- Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth Queen consort of Poland
Grand Duchess consort of Lithuania
Tenure 1697–1727 Spouse Augustus II of Poland Issue Augustus III of Poland House House of Wettin
House of Hohenzollern
Father Christian Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth Mother Sofie Luise of Württemberg Born 19 December 1671
Died 4 September 1727(aged 55)
Pretzsch an der Elbe
Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth (19 December 1671 – 4 September 1727) was Electress of Saxony from 1694 to 1727 (her death) and titular Queen of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1697 to 1727 as the wife of Augustus II the Strong. Not once throughout the whole of her thirty-year queenship did she set foot in Poland, instead living in Saxony in self-imposed exile. Born a German margravine, she was called Sachsens Betsäule, "Saxony's pillar of prayer", by her Protestant subjects for her refusal to convert to Catholicism and her loyalty to the Protestant faith. Despite her and her mother-in-law, Anna Sophie of Denmark's allegiance to Lutheranism, her husband and son, later Augustus III, both became Catholics.
She was the firstborn child of Christian Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, and his second wife, Sophie Louise, daughter of Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg. She was named for her father, Christian, and her mother's father, Eberhard. As the daughter of the Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, she was a Markgräfin, or Margravine, by birth. She had five younger siblings, only two of whom survived infancy. Her sister Eleonore Magdalene became Countess of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, and her brother Georg Wilhelm succeeded their father to the margravate in 1712. She remained close to her relatives in Bayreuth and continued to visit them after her marriage. Her parents lived luxuriously, and their lifestyle was a significant burden to the principality's treasury.
She married Friedrich August, Duke of Saxony, the younger brother of the elector, Johann Georg IV, on 20 January 1693 at age 21. The marriage was purely political and highly unhappy. Three years later, on 17 October 1696, their son Friedrich August was born in Dresden. He was brought up by his paternal grandmother, Anna Sophie of Denmark. Because Christiane Eberhardine and her mother-in-law got on well, she visited her son frequently.
August of Saxony converted to Catholicism to become King of Poland, but Christiane Eberhardine remained faithful to her Protestant beliefs and was not present at her husband's coronation, and was never crowned Queen of Poland . Her Protestant countrymen named her "The Pillar of Saxony."
Christiane Eberhardine lived in retirement in her castle at Pretzsch an der Elbe or at Hartenfels Castle in Torgau, and was only seen occasionally at festivities in Dresden. In her voluntary exile she concentrated on cultural activities and took interest in the faith of orphaned children. She was also active in the field of economics; in 1697 she took over operation of the glass factory in Pretzsch, founded by Constantin Fremel.
A lonely woman, Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth died at the age of 55 and was buried on 6 September in the parish church of Pretzsch. Neither her husband nor her son were present at the funeral.
In commemoration of her death, Johann Sebastian Bach composed the cantata Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl, BWV 198, to a text of Johann Christoph Gottsched, first performed on 15 October 1727 in the Paulinerkirche, the church of the University of Leipzig.
Ancestors of Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth 16. John George, Elector of Brandenburg 8. Christian, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth 17. Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst 4. Erdmann August of Brandenburg-Bayreuth 18. Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia 9. Marie of Prussia 19. Marie Eleonore of Cleves 2. Christian Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth 20. John George, Elector of Brandenburg (= 16) 10. Joachim Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach 21. Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst (= 17) 5. Sophie of Brandenburg-Ansbach 22. John George I of Solms-Laubach 11. Sophie of Solms-Laubach 23. Margaret of Schönburg-Glauchau 1. Christiane Eberhardine 24. Frederick I, Duke of Württemberg 12. John Frederick, Duke of Württemberg 25. Sibylla of Anhalt 6. Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg 26. Joachim III Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg 13. Barbara Sophie of Brandenburg 27. Catherine of Brandenburg-Küstrin 3. Sophie Louise of Württemberg 28. Otto I of Salm-Kyrburg 14. John Casimir, Count of Salm-Kyrburg 29. Ottilia of Nassau-Weilburg 7. Anna Katharina (or Anna Dorothea) of Salm-Kyrburg 30. John George I of Solms-Laubach (= 22) 15. Dorothea of Solms-Laubach 31. Margaret of Schönburg-Glauchau (= 23)
- Watanabe-O'Kelly, Helen. "Enlightenment, Emancipation, and the Queen Consort." Enlightenment and Emancipation. Ed. Susan Manning and Peter France. Lewisburg, Pa.: Bucknell UP, 2006. 119-25. Print.
- Stichart, Franz Otto: Galerie der sächsischen Fürstinnen; biogr. Skizzen sämtlicher Ahnfrauen des kgl. Hauses Sachsen, Leipzig 1857
- Blanckmeister, Franz: Kurfürstin Christiane Eberhardine von Sachsen: eine ev. Bekennerin, Barmen 1892
- Meyer, Johannes: Frauengestalten und Frauenwalten im Hause Wettin, Bautzen 1912
- Haake, Paul: Christiane Eberhardine und August der Starke: eine Ehetragödie, Dresden 1930
- Lauckner, Martin: Eine alte Unterschrift von zarter Hand, in: Sächs. Heimat, Hamburg, Jg. 1981
- Czok, Karl: August der Starke und Kursachsen, Leipzig 1987. Aufgeklärter Absolutismus und kirchlich-religiöse Toleranzpolitik bei August dem Starken, In: Sachsen und die Wettiner. Chancen und Realitäten (Sondernummer der Dresdner Hefte); Dresden 1990
- Fellmann, Walter: Prinzessinnen. Glanz, Einsamkeit und Skandale am sächsischen Hof, Leipzig 1996
SuccessionChristiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
Royal titles Preceded by
Marie Casimire Louise de la Grange d'Arquien
Queen consort of Poland
Grand Duchess consort of Lithuania (titular)
Queen consort of Poland
Grand Duchess consort of Lithuania (titular)
Eleonore Erdmuthe of Saxe-Eisenach
Electress of Saxony
Maria Josepha of AustriaElisabeth of Hesse (1356-1370) · Cecilia of Carrara (1376-1388) · Anna of Thuringia (1388-1395) · Barbara of Legnica (1396-1419) · Euphemia of Oleśnica (1420-1422) · Catherine of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1423-1428) · Margaret of Austria (1431-1464) · Elisabeth of Bavaria (1464-1486) · Sybille of Cleves (1532-1547) · Agnes of Hesse (1547-1553) · Princess Anna of Denmark (1553-1585) · Agnes Hedwig of Anhalt-Dessau (1586) · Sophie of Brandenburg (1586–1591) · Princess Hedwig of Denmark (1602-1611) · Duchess Magdalene Sibylle of Prussia (1611–1656) · Margravine Magdalene Sibylle of Brandenburg-Bayreuth (1656–1680) · Princess Anna Sophie of Denmark (1680–1691) · Princess Eleonore Erdmuthe of Saxe-Eisenach (1694-1694) · Margravine Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth (1694-1727) · Archduchess Maria Josepha of Austria (1733-1757) · Duchess Maria Antonia of Bavaria (1763) · Countess Palatine Amalie of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld (1769-1806)
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