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Albrecht VII, Count of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

Count of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
The basics
Date of birth Sondershausen, Kyffhäuserkreis, Thuringia, Germany
Date of death Apr 10, 1605 Rudolstadt, Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany
Father: Günther XL Count of Schwarzburg
Spouse: Juliana of Nassau-Dillenburg
Brother(s): William I Count of Schwarzburg-Frankenhausen John Günther I Count of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen Günther XLI Count of Schwarzburg-Arnstadt
Children: Louis Günther I Count of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Charles Günther Count of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Albrecht Günther Anna Sibilla de Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Magdalena de Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
Authority VIAF id
The details

Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was a small historic state in present-day Thuringia, Germany, with its capital at Rudolstadt.


Heidecksburg residence at Rudolstadt

Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was established in 1599 in the course of a resettlement of Schwarzburg dynasty lands. Since the 11th century, the ancestral seat of the comital family had been at Schwarzburg Castle, though after 1340, for most of its existence as a polity had the capital at the larger town of Rudolstadt. In 1583 Count Günther XLI of Schwarzburg, the eldest son of Günther XL the Rich and ruler over the united Schwarzburg lands, had died without issue. He was succeeded by his younger brothers, whereby Albert VII received the territory around Rudolstadt. After their brother Count William of Schwarzburg-Frankenhausen had died in 1597, the surviving brothers Albert VII and John Günther I established the two counties of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen by the 1599 Treaty of Stadtilm.

Albert's descendants ruled as sovereign counts of the Holy Roman Empire. Count Albert Anton (1662–1710) was elevated to the rank of a Prince by Emperor Leopold I of Habsburg, it was however his son Louis Frederick I (1710–1718) who first bore the princely title, whereby Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt in 1711 became a principality under the same entity. It withstood the mediatisation and after the Empire's dissolution joined the Confederation of the Rhine in 1807 and the German Confederation in 1815.

On 23 November 1918, during the German Revolution of 1918–1919 and the fall of all the German monarchies, Prince Günther Victor was the last to abdicate. The former principality became a "Free State" in 1919, that was merged into the new state of Thuringia in the next year. In 1905 Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt had an area of 940 km2 (360 sq mi) and a population of 97,000.

Rulers of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

Prince Günther Victor, the last ruler of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
The castle at Schwarzburg
Aerial view at Schwarzburg

Counts of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

  • 1574–1605: Count Albrecht VII (1537–1605), son of Count Günther XL of Schwarzburg, founder of the county (state) of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
  • 1605–1630: Count Charles Günther I (1576–1630), succeeded by younger brother Louis Günther I
  • 1612–1634 Count Albrecht Günther (1582–1634)
  • 1630–1646: Count Louis Günther I (1581–1646)
  • 1646–1662: Regent Emilie of Oldenburg-Delmenhorst (1614–70)
  • 1662–1710: Count Albert Anton (1641–1710)

Princes of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

  • 1710–1718: Prince Louis Frederick I (1667–1718)
  • 1718–1744: Prince Frederick Anton (1692–1744)
  • 1744–1767: Prince John Frederick (1721–67)
  • 1767–1790: Prince Louis Günther II (1708–90)
  • 1790–1793: Prince Frederick Charles (1736–93)
  • 1793–1807: Prince Louis Frederick II (1767–1807)
  • 1807–1814: Regent Caroline Louise of Hesse-Homburg (1771–1854)
  • 1814–1867: Prince Frederick Günther (1793–1867)
  • 1867–1869: Prince Albert (1798–1869)
  • 1869–1890: Prince Georg Albert (1838–90)
  • 1890–1918: Prince Günther Victor (1852–1925), also succeeded as Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen in 1909 upon the death of Prince Karl Günther.

Heads of the princely house of Schwarzburg post-monarchy

On the death of the childless Prince Günther Victor in 1925, he was succeeded by Prince Sizzo (1860–1926), who was the son of Prince Friedrich Günther (1793–1867) from his second, morganatic marriage. Prince Sizzo was recognised as a full member of the House of Schwarzburg in 1896. He was succeeded in 1926 by his son, Prince Friedrich Günther (1901–1971).

Upon the death in 1971 of Prince Friedrich Günther, the last in the male line, his elder sister, Princess Marie Antoinette of Schwarzburg, who married Friedrich Magnus V, Count of Solms-Wildenfels, could have had a claim to the headship under Semi-Salic primogeniture.

  • 1918–1925: Prince Günther Victor (1852–1925)
  • 1925–1926: Prince Sizzo (1860–1926)
  • 1926–1971: Prince Friedrich Günther (1901–1971)
  • 1971–1984: Princess Marie Antoinette of Schwarzburg (1898–1984) (speculative)
  • 1984– : Friedrich Magnus, Count of Solms-Wildenfels (1927– ) (speculative)
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