Ernest, Elector of Saxony

Ernst ( * March 24, 1441 in Meissen, † August 26, 1486 at Colditz ) was the Elector of Saxony, Landgrave of Thuringia and Margrave of Meissen. He is the progenitor of the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin.


Ernst was the second son of the Elector Frederick II (1412-1464) from his marriage to Margaret (1416-1486), daughter of Duke Ernst the Iron of Austria. After his older brother Frederick 's death in 1451 he was Crown Prince.

In 1455 he was kidnapped along with his brother Albrecht by Kunz of Kauffungen in the so -called " Altenburger prince robbery" from Altenburg.

On November 19, 1460 he married in Leipzig Elizabeth, daughter of Duke Albrecht III. of Bavaria. Four years later he became Elector of Saxony after the death of his father. The Kurländer Ernst reigned alone, the Meissen and Thuringia landing 21 years together with his younger brother Albert. The provincial administration -actuated model Ernst ( according to medieval standards ): During his tenure, the Wettin land increased considerably. Cities like Dresden or Meissen flourished under his rule. He obtained in 1466 the Vogtland and his younger sons could gain the Erzstühle of Magdeburg and Mainz, in order to achieve the latter, Ernst 1480 made ​​a trip to Rome. Under Ernst Erfurt and Quedlinburg came under Saxon auspices. In Quedlinburg he had invaded with his brother in 1477 and the city had militarily forced to obedience to the abbess, where this is concerned to Ernst's sister Hedwig.

On June 17, 1485 Seriously, put despite the warnings of his brother with this division, the Leipzig firm. Before that had fallen upon the death of Landgrave Wilhelm of Thuringia in the country. The brothers dissolved their joint holding of court and Ernst received, in addition to the Electorate of Saxony- Wittenberg, in essence Thuringia, the County Palatine of Saxony, the castle county Magdeburg, Vogtland and the Wettin territories in Franconia. Ernst division had prepared and let them decide his brother, what part of the two portions he would choose. The division into the Ernestine and Albertine line of the House meant a tremendous weakening of the Saxon position in the kingdom.

The right of coinage was each of the brothers, even after the division of the state in its entirety. Elector Ernst minted together with his relatives in the Wettin mints Freiberg, Leipzig, Zwickau, Schneeberg, Colditz (here also with his mother - see also Margaret dime ), Gotha and Wittenberg.

In foreign policy was seriously despite difficulties on Bohemian side. The ratio of the two countries had already been settled by the Treaty of Eger in 1459. Despite his loyalty to the Emperor Frederick III. he sought rapprochement with King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary. The eastward Wettin policy was through the acquisition of the Duchy of Sagan in 1472 and the reigns Sorau, Beeskow and Storkow have success in 1477, when Ernst thereby also came with the Electorate of Brandenburg in conflict.

Through an unfortunate fall from his horse Ernst died on August 26, 1486 near Colditz, after he worked intensively in his last days for the choice of later to become Emperor Maximilian King of the Romans. Ernst was buried in Meissen Cathedral.


From his marriage with Elizabeth Ernst had the following children:

  • Christine (1461-1521)
  • Frederick the Wise (1463-1525), Elector of Saxony
  • Ernst (1464-1513), Archbishop of Magdeburg, Administrator of Halberstadt
  • Adalbert (1467-1484), Administrator of the Archbishopric of Mainz
  • Johann the Steadfast (1468-1532), Elector of Saxony
  • Margaret (1469-1528)
  • Wolfgang (1473-1478)

Drive up

Margrave Frederick II (1310-1349) ∞ 1328 Mathilde of Bavaria (1313-1346)

Henry VIII of Henneberg - Schleusingen Jutta von Brandenburg

Duke Magnus II (1324-1373) Catherine of Anhalt- Bernburg

Wartislaw VI. (1345-1394) ∞ 1363 Anna of Mecklenburg- Stargard

Duke Albrecht II of Austria (1298-1358) ∞ 1324 Joan of Pfirt (1300-1351)

Bernabo Visconti (1323-1385) ∞ 1350 Beatrice della Scala ( -1384 )


Algirdas (1296-1377) ∞ 1350 Juliana Aleksandrovna Tverskaja (~ 1330 - ~ 1392 )

Margrave Frederick III. (1332-1381) ∞ 1346 Katharina von Henneberg (1334-1397)

Duke Henry I of Brunswick- Lüneburg (1355-1416) Sophie of Pomerania (1370-1406)

Duke Leopold III. (1351-1386) ∞ 1365 Viridis Visconti of Milan (1350-1414)

Ziemowit IV Alexandra of Lithuania

Elector Frederick I of Saxony (1370-1428) ∞ 1402 Catherine of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1395-1442)

Duke Ernest the Iron (1377-1424) ∞ 1412 Cimburgis of Mazovia ( 1394/97-1429 )

Elector Frederick II (1412-1464) ∞ 1431 Margaret of Austria (1416-1486)

Ernst von Sachsen