Landgraviate of Hesse

The country county of Hesse was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire with the historic core area in the north and in the center of today's state of Hesse. The residence was first in the short term Marburg and in Gudensberg, but already by 1277 in Kassel. Even before 1500, the country county of Hesse had grown territorially to the Rhine and Neckar. The principality was ruled by the House of Hesse.



The name Hesse goes back to the Germanic tribe of the Chatti (pronounced [ xatən ] with ch as in ah ), who settled around the time of turning in the rivers Fulda and Eder, and between the headwaters of the river Lahn, Werra. Etymologically, the term developed in the course of the second sound shift from Latin Chatti on Hatti, Hazzi, Hassi (around 700 ) to Hessian ( 738). Hesse and Friesen are the only Germanic tribes who have retained both their name and their settlement area to the present day, with a direct evolutionary descendants of chatting and modern Hessians is not assignable.

After the end of the supremacy of Conradines in Hessen was taken on the basis of official counties a number of the count's territorial rule. Among them, obtained in northern and central Hesse, the Count Werner in Frankish Hessengau (county maggots ), which Gisonen at the upper and middle Lahn, the counts of goats grove, the Counts of Waldeck, and the Bilstein on the middle Werra outstanding importance. Through inheritance and marriage fell these counties, with the exception of goat grove and Waldeck, 1122-1247 under the rule of Ludowinger Count of Thuringia, which were collected in 1131 to Landgrave of Thuringia. During this period, the Hessian territories were mostly directly from younger brothers of the Landgrave ( in / of Hesse as counts of Gudensberg or Count ) ruled, however, without having actual independence. Well-known Earl of Gudensberg - Hesse from the house of Ludowinger were Henry Raspe I, Henry Raspe II, Henry Raspe III. and Konrad Raspe, who later became Grand Master of the Teutonic Order.


After the extinction of Ludowinger successfully fought in Thuringia and Hesse War of Succession (1247-1264), the Landgrave 's daughter Sophie, married Duchess of Brabant, the Hessian possession of Ludowinger for her son Henry I of Hesse ( " Henry the child " ) and secured so that again the independence from the state of Hesse had fallen to the Saxon Wettin of Thuringia heritage of Ludowinger. Henry was proclaimed in 1247 on the Mader heath to the Landgrave of Hesse. On May 12, 1292 Henry was the city of Eschwege on the King Adolf fief and received it, along with the castle Boyneburg from this as a hereditary fiefdom back. Thus, the Hessian Landgrave princes were. Henry moved his residence from 1277 Marburg and Gudensberg to Kassel and founded the Hessian princely house.

Under Landgraf Philip I the country county of Hesse in 1526 due to the Homberg Synod was Protestant. Hesse was next to Saxony and Württemberg to the mighty champions of the Reformation in the German Reich.


The Landgrave of Hessen shared their territory repeatedly within the family; However, these divisions had no permanent stock. The first division took place after the death of the first Landgrave in 1308, when Henry's sons, Otto I and Johann Landgrave were in the "Land of the Lahn " ( Marburg ) and Lower Hesse (Kassel ). Since Johann However, already in 1311, died both parts of the country were reunited under Otto.

Only administration of the estate by Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous, who Landgraviate aufteilte 1567 his four sons, finally caused the nearly four hundred years of persistent separation in the Hesse- Kassel (the Regent in 1803 raised to the Electors ) and the Hesse- Darmstadt ( the later Grand Duchy of Hesse ). The jobs created in the inheritance Country counties Hesse - Marburg and Hesse -Rhine rock fell again soon by the extinction of the reigning houses and inheritance of Hesse -Kassel and Hesse -Darmstadt. The up to this division, 1567 strong influence of Hesse to the imperial politics took in the subsequent period significantly.


Was a result of the seizure of the county goats Hain in 1450 to connect the two major parts of the country of Upper and Lower Hesse, which until then were separated reached.

With the heritage of the county Katzenelenbogen 1479 the territory of the country county reached the Middle Rhine and the left-bank city of St. Goar and the Rhine castle rock lying above and also today's South Hesse Darmstadt to up to then run the Neckar.