Christopher, Count of Oldenburg

Count of Oldenburg
Noble family House of Oldenburg
Father John V, Count of Oldenburg
Mother Anna of Anhalt-Zerbst
Born c. 1504
Died 4 August 1566 (aged 6162)
Religion Lutheranism,
prev. Roman Catholicism

Christopher, Count of Oldenburg (Christoffer; c. 1504 – 4 August 1566) was German count and regent in Eastern Denmark during the Count's War (or The Count's Feud), 1534–36, which was named after him.


Coat of arms of Count Christopher of Oldenburg


He was the grandson of Gerhard of Oldenburg, a brother of King Christian I of Denmark. As a young man he was educated a clergyman but probably because of economic problems he later on chose a military career participating in wars in Germany. He was described an "intellectual condottiere" possessing a classic Greek knowledge but apparently no great military talent.

As a second cousin of both Christian II and Christian III he took interest in Scandinavian politics. When the civil war broke out in Denmark 1534 after the death of Frederick I Christopher, who had converted to Protestantism, was hired by Lübeck as the military leader of the alliance of Danish commoners, Lübeck and Protestants against Christian III and the Danish nobility. The formal purpose of this alliance was the restoration of Christian II. Christopher's own zeal seems to have been the Danish crown.

Siege of Copenhagen (1535-1536).

After a promising start in which he became the master of Zealand and Scania with the title of a regent and conquered Funen he had severe setbacks and quarrelled with his allies. Furthermore, Lübeck involved the Albrecht VII of Mecklenburg-Güstrow in the alliance offering him the Danish crown which created jealousy between the two war lords. Christian III's conquest of both Jutland and Funen and the defection of Scania meant the breakdown of Christopher's position and he was besieged in Copenhagen 1535–36 together with his rival Albrecht until their capitulation.

After his defeat he returned to Oldenburg but several times he intervened into wars and struggles in Northern Germany. Among other things, he planned an invasion in Sweden and supported the Schmalkaldic League. During his last years he lived in a monastery.


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Christopher, Count of Oldenburg
Born: 1504 Died: 4 August 1566
Preceded by
John V
Count of Oldenburg
with his brothers George (1526-1529)
John VI (1526-1529)
and Anthony I (1526-1573)
Succeeded by
Anthony I
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