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This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (May 2016) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation like DeepL or Google Translate is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 8,983 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Lippe (Land)]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Lippe (Land))) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Principality of Lippe
Fürstentum Lippe
Flag of Lippe
Coat of arms of Lippe
Coat of arms
The Principality of Lippe within the German Empire
The Principality of Lippe within the German Empire
StatusState of the Holy Roman Empire
State of the Confederation of the Rhine
State of the German Confederation
State of the North German Confederation
Federated State of the German Empire
Common languagesWest Low German
Church of Lippe
• Established
• Raised to County
• Raised to Principality
• German Revolution
12 November 1918
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Saxony
Duchy of Saxony
Free State of Lippe
The princely castle at Detmold
The princely castle at Detmold
Terms of various things in Lippisch dialect compared to Standard German
Terms of various things in Lippisch dialect compared to Standard German

Lippe (later Lippe-Detmold and then again Lippe) was a historical state in Germany, ruled by the House of Lippe. It was located between the Weser river and the southeast part of the Teutoburg Forest. It was founded in the 1640s under a separate branch of the House of Lippe.


The founder of what would become the County of Lippe (1528–1789), then the Principality of Lippe (1789–1918) was Bernhard I, who received a grant of territory from Lothair III in 1123. Bernhard I assumed the title of Edler Herr zu Lippe ("Noble Lord at Lippe"). The history of the dynasty and its further acquisitions of land really began with Bernard II. His territory was probably formed out of land he acquired on the destruction of the Duchy of Saxony following the demise of Henry the Lion in 1180. From 1196 to 1666 the descendants of Bernard II passed their holdings from father to sons for sixteen generations. Thereafter until 1905, a collateral branch passed Lippe from father to sons for eight generations. A distant relation then became the last ruler until the Revolution of 1918 when Lippe became the Free State of Lippe.[1] Simon V was the first ruler of Lippe to style himself as a count (Graf) in 1528.[2]

Lippe and neighbouring states in the late 18th century
Lippe and neighbouring states in the late 18th century

Following the death of Simon VI in 1613, the county was partitioned between his three sons; Lippe-Detmold went to Simon VII, Lippe-Brake to Otto and Lippe-Alverdissen went to Philip I. The county of Lippe-Brake was reunited with the main Detmold line in 1709. A son of Simon VII, Jobst Herman, founded another branch of the family, the Lippe-Biesterfeld line;[2] the Lippe-Weissenfeld branch later separated from the Lippe-Biesterfelds. Both Lippe-Biesterfeld and Lippe-Weissenfeld were paragiums (non-sovereign estates of a cadet-branch) within the County of Lippe, and both branches, owning only modest manor houses in the county, acquired property in other states by marriage and moved out of the county in the late 18th century, the Biesterfeld branch to the Rhineland and the Weissenfeld branch to Saxony.

The Counts of Lippe-Detmold were granted the title of Imperial prince in 1789.[2]

Shortly after becoming a member state of the German Empire in 1871, the Lippe-Detmold line died out on 20 July 1895. This resulted in an inheritance dispute between the neighbouring principality of Schaumburg-Lippe and the Lippe-Biesterfeld line. The dispute was resolved by the Imperial Court in Leipzig in 1905, with the lands passing to the Lippe-Biesterfeld line who, until this point, had no territorial sovereignty.[2]

Map of Lippe in 1918
Map of Lippe in 1918

The Principality of Lippe came to an end on 12 November 1918 with the abdication of Leopold IV, with Lippe becoming a Free State. In 1947, Lippe merged into the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The princely family still owns the estate and Fürstliches Residenzschloss [de] in Detmold.[3]

Lords of Lippe (1123–1528)

Raised to a county in 1528

Counts of Lippe (-Detmold from 1613)

Raised to a principality in 1789

Princes of Lippe

Lippe-Biesterfeld line (see above) succeeded as senior line:

Line of succession

See also


  1. ^ G. Benecke, Society and Politics in Germany, 1500–1750, Routletge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1974, p. 41.
  2. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911, p. 740.
  3. ^ "Wo Deutschland fast noch eine Monarchie ist" by Andreas Fasel, Die Welt, 25 December 2015 (in German)



Further reading