SABINE VON WUERTTEMBERG This site is constantly under construction. Please check back for updates.
Portrait by Agnolo di Cosimo, 1530
Sabine, Princess of Bavaria, of the Royal House of Wittelsbach, Archduchess of Wuerttemberg, Consort to Ulrich VI, Archduke of Wuerttemberg, of the Royal House of Wuerttemberg-Moempelgard
Born: 23 APR 1492 Died: 30 AUG 1564
Daughter and third child of Albert IV (Albert the Wise) of Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria and Princess Kunigunde of Austria. Married to Ulrich von Wuerttemberg-Moempelgard, Duke of Wuerttemberg on March 2, 1512. Ancestor of the current King of Spain, Juan Carlos I.
Her siblings were: Princess Sidonie of Bavaria (b.5/1/1488) Princess Sibille of Bavaria (b.6/16/1489) Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria (b.11/13/1493) Duke Ludwig X of Bavaria (b.9/18/1495)6. Princess Susanne of Bavaria died in childhood (b.7/15/1499) Bishop Ernst of Passau (b.6/9/1500), Princess Susanne of Bavaria survived (b. 4/02/1502).
Sabine was 20, Ulrich was 25. The marriage was a love match. They remained married until his death in 1550, a total of 38 years. They had one son, Christof, who succeeded as Duke suo jure in 1550.
In 1519, Ulrich was deposed as Duke of Wuerttemberg for a period of 15 years by supporters of his half brother George, Statthalder of Moempelgard. In the interim 15 years, Ulrich, Sabine and Christof traveled most of Europe and into England as exiles, trying to build support for their cause. He regained his ducal crown in 1534 after a bloodless coup rumoured to have been supported by Henry VIII of England, and resulting in Georgeís being named Count of Wuerttemberg (highly unusual since his act against his brother was treason and should have been punished by death) and Ulrich as Archduke of Wuerttemberg. Ulrich and Sabine spent the remaining 16 years of their marriage managing their Duchy in relative peace, and paving the way for future Archdukes and Archduchess to rule as kings and queens, client monarchs in their own duchies under the direction of the Holy Roman Emperor.
The Archduchess Sabine von Wuerttemberg is credited with founding the University of Wuerttemberg-Moempelgard and the Hotel de Kunigunde, a hospital for women. While in exile, Sabine became an insatiable student. She learned Spanish, English, French, Italian, Flemish, Greek, and Latin, in addition to her own native German tongue and dabbled in the sciences, most notably astronomy. Despite her staunch Catholic roots in Bavaria, Sabine is also said to have opened the interest of Henry VIII to the New Religion of Protestantism, arriving with her husband in the Tudor court about 1529. Her time in England served her well. She was one of the rare women in the Germanies to learn music, dance and enjoy the pasttimes of archery and jousting. The Archduchess was an avid hunting companion of Henryís second queen consort, Anne Boleyn, as well as a bit of a gambler at cards, having once lost and then regained her wedding band from one of Henry's nobles.
Sabine is believed to have been instrumental in getting the Duke of Cleves his initial audience with the English king on the matter of the marriage of his sister Anna. The Archduchess and the English king remained friends until his death in 1547.
Her Serene Highness died at the age of 72 in her sonís home in Wuerttemberg. She was survived by her sonís family, including her only granddaughter, Eleonore of Wuerttemberg who would go on to marry Joachim Ernst, Prince of Anhalt.
The Archduchess Kunigunde of Austria
Mother of Sabine of Bavaria, The Archduchess of Wuerttemberg.
The titles of Archduchess and Princess appear to be interchangeable at the time of the German Renaissance.
The background image is the arms of the House of Wittelsbach, Royal House of Bavaria.
Duke Albrecht IV of Bavaria
Father of Sabine of Bavaria, Archduchess of Wuerttemberg. Also known as Albrecht der Weise (Albert the Wise).
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Debrett's Kings and Queens of Europe London, 1988. by David Williamson
La Signoria dei Carraresi nella Padova del '300 Padua, 1988 by G. Vasoin
Website created by Igeburda von Himmelstein, Ph.D
To see another portrait of Sabine and one of her husband, Duke Ulrich, go to The Archduchess's Family.