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Welf , House of family [Guelph; Guelf; Brunswick]locked

  • Johannes Zahlten,
  • S. A. Woodcock
  •  and Georg Ruppelt


[Guelph; Guelf; Brunswick]

German dynasty of rulers, patrons, and collectors. The first notable patron of the Welf dynasty was (1) Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria (reg 1142–80), who initiated an extensive building programme in Brunswick in the mid-12th century. Although deprived of his duchies in 1180 (due to conflict with the Holy Roman Emperor), he retained control of the Welf family lands of Brunswick and Lüneburg. In 1209 his second son became Holy Roman Emperor as Otto IV (c. 1174–1218), the only member of the Welf family to take this title. Under the Emperor’s patronage work was begun c. 1216 on the construction of the Cistercian monastery of Riddagshausen near Brunswick. The Emperor’s nephew Otto the Child, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg (d 1252), finished building the Stiftskirche (now the cathedral) at Brunswick, which Henry the Lion had begun in 1173. During Otto’s reign the church was richly decorated with wall paintings, and a double tomb was built (...

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