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Grafschaft (County) Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
Fürstentum (Principality) of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
State of the Holy Roman Empire,
State of the Confederation of the Rhine,
State of the German Confederation,
State of the North German Confederation,
State of the German Empire,
State of the Weimar Republic

Flag Coat of arms
Schwarzburg-Sondershausen within Thuringia
Capital Sondershausen
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Partitioned from
1599 1599
 - Raised to Principality 1697
 - German Revolution 1920
 - Merged into Thuringia 1920
 - 1905 862 km2 (333 sq mi)
 - 1905 est. 85,000 
     Density 98.6 /km2  (255.4 /sq mi)

Schwarzburg-Sondershausen was a small principality in Germany, in the present day state of Thuringia, with capital at Sondershausen.



Karl Gunther, the last Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen

Schwarzburg-Sondershausen was a county until 1697, in that year it became a principality, and lasted until the fall of the German monarchies in 1918, during the German Revolution. After which it became a republic.

In 1920 it joined with other small states in the area to form the new state of Thuringia. Schwarzburg-Sondershausen had an area of 862 km² and a population of 85,000 (1905). Towns placed in the state were: Arnstadt, Sondershausen, Gehren, Langewiesen, Großbreitenbach, Ebeleben, Großenehrich, Greußen and Plaue.

Rulers of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, 1552–1918


Counts of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen

  • 1552–86 John Günther I
  • 1586–1643 Günther XLII, with
  • 1586–1638 Anthony Henry, with
  • 1586–1631 John Günther II, with
  • 1586–1642 Christian Günther I
  • 1642–66 Anthony Günther I
  • 1666–97 Christian William, with
  • 1666–97 Anthony Günther II

Raised to Prince in 1697

Princes of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen

  • 1697–1716 Anthony Günther II
  • 1697 – 10 May 1721: Christian Wilhelm
  • 10 May 1721 – 28 November 1740: Günther XLIII
  • 28 November 1740 – 6 November 1758: Heinrich XXXV
  • 6 November 1758 – 14 October 1794: Christian Günther III
  • 14 October 1794 – 19 August 1835: Günther Friedrich Karl I
  • 19 August 1835 – 15 September 1889: Günther Friedrich Karl II
  • 15 September 1889 – 28 March 1909: Karl Günther

United under Prince Günther of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

Heads of the princely house of Schwarzburg

On the death of the childless Prince Günther Victor in 1925 he was succeeded by Prince Sizzo (1860-1926) who was the son of Prince Friedrich Günther (1793–1867) from his second, morganatic marriage. Prince Sizzo was recognised as a full member of the House of Schwarzburg in 1896.

Villages with more than 2000 people

Village people
December 1, 1910
Arnstadt 17.841
Sondershausen 7759
Langewiesen 3814
Greußen 3348
Großbreitenbach 3255
Gehren 2917
Geschwenda 2291

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SCHWARZBURG-SONDERSHAUSEN, a principality of Germany, and constituent state of the German empire. It shares the old Schwarzburg lands with Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. In general it may be said that while Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt forms the southern, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen occupies the northern portion of the lands once divided between them. The total area of the principality is 333 sq. m., of which 133 are in the upper and 200 in the lower barony. The chief towns are Arnstadt (pop. 16,275 in 1905), which at one time gave name to a line of counts, in the southern, and Sondershausen (7425), the capital, in the northern (or upper) barony. The general description of the nature and resources of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt applies also to this principality, except that 62% of the whole is devoted to agriculture and pasture and 30% to forests, only about two-fifths of which are coniferous trees. The chief crops are oats, barley, wheat and rye, but by far the most land is planted with potatoes. About 15% of the population are supported by agriculture and forestry, and about 18% by mining and cognate industries. The industries are varied, and in some branches, notably gloves (at Arnstadt), glass, sausages and sugarrefining, considerable. In 1905 the population was 85,152, or about 245 to the square mile. Almost all of these were Protestants.

Schwarzburg-Sondershausen is a limited hereditary monarchy, its constitution resting on a law of 1857. The diet consists of five representatives elected by the highest taxpayers, five by general election, and five nominated for life by the prince. The first ten members are elected for four years, which is also the financial period. There is a ministry with five departments - for the prince's household, domestic affairs, finance, churches and schools, and justice. The budget for the years1908-1911estimates the income at £164,440 and the expenditure at the same. The state debt in 1909 was £167,970. The troops of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen have been incorporated with the Prussian army by convention since 1867. The principality has one vote in the Reichstag and one in the federal council.

The house of Schwarzburg is one of the oldest and noblest in Germany; and tradition traces its descent from Widukind and the kings of the Franks. Its historical ancestors were the counts of Kafernburg, from whom the counts of Schwarzburg sprang about the beginning of the 13th century. The name Gunther became the distinctive name for the members of this house (corresponding to Heinrich in the Reuss family), the various GUnthers being at first distinguished by numbers and afterwards by prefixed names. Various subdivisions and collateral lines were formed, but by 1599 all were extinct but the present two. Count Gunther XL., who died in 1552, was the last common ancestor of both lines. Schwarzburg-Sondershausen is the senior line, although its possessions are the smaller. In 1697 the count was raised to the dignity of imperial prince by the emperor Leopold I. The prince had to pay 7000 thalers to the elector of Saxony and 3500 to the duke of Saxe-Weimar, and numerous disputes arose in connexion with the superiorities thus indicated. In 1807 Schwarzburg-Sondershausen entered the Confederation of the Rhine and became a sovereign state. In 1816 it joined the German League, and redeemed with portions of its territory all rights of superiority claimed by Prussia. Its domestic government has gradually, though not very quickly, improved since that time - the oppressive game-laws in particular having been abolished. A treaty of mutual succession was made between the two families in 1713. Prince Charles Gunther succeeded on the 17th of July 1880, his father having on account of eye disease renounced the throne in favour of his son. By a law, promulgated in 1896, Sizzo, prince of Leutenberg, was recognized as the heirpresumptive to this principality and, by treaty with Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, to that principality also.

See Apfelstedt, Heimatskunde des Furstentums SchwarzburgSondershausen (Sondersh., 1854-1857); Irmisch, Beitrage zur schwarzburgischen Heimatskunde (Sondersh., 1905-1906).

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