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Duchess Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel


Duchess Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

Anna Amalia
Duchess of Saxe-Weimar/ Saxe-Weimar and Eisenach
Duchess consort of Saxe-Weimar/ Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Tenure 1756-1758
Regent of Saxe-Weimar and Eisenach
Tenure 1758-1775
Born (1739-10-24)24 October 1739
Died 10 April 1807(1807-04-10) (aged 67)
Spouse Ernest Augustus II
Issue Charles Augustus
Prince Frederick Ferdinand
House House of Brunswick-Bevern
House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Father Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Mother Philippine Charlotte of Prussia

Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (24 October 1739 – 10 April 1807), was a German princess and composer. She became the duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, by marriage, and was also regent of the states of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach from 1758 to 1775. She transformed her court and its surrounding into the most influential cultural center of Germany.


  • Family 1
  • Marriage 2
  • Regency 3
  • Cultural role 4
  • Ancestry 5
  • References and sources 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8



She was born in Wolfenbüttel, the ninth child of Karl I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Princess Philippine Charlotte of Prussia. Her maternal grandparents were Frederick William I of Prussia and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover.


In Brunswick on 16 March 1756 she married Ernst August II Konstantin, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Ernst August died in 1758 leaving her regent for their infant son, Karl August.


During Karl August's minority she administered the affairs of the duchy with notable prudence, strengthening its resources and improving its position in spite of the troubles of the Seven Years' War. In 1775, with her son having attained his maturity, she retired.

Cultural role

As a patron of art and literature she drew many of the most eminent men in Germany to Weimar, including Johann Gottfried Herder, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller and Abel Seyler's theatrical company. When Anna Amalia succeeded in engaging the Seyler Company, this was "an extremely fortunate coup. The Seyler Company was the best theatre company in Germany at that time."[1] Amalia von Helvig was also later to be a part of her court. She hired Christoph Martin Wieland, a poet and translator of William Shakespeare, to educate her son. She also established the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, which is now home to some 1,000,000 volumes. The duchess was honoured in Goethe's work under the title Zum Andenken der Fürstin Anna-Amalia.

Anna Amalia was a notable composer. Among her significant works is a symphony for two oboes, two flutes, two violins, and double bass (1765), a tripartite oratorio (1768), an opera called Erwin und Elmire (1776), based on a text by Goethe, and a divertimento for piano, clarinet, viola, and violoncello (around 1780).[2]


References and sources

  1. ^ "Herzogin Anna Amalie von Weimar und ihr Theater," in Robert Keil (ed.), Goethe's Tagebuch aus den Jahren 1776–1782, Veit, 1875, p. 69
  2. ^ ANNA AMALIA von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, retrieved February 25, 2011

Further reading

  • F. Bornhak, Anna Amalia, Herzogin von Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Berlin, Germany: 1892
  • Carl August Hugo Burkhardt (1875), "Amalia, Herzogin von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach",  

External links

  • PRNewsWire: Goethe's forbidden love for Anna Amalia
  • Death Mask of Ann Amalia Of Brunswick
  • Free scores by Duchess Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel at the International Music Score Library Project
  •  "Amalia, Anna".  
Duchess Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 24 October 1739 Died: 10 April 1807
German royalty
Title last held by
Sophie Charlotte of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
Duchess consort of Saxe-Weimar
16 March 1756 – 28 May 1758
Title next held by
Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt
Duchess consort of Saxe-Eisenach
16 March 1756 – 28 May 1758
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