Principality (Duchy) of Anhalt-Bernburg
Fürstentum (Herzogtum) Anhalt-Bernburg(German)
State of the Holy Roman Empire (until 1806)





19th century flag
of Anhalt duchies
19th century arms
of Anhalt duchies
Anhalt territories in 1853, Anhalt-Bernburg in green
Capital Bernburg
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Partitioned from Anhalt 1252
 -  Inherited by Anhalt-Dessau 1468
 -  Repartitioned from Anhalt 1603
 -  Anhalt-Zeitz-Hoym partitioned away
 -  Raised to duchy 1803
 -  Anhalt re-united 1863
Today part of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Bernburg Castle

Anhalt-Bernburg was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire and a duchy of the German Confederation ruled by the House of Ascania with its residence at Bernburg in present-day Saxony-Anhalt. It emerged as a subdivision from the Principality of Anhalt from 1252 to 1468 and again from 1603 until the re-unification in 1863.

It was created in 1252, when the Principality of Anhalt was partitioned among the sons of Henry I into Anhalt-Aschersleben, Anhalt-Bernburg and Anhalt-Zerbst. Bernburg was allotted to Henry's second son Bernhard I. When the line of Anhalt-Aschersleben became extinct in 1315, Prince Bernhard II of Anhalt-Bernburg claimed their territory, he could however not prevail against his cousin Albert, Bishop of Halberstadt. After the ruling family became extinct upon the death of Prince Bernhard VI in 1468, Anhalt-Bernburg was inherited by Prince George I of Anhalt-Dessau. With Anhalt-Dessau it was inherited by Prince Joachim Ernest of Anhalt-Zerbst in 1561, who unified all Anhalt lands under his rule in 1570.

Re-united Anhalt was again divided in 1603 among Prince Joachim Ernest's sons into the lines of Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-Köthen, Anhalt-Plötzkau, Anhalt-Bernburg and Anhalt-Zerbst. His second son Prince Christian I took his residence at Bernburg. Christian's younger son Frederick established the separate Principality of Anhalt-Harzgerode in 1635, which existed until 1709. Prince Victor Amadeus of Anhalt-Bernburg inherited Anhalt-Plötzkau in 1665. Upon his death in 1718 his lands were further divided and the Principality of Anhalt-Zeitz-Hoym was created for his second son Lebrecht, which was reunited with Anhalt-Bernburg in 1812.

In 1803 Prince Alexius Frederick Christian of Anhalt-Bernburg was elevated to the rank of a duke by Emperor Francis II of Habsburg. His son Duke Alexander Karl however died without issue in 1863, whereafter Anhalt-Bernburg was inherited by Leopold IV, Duke of Anhalt-Dessau, re-uniting all Anhalt lands under his rule.[1]

Princes of Anhalt-Bernburg, 1252–1468[]

  • 1252–1287 Bernhard I
  • 1287–1291 John I, son, co-regent with his brother
  • 1323–1348 Bernhard III, son of Bernhard II
  • 1348–1354 Bernhard IV, son
  • 1354–1374 Henry IV, brother
  • 1374–1404 Otto III, brother
  • 1404–1420 Bernhard V, son of Henry IV, co-regent with his cousin
    • 1404–1415 Otto IV, son of Otto III
  • 1420–1468 Bernhard VI, brother of Otto IV, left no male heirs
To Anhalt-Dessau

Princes of Anhalt-Bernburg, 1603–1807[]

Raised to duchy

Dukes of Anhalt-Bernburg, 1803–1863[]

To re-united Anhalt


  1. ^ Hertslet 1875, p. 275.


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Anhalt-Bernburg. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.