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- Reuss Ebersdorf (Reuß-Ebersdorf)
- since 1678 existend (County)
- from 1790 Principality
- abdicated in 1848
• Meaning/Origin of the Flag
• Coat of Arms
• Meaning/Origin of the Coat of Arms
• Numbers and Facts
• Origin of the Country's Name
ca. 1820 to 1848,
Colours of the country,
ratio = 3:5,
Source, by: Jens Hild
The colours of all lines of Reuss was the colour-combination of black, red and gold, which were used as cockades, and, if ever, used on flags in normally horizontal arrangement. A vertical arrangement – especially for the principalities of Reuss younger line – did not exist, although some sources cite this sporadically.
The colours black, red and gold are similar to the colour of the German tricolour from the year of the revolution 1848. The reason for that is, that the colours black-red-gold in the Reussian Estates are older then 1848.
The Princes of Reuss of the 18th/19th century have been the Bailiffs of Weida in the middle ages. They got placed in their hands in the 13th century the Reussian Estates as directly to the empire belonging territories from the emperor for administration. 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. So it is not surprising that there were later used cockades in the coulours gold and black. Black, Red and Gold were first used in 1814 on medal ribbons, in 1820 also on documents and seals cords.
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,
Deutsche Wappen Rolle
Blazon of the Reuss principalities,
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.
Source: Volker Preuß, Hartmut Grimm,
Deutsche Wappen Rolle
The map shows the estates of the line of Reuss Ebersdorf at the end of the 17th century in dark blue. The territories of the other junior lines of the House of Reuss are coloured in pale blue.
Area: 57 square miles
Inhabitants: 10.000 (1820)
Density of Population: 176 inh./sq.mi.
Capital: Ebersdorf, 900 inh. (1800)
Currency: 1 Taler = 30 Groschen = 360 Pfennige
Source: HGISG Geoinform
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' (Reuss Senior Line). It extincted in 1927. 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 splited in 1647 into the lines of Reuss-Gera (from 1673 Counts, extincted in 1803, the heir was Reuss-Schleiz in 1848), Reuss-Saalburg (extincted in 1666, the heir was Reuss-Gera), Reuss-Schleiz (from 1673 Counts , from 1806 Princes) and Reuss-Lobenstein (from 1673 Counts, from 1790 Princes, extincted in 1824, the heir was Reuss-Ebersdorf). In 1678 the line of Reuss-Lobenstein was divided into the lines of Reuss-Lobenstein, Reuss-Ebersdorf (from 1790 Princes, abdicated in 1848) and Reuss-Hirschberg (extincted in 1711, the heir was Reuss-Lobenstein). To avoid the many heritage-divisions the primogeniture was introduced in 1690. This means that the entire inheritance goes to the eldest son. After 1690 arised two more, not entitled to inherit lines, which have been compensated by a Paragium: They received land, but they became not sovereign. That was the line of Reuss-Koestritz (from 1692), which was levied in 1855 to the rank of Princes, and the line of Reuss-Selbitz (1718-1824).
1792, 1796, 1800 and 1805 · invasions of French revolutionary troops under Napoleon in the German Empire, the German Empire subjectes and becomes territorially transformed
1802 · the line of Reuss-Gera extinkts, the Principality of Reuss-Gera is managed by the remaining lines of Reuss-Lobenstein, Reuss-Ebersdorf and Reuss-Schleiz in common administration
1803 · German Mediatisation (Reichsdeputationshauptschluss), transformation of the territorial partition of the German Empire, ecclesiastical possessions become confiscated, old princely territories and free cities become confiscated or dissolved or annexed to old or new principalities, the number of sovereign authorities and territorial entities of the empire is thus reduced from 300 to 60
12th of July in 1806 · Napoleon forces the creation of the Rhine Confederation, an alliance of sixteen southern and southwestern German states under French protectorate
1st of August 1806 · the states of the Rhine Confederation declare themselves sovereign and resign from the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation
6th of August in 1806 · Emperor Franz II. lays down the crown of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation, the empire ends
18th of April in 1807 · the Principalities of Reuss Junior Line (Reuss-Schleiz, Reuss-Lobenstein and Reuss-Ebersdorf) join the Rhine Confederation
October 1813 · Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig, the Rhine Confederation begins to fall apart, Napoleon and his troops withdraw behind the Rhine River
1814–1815 · Congress of Vienna, reconstruction of Europe after the era of Napoleon, the ownership and the administrative partitions in the former German Empire become restored, but not the sovereignty of the ecclesiastical countries, their possessions become transferred to old or new principalities, the 39 remaining German states – in this way the Principalities of Reuss Junior Line too – become organized in a loose association, the German Confederation
1824 · the line of Reuss-Lobenstein extincts, the heir is Reuss-Ebersdorf, the Principalities of Reuss-Ebersdorf and Reuss-Lobenstein become united to the Principality of Reuss-Lobenstein and Ebersdorf
1st of October in 1848 · Prince Heinrich LXXII. of Lobenstein-Ebersdorf abdicates in favor of the line of Reuss-Schleiz, the line of Reuss-Schleiz was left as the last sovereign line of the junior line of Reuss, which called itself from now on 'Reuss Junior Line', the territories of Reuss-Lobenstein-Ebersdorf, Reuss-Schleiz and Reuss-Gera become united in the
Principality of Reuss Junior Line
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.) RetroLib Retrobibliothek,
2.) Wikipedia (D)