World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Template:Infobox former country/autocat
Principality (Margraviate) of Kulmbach / Bayreuth
Fürstentum (Markgraftum) Kulmbach / Bayreuth
State of the Holy Roman Empire


Coat of arms

Capital Kulmbach until 1604,
Bayreuth from 1604
Government Principality
 -  1398–1420 (first) John III, Burgrave of Nuremberg
 -  1769–91 (last) Christian Frederick,
Margrave of
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Partitioned from
   Burgraviate of Nuremberg
21 January 1398 1398
 -  Reunited with Ansbach 1420–40
 -  Joined Franconian Circle 1500
 -  Partitioned in twain 1655–1726
 -  Line extinct; inherited
   by Ansbach
20 January 1769
 -  Ansbach and Bayreuth
   sold to Prussia
2 December 1791 1791

The Principality of Bayreuth (German: Fürstentum Bayreuth) or Brandenburg-Bayreuth was a reichsfrei principality in the Holy Roman Empire centered on the Bavarian city of Bayreuth. Until 1604 its capital city was Kulmbach; then the margraves used their palaces in Bayreuth as their residence. Until the end of the empire in 1806, the margravate was called the Principality of Kulmbach (German: Fürstentum Kulmbach) or Brandenburg-Kulmbach. The incorrect 'Principality of Bayreuth' was used in unofficial writing and publications. The ruling Hohenzollern princes of the land were known as margraves, as the principality was a margravate (but not a march).


The principality was established after the death of Burgrave Frederick V of Nuremberg on 21 January 1398, when his lands were partitioned between his two sons. The elder son, John III, received Bayreuth and the younger, Frederick VI, received Ansbach.

The two principalities were reunited under the younger son, Frederick, after John's death on 11 June 1420. Frederick had become Elector of Brandenburg as Frederick I in 1415, and on his death, on 21 September 1440, his territories were divided between his sons: Kulmbach (Bayreuth) went to the eldest, John "the Alchemist", while the second, Frederick, received Brandenburg and Ansbach passed to the third son Albert Achilles.

John the Alchemist renounced his rights in 1457, whereupon Kulmbach (Bayreuth) passed to his brother, Albert Achilles, the Margrave of Brandenburg. Thereafter the Principality of Bayreuth was held by cadet branches of the house of the Margraves of Brandenburg, the rulers being commonly known as the Margraves of Brandenburg-Bayreuth (though Bayreuth is nowhere near Brandenburg). The principality became part of the Franconian Circle in 1500.

The last line of Brandenburg-Bayreuth died out on 20 January 1769 with the death of Margrave Frederick Christian, and Bayreuth passed to Christian Frederick. On 2 December 1791, Christian Frederick sold the sovereignty of his principalities to King Frederick William II of Prussia, and from 28 January 1792 Bayreuth was ruled by Prussian-appointed governors.

Margraves of Kulmbach and Bayreuth

External links

  • German States to 1918, A–E on
  • on
  • Ansbach and Bayreuth

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.