Dorothea Susanne of Simmern

Dorothea Susanne of Simmern
Duchess of Saxony and Saxe-Weimar; Landgravine of Thuringia
Tenure November 1566 - 1572
1572 - 2 March 1573
Born (1544-11-15)15 November 1544
Died 8 April 1592(1592-04-08) (aged 47)
Spouse John William, Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Issue Frederick William I, Duke of Saxe-Weimar
John II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Maria, Abbess of Quedlinburg
House House of Wittelsbach
Father Frederick III, Elector Palatine
Mother Marie of Brandenburg-Kulmbach
Religion Lutheranism

Dorothea Susanne of Simmern (15 November 1544 in Simmern 8 April 1592 in Weimar) was a princess of the Electorate of the Palatinate and by marriage Duchess of Saxe-Weimar.


Dorothea Susanne was the daughter of elector palatine Frederick III (1515–1576) from his marriage to Marie (1519–1567), daughter of Margrave Casimir of Brandenburg-Kulmbach.

The Red Castle in Weimar, built in 1574-1576 as a widow seat for Dorothea Susanne

She married on 15 June 1560 in Heidelberg Duke John William, of Saxe-Weimar (1530–1573). After their marriage, the couple lived mostly in Weimar. After the death of her husband Elector August, of Saxony acted as guardian of her children. This policy was meant to isolate the children from their mother's political and religious influence. She was assigned a new residence outside Weimar, appropriately named New House.[1] The Red Castle in Weimar was built for her from 1574 to 1576. She used it as her widow seat after its completion[2] Its Renaissance portal is decorated with an alliance coat of arms of Dorothea Susanne and her husband.

In 1581, the widowed Duchess turned to write to her brothers, Louis VI and John Casimir to induce the guardian of her eldest son, Elector August in Dresden, to promote the marry her eldest son with a Württemberg princess.[3]

Dorothea Susanne died in 1592 and was buried in the church of St. Peter und Paul in Weimar;[4] her motto was I Know That My Redeemer Lives.[5]


From her marriage, Dorothea Susanne had the following children:

first married in 1583 Princess Sophia of Württemberg (1563-1590)
married secondly in countess palatine Anna Maria of Neuburg
married in 1593 princess Dorothea Maria of Anhalt (1574-1614)



  1. State Museums of Berlin: Restored Works of Art in the German Democratic Republic, Association of Artists of the GDR, 1979, p. 180
  3. Anne-Simone Knöfel: Dynasty and Prestige: The marriage policy of the Wettin family, Böhlau Verlag, Köln Weimar, 2009, p. 438 ff
  5. Max Lobe: Devices: mottos and aphorisms, BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2009, p. 172
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