Germany - (A-E)

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ANHALTA compact territory lying entirely within the Brandenburg March, in eastern Germany southwest of Berlin and southeast of Magdeburg. The Anhalt Principalities (raised to Duchies in 1807) were established as a County in 1212 by a grandson Albert the Bear, margrave of Brandenburg and conqueror of the Wends. Raised to the status of a Principlity six years later, the district suffered the usual partitionments of German states. From the 16th century on, Anhalt was firmly within Prussian influence, but retained its own idsentity until the collapse of the Empire.

ANHOLT A small lordship in Germany on the border of Gelderland and Cleves - it is about 2 miles (3 km.) from the Dutch frontier, on the Issel (Dutch: Oude Ijssel) River, some 14 miles (22½ km.) east of Cleves.The Van Zuylen family were the owners of, amongst other properties, the castle of Anholt.  They were servants (ministeriales) of the bishopric of Utrecht, called Van Zuylen [Sulen, Suylen] after the village Su(y)len near Rees, county of Cleves. They were also Lords of Zuylen, a small lordship in the bishopric of Utrecht (ca. 1250-1380).

AREMBERG A small Rhenish territory, just across the Rhine from Koblenz. A Principality from 1576, and a Duchy from 1645, it was raised to fully sovereign status 1806-1810 within the Confederation of the Rhine, under Napoleon.

See entry in Central Europe file.

BADEN The east bank of the Rhine, from the Palatinate to Switzerland. The Lords of Baden benefited from the break-up of Swabia, and, raised to the dignity of Margrave in 1112, were able to take their place as one of the four most important dynasts in southern Germany (along with Habsburg, Wittelsbach, and Wurttemburg). Baden was fragmented from 1190-1503, 1515-1620, and 1622-1771, though the eras of 1415-1503, 1604-1620, and 1666-1771 saw only two active branches each. After 1771, the only surviving branch retained full authority and in return for compliance with Napoleon, was raised to Electoral dignity in 1803, and then Grand Ducal status in 1806.

BARBY A small group of districts belonging to the Barby family, located in eastern Germany north of Saxony, in the area near Magdeburg.

BAVARIA The upper Danube basin, located in the angle between Austria and the Czech Republic. A Dark Ages tribal kingdom conquered by Charlemagne, Bavaria became an extremely important Duchy during the Middle Ages. Deeply fragmented from 1253, the duchy re-coalesced in the 15th and early 16th centuries and, with the establishment of Salic succession laws in 1505, Bavaria once again achieved a stable and significant position within Germany. The Rhine Palatinate's electoral status was transfered to Bavaria in 1623, which retained the vote even after re-establishment of elector privilege to the Palatinate in 1648. Cooperation with Napoleon gave Bavaria Kingdom status from 1805.

BEICHLINGEN A local dynastic territory in northern Thuringia.

BENTHEIM Several adjacent districts in northwestern Germany, sandwiched between Overijssel in the Netherlands to the west, and lands of the Bishops of Münster to the east.

BERG In far western Germany, near Aachen. A county from 1093. A duchy from 1380. Made a grand duchy for the benefit of Napoleon's brother-in-law, and then brother, at the beginning of the 19th century.

BLANKENHEIM-SCHLEIDEN Local family districts in north Rhineland and Westphalia.

See entry in Low Countries file.

BRANDENBURG-PRUSSIA Central eastern Germany, with Berlin as the chief city. Margraves of North Mark 936, Margraves of Brandenburg 1136, Electors from 1355, inherited the Duchy of Prussia 1618, Kings of Prussia 1701, Kings of the German Confederation from 1867 and Emperors of Germany from 1871.

BREGENZ and BUCHHORN Local family districts straddling what is now the German/Austrian frontier. Bregenz is in Austria, at the southeastern end of Lake Constanz - Buchhorn (now Friedrichshafen, a Free City in Imperial times) is on the north shore of the lake, in Württemberg.

BRENA A local barony in eastern Germany.

BRETZENHEIM A minor principality in central Germany, created for an illegitimate son of Charles Theodore of Pfalz-Sulzbach, Duke and Elector of Bavaria.

BROICH A barony in western Germany, about 19 miles (30 km.) northwest of Köln.

BRUNSWICK Northwestern Germany, encompassing the largest part of the secular territories in that area. Brunswick lands were originally the family estates of the Welfs, a dynasty of remote Italian origin (a branch of  d'Este) who established themselves in old Saxony (the northwestern homeland of the Saxon people, as opposed to the trans-Thuringian Saxony that came into being after the 13th century). Rising swiftly to the peak of influence in the 12th century, they were pulled down by the Hohenstaufens in the early 13th century. This conflict repeated itself and extended indefinitely in Italy in what became a titanic struggle between Imperial (secular and Germanic) vs. Papal (ecclesiatic and Italianate) parties under the Italian versions of these families names: Guelf and Ghibelline. Thereafter, the descendents of Henry the Lion and Otto IV managed their extensive allodial lands and, though partitioned a great deal, grew in power and influence until old Saxony was theirs once again. The best-known division of Brunswick was Hannover, a region which was granted the Electoral vote in 1692 and inherited Great Britain in the next generation. Hannover was raised to the status of Kingdom in 1814, but was defeated and annexed to Prussia in 1866.

BURGAU A minor territory in southeastern Germany, within Bavaria.

See entry in Central Europe file.

See entry in Central Europe file.

CASTELL A countship based in northern Bavaria and Franconia, the core territory of this family originally lay between the Main River and the Steigerwald hills.


DIEPHOLZ A small territory in northwestern Germany, about 37 miles (60 km.) southwest of Bremen.

DIETZ A small territory on the Lahn River, 19 miles (30 km.) east of Coblenz.

DORTMUND An important city in northwestern Germany, at the eastern end of the concentration of industrial centers in the Ruhr Valley. The city itself was an Imperial Free State 1220-1803, this article describes the county that was located in this district.

A lordship in Nordrhein-Westfalen, on the road between Mönchengladbach (Germany) to the southeast and Venlo (Netherlands), being about 8 miles (13 km.) from each.

EAST FRANCONIA Lands in what is now northern Bavaria. Originally a portion of Franconia (see below), it gradually developed a separate identity as a County.