Principality of Lippe

Principality of Lippe
Fürstentum Lippe
State of the Holy Roman Empire
State of the Confederation of the Rhine
State of the German Confederation
State of the North German Confederation
Federal State of the German Empire
Flag Coat of arms
Lippe within the German Empire (1871-1918)
Capital Detmold
Languages West Low German
Government Principality
   Established 1123
  Raised to County 1528
  Raised to Principality 1789
   German Revolution 1918
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Saxony
Free State of Lippe
Map of Lippe in 1918.
The princely castle at Detmold
Terms of various things in Lippisch dialect compared to Standard German.

Lippe (later Lippe-Detmold and then again Lippe) was a historical state in Germany, ruled by the House of Lippe. It was located between the Weser River and the southeast part of the Teutoburg forest.


The founder of what would become the Principality of Lippe was Bernhard I (1113-1144), who received a grant of the territory from Lothar Röttgering III, Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Germans in 1123. Bernhard I assumed the title of edler Herr von Lippe (Lord of Lippe). Bernhard's successors inherited and obtained several counties. Lord Simon V was the first ruler of Lippe to style himself as a count.[1]

Following the death of Simon VI in 1613, the principality was split into three counties; Lippe-Detmold went to Simon VII, Lippe-Brake to Otto and Lippe-Alverdissen went to Philip I. The Lippe-Brake county was reunited with the main Detmold line in 1709. Another branch of the family was founded by Jobst Herman, a son of Simon VII, who was founder of the Lippe-Biesterfeld line.[1]

The Counts of Lippe-Detmold were granted the title of Prince of The Empire in 1789.[1]

Shortly after becoming a member state of the German Empire in 1871, the Lippe-Detmold line died out on 20 July 1895. This resulted in an inheritance dispute between the neighbouring principality of Schaumburg-Lippe and the Lippe-Biesterfeld line. The dispute was resolved by the Imperial Court in Leipzig in 1905, with the lands passing to the Lippe-Biesterfeld line who, until this point, had no territorial sovereignty.[1]

The Principality of Lippe came to an end on 12 November 1918 with the abdication of Leopold IV, with Lippe becoming a Free State. In 1947, Lippe merged into the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The princely family still owns the estate and castle at Detmold.

Lords of Lippe (1123-1528)[2]

  • Bernard I, Lord 1123-1158 (c.1090–1158)
    • Hermann of Lippe (d ca.1160)
      • Herman I, Lord 1158-1167 (d 1167)
      • Bernard II, Lord 1167–1196, resigned to the Church (c 1140-1224)
        • Herman II, Lord 1196-1229 (1175–1229)
          • Bernard III, Lord 1229-1265 (c  1194– 1265)
            • Herman III, Lord in Lippstadt 1265–1274 (ca  1233–1274)
            • Bernard IV, Lord in Rheda 1265-1275 (ca 1230–1275)
              • Simon I, Lord 1273–1344 at first Rheda only (ca 1261-1344)
                • Simon II, Lord 1344 with his brothers (d 1344)
                • Bernard V, Lord of Lippe in Rheda 1344–1364 (d 1364)
                • Otto, Lord of Lippe in Lemgo 1344–1360 (d 1360)

Raised to County in 1528.

Counts of Lippe (-Detmold from 1613)[3]

Raised to Principality 1789.

Princes of Lippe[4]

Lippe-Biesterfeld line (see ancestor Jobst Hermann above) succeeded as senior line:

  • Ernst II, Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld 1884-1904 (1842-1904), 6 generations from Count Jobst Hermann

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Chisholm 1911, p. 740.
  2. Marek, Miroslav. "lippe/lippe1.html".
  3. Marek, Miroslav. "lippe/lippe3.html".
  4. Marek, Miroslav. "lippe/lippe4.html".



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