Bernhard II, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg

Bernhard II's Seal

Bernhard II, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg (ca. 1260 aft. 26 December 1323), was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Bernburg.

He was the third son of Bernhard I, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg, by his wife Princess Sophie, daughter of King Abel of Denmark.


After the death of his father in 1287, Bernhard inherited the principality of Anhalt-Bernburg. In accordance with the family law of the House of Ascania, he was obliged to rule jointly with his older brother John I without division of their patrimony. John died four years later (1291) and Bernhard became the sole ruler.

In the year 1300 Bernhard adopted the title "Count of Bernburg". His princely title was confirmed the next year.

After the Anhalt-Aschersleben line became extinct in 1315, Bernhard inherited the senior princely title of Ascania as well as the title prince of Anhalt-Aschersleben. However, he could not take actual possession of his cousin Otto's lands Anhalt-Aschersleben or retain title to this fief, because the territory was lawfully expropriated by the Bishopric of Halberstadt as payment for the debts of the late Prince Otto. Bernhard agreed to this arrangement in writing in 1316, however his descendants continued to dispute the loss of the principality for centuries. Aschersleben was finally awarded to Brandenburg-Prussia in the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.

In Frankfurt am Main on 27 September 1320, Bernhard was created Count palatine of Saxony and Count of Brehna. He died three years later.

Marriage and issue

On 27 December 1302 Bernhard married Helene (b. 1270 – d. 9 August 1315), daughter of Wizlaw II, Prince of Rügen and widow of John III, Lord of Mecklenburg. They had three sons:

  1. Bernhard III, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg (d. 20 August 1348)
  2. Henry (d. aft. 19 August 1337), a Dominican monk at Halberstadt (1330)
  3. Otto, a Franciscan monk at Magdeburg (1323).
Bernhard II, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg
Born: ca 1260 Died: December 1323
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Bernhard I
Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg
With: his brother John I (1287–1291)
Succeeded by
Bernhard III
Preceded by
Otto II
Prince of Anhalt-Aschersleben
(titular 1315)

permanently lost to Halberstadt in 1316
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