Albrecht I "The Bear", Margrave of Brandenburg

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Albrecht I (The Bear) von Brandenburg, Duke of Saxony

Norwegian: Albrect, Duke of Saxony, German: Albrecht, Duke of Saxony, Danish: Adelhead Duke of Saxony
Also Known As: "Albrecht der Bär", "Albrecht von Ballenstedt", "Albert Bjørn"
Birthdate:
Death: November 18, 1170 (69-78)
Stendal, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
Place of Burial: Ballenstedt, Anhalt, Deutschland (HRR), Germany
Immediate Family:

Son of Otto der Reiche, Graf von Ballenstedt and Elika Magnusdr von Ballenstedt, Duchess of Saxony
Husband of Sophie von Bayern und Sachsen
Father of Otto I von Brandenburg, Markgraf; Christine Prinzessin von Sachsen; Gertrud|Sibylle von Brandenburg; Hermann I. Graf von Weimar-Orlamünde; Hedwig von Ballenstedt, Princess of Brandenburg and 8 others
Brother of Gräfin Countess Adelheid of Stade and Osterburg

Occupation: Herzog von Sachsen, Markgraf von Brandenburg Markgreve av Brandenburg, Hertug av Sachsen, Markgreve, Hertuf av Sachsen
Managed by: Gábor Balogh
Last Updated:

About Albrecht I "The Bear", Margrave of Brandenburg

Albrecht I "The Bear", Margrave of Brandenburg

  • Son of Otto the Rich, Count von Ballenstedt and Elika Magnusdr von Ballenstedt, Duchess of Saxony
  • Albert the Bear (German: Albrecht der Bär; c. 1100 – 18 November 1170) was the first margrave of Brandenburg from 1157 to his death and was briefly duke of Saxony between 1138 and 1142.

Project MedLands, BRANDENBURG

ALBRECHT von Ballenstedt, son of OTTO "der Reiche" Graf von Ballenstedt & his wife Eilika of Saxony [Billung] ([1096/1100]-18 Nov 1170, bur Ballenstedt). The Annalista Saxo names "Adelbertum marchionem et filiam Adelheidem" as children of "Ottoni comiti de Ballenstidi" and his wife Eilika[72]. He succeeded his father in 1123 as Graf von Ballenstedt. Lothar von Süpplingenburg Duke of Saxony appointed him Herr der Mark Lausitz and Markgraf von Sachsen in 1123, in usurpation of the rights of Emperor Heinrich V who had granted the fief to Wiprecht Graf von Groitsch[73]. "Palatinus comes Willelmus, Marchio Adelbertus, comes Herimannus et frater eius Cunradus…" witnessed the charter dated 15 Jul 1128 under which Adalbert Archbishop of Mainz confirmed an exchange of property between "heredes comites Rodulfi…marchionis…prefati comitis filius Rodulfus…matre eius religiosa vidua Richarde…et fratre predicti pueri Udone iam milite facto et uxorato…" and the provost of Jechenburg[74]. Graf der Nordmark 1128. He was temporarily deprived of his titles, but rehabilated, by the emperor in 1133. He strongly opposed the Welf family in support of Konrad III King of Germany, who invested him as ALBRECHT Duke of Saxony in 1138 after refusing to enfeoff Heinrich "der Stolze" Duke of Bavaria [Welf] with the duchy[75]. After the death of Duke Heinrich, Albrecht hastened to Bremen where on 1 Nov 1139 he attempted to obtain recognition as duke of Saxony but was driven out of the town[76]. He was finally obliged to relinquish his claim to Saxony in 1142, as part of the compromise reached between the Welf family and King Konrad III, and returned to the Nordmark[77]. Pribislav-Heinrich Prince of the Hevelli appointed Albrecht his heir in Brandenburg, and he succeeded in 1140 as ALBRECHT "der Bär" Markgraf von Brandenburg, although he was obliged to defend the territory against Jaxa Prince of Köpenick in 1157[78]. Markgraf von Stade 1143. "Adelbertus…marchio Brandenburgensis" donated property to the convent at Magdeburg, with the consent of "filiorum meorum Heinrici canonici sancti Mauritii in Magdaburg, Ottonis marchionis, Hermanni, Adelberti, Theoderici et Bernhardi comitum", by charter dated [end May/early Jun] 1151[79]. After a lengthy dispute with Heinrich "der Löwe" Welf Duke of Saxony over the inheritance of the counts of Plötzkau and Hermann von Winzenburg, Friedrich I "Barbarossa" King of Germany assigned the Plötzkauer inheritance to Markgraf Albrecht and the Winzenburger inheritance to Duke Heinrich at the diet of Würzburg in Oct 1153[80]. The document dated 17 Sep 1156 which established the duchy of Austria is witnessed by "…marchio Adelbertus de Staden…"[81]. Graf von Aschersleben 1156: "Adelbertus…comes Asscherslovensis" confirmed a donation to Kloster Ilsenburg by "domino Alberto et fratre suo Tiederico de Crozuch" by charter dated 28 Dec 1156[82]. In 1166, he joined the alliance of Saxon princes against Duke Heinrich, attacking the fortress of Althaldensleben 20 Dec 1166 with Ludwig II Landgraf of Thuringia and Wichmann Bishop of Magdeburg[83]. Markgraf Albrecht was one of the signatories of the alliance of Magdeburg 12 Jul 1167, which formalised the opposition to Duke Heinrich[84]. married (1124 after 7 Dec) SOPHIE von Winzenburg, daughter of HERMANN [I] Graf von Windberg, Ratelberg und Winzenburg, Markgraf von Sachsen & his second wife Hedwig (-25 Mar 1160, bur Lamspringe). The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified, although it is indicated by the reference to her half-sister Beatrix in the following source. The Annales Palidenses record the death in 1160 of "domna Sophia marchionissa" and that of "soror eius Beatrix abbatissa Quidlingeburgensis octavo die…subsecuta"[85]. "Adelbertus, Brandenburgensis Marchio, et Otto Marchio, filius meus" donated property to Kloster Leitzlau, for the repose of "mee coniugis Sophie", by charter dated 1162[86].

Markgraf Albrecht & his wife SOPHIE von Winzenburg had thirteen children

  • 1. OTTO ([1126/28]-7 Mar 1184, bur Kloster Lehnin). The Cronica Principum Saxonie names (in order) "Ottonem, Bernardum ducem Saxonie, Sifridum episcopum Brandenburgensem, postea archiepiscopum Bremensem et Hadewigem [uxor] Otto marchio Misenensis" as children of "Albertus Ursus"[87]. "Adelbertus…marchio Brandenburgensis" donated property to the convent at Magdeburg, with the consent of "filiorum meorum Heinrici canonici sancti Mauritii in Magdaburg, Ottonis marchionis, Hermanni, Adelberti, Theoderici et Bernhardi comitum", by charter dated [end May/early Jun] 1151[88]. He succeeded his father in 1170 as OTTO I Markgraf von Brandenburg.
  • 2. HEDWIG ([1124/35]-end Mar 1203, bur Kloster Altzelle). The Genealogica Wettinensis names "Hetwigem filiam Alberti marchionis de Saxonis" as wife of "Otho Misnensis marchio"[89]. The Cronica Principum Saxonie names (in order) "Ottonem, Bernardum ducem Saxonie, Sifridum episcopum Brandenburgensem, postea archiepiscopum Bremensem et Hadewigem [uxor] Otto marchio Misenensis" as children of "Albertus Ursus"[90]. A 13th century genealogy refers to a daughter of "Albertus de Hanhalde marchio" as wife of "marchioni de Missin"[91]. married ([1144/47]) OTTO von Wettin, son of KONRAD I "der Grosse" Graf von Wettin, Brehna, Camburg und Eilenburg, Markgraf der Ober- und Niederlausitz & his wife Luitgard von Elchingen ([1125]-18 Feb 1190, bur Kloster Altzelle). He succeeded in 1156 as OTTO "der Reiche" Markgraf von Meissen.
  • 3. HERMANN (-19 Oct 1176). A 13th century genealogy names (in order) "Albertum, Berenhardum, Fridericum, Hermannum de Horlamund et Zeifridum Bremensem archiepiscopum" as the five sons of "Albertus de Hanhalde marchio"[92]. "Adelbertus…marchio Brandenburgensis" donated property to the convent at Magdeburg, with the consent of "filiorum meorum Heinrici canonici sancti Mauritii in Magdaburg, Ottonis marchionis, Hermanni, Adelberti, Theoderici et Bernhardi comitum", by charter dated [end May/early Jun] 1151[93]. Markgraf von Sachsen 1153. He succeeded in 1156 as Graf von Orlamünde, although it is unclear on what basis this territory was awarded to him. "Alberto Brandenburgensi marchione, Ottone filio eius…Hermanno comite de Horlemunde filio eius, Theoderico comite de Werben filio eius, Alberto comite de Balstede filio eius, Bernardo comite de Anehalt filio eius…" witnessed the charter dated 1170 under which "Cazimerus…Pomeranorum princeps" donated property to the church of Havelberg, with the consent of "fratre nostro Boguzlao"[94].
  • 4. daughter . The Vincentii Pragensis Annales record the marriage in 1155 of "Wladizlaus dux" and "filiam marchionis Alberti de Saxonia"[95]. married ([1152/55]) VLADISLAV of Bohemia, son of SOBĚSLAV I UDALRICH Duke of the Bohemians & his wife Adelheid of Hungary (-1165).
  • 5. SIEGFRIED before 1138-[24 Oct/15 Nov] 1184, bur Bremen Cathedral). The Cronica Principum Saxonie names (in order) "Ottonem, Bernardum ducem Saxonie, Sifridum episcopum Brandenburgensem, postea archiepiscopum Bremensem et Hadewigem [uxor] Otto marchio Misenensis" as children of "Albertus Ursus"[96]. A 13th century genealogy names (in order) "Albertum, Berenhardum, Fridericum, Hermannum de Horlamund et Zeifridum Bremensem archiepiscopum" as the five sons of "Albertus de Hanhalde marchio"[97]. Canon of the Franciscans at Magdeburg in 1164. His election to the bishopric of Bremen, engineered by his father in 1168, was a direct challenge to the authority of Heinrich "der Löwe" Duke of Saxony, but he was prevented from assuming the position by Duke Heinrich[98]. Bishop of Brandenburg 1173 until 1180. Elected Archbishop of Bremen end 1179, installed in 1180.
  • 6. daughter The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified. married (1155) DYPOLD Duke of Moravia, son of VLADISLAV I Duke of the Bohemians & his wife Richinza [Richsa] von Berg (-14/15 Aug 1167).
  • 7. HEINRICH ([1139/40]-after 18 Apr 1176). "Adelbertus…marchio Brandenburgensis" donated property to the convent at Magdeburg, with the consent of "filiorum meorum Heinrici canonici sancti Mauritii in Magdaburg, Ottonis marchionis, Hermanni, Adelberti, Theoderici et Bernhardi comitum", by charter dated [end May/early Jun] 1151[99]. Canon of St Sebastian at Magdeburg 1151, provost in 1161 and 1176.
  • 8. daughter A 13th century genealogy refers to a daughter of "Albertus de Hanhalde marchio" as "abbatissa in monasterio Chutilinburch"[100]. Abbess of Quedlinburg after 1160. According to Grote[101], the abbess of Quedlinburg from 1160 to 1161 was named Meregard, although he does not specify her origin.
  • 9. ALBRECHT ([1131/40]-after 6 Dec 1172). A 13th century genealogy names (in order) "Albertum, Berenhardum, Fridericum, Hermannum de Horlamund et Zeifridum Bremensem archiepiscopum" as the five sons of "Albertus de Hanhalde marchio"[102], specifying that Albrecht died without sons. "Adelbertus…marchio Brandenburgensis" donated property to the convent at Magdeburg, with the consent of "filiorum meorum Heinrici canonici sancti Mauritii in Magdaburg, Ottonis marchionis, Hermanni, Adelberti, Theoderici et Bernhardi comitum", by charter dated [end May/early Jun] 1151[103]. He succeeded as Graf von Ballenstedt. "Alberto Brandenburgensi marchione, Ottone filio eius…Hermanno comite de Horlemunde filio eius, Theoderico comite de Werben filio eius, Alberto comite de Balstede filio eius, Bernardo comite de Anehalt filio eius…" witnessed the charter dated 1170 under which "Cazimerus…Pomeranorum princeps" donated property to the church of Havelberg, with the consent of "fratre nostro Boguzlao"[104]. married (end 1157) as her second husband, ADELHEID von Meissen, repudiated wife of SVEND III Erikssen "Grade" King of Denmark, daughter of KONRAD I "der Grosse" Graf von Wettin, Brehna, Camburg und Eilenburg, Markgraf der Ober- und Niederlausitz & his wife Luitgard von Elchingen (-after 6 Dec 1172). The Genealogica Wettinensis names (in order) "Odam et Bertam abbatissam Gerbestadensem, Agnetam Quidelingenburgensem abbatissam, quarta…Gerdrudis…quinta Adela…sexta Sophia" as the six daughters of "Conradus Misnensis et Orientalius marchio [filius Thiemonis]" & his wife, specifying that Adela married firstly "regi Danorum Suenoni" and secondly "Albertus comes Alberti marchionis filius"[105]. A 13th century genealogy names "Adelam" as daughter of "marchio Conradus" and her first husband as "regi Dacie" and her second "de Saxonia[106].

Graf Albrecht & his wife ADELHEID had [three] children

  • a) ADELHEID The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified. 1183. m MEINHARD von Görz Conte di Istria, son of MEINHARD [I] Graf von Görz & his second wife Elisabeth von Schwarzenburg (-before 1193).
  • b) GERTRUD (-after 1194). The Genealogica Wettinensis names "Gerdrudem, Waltheri de Arnestein coniugem" as the daughter of "Albertus comes Alberti marchionis filius" & his wife[107]. “Walterus de Arnestein” donated “advocatiam x mansorum in villa Salbecke” to Magdeburg St. Maria, for the souls of “conjugis meæ Gertrudis filiique mei Wichmanni [monk at Magdeburg St. Maria]”, by charter dated “V Kal Jun” 1194[108]. m WALTER [III] von Arnstein, son of WALTER [II] von Arnstein & his wife Ermengarde --- (-after 1199).
  • c) daughter Her parentage and marriage are shown in Europäische Stammtafeln[109]. The primary source which confirms this information has not yet been identified. It is not known whether it is based on an actual source or is speculative. m FRIEDRICH [II] Graf von Beichlingen, son of FRIEDRICH [I] Graf von Beichlingen & his wife Heleburg von Gleichen (-Dec 1189).]
  • 10. ADELHEID (-before 2 Jan 1162, bur Lamspringe). "Adelbertus Brandenburgensis Marchio" donated property to "ecclesiam in villa Apuldere", for the soul of "filie Adelheitis, quo sepulta est in ecclesia…Lamesprinhe" and with the consent of "filiis Theoderico", by charter dated 12 Jun 1162[110]. Nun at Lamspringe.
  • 11. DIETRICH ([before 1132/40]-after 5 Sep 1183). "Adelbertus…marchio Brandenburgensis" donated property to the convent at Magdeburg, with the consent of "filiorum meorum Heinrici canonici sancti Mauritii in Magdaburg, Ottonis marchionis, Hermanni, Adelberti, Theoderici et Bernhardi comitum", by charter dated [end May/early Jun] 1151[111]. "Adelbertus Brandenburgensis Marchio" donated property to "ecclesiam in villa Apuldere", for the soul of "filie Adelheitis, quo sepulta est in ecclesia…Lamesprinhe" and with the consent of "filiis Theoderico", by charter dated 12 Jun 1162[112]. Graf von Werben 1170. "Alberto Brandenburgensi marchione, Ottone filio eius…Hermanno comite de Horlemunde filio eius, Theoderico comite de Werben filio eius, Alberto comite de Balstede filio eius, Bernardo comite de Anehalt filio eius…" witnessed the charter dated 1170 under which "Cazimerus…Pomeranorum princeps" donated property to the church of Havelberg, with the consent of "fratre nostro Boguzlao"[113]. "Theodericus…comes de Wirben" confirmed the donations of property to Magdeburg Unser Liebe Frau made by "beate memorie pater meus Albertus Brandenburgensis marchio" by charter dated to [1171][114]. Vogt of Kloster Goseck 1176. "Bernhardus dux Angarie et Westfalie et comes de Aschersleve" confirmed the donation to Kloster Obernkirchen by "frater noster Theodericus comes de Werbene" by charter dated end-Sep 1181[115]. married ([1150]) MECHTILD of Thuringia, son of LUDWIG I Landgraf of Thuringia & his wife Hedwig von Gudensberg. The Historia Brevis Principum Thuringiæ names (in order) "Cecilia…Iutha…Adelheidis…Mechtildis" as the four daughters of "Ludewicus lantgravius" & his wife Hedwig, specifying that Mechtild married "comiti Dieterico de Werben fratri ducis Bernhardi"[116].

Graf Dietrich & his wife MECHTILD had one child:

  • a) DIETRICH (-after 1171). The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified. 1171.
  • 12. BERNHARD (1140-Bernburg 9 Feb 1212, bur Ballenstedt St Nikolai). The Cronica Principum Saxonie names (in order) "Ottonem, Bernardum ducem Saxonie, Sifridum episcopum Brandenburgensem, postea archiepiscopum Bremensem et Hadewigem [uxor] Otto marchio Misenensis" as children of "Albertus Ursus"[117]. A 13th century genealogy names (in order) "Albertum, Berenhardum, Fridericum, Hermannum de Horlamund et Zeifridum Bremensem archiepiscopum" as the five sons of "Albertus de Hanhalde marchio"[118]. "Adelbertus…marchio Brandenburgensis" donated property to the convent at Magdeburg, with the consent of "filiorum meorum Heinrici canonici sancti Mauritii in Magdaburg, Ottonis marchionis, Hermanni, Adelberti, Theoderici et Bernhardi comitum", by charter dated [end May/early Jun] 1151[119]. Graf von Aschersleben und Graf von Anhalt 1170. "Alberto Brandenburgensi marchione, Ottone filio eius…Hermanno comite de Horlemunde filio eius, Theoderico comite de Werben filio eius, Alberto comite de Balstede filio eius, Bernardo comite de Anehalt filio eius…" witnessed the charter dated 1170 under which "Cazimerus…Pomeranorum princeps" donated property to the church of Havelberg, with the consent of "fratre nostro Boguzlao"[120]. "Bernhardus…comes in Aschersleve" confirmed possessions of Marienthal, by charter dated 1174[121]. Herzog von Westfalen und Engern 1179. He was installed as BERNHARD Duke of Saxony at Gelnhausen 13 Apr 1180.
  • 13. EILIKA The primary source which confirms her parentage has not yet been identified.

Albert the Bear, by Wikipedia

Albert was the only son of Otto, Count of Ballenstedt, and Eilika, daughter of Magnus Billung, Duke of Saxony. He inherited his father's valuable estates in northern Saxony in 1123, and on his mother's death, in 1142, succeeded to one-half of the lands of the house of Billung. Albert was a loyal vassal of his relation, Lothar I, Duke of Saxony, from whom, about 1123, he received the Margraviate of Lusatia, to the east; after Lothar became King of the Germans, he accompanied him on a disastrous expedition to Bohemia against the upstart, Soběslav I, Duke of Bohemia in 1126 at the Battle of Kulm, where he suffered a short imprisonment.

Albert's entanglements in Saxony stemmed from his desire to expand his inherited estates there. After the death of his brother-in-law, Henry II, Margrave of the Nordmark, who controlled a small area on the Elbe called the Saxon Northern March, in 1128, Albert, disappointed at not receiving this fief himself, attacked Udo V, Count of Stade, the heir, and was consequently deprived of Lusatia by Lothar. Udo, however, was said to have been assassinated by servants of Albert on 15 March 1130 near Aschersleben. In spite of this, he went to Italy in 1132 in the train of the king, and his services there were rewarded in 1134 by the investiture of the Northern March, which was again without a ruler.

In 1138 Conrad III, the Hohenstaufen King of the Germans, deprived Albert's cousin and nemesis, Henry the Proud of his Saxon duchy, which was awarded to Albert if he could take it. After some initial success in his efforts to take possession, Albert was driven from Saxony, and also from his Northern march by a combined force of Henry and Jaxa of Köpenick, and compelled to take refuge in south Germany. When peace was made with Henry in 1142, Albert renounced the Saxon duchy and received the counties of Weimar and Orlamünde. It was possibly at this time that Albert was made Archchamberlain of the Empire, an office which afterwards gave the Margraves of Brandenburg the rights of a prince-elector.

Once he was firmly established in the Northern March, Albert's covetous eye lay also on the thinly populated lands to the north and east. For three years he was occupied in campaigns against the Slavic Wends, who as pagans were considered fair game, and whose subjugation to Christianity was the aim of the Wendish Crusade of 1147 in which Albert took part. Albert was a part of the army that besieged Demmin. And at the end of the war, recovered Havelberg, which had been lost since 983. Diplomatic measures were more successful, and by an arrangement made with the last of the Wendish princes of Brandenburg, Pribislav of the Hevelli, Albert secured this district when the prince died in 1150. Taking the title "Margrave in Brandenburg", he pressed the "crusade" against the Wends, extended the area of his mark, encouraged German migration, established bishoprics under his protection, and so became the founder of the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1157, which his heirs — the House of Ascania — held until the line died out in 1320.

In 1158 a feud with Henry's son, Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, was interrupted by a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On his return in 1160, he, with the consent of his sons; Siegfried not being mentioned, donated land to the Knights of Saint John in memory of his wife, Sofia, at Werben at the Elbe.[1][2][3] Around this same time, he minted a pfennig in memory of his deceased wife. In 1162 Albert accompanied Emperor Frederick Barbarossa to Italy, where he distinguished himself at the storming of Milan.

In 1164 Albert joined a league of princes formed against Henry the Lion, and peace being made in 1169, Albert divided his territories among his six sons. He died on 13 November 1170, possibly in Stendal, and was buried at Ballenstedt.

Links

Sources

  • Freller 2010, p. 40.
  • Freller 2010, p. 55.
  • Lyon 2013, p. 35.
  • a b c d e Lyon 2013, p. 241.
  • Freller, Thomas (2010). The German Langue of the Order of Malta. Malta: Midsea Books. ISBN 978-99932-7-299-1.
  • Lyon, Jonathan R. (2013). Princely Brothers and Sisters: The Sibling Bond in German Politics, 1100-1250. New *
  • York: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801451300.
  • Carlyle, Thomas (1898). History of Frederick the Great.
  • Partenheimer, Lutz (2007). Die Entstehung der Mark Brandenburg: Mit einem lateinisch-deutschen Quellenanhang. * Köln: Böhlau. ISBN 978-3-412-17106-3.
  • Partenheimer, Lutz (2003). Albrecht der Bär (in German). Cologne: Böhlau Verlag. ISBN 3-412-16302-3.
  • Schultze, Johannes (2011). Die Mark Brandenburg.: (Bd. I-V in einem Band). Duncker & Humblot. ISBN 978-3428134809.
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Albrecht I "The Bear", Margrave of Brandenburg's Timeline

1096
1096
1123
1123
- 1170
Age 27
1123
- 1138
Age 27
1126
March 11, 1126
Dresden, Sachsen, Deutschland(HRR)
1127
1127
Dresden, Dresden, Sachsen
1128
1128
Brandenburg, Germany
1128
- 1170
Age 32
1129
1129
Dresden, Dresden Government Region, Saxony, Germany
1130
1130
Orlamünde, Weimar-Orlamünde, Deutschland(HRR)