County (Principality) of Anhalt
Grafschaft (Fürstentum) Anhalt
Coat of arms of Anhalt (13th century) of Anhalt
Coat of arms of Anhalt (13th century)
Map of Anhalt (Zerbst, Dessau, Köthen, Bernburg) in 1793
Map of Anhalt (Zerbst, Dessau, Köthen, Bernburg) in 1793
CapitalDessau (when united)
Prince of Anhalt 
• 1218–1252
Henry I
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Partitioned from Saxony
• Elevated to principality
• Partitioned¹
• Joined Council of Princes
• Partitioned²
• Principalities³ raised to duchies
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Saxony
Duchy of Saxony
Duchy of Anhalt
Today part ofGermany

The Principality of Anhalt (German: Fürstentum Anhalt) was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, located in Central Germany, in what is today part of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Under the rule of the House of Ascania, the Anhalt territory was split off the German stem duchy of Saxony in 1212 and granted to Count Henry I, who was raised to the rank of a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1218. Ruled by Ascanian princes from the High Middle Ages to the Early modern period, Anhalt was divided several times amongst various lines of the dynasty until the dissolution of the Empire in 1806, when Napoleon elevated the remaining states of Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen to duchies.


The Anhalt territory stretched from the Harz mountain range in the west to the Elbe River and beyond to the Fläming Heath in the east. Upon the 1315 loss of Anhalt-Aschersleben, the lands around Ballenstedt formed a western exclave. The area of the later duchy was 906 sq mi (2,300 km2).

In the west, the land is undulating and in the extreme northwest, where it forms part of the Harz mountains, hilly, with the Ramberg (Harz) peak as the tallest point at 1,900 ft (579 m). From the Harz the country gently shelves down to the Saale; the land between this river and the Elbe is particularly fertile. East of the Elbe, the land is mostly a flat sandy plain, with extensive pine forests, interspersed with bog-land and rich pastures. The Elbe is the chief river, intersecting the eastern portion of the former duchy, from east to west, and at Rosslau is met by the Mulde. The navigable Saale takes a northerly direction through the central portion of the territory and receives, on the right, the Fuhne and, on the left, the Wipper and the Bode.

The climate is generally mild, less so in the higher Harz regions to the south-west.


From the 9th century onward, the western parts of the later Anhalt territory up to the Elbe and Saale rivers were included in the Schwabengau region of Eastphalia, the eastern part of the medieval Duchy of Saxony. In the 11th century, it came under the rule of Count Esico of Ballenstedt (died 1059 or 1060), mentioned in a 1036 deed issued by Emperor Conrad II at Tilleda. Possibly a descendant of the Saxon margrave Odo, he owned large allodial lands around Ballenstedt in the Schwabengau as well as in the adjacent Gau Serimunt in the former Saxon Eastern March.

Ballenstedt Castle
Ballenstedt Castle

Count Esico was succeeded by his son Adalbert II of Ballenstedt, who also appeared as a count in the Saxon Nordthüringgau and further territories in the Eastern March. Adalbert joined the Saxon Rebellion against King Henry IV and was slain in a feud with Egeno II of Konradsburg in 1180. His son Count Otto the Rich appeared as a "Count of Ballenstedt" from 1106. When Emperor Henry V temporarily deprived Lothair of Supplinburg of the Saxon ducal title in 1112, Otto was enfeoffed with the Duchy of Saxony, which, however, he had to renounce shortly afterwards, as Lothair and Henry had reconciled. On the eve of the 1115 Battle of Welfesholz, Otto campaigned the lands of the Polabian Slavs, gaining large estates around Zerbst up to the Hevelli lands ruled by the Hevelli princes.

County of Anhalt

Until his death in 1123, Count Otto had Anhalt Castle built in the Harz mountains near Harzgerode and appears to have been among the first to assume the title of a "Count of Anhalt". He was the father of Albert the Bear, who temporarily was appointed Margrave of the Saxon Eastern March (or March of Lusatia) by the Saxon duke Lothair of Supplinburg and struggled for the ducal title himself. Albert could not prevail against the Welf duke Henry the Lion, nevertheless he conquered the eastern territories of the former Northern March, which had been lost in the 983 Great Slav Rising, where he established the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1157. When he died in 1170, his younger son Count Bernhard inherited the Ascanian home territories around Anhalt Castle and after the deposition of Henry the Lion by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa finally became Duke of Saxony in 1180. However, he effectively only ruled over the Eastphalian territories, while the Westphalian and Engern parts of Saxony fell under the control of the Prince-Archbishops of Cologne.

The County of Anhalt finally arose upon the death of Duke Bernhard in 1212, when his sons divided their heritage. The younger Albert I became Duke of Saxony, while the elder Henry I went on to rule the Ascanian lands, now definitely separated from Saxony, as Count of Anhalt. In 1218, Henry I assumed the title of a prince and thereby was the real founder of the princely House of Anhalt.

Princes of Anhalt

Der Herzoge von Anhalte., Codex Manesse, c. 1305/15
Der Herzoge von Anhalte., Codex Manesse, c. 1305/15

On Henry's death in 1252, his three sons partitioned the principality and founded, respectively, the lines of Aschersleben, Bernburg and Zerbst. The family ruling in Aschersleben became extinct in 1315, and this district was subsequently incorporated in the neighboring Bishopric of Halberstadt, thus dividing the territory of Anhalt-Bernburg in two separate pieces. The last prince of the original line of Anhalt-Bernburg died in 1468 and his lands were inherited by the princes of the sole remaining line, that of Anhalt-Zerbst. The territory belonging to this branch of the family had been divided in 1396, and after the acquisition of Bernburg Prince George I made a further partition of Zerbst (Zerbst and Dessau). Early in the 16th century, however, owing to the death or abdication of several princes, the family had become narrowed down to the two branches of Anhalt-Köthen and Anhalt-Dessau (issued both from Anhalt-Dessau in 1471).

Wolfgang of Anhalt, called the Confessor, who became prince of Anhalt-Köthen in 1508, was the second ruler in the world to introduce the Reformation to his country. He was a co-signer of the Augsburg Confession in 1530, and after the Battle of Mühlberg in 1547 was placed under Imperial ban and deprived of his lands by Emperor Charles V. After the peace of Passau in 1552 he bought back his principality, but as he was childless he surrendered it in 1562 to his kinsmen the princes of Anhalt-Dessau. Ernest I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (d. 1516) left three sons, John V, George III, and Joachim, who ruled their lands together for many years, and who favoured the Lutheran doctrine, which thus became dominant in Anhalt. About 1546 the three brothers divided their principality and founded the lines of Zerbst, Plötzkau and Dessau. This division, however, was only temporary, as the acquisition of Köthen, and a series of deaths among the ruling princes, enabled Joachim Ernest, a son of John V, to unite the whole of Anhalt under his rule in 1570.

The first united principality of Anhalt was short-lived, and in 1603 it was split up into the mini states of Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Köthen, Anhalt-Zerbst and Anhalt-Plötzkau.

Joachim Ernest died in 1586, and his five sons ruled the land in common until 1603, when owing to the lack of primogeniture, Anhalt was again divided, and the lines of Dessau, Bernburg, Plötzkau, Zerbst and Köthen were re-founded. The principality was ravaged during the Thirty Years' War, and in the earlier part of this struggle Christian I of Anhalt-Bernburg took an important part. In 1635 an arrangement was made by the various princes of Anhalt, which gave a certain authority to the eldest member of the family, who was thus able to represent the principality as a whole. This proceeding was probably due to the necessity of maintaining an appearance of unity in view of the disturbed state of European politics.

Anhalt partitions 1747-1793
Anhalt partitions 1747-1793

In 1665, the branch of Anhalt-Köthen became extinct, and according to a family compact this district was inherited by Lebrecht, Prince of Anhalt-Plötzkau, who surrendered Plötzkau to Bernburg, and took the title of prince of Anhalt-Köthen. In the same year the princes of Anhalt decided that if any branch of the family became extinct its lands should be equally divided between the remaining branches. This arrangement was carried out after the death of Frederick Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst in 1793, and Zerbst was divided between the three remaining princes. During these years the policy of the different princes was marked, perhaps intentionally, by considerable uniformity. Once or twice Calvinism was favoured by a prince, but in general the house was loyal to the doctrines of Martin Luther. The growth of Prussia provided Anhalt with a formidable neighbour, and the long-delayed establishment of primogeniture by all branches of the family prevented further divisions of the principality.

Dukes of Anhalt

Main article: Duchy of Anhalt

Coat of arms of the 19th-century Duchy of Anhalt.
Coat of arms of the 19th-century Duchy of Anhalt.

In 1806, Napoleon elevated the remaining states of Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen to duchies; in the meantime, Anhalt-Plötzkau and Anhalt-Zerbst had ceased to exist. These duchies were united again in 1863, due to the extinction of the Köthen and Bernburg lines. The new duchy consisted of two large portions, Eastern and Western Anhalt, separated by the interposition of a part of the Prussian Province of Saxony and of five exclaves surrounded by Prussian territory: Alsleben, Mühlingen, Dornburg, Gödnitz and Tilkerode-Abberode. The eastern and larger portion of the duchy was enclosed by the Prussian government district of Potsdam (in the Prussian province of Brandenburg) and by Magdeburg and Merseburg, belonging to the Prussian province of Saxony. The western or smaller portion, the so-called Upper Duchy or Ballenstedt, was also enclosed by the two latter districts as well as by the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

When a united state, the capital of Anhalt was Dessau.

Along with the fall of all German monarchies, the Duchy of Anhalt came to an end in 1918–19 during the revolution that followed the end of World War I. It was replaced by the Free State of Anhalt within the Weimar Republic. After World War II, the Free State was united with the Prussian parts of Saxony to form Saxony-Anhalt. Subsequently, Saxony-Anhalt was dissolved in 1952, but re-established prior to the German reunification in 1990, since when it has been one of the sixteen (Bundes)länder (states) of Germany.


The duchy, by virtue of a fundamental law, proclaimed on September 17, 1859 and subsequently modified by various decrees, was a constitutional monarchy. The duke, who bore the title of "Highness", wielded the executive power while sharing the legislation with the estates. The diet (Landtag) was composed of thirty-six members, of whom two were appointed by the duke, eight were representatives of landowners paying the highest taxes, two of the highest assessed members of the commercial and manufacturing classes, fourteen of the other electors of the towns and ten of the rural districts. The representatives were chosen for six years by indirect vote and must have completed their twenty-fifth year. The duke governed through a minister of state, who was the praeses of all the departments — finance, home affairs, education, public worship and statistics.


In 1905 the population of the Duchy of Anhalt was 328,007, a ratio of about 351 to the square mile (909 km²). The country was divided into the districts of Dessau, Köthen, Zerbst, Bernburg and Ballenstedt, of which that of Bernburg was the most, and that of Ballenstedt the least, populated. Of the towns, four, viz. Dessau, Bernburg, Köthen and Zerbst, had populations exceeding 20,000.

The inhabitants of the duchy, with the exception of about 12,000 Roman Catholics and 1700 Jews, were members of the Evangelical State Church of Anhalt. The supreme ecclesiastical authority was the consistory in Dessau; while a synod of 39 members, elected for six years, assembled at periods to deliberate on internal matters touching the organization of the church. The Roman Catholics were under the bishop of Paderborn.

Rulers of Anhalt

For a complete table of rulers, see House of Ascania § Rulers of the House of Ascania.

House of Ascania

Partitions of Anhalt under Ascanian rule

County of Anhalt
Principality of Anhalt
(1st creation)
(1st creation)
Annexed to
Bishopric of Halberstadt
(1st creation)
(1st creation)
(2nd creation)
(1st creation)
Principality of Anhalt
(from Anhalt-Zerbst line)
(2nd creation)
(2nd creation)
(2nd creation)
(3rd creation)
(2nd creation)
Duchy of Anhalt
(from Anhalt-Dessau line)

Table of rulers

Ruler Born Reign Death Ruling part Consort Notes
Albert I the Bear
Albrecht der Bär.jpg
c.1100 1123-1170 18 November 1170 Anhalt Sophie of Winzenburg
thirteen children
Also Count of Ballenstedt, Duke of Saxony and Margrave of Brandenburg.
Bernard I
Bernhard von Sachsen.jpg
c.1134 1170-1212 2 February 1212 Anhalt Brigitte of Denmark
six children

Sophia of Thuringia
one child

Judith of Poland
no children
Also Count of Ballenstedt and Duke of Saxony
Henry I
Heinrich von Anhalt (1170 - 1252).jpg
1170 1212-1252 1252 Anhalt Irmgard of Thuringia
eleven children
First independent ruler of Anhalt. In 1218 becomes Prince of Anhalt. After his death his sons divided the Principality.
Henry II the Fat
Siegel Heinrich I und II (Anhalt).jpg
1215 1252-1266 12 June 1266 Anhalt-Aschersleben Matilda of Brunswick-Lüneburg
two children
Children of Henry I, divided their rule.
Bernard I
Siegel Bernhard I (Anhalt).jpg
1218 1252-1287 1287 Anhalt-Bernburg Sophia of Denmark
3 February 1258
six children
Siegfried I 1230 1252-1298 25 March 1298 Anhalt-Zerbst Catherine of Sweden
17 October 1259
ten children
Regency of Matilda of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1266-1270) Children of Henry II, ruled jointly, first under their mother, who was elected Abbess of Gernrode in 1275. In 1283, Henry renounced his rights in Otto's favor.
Otto I
Gemeinschaftliches Siegel Otto I und Heinrich III (Anhalt).jpg
c.1245 1266-1304 25 June 1304 Anhalt-Aschersleben Hedwig of Wrocław
three children
Henry III c.1245 1266-1283 12 June 1266 Anhalt-Aschersleben Unmarried
Bernard II
Siegel Bernhard II (Anhalt).jpg
1260 1287-1323 After 26 December 1323 Anhalt-Bernburg Helena of Rügen
27 December 1302
three children
Ruled jointly. After the death of John, Bernard ruled alone.
John I 1258/60 1287-1291 5 June 1291 Anhalt-Bernburg Unmarried
Albert I c.1260 1298-1316 17 August 1316 Anhalt-Zerbst Liutgard of Holstein-Itzehoe
after 1277
two children

Agnes of Brandenburg-Stendal
five children
Otto II
Siegel Otto I (Anhalt) - drittes Reitersiegel und Otto II (Anhalt) - Reitersiegel.jpg
c.1260 1304-1315 24 July 1315 Anhalt-Aschersleben Elisabeth of Meissen
24 August 1309
two children
After his death in 1315 without male heirs, the Principality was annexed by the Bishopric of Halberstadt.
Definitively annexed by the Bishopric of Halberstadt
Albert II after 1277 1316-1362 17 July 1362 Anhalt-Zerbst Agnes of Rügen
2 September 1324
no children

Beatrix of Saxe-Wittenberg
five children
Albert III and Valdemar I ruled jointly, as sons of Albert II. In 1359 Albert III associated his eldest son, Albert IV, but he predeceased him. In 1362, after Albert III's death, is brother Valdemar continued the co-ruling with his nephew John II. Valdemar II, Valdemar I's son, joined John II after his father's death.
Valdemar I after 1277 1316-1368 7 January 1368 Anhalt-Zerbst Elisabeth of Saxe-Wittenberg
22 June 1344
six children

Beatrice d'Este
no children
Albert III c.1337 1359 1 August 1359 Anhalt-Zerbst Unmarried
John II after 1337 1362-1382 11 April 1382 Anhalt-Zerbst Elisabeth of Henneberg-Schleusingen
four children
Valdemar II c.1337 1368-1371 before 24 August 1371 Anhalt-Zerbst Unmarried
Bernard III
Siegel Bernhard III (Anhalt) - großes Reitersiegel.jpg
1300 1323-1348 20 August 1348 Anhalt-Bernburg Agnes of Saxe-Wittenberg
five children

Matilda of Anhalt-Zerbst
no children

Matilda of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
two children
Bernard IV
Siegel Bernhard IV (Anhalt) - Secret.jpg
Before 1339 1348-1354 28 June 1354 Anhalt-Bernburg Unmarried
Henry IV Before 1339 1354-1374 7 July 1374 Anhalt-Bernburg Sophia of Stolberg
before 1348
three children
Bypassed by his older brother Bernard IV as ruler of Anhalt-Bernburg, he only assumed rule of the principality when Bernhard died in 1354.
Otto III Before 1348 1374-1404 27 February 1404 Anhalt-Bernburg Unknown
two children

before 1391
one child
Bypassed his nephew Bernard.
Sigismund I After 1366 1382-1405 19 January 1405 Anhalt-Dessau
(in Zerbst until 1396)
Judith of Querfurt
eleven children
Sons of John II. Ruled jointly. In 1396 divided the land. Sigismund received Anhalt-Dessau and Albert Anhalt-Köthen.
Albert IV After 1366 1382-1423 24 November 1423 Anhalt-Köthen
(in Zerbst until 1396)
Elisabeth of Mansfeld I
before 1398
six children

Elisabeth of Querfurt
before 4 January 1419
three children
Valdemar III After 1366 1382-1391 1391 Anhalt-Zerbst Unmarried
Bernard V Before 1374 1404-1420 24 June 1420 Anhalt-Bernburg Elisabeth of Hohnstein-Kelbra
8 September 1396
one child
Succeeded in reaching the pwer jointly with his eldest cousin, Otto. As he left no male heirs, the land was inherited by his other cousin, Bernard.
Otto IV Before 1391 1404-1415 7 July 1374 Anhalt-Bernburg Unmarried Ruled jointly with his cousin. Left no descendants.
George I the Elder 1390 1405-1474 21 September 1474 Anhalt-Dessau Matilda of Anhalt-Bernburg I
after 1413
no children

Euphemia of Oleśnica
six children

Sophia of Hohnstein
after 1442
three children

Anna of Lindow-Ruppin
7 September 1453
nine children
Sons of Sigismund I, ruled jointly. In 1468 inherited Anhalt-Bernburg.
Albert V After 1390 1405-1469 1469 Anhalt-Dessau Sophie of Hadmersleben
no children
Valdemar IV c.1386 1405-1417 After 22 July 1417 Anhalt-Dessau Unmarried
Sigismund II After 1390 1405-1452 After 22 May 1452 Anhalt-Dessau Matilda of Anhalt-Bernburg II
no children
Bernard VI Before 1391 1420-1468 2 February 1468 Anhalt-Bernburg Matilda of Querfurt-Burgscheidungen
21 October 1419
two children

Hedwig of Żagań
11 March 1434
no children
His children predeceased him, which left him no heirs at his death in 1468. Bernburg was inherited by Anhalt-Dessau line.
Anhalt-Bernburg was annexed to Anhalt-Dessau
Adolph I After 1398? 1423-1473 28 August 1473 Anhalt-Köthen Cordula of Lindow-Ruppin
2 November 1442
seven children
Ruled jointly. Adolph ruled with his brother Valdemar V until 1436 and then with Valdemar's son John. In 1471, Adolph concluded a succession contract with George I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, which would put his youngest son in Köthen's throne, as Valdemar VI.
Valdemar V After 1398? 1423-1436 28 August 1473 Anhalt-Köthen Sophie of Hadmersleben
no children
John III 1436-1463 1463 Anhalt-Köthen Unmarried
Valdemar VI
(from Anhalt-Dessau line)
1450 1473-1508 1 November 1508 Anhalt-Köthen Margaret of Schwarzburg
24 January 1485
four children
After the contract established with Dessau, this line of princes dominated in Köthen. After the death of Adolph in 1473, George I of Dessau's sons, Valdemar VI and Albert VI, ascended to the principality. After Albert's death, Valdemar co-ruled with his nephews. In 1508, all his co-rulers abdicated to Valdemar VI's son, Wolfgang.
Albert VI After 1419? 1473-1475 9 January 1475 Anhalt-Köthen Elisabeth of Mansfeld II
27 March 1454
seven children
Philip 31 May 1468 1475-1500 13 November 1500 Anhalt-Köthen Unmarried
Magnus 1455 1475-1508 29 October 1524 Anhalt-Köthen Unmarried
Adolph II 16 October 1458 24 March 1526 Anhalt-Köthen Unmarried
Ernest I 1454 1474-1516 12 June 1516 Anhalt-Dessau Margaret of Münsterberg
20 January 1494
four children
Sons of George I, ruled jointly.
George II the Strong 1454 1474-1509 25 April 1509 Anhalt-Dessau Agnes of Pomerania-Barth
no children
Sigismund III 1456 1474-1487 27 November 1487 Anhalt-Dessau Unmarried
Rudolph I the Valiant 1466 1474-1510 7 September 1510 Anhalt-Dessau Unmarried
Wolfgang the Confessor
1 August 1492 1508-1562 23 March 1566 Anhalt-Köthen Unmarried Sole ruler of Köthen. After his abdication without descendants, the Principality was incorporated in the recreated Anhalt-Zerbst.
Regency of Margaret of Münsterberg (1516-1524) Children of Ernest I, ruled jointly, firstly under their mother. In 1544, the brothers divided the land. Joachim mainteined Dessau to himself; John took Zerbst and refounded Anhalt-Zerbst; George took Plotzkau. After George and Joachim's deaths without descendants, their lands were inherited by their nephews, sons of John III.
Joachim I
Lucas Cranach d.Ä. - Bildnis des Fürsten Joachim (Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie).jpg
7 August 1509 1516-1561 6 December 1561 Anhalt-Dessau Unmarried
John IV
Lucas Cranach d.Ä. - Bildnis des Fürsten Johann (Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie).jpg
4 September 1504 1516-1551 4 February 1551 Anhalt-Dessau-Zerbst
(in Dessau until 1544)
Margaret of Brandenburg
15 February 1534
six children
George III the God-Blessed
15 August 1507 1516-1553 17 October 1553 Anhalt-Plotzkau
(in Dessau until 1544)
Charles I 17 November 1534 1551-1561 4 May 1561 Anhalt-Zerbst Anna of Pomerania
16 May 1557
no children
Sons of John IV. In 1553 inherited Plotzkau from their uncle George III. In 1561 inherited Dessau and Bernburg from their uncle Joachim. In the next year inherited Kothen. From 1570 Joachim Ernest was the sole owner of all Anhalt.
Joachim Ernest
Lucas Cranach d.J. - Bildnis des Fürsten Joachim Ernst von Anhalt.jpg
21 October 1536 1551-1562 6 December 1586 Anhalt-Zerbst Agnes of Barby-Mühlingen
3 March 1560
six children

Eleonore of Württemberg
9 January 1571
ten children
1562-1586 Anhalt
Bernard VII 17 March 1540 1551-1562 1 March 1570 Anhalt-Zerbst Clara of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Gifhorn
28 May 1565
one child
1562-1570 Anhalt
John George I
Johano Georgo la 1-a (1567-1618).JPG
9 May 1567 1586-1603 24 May 1618 Anhalt Dorothea of Mansfeld-Arnstein
22 February 1588
five children

Dorothea of Palatinate-Simmern
21 February 1595
eleven children
Sons of Joachim Ernest, ruled jointly. In 1603 divided the land again: John George received Dessau; Christian received Bernburg; Augustus received Plötzkau; Rudolph received Zerbst; Louis received Köthen. Augustus served also as regent for his minor nephews in Anhalt-Kothen and Anhalt-Zerbst.
1603-1618 Anhalt-Dessau
Christian I
Christian I Anhalt Bernburg.jpg
11 May 1568 1586-1603 17 April 1630 Anhalt Anna of Bentheim-Steinfurt-Tecklenburg-Limburg
2 July 1595
sixteen children
1603-1630 Anhalt-Bernburg
Rudolph II
Rudolf (Anhalt-Zerbst).jpg
28 October 1576 1586-1603 30 July 1621 Anhalt Dorothea Hedwig of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
29 December 1605
four children
1603-1621 Anhalt-Zerbst
Louis I
Ludwig I. von Anhalt-Köthen.jpg
17 June 1579 1586-1603 7 January 1650 Anhalt Amöena Amalie of Bentheim-Steinfurt-Tecklenburg-Limburg
31 October 1606
two children

Sophia of Lippe
12 September 1626
two children
1603-1650 Anhalt-Köthen
Augustus 14 July 1575 1586-1603 22 August 1653 Anhalt Sibylle of Solms-Laubach
25 January 1618
eight children
1603-1653 Anhalt-Plötzkau
John Casimir
Johann Kasimir Fürst Anhalt-Dessau.jpg
17 December 1596 1618-1660 15 September 1660 Anhalt-Dessau Agnes of Hesse-Kassel
18 May 1623
six children

Sophie Margaret of Anhalt-Bernburg
14 July 1651
no children
Regency of Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Plötzkau (1621-1642)
John V
Johann von Anhalt-Zerbst.jpg
24 March 1621 1621-1667 4 July 1667 Anhalt-Zerbst Sophie Augusta of Holstein-Gottorp
16 September 1649
fourteen children
Christian II
Christian II. (Anhalt-Bernburg).jpg
11 August 1599 1630-1656 22 September 1656 Anhalt-Bernburg Eleonore Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön
28 February 1625
fifteen children
Portret van Friedrich, Fürst zu Anhalt-Bernburg-Harzgerode, RP-P-1911-4135.jpg
16 November 1613 1630-1670 30 June 1670 Anhalt-Bernburg
(at Harzgerode)
Johanna Elisabeth of Nassau-Hadamar
10 August 1642
three children

Anna Katharina of Lippe-Detmold
(31 July 1612-15 October 1659)
26 May 1657
no children
Regency of Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Plötzkau, Lebrecht, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen and Emmanuel, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen (1650-1653) After his death without descendants, his previous regents took over the principality for themselves.
William Louis 3 August 1638 1650-1665 13 April 1665 Anhalt-Köthen Elisabeth Charlotte of Anhalt-Harzgerode
25 August 1663
no children
Lebrecht I
Leberecht von Anhalt-Köthen (1622 - 1669).jpg
8 April 1622 1653-1665 7 November 1669 Anhalt-Plötzkau Sophie Ursula Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode
18 January 1655
no children
Cousins of William Louis, and princes of Anhalt-Plötzkau, they served as regents for their cousin alongside their uncle, Augustus. After William Louis' death in 1665, they took the principality of Köthen for themselves, giving away their inheritance in Plötzkau to Anhalt-Bernburg.
1665-1669 Anhalt-Köthen
Emanuel, 1631-1670, furste av Anhalt-Plötzkau Anhalt- Köthen - Nationalmuseum - 15532.tif
6 October 1631 1653-1665 8 November 1670 Anhalt-Plötzkau Anna Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode
23 March 1670
one child
1665-1670 Anhalt-Köthen
Plotzkau definitively annexed to the Principality of Anhalt-Bernburg
Victor Amadeus
Fürst Viktor Amadeus von Anhalt Bernburg.jpg
6 October 1634 1656-1718 14 February 1718 Anhalt-Bernburg Elisabeth of Palatinate-Zweibrücken
16 October 1667
six children
Annexed Anhalt-Plötzkau in 1665.
John George II
John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau.jpg
17 November 1627 1660-1693 7 August 1693 Anhalt-Dessau Henriette Catherine of Nassau
9 September 1659
five children
Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, he also served as regent for his cousin, Emmanuel Lebrecht of Anhalt-Kothen, together with the prince's mother, Anna Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode.
Regency of Sophie Augusta of Holstein-Gottorp (1667-1674) Children of John V, divided the rule.
Charles William
Carl Wilhelm von Anhalt-Zerbst.jpg
16 October 1652 1667-1718 3 November 1718 Anhalt-Zerbst Sophia of Saxe-Weissenfels
18 June 1676
three children
John Louis I 4 May 1656 1667-1704 1 November 1704 Anhalt-Zerbst
(at Dornburg)
Christine Eleonore of Zeutsch
(5 June 1666-17 May 1699)
23 July 1687
seven children
Regencies of Anna Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode (1670-1690) and John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (1690-1692)
Emmanuel Lebrecht
Emanuel Leberecht von Anhalt-Köthen (1671 - 1704).jpg
20 May 1671 1670-1704 30 May 1704 Anhalt-Köthen Gisela Agnes of Rath
30 September 1692
ten children
William Louis
Arolsen Klebeband 01 305.jpg
18 August 1643 1670-1709 14 October 1709 Anhalt-Bernburg
(at Harzgerode)
Elisabeth Juliana of Solms-Laubach
(6 March 1631-2 January 1693)25 July 1671
no children

Sophie Auguste of Nassau-Dillenburg
(28 April 1666-14 January 1733)
20 October 1695
no children
After his death, Harzgerode merged again in Bernburg.
Regency of Henriette Catherine of Nassau (1693-1698)
Leopold I
1676 Leopold-2.JPG
3 July 1676 1693-1747 7 April 1747 Anhalt-Dessau Anna Louise Föhse
8 September 1698
ten children
Regency of Gisela Agnes of Rath (1704-1715) With no male heirs, he was succeeded by his brother.
Leopold von Anhalt-Köthen (1694 - 1728).jpg
29 November 1694 1704-1728 19 November 1728 Anhalt-Köthen Frederica Henriette of Anhalt-Bernburg
11 December 1721
one child

Charlotte Frederike of Nassau-Siegen
27 June 1725
two children
Charles Frederick
Carl Friedrich (Anhalt-Bernburg).jpg
13 July 1668 1718-1721 22 April 1721 Anhalt-Bernburg Sophie Albertine of Solms-Sonnenwalde
25 June 1692
six children

Wilhelmine Charlotte Nüssler
1 May 1715
Children of Victor Amadeus, divided their rule.
Lebrecht, Prince of Anhalt-Zeitz-Hoym (1669-1727).jpg
28 June 1669 1718-1727 17 May 1727 Anhalt-Bernburg
(in Zeitz-Hoym)
Charlotte of Nassau-Schaumburg
Schaumburg Castle
12 April 1692
five children

Eberhardine of Weede
(9 August 1685-13 February 1724)
27 June 1702
six children

Sophie Sibylla of Ingersleben
(18 March 1684-31 March 1726)
14 September 1725
no children
John Augustus
Johann August von Anhalt-Zerbst.jpg
29 July 1677 1718-1742 7 November 1742 Anhalt-Zerbst Fredericka of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
25 May 1702
no children
Died without issue. Zerbst was inherited by his cousins from Dornburg.
Victor Frederick
Victor Fridericus.jpg
20 September 1700 1721-1765 18 May 1765 Anhalt-Bernburg Louise of Anhalt-Dessau
25 November 1724
one child

Sophie Albertine Fredericka of Brandenburg-Schwedt
22 May 1733
five children

Konstanze Fredericka Schmidt
13 November 1750
one child
Victor I Amadeus
7 September 1693 1727-1772 15 April 1772 Anhalt-Bernburg
(in Zeitz-Hoym in 1727;
in Schaumburg-Hoym from 1727)
Charlotte Louise of Isenburg-Birstein
(31 July 1680-2 January 1739)
22 November 1714
six children

Hedwig Sophie Henckel of Donnersmarck
14 February 1740
six children
Augustus Louis
9 June 1697 1728-1755 6 August 1755 Anhalt-Köthen Agnes Wilhelmine von Wuthenau
23 January 1722
two children

Christine Johanna Emilie of Promnitz-Pless
14 January 1726
five children

Anna Fredericka of Promnitz-Pless
21 November 1732
two children
John Louis
Johann ludwig ii.jpg
23 June 1688 1704-1746

5 November 1746 Anhalt-Zerbst
(in Dornburg)

Unmarried First cousins of their predecessor, they were Princes of Dornburg, until its ending by joining it with the inherited Principality of Zerbst. Ruled jointly. after John Louis' death, Christian ruled alone.
Christian August
Christian August of Anhalt-Zerbst, 1725 (Antoine Pesne).jpg
29 November 1690 1704-1747

16 March 1747 Anhalt-Zerbst
(in Dornburg)

Joanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp
8 November 1727
five children
Christian Louis 5 November 1691 1704-1710 20 October 1710 Anhalt-Zerbst
(in Dornburg)
John Frederick 14 July 1695 1704-1742 11 May 1742 Anhalt-Zerbst
(in Dornburg)
Cajetana of Sperling
(d.17 December 1742)
no children
Leopold II Maximilian
Leopold II. Maximilian von Anhalt-Dessau.jpg
25 December 1700 1747-1751 16 December 1751 Anhalt-Dessau Gisela Agnes of Anhalt-Köthen
25 May 1737
seven children
Regency of Joanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp (1747-1752)
Frederick August
Frederick Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst.jpg
8 August 1734 1747-1793 3 March 1793 Anhalt-Zerbst Caroline Wilhelmina Sophia of Hesse-Kassel
17 November 1753
no children

Friederike Auguste Sophie of Anhalt-Bernburg
22 May 1764
no children
Definitively annexed by the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau
Regency of Dietrich of Anhalt-Dessau (1751-1758) Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, also served as regent for his cousin, Louis Augustus Karl Frederick Emil of Anhalt-Kothen. After his death the regency in Anhalt-Kothen passed together with the principality of Anhalt-Dessau to his son.
Leopold III Frederick Franz
Leopold III of Anhalt-Dessau.JPG
10 August 1740 1751-1817 9 August 1817 Anhalt-Dessau Louise Henriette Wilhelmine of Brandenburg-Schwedt
25 July 1767
two children
Charles George Lebrecht
Karl George Lebrecht, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen (1730-1789).jpg
15 August 1730 1755-1789 17 October 1789 Anhalt-Köthen Louise Charlotte of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
26 July 1763
six children
Frederick Albert
15 August 1735 1765-1796 9 April 1796 Anhalt-Bernburg Louise Albertine of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön
25 November 1724
two children
Charles Louis 16 May 1723 1772-1806 20 August 1806 Anhalt-Bernburg
(in Schaumburg-Hoym)
Benjamine Gertrude Keiser
(1 January 1729-6 January 1787)
25 March 1748

Amalia Eleonora of Solms-Braunfels
(22 November 1734-19 April 1811)
12 December 1765
five children
Augustus Christian Frederick 18 November 1769 1789-1812 5 May 1812 Anhalt-Köthen Fredericka of Nassau-Usingen
9 February 1792
no children
In 1806 became Duke of Anhalt-Köthen. Left no descendants, and was succeeded by his nephew.
Alexius Frederick Christian
Alexius Friedrich Christian Fürst von Anhalt-Bernburg.jpg
12 June 1767 1796-1834 24 March 1834 Anhalt-Bernburg Marie Friederike of Hesse-Kassel
29 November 1794
(annulled 1817)
four children

Dorothea Fredericka of Sonnenberg
11 January 1818
no children

Ernestine Charlotte of Sonnenberg
2 May 1819
no children
In 1803 became Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg.
Victor II Charles 2 November 1767 1806-1812 22 April 1812 Anhalt-Bernburg
(in Schaumburg-Hoym)
Amelia of Nassau-Weilburg
29 October 1793
four children
Regencies of Leopold III, Duke of Anhalt-Dessau (1812-1817) and Leopold IV, Duke of Anhalt (1817-1818) Died as a minor, never ruled by his own.
Louis Augustus Karl
20 September 1802 1812-1818 18 December 1818 Anhalt-Köthen Louise Charlotte of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
26 July 1763
six children
Frederick 29 November 1741 1812 24 December 1812 Anhalt-Bernburg
(in Schaumburg-Hoym)
Unmarried Son of Victor I. AFter his childless death, Hoym and Holzappel were inherited by his niece Hermine (daughter of Victor II), while Hoym merged in Bernburg again.
Hermine Palatine.jpg
2 December 1797 1812-1817 14 September 1817 Anhalt-Bernburg
(in Schaumburg and Holzappel)
Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary
30 August 1815
Schaumburg Castle
two children
Daughter of Victor II. After her death her lands probably merged again in Bernburg.
Frederick Ferdinand
25 June 1769 1818-1830 23 August 1830 Anhalt-Köthen Maria Dorothea Henriette Louise of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck
26 July 1763
Lindenau bei Heiligenbeil
no children

Julie of Brandenburg
20 May 1816
no children
From the Anhalt-Pless line, cousin of his predecessor. Attempted, with no success, to reinstall Catholicism in his duchy.
1778 Heinrich.jpg
30 July 1778 1830-1847 23 November 1847 Anhalt-Köthen Auguste Fredericka Espérance Reuss of Köstritz
18 May 1819
no children
Left no descendants. His lands were inherited by Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau.
Definitively annexed to the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau
Alexander Charles
Alexander Karl, Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg (1805-1863).jpg
2 March 1805 1834-1863 19 August 1863 Anhalt-Bernburg Friederike of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
30 October 1834
no children
Left no male descendants. Bernburg reverted to Anhalt-Dessau.
Definitively annexed to the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau
Leopold IV Frederick
Leopold IV Anhalt.jpg
1 October 1794 1817-1863 22 May 1871 Anhalt-Dessau Frederica Wilhelmina of Prussia
18 April 1818
six children
Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, ended the regency in Kothen after his cousin's death (1818). In 1863 he reunites Anhalt under his rule, and becomes its first duke.
1863-1871 Anhalt
Frederick I
Friedrich I Anhalt.jpg
29 April 1831 1871-1904 24 January 1904 Anhalt Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg
22 April 1854
six children
Frederick II
Friedrich II Anhalt.jpg
19 August 1856 1904-1918 21 April 1918 Anhalt Marie of Baden
2 July 1889
no children
Left no descendants. He was succeeded by his brother.
Eduard, Duke of Anhalt.JPG
18 April 1861 1918 13 September 1918 Anhalt Louise Charlotte of Saxe-Altenburg
6 February 1895
(annulled 26 January 1918)
six children
Brother of his predecessor. Ruled 18 April to 13 September.
Joachim Ernest II
Joachim Ernst duke of Anhalt.jpg
11 January 1901 1918 18 February 1947 Anhalt Elisabeth Strickrodt
3 March 1927
(morganatic, annulled 1929)
no children

Edda-Charlotte von Stephani-Marwitz
15 October 1929
five children
Ruled 13 September to 12 November. Monarchy abolished in that year.
Coat of arms of the duchy 1703[1]
Coat of arms of the duchy 1703[1]

Heads of the House of Anhalt since 1918


  1. ^ Siebmacher, Johann (1703). Erneuertes und vermehrtes Wappenbuch... Nürnberg: Adolph Johann Helmers. pp. Part I Table 8.