House of Wettin
Haus Wettin
Blason Jean-Georges IV de Saxe
Coat of Arms of the House of Wettin
Country Saxony
Holy Roman Empire
Titles Holy Roman Emperor
Prince-Elector of Saxony

Duke of Anhalt
Margrave of Meissen
Landgrave of Thuringia

Archmarshal of the Holy Roman Empire
Founded ca. 900
Founder Theodoric
Current head John
Ethnicity German
Cadet branches Ernestine (extant)
Albertine (extinct)
The House of Wettin is a central European royal family and a German dynasty from Saxony. The current patriarch is Emperor John the Steadfast of the Holy Roman Empire. One of the oldest dynasties in European history


The oldest member of the House of Wettin was Theodoric I of Wettin (ca. 910 - ca. 980). He was most probably based out of Liesgau in modern Saxony. By 1000, the family secured Wettin Castle from its original Sorbian builders. The clan took the name of their estate as their own. Around 1030, the Wettin family received the Eastern March as a fief.

The prominence of the Wettins in the Eastern March, which had a mixture of Slavic and Saxon residents, caused Emperor Henry IV to invest them with the March of Meissen as a fief in 1089. The family advanced over the course of the Middle Ages: in 1263 they inherited the Landgraviate of Thuringia, and in 1423 they were invested with the Duchy of Saxony, thus becoming one of the prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1464, a conflict arose between the two sons of Frederick II, Ernest and Albert. Ernest, the elder, had the de jure claim to the electorate but, to avoid a pending conflict, ceded half of his territories to his younger brother in the Treaty of Leipzig. This rift was closed when Frederick III reclaimed the Albertine lands from Albert's son, George, in 1517.

In 1520, following the death of Emperor Maximilian, Frederick III von Wettin was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo X in Rome. After his death, his Evangelical brother converted the dynasty to that faith and was also elected Emperor, in 1526.

Family Tree

From 1412:

  • Frederick II (1412-1464) x Margaret of Austria
    • Ernest (1441-1486) x Elisabeth of Bavaria-Munich
      • Frederick III (1463-1526)
      • John (1468-1532) x Sophie of Mecklenberg
        • John Frederick (b. 1503) x Elisabeth von Hesse
          • John (b. 1529)
          • Ada (b. 1533)
        • Maria (b. 1515) x Ivan Rurukovitch
    • Albert (1443-1500) x Sidonie of Poděbrady
      • George (1471-1539)