House of Wettin

House of Wettin
Coat of arms of Saxony.svg
CountryBelgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom
EthnicityGerman
Founded10th century
FounderTheodoric I
Current headMichael, Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
TitlesErnestine branch: (see more)

Albertine branch: (see more)

Cadet branches

The House of Wettin (German: Haus Wettin) is a dynasty of German counts, dukes, prince-electors and kings that once ruled territories in the present-day German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The dynasty is one of the oldest in Europe, and its origins can be traced back to the town of Wettin, Saxony-Anhalt. The Wettins gradually rose to power within the Holy Roman Empire. Members of the family became the rulers of several medieval states, starting with the Saxon Eastern March in 1030. Other states they gained were Meissen in 1089, Thuringia in 1263, and Saxony in 1423. These areas cover large parts of Central Germany as a cultural area of Germany.

The family divided into two ruling branches in 1485 by the Treaty of Leipzig: the Ernestine and Albertine branches. The older Ernestine branch played a key role during the Protestant Reformation. Many ruling monarchs outside Germany were later tied to its cadet branch, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The Albertine branch, while less prominent, ruled most of Saxony and played a part in Polish history.

Agnates of the House of Wettin have, at various times, ascended the thrones of Great Britain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Poland, Saxony, and Belgium. Only the British and Belgian lines retain their thrones today.

Origins: Wettin of Saxony

Wettin Castle in Saxony-Anhalt

The oldest member of the House of Wettin who is known for certain is Theodoric I of Wettin, also known as Dietrich, Thiedericus, and Thierry I of Liesgau (died c. 982). He was most probably based in the Liesgau (located at the western edge of the Harz). Around 1000, the family acquired Wettin Castle, which was originally built by the local Slavic tribes (see Sorbs), after which they named themselves. Wettin Castle is located in Wettin in the Hassegau (or Hosgau) on the Saale River. Around 1030, the Wettin family received the Eastern March as a fief.[1]

The prominence of the Wettins in the Slavic Saxon Eastern March (or Ostmark) caused Emperor Henry IV to invest them with the March of Meissen as a fief in 1089. The family advanced over the course of the Middle Ages: in 1263, they inherited the landgraviate of Thuringia (although without Hesse) and in 1423, they were invested with the Duchy of Saxony, centred at Wittenberg, thus becoming one of the prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire.

Other Languages
العربية: آل فتين
български: Ветини
català: Wettin
čeština: Wettinové
Deutsch: Haus Wettin
eesti: Wettinid
español: Casa de Wettin
Esperanto: Dinastio Wettin
français: Maison de Wettin
한국어: 베틴가
Bahasa Indonesia: Wangsa Wettin
עברית: בית וטין
ქართული: ვეტინები
қазақша: Веттин
magyar: Wettin-ház
Nederlands: Huis Wettin
polski: Wettynowie
português: Dinastia Wettin
русский: Веттины
Simple English: House of Wettin
slovenščina: Wettinci
српски / srpski: Династија Ветин
svenska: Huset Wettin
українська: Веттіни
中文: 韦廷王朝