The Principality of Verden, Verden, is a small constitutional monarchy within the Holy Roman Empire. It is bordered by Denmark, Lüneburg, Brunswick, Hoya and Bremen. The population is around 89,000 and the capital is Rotenburg.
The Head of state is Prince Leopold III.
The official language is German.
It uses the Bremen Mark (BRM).
The Principality has had a long and varied history. The city that it takes its name from is infamous as the site of a massacre of 4,500 Saxons on Charlemagne's orders in 782. Collected as part of the Duchy of Saxony it was stripped out by Frederick I in 1180 and its bishop given immediacy.
In the later medieval period it was taken over by its larger neighbour Bremen whose archbishop usually held both sees jointly. However whereas Bremen's territory stayed more or less Catholic, Verden's population embraced Lutheran ideas. It was therefore often the scene of violent in the later 16th century and many of the battles of the First and Second Schmalkaldic Wars were fought in or around the bishopric. It remained ruled by Bremen however and out of the Schmalkaldic Empire's jurisdiction.During the Fifty Years War Schmalkaldic/Kalmar troops overran Bremen and its territories were given to Lutheran Hamburg to run as a fief. This lasted until the mass revolts of 1649 at which point both Hamburg and Bremen were run directly by the Danish crown. Verden however was remolded into a principality and handed to Hordaland to ensure its continued support with the war. It would soon become a base of operations for the armies of the western Kalmar states. Many of the leading families can trace their ancestors back to Manx, Scots, Icelanders, even Álengsk mercenaries who took local wives and never returned home.
At the conclusion of the war Verden's division from Bremen and existence as a separate state was enshrined. It also swallowed the up until then separate Imperial City of Verden. Ruled by a cadet branch of the Hordalandic Sverker dynasty it soon passed into the hands of the Austrian Hapsburgs whose Duke Leopold of Carinthia inherited it from his wife, Elizabeth. During the Wolffenbuttel War (1737-39) it was reconquered by Denmark however Leopold's son Frederick was restored to the throne at the war's conclusion.
It was invaded and occupied in both Imperial-Kalmar Wars but was restored in both cases to the ruling dynasty. Mostly agricultural it is now largely dependent on the free city of Bremen for its trade.
The principality is governed as a constitutional monarchy with elections for its single-chambered Diet held every four years.
The current Head of State is Prince Leopold III and his Chancellor is Bernd Louisan.