Frederick IV, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

Frederick IV of Saxe- Gotha -Altenburg ( * November 28, 1774 in Gotha, † February 11, 1825 ibid ), was the last Duke of Saxe- Gotha -Altenburg.


Frederick IV was the third son of Duke Ernst II of Saxe -Gotha -Altenburg (1745-1804) from his marriage to Charlotte (1751-1827), daughter of Duke Anton Ulrich von Sachsen- Meiningen. Between 1788 and 1790 he was trained together with his older brother August in Geneva. Friedrich studied philosophy, constitutional law and history. Unlike his brother, he was regarded as a humble, good-natured and popular. The prince was an admired singer.

His father Frederick was determined as a younger son for military service and was given in 1785 as a colonel in the Dutch army. He fought in the Napoleonic campaigns, and was severely wounded in 1793 by a powder overturning cars. Due to this injury he withdrew a suffering which forced him to stop his life much in spas and where he eventually died later

From 1804 to 1810 Frederick was living in Rome. From Pope Pius VII him a miniature obelisk was given; In 1814 he converted the only one in the history of his home in Italy to the Roman Catholic Church. The Sojourn at Rome had improved his health significantly.

Frederick had a strong interest in Egypt and the Orient; he was the main promoter of the Orient Travel by Ulrich Jasper SEETZEN. His collected in Italy works of art and antiquities are now part of the collection of Castle peace stone.

As his older brother, Duke August, 1822, died without male issue, he took over as Frederick IV, the government of the duchy. Because of his illness, he had a long talk about spa stays outside his country and ruled itself hardly the government led him to be privy Bernhard August von Lindenau. In his last years he had almost completely lost his ability to speak and was only by gestures able to convey to his environment. All religious issues facing the country was responsible, because of his change of faith, Frederick ministry. During the reign of Frederick IV the royal household, the Page Institute and the bodyguard were dissolved.

Only three years after his accession to the throne died childless Duke Friedrich IV. Because he had been denied an appropriate appanage, he had never married. With it, the House of Saxe -Gotha -Altenburg became extinct. The territory fell to the Ernestine relationship and went in part to the newly created Duchy of Saxe -Coburg and Gotha.

Frederick IV was - as already his father Ernst II and his brother August - buried on the island in the Great Park pond of the Gotha Castle Park. He rests in 1779 by architect Carl Christoph Better built underground crypt next to his late childhood brothers Louis (d. 1777) and Ernst (d. 1779). The once the tomb ornamental granite column with an urn of Carrara marble and base of Serpentino antico of the sculptor Frederick William Doell no longer existed for decades, so the exact location of the grave lay Frederick IV on the island is today unknown.