Elisabeth Dorothea of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

Elisabeth Dorothea of Saxe- Gotha -Altenburg ( born January 8, 1640 Coburg, † August 24 1709 in Butzbach ) was by marriage countess and 1678-1688 regent of Hesse- Darmstadt.


Elisabeth Dorothea was the eldest daughter of the Duke Ernst the Pious of Saxe- Gotha (1601-1675) and his wife Elizabeth Sophia (1619-1680), daughter of Duke Johann Philipp of Saxe- Altenburg.

On December 5, 1666 married at Castle peace in Gotha the Landgrave Louis VI. of Hesse- Darmstadt ( 1630-1678 ). Ludwig was a close friend of Elisabeth Dorothea's brother Duke Frederick I of Saxe- Gotha and at the time of marriage widower and father of six children.

Both Louis VI. as well Elisabeth Dorothea's stepson Louis VII of Hesse -Darmstadt had testamentary determines the wife or stepmother regent of the country. After the death of Louis VII in 1678, she took over the regency of Hesse-Darmstadt for their still underage own son Ernst Ludwig. The countess had been attached to it to the President certain Weiprecht of Gemmingen a regency council. The politically interested, worldly-wise and energetic Elisabeth Dorothea led the council meetings in person. Hesse -Darmstadt experienced during her reign an upswing.

After the death of Landgrave Wilhelm Christoph of Hesse- Homburg -Bingen home in 1681 it came with the Hessen- Homburg to disputes over the inheritance - Elisabeth Dorothea claimed Bingen home for Hesse -Darmstadt, which one Darmstadt Princess had previously been introduced into the line, what do you finally succeeded.

Under the regent of the Darmstadt suburb was completed and erected the Homburger orphanage. After the end of her reign, she retreated to her widow seat Butzbach, from where they tried positive impact on her son.

Elisabeth Dorothea kept a diary, which has 52 vintages from 1667 and remained completely. This makes it one of the most extensive diary projects a dynastic personality, which describes political and court life.


From their marriage, Elisabeth Dorothea had the following children:

  • Ernst Ludwig (1667-1739), Landgrave of Hesse -Darmstadt
  • Georg (1669-1705), imperial. Field Marshal, Viceroy of Catalonia
  • Sophie Luise (1670-1758)
  • Philipp (1671-1736), imperial. Field Marshal and Governor of Mantua
  • Johann (1672-1673)
  • Heinrich (1674-1741), imperial. officer
  • Elisabeth Dorothea (1676-1721)
  • Friedrich (1677-1708), Canon of Cologne and Breslau, Russian field marshal