 1634, two years after the subject's death. Frederick is called the "Winter King" of Bohemia, because he reigned for less than three months in 1620, after he was installed by a rebellious Protestant faction in 1619, and only reigned for just over a year in all.
He is shown wearing the rarely-seen Crown of Saint Wenceslas, and other Boheminan Regalia.
He is shown wearing the Collar of The Order of The Garter. On the table, is The Cap,
representing his separate Office as Elector of The Palatinate. He was the father of
Sophia of Hannover, from whom King George I of Great Britain, and his present-day Successors
on the British Throne, are descended.
(Wikimedia Commons)

To remain strong, Otto had to play the interests of each of The Great Powers’ Greek adherents against the others, while not aggravating The Great Powers. When Greece was blockaded by the (British) Royal Navy, in 1850, and again in 1853, to stop Greece from attacking The Ottoman Empire during The Crimean War, Otto’s standing amongst Greeks suffered. As a result, there was an assassination attempt on the Queen and, finally, in 1862, Otto was deposed while in the countryside.

The Law of Succession to the Throne of Greece was defined by a Supplementary Article to the Convention of 7 May 1832, awarding The Greek Throne to Otto I. It instituted a Semi-Salic Order with an important Rule preventing the Union of The Crown on the same head with any other Crown, especially that of Bavaria.

Under the terms of The Succession Law, a Wittelsbach claim to the Throne would have passed, on Otto's death in 1867, to his younger brother, Luitpold, who was Regent of Bavaria from 1886 to 1912; and after him to Ludwig, who became King Ludwig III of Bavaria in 1913. At this point, tracing the claim becomes impossible as the same Branch of The Wittelsbach became heir to both Thrones, and a subsequent Monarch, or Pretender, should have issued a Renunciation to one of the two Thrones, which none did.

Portrait of Charles VII,
Holy Roman Emperor (1697-1745).
Artist: Georg Desmarées (1697–1776).
Date: 18th-Century.
Current location: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Deutsch: Wappen eines römisch-deutschen Kaisers/Königs als Brustschild auf dem Wappen
des Heiligen Römischen Reiches (Deutscher Nation)
English: Coat-of-Arms of Holy Roman Emperor / King Charles VII Albert of Bavaria on
the Coat-of-Arms of The Holy Roman Empire (of German Nation).
Date: 15 August 2010.
Source: Own Work, Custom Creation according to the description at Héraldique Européenne.
Author: Drawing created by David Liuzzo.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In the end, neither Luitpold, nor his son, Ludwig, actively pursued a Claim to The Greek Throne inherited from Otto I, and the Throne of Bavaria itself disappeared in 1918, leaving the future of The Claim to be decided by a further arrangement that never occurred.

Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria, Prince of Asturias, a son of Maximilian II Emanuel, was the favoured choice of England and The Netherlands to succeed as the Ruler of Spain, and young Charles II of Spain chose him as his heir. Due to the unexpected death of Joseph Ferdinand, in 1699, The Wittelsbachs did not come to power in Spain, leaving The Spanish Succession uncertain again.

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