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date: 16 September 2019

Wittelsbach, House of familylocked

  • Dieter J. Weiss,
  • Gregor M. Lechner,
  • Doris Kutschbach,
  • Jeffrey Chipps Smith,
  • Josef Strasser,
  • Andrea M. Kluxen,
  • Jürgen Zimmer,
  • Martina Sitt,
  • Ingrid Sattel Bernardini,
  • Hans Ottomeyer
  •  and Eberhard Ruhmer


Dynasty of German rulers, patrons, and collectors. The Bavarian branch of the family (see §I below) was helped in its rise to power by an alliance with the House of Hohenstaufen. The acquisition by marriage of the Rhineland Palatinate in the early 13th century brought division of the inheritance (see §II below). However, the division gave rise to cultural diversity by scattering a number of residences throughout the country. In 1329 the dynastic treaty of Pavia with the Palatinate branch provided for reciprocal inheritance and (until 1356) the alternation of the electorship between the lines. Following a decree on primogeniture (1506) by Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria (reg 1463–1508), Bavaria remained undivided. The Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld branch (see §III below) was a collateral line. On the extinction of the Bavarian and Palatinate branches in the 18th century, however, the Zweibrücken house provided the last kings of Bavaria....

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Neue deutsche Biographie (Berlin, 1953–)