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Dear Visitors


Welcome to the official website of the Royal House of Wettin! Here, you have the opportunity to experience a fascinating world of history. Our ancestors’ first marks can be found in the 9th century. Officially, the Wettin history starts in 1089: In this year, the Emperor invested Henry of Eilenburg with the Margraviate of Meissen as a fief in order to protect the Eastern border of the Holy Roman Empire. Further important landmarks of our family’s history are: In 1423, being rewarded for the defence against the Hussite invasion of the Holy Roman Empire, the Wettins acquired the Saxon electoral dignity when the Dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg of the House of Ascania died out; in 1635 the Wettins received the Margraviates of the Upper and parts of the Lower Lusatia as a fief as reward for their loyalty to the Emperor and the Empire during the Thirty Years’ War; from 1697 till 1763 August the Strong (as Elector of Saxony: Frederick Augustus I) and his son Augustus III (as Elector of Saxony: Frederick Augustus II) were Kings of Poland.

Although having assumed the title of King of Saxony in 1806 and having received the Grand Duchy of Warsaw from 1807 until 1815, both at the instigation of Napoleon, Elector Frederick Augustus III put up active resistance against the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. One century later, Frederick Augustus III abdicated “ad personam” as King on 13 November 1918, after the end of World War I. By this, 829 years of the reigning Royal House in Saxony came to an end. Our history is the history of numerous men and women who fought for a big part of Europe and tried to reach the best for people and country.

Having been appointed to protect the Eastern border of the Holy Roman Empire in the beginning, an insistent and far-sighted governmental policy led to a slow, but steady rise from the Margraves of Meissen to Dukes of Saxony, Electors – who were entitled to elect the Emperor – and finally to the Kings of Saxony. Awesome epithets have been granted to the early Wettins, e.g. “the Rich”, “the Bitten”, “the Illustrious”, “the Peaceful”, “the Courageous“ and – well-known until today – „the Strong”. The famous “Procession of Princes” at Dresden Castle gives an impressive image of these important rulers.

When the old regime had broken down after World War I, King Frederick Augustus III went into exile to Silesia. In the 1920s, the last King’s sons longed for a new start in their ancestral homeland. This became possible due to the conclusion of the State Treaty of 1924. By this agreement, assets were returned to the family and brought together in the “Verein Haus Wettin e.V.” (House of Wettin Association). E.g. Moritzburg Castle was recompensed to the family. In Dresden, Margrave Friedrich Christian built Wachwitz Castle on the king’s vineyard. He decided to bear the old title of the Margrave of Meissen in order to mark the particular Head of the Royal House of Wettin A.L. During the Third Empire, the family members put up active resistance against the dictatorial regime. In this context, Margrave Friedrich Christian’s first son, Prince Maria Emanuel, who became Head of the Royal House after his father’s death in 1968, was sentenced to death by the Volksgerichshof (People’s Court of Justice) in 1944, but fortunately could escape his fate. After the horrible bombardments of Dresden in 1945, the family was forced by the Wehrmacht to leave its homeland. Family members settled down in Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, and Bavaria, later in Canada and Mexico and began a new life. After the Peaceful Revolution in 1989, the family members had the long awaited opportunity to travel to their ancestral home and later even to settle down in Dresden.

It may sound outmoded to a lot of people to stress values and norms resulting from the past in this day and age; it may seem strange to devote oneself to the conservation of tradition with addiction and passion. But if we look back on over 900 years of family tradition, we are more than grateful that our ancestors considered traditional values again and again up to the present day. The extraordinary collections, Saxony museums can provide, are the best indicator for what the people of Saxony and its former ruling house could accomplish together throughout their alive history.

Looking past as well as the awareness of the present means the challenge to us, to do justice to the Saxon resp. Wettin heritage. Together, we have to succeed in conserving and forming a Saxony in Europe for our children and children’s children, which they will remember with thankfulness.

Prince Alexander of Saxony
Duke of Saxony
Margrave of Meissen

Princess Gisela of Saxony
Duchess of Saxony
Margravine of Meissen

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