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Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria
Portraits of Maria Anna and her husband, Maximilian I

Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (13 January 1610 - 25 September 1665 Munich) (de: Maria Anna von Habsburg, Erzherzogin von Österreich, also known as Maria Anna von Bayern or Maria-Anna, Kurfürstin von Bayern), was Electress of Bavaria as the spouse of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria. She also served as Regent of Bavaria during the minority of her son (from 1651).

Biography

Born in Graz, her parents were Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor von Habsburg and Maria Anna of Bavaria. She married her maternal uncle Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria on the 15 July 1635 in Vienna, was the mother to Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria and Maximilian Philip (30 Sept 1638 - 20 March 1704).

The motivation of Maximilian for this swift remarriage (he had recently been widowed by Elisabeth of Lorraine), was not so much political grounds as the hope of producing a prince to inherit.

Maria Anna is generally described as clever, cautious, energetic, stern, frugal, and experienced in matters of financial administration. In contrast to the Elector's first wife, Maria Anna was very interested in politics and well instructed about developments. She was not bound to the Habsburgs, but rather completely advocated the Bavarian standpoint. Additionally, she conducted lively exchanges of opinion with high officials of the Munich court and took part in meetings of the cabinet. After Maximilian's death, she undertook the regency for their oldest son, Ferdinand Maria.

Preceded by
Elizabeth of Lorraine
Electress of Bavaria
1635 – 1651
Succeeded by
Henriette Adelaide of Savoy
Preceded by
Elizabeth of Lorraine
Electress Palatine
1635 – 1648
Succeeded by
Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel
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