Duchy of Holstein

The Duchy of Holstein (German: Herzogtum Holstein, Danish: Hertugdømmet Holsten) was the northernmost state of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the present German state of Schleswig-Holstein. It originated when King Christian I of Denmark had his County of Holstein-Rendsburg elevated to a duchy by Emperor Frederick III in 1474. Members of the Danish House of Oldenburg ruled Holstein – jointly with the Duchy of Schleswig – for its entire existence.

Duchy of Holstein
Herzogtum Holstein (German)
Hertugdømmet Holsten (Danish)
Civil Ensign[1]
Coat of arms
Location and borders of the Duchy of Holstein by 1789
Common languagesGerman, Low German, Danish
GovernmentFeudal Monarchy
Christian I (first)
Christian IX (last)
Historical eraEarly Modern
5 March 1460
14 February 1474
1 February 1864
30 October 1864
Currency Rigsdaler
Preceded by
Succeeded by
County of Holstein
Province of Schleswig-Holstein

From 1490 to 1523 and again from 1544 to 1773 the Duchy was partitioned between various Oldenburg branches, most notably the dukes of Holstein-Glückstadt (identical with the Kings of Denmark) and Holstein-Gottorp. The Duchy ceased to exist when the Kingdom of Prussia annexed it in 1866 after the Austro-Prussian War.

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