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- Reuss Burgk (Reuß-Burgk)
- since 1596 existend
- from 1673 County
- extincted in 1694
• Coat of Arms
• Meaning/Origin of the Coat of Arms
• Numbers and Facts
• Origin of the Country's Name
Blazon of the counties of Reuss,
Source, by: Deutsche Wappen Rolle
The Lords of the House of Reuss, coming from Thuringia in the 12th century, began to expand their rule in today's Vogtland as bailiffs of Weida, who took over administrative tasks on behalf of the emperor. In the 14th century they were raised to a prince-like rank and in the 17th century they became directly imperial counts. The family split into many dynastic lines, which gradually became princes from the end of the 18th century. All lines of the house always used the same coat of arms, the last remaining line – Reuss Koestritz – until today. The image of the coat of arms goes back to the Count Palatine Rudolf of the Rhine and Duke of Bavaria, who officially confirmed it with a letter in 1294, if you will, as a copy of the coat of arms of the Palatinate: golden lion with red arms and crown on a black background.
After the purchase of the Dominion of Kranichfeld (= crane's field) the black shield was combined in quads with the heraldry of Kranichfeld. Kranichfeld came to Reuss in 1454 by purchase from the Castle's Counts of Kirchberg. To reduce debts Kranichfeld became mortgaged in the year 1615 for 80 000 Meissen Florins to Saxony-Weimar. It never got redeemed back but it was hereditary selled to Saxony-Gotha in the year 1686. But with it the Reuss dynasty reserves the right for itself to use the title "Masters of Kranichfeld" and to carry the crane in the coat of arms (source: Dr. Berthold Schmidt, "History of the Reussian Estates" 1927). The quartered coat of arms use the Reussian descendants until today.
The colours of the German states are (called Landesfarben, are often derived from the colours of the coats of arms, and used as cockades, as well as flags), were formed – especially in the German inland countries – rather late, often after the French Revolution and the following wars of liberation. In the period from ca. 1815 to ca. 1830, this process was finally completed in all German states.
Source: Volker Preuß,
Jens Hild, Hartmut Grimm
The map shows the estates of the line of Reuss Burgk at the end of the 17th century in dark blue. The territories of the other senior lines of the House of Reuss are coloured in pale blue.
ca 100 B.C. · in today's Vogtland settles the Germanic tribe of the Hermundurians
9 B.C.– 9 A.D. · today's Vogtland belongs to the Roman Empire
ca. 400 A.D. · the Germanic tribe of the Thuringians settles in the region, formation of the Thuringian kingdom
531 · the Thuringian kingdom becomes conquered by the Franks, the areas north of the river Unstrut come to Saxony, west of the river Saale invades the Slavic tribe of the Sorbs
936 · the German King Otto I. begins the eastward expansion against the Slavs
937 · campaign against the Sorbs, establish of the Margraviate of Zeitz under Margrave Gero
999 · the German King Otto III. gives the region around Gera to the monastery of Quedlinburg, the administration becomes transferred as Bailiwick of Gera to the Lords of Weida
1165–1190 · the Lords of Weida acquire the Bailiwicks of Gera, Greiz, Hof and Plauen (for the entire region arises the name 'Vogtland' → Vogt = Bailiff)
ca 1244 · division of the Bailiwick in the three lines of Weida, Gera and Plauen
The Line of Weida included initially Weida, Greiz, Ronneburg, Werde, the Regnitz Land, Hof and Hirschberg. In 1373 Hof and Regnitz became sold to the Viscount of Nuremberg, in 1427 Weida became sold to the Electorate of Saxony. In 1454 they purchased Wildenfels, and the name of the line became to 'Bailiffs of Weida and Wildenfels', which was hold until the extinction of the line in 1535.
The Line of Gera included initially Gera, Lobenstein, Schleiz, Saalburg and Reichenfels. However, they had to accept from 1371 to 1374 foreign (eg Bohemian) suzerainty over Lobenstein, Schleiz, Saalburg and Reichenfels. In 1450 Gera became besieged, conquered and destroyed. Between 1451 and 1538, there were several temporary divisions by inheritances. After the Battle of Muehlberg in 1547 they had to take Lobenstein, Schleiz, Saalburg and Reichenfels as a fiefdom from Bohemia, and they ceded Gera to Heinrich von Plauen, the Viscount of Meissen. The line of the 'Bailiffs of Gera' extincted in 1550, Heinrich von Plauen was the heir.
The Line of Plauen included initially Plauen and Vogtsberg. The founder of the line, Heinrich, the 'Bailiff of Plauen', had two sons, the line splited, with the eldest son, in the older line 'Plauen', and with the younger son, in the younger line 'Reuss of Plauen'. Until 1572 the older line managed the Viscounty of Meissen as fiefdom from the emperor. In 1550, the line of the 'Bailiffs of Gera' extincted, and the older line Plauen was the heir. In 1572 the older line of Plauen extincted too, and the younger line of 'Reuss of Plauen' was the heir. The younger line 'Reuss of Plauen' was founded by Heinrich the Reuss. He was the first of the Bailiffs who wore the name 'Reuss'. In 1325 Reichenbach and Mylau were given by the Emperor to the line of Plauen as fiefdom. In 1451 Upper and Lower Kranichfeld were acquired.
In 1564 the line 'Reuss' splited in three lines: 1st) the senior line 'Reuss of Plauen on Lower Greiz'. 2nd) the middle line 'Reuss of Plauen on Upper Greiz'. It extincted already in 1616. 3rd) the junior line 'Reuss of Plauen to Gera'. It divides from 1647 into the lines of Reuss-Gera, Reuss-Schleiz, Reuss-Lobenstein, Reuss-Hirschberg and Reuss-Ebersdorf, which were reunited from 1848 as Principality of 'Reuss Junior Line'. The line extincted in 1945.
From the senior line 'Reuss of Plauen on Lower Greiz' splited in 1596 the line of Reuss-Burgk, which existed with one interruption to 1694. The line 'Reuss of Plauen on Upper Greiz' extincted in 1616, the heirs had been the the senior and the junior line. The senior line called itself from now on Reuss-Greiz. In 1625 the line was divided again, into the lines of Reuss Upper Greiz and Reuss Lower Greiz. Between 1668 and 1698 existed a further next line of 'Reuss Lower Greiz', the line of Reuss-Rothenthal. In 1673 all members of the line 'Reuss of Plauen' were levied to counts. Between 1694 and 1698 there existed the line of Reuss-Doelau as a next line of Reuss Upper Greiz. To avoid the many heritage-divisions the primogeniture was introduced in 1690. This means that the entire inheritance goes to the eldest son. In 1778 the line 'Reuss Lower Greiz' extincted, the heir was 'Reuss Upper Greiz', which was levied to princes, and called itself from now on Reuss Senior Line. It extincted in 1927.
Source: Wikipedia (D),
Atlas zur Geschichte
1.) The name goes back to Heinrich II., one of the Bailiffs of Plauen. For his courage and dedication in the fight against the Polish, in 1247 they have given him the name "The Reuss". Then they have the Polish sometimes called as Reuss, although that is actually the name for the Russians. 2.) Following other sources Heinrich II. was merried with a Russian wife, and thats why they gave him the name "The Reuss".
Source: 1.) RetroBib Retrobibliothek,
2. Wikipedia (D)