Campus Gotha, Forschungsbibliothek Gotha, Forschungszentrum Gotha

Kriegsbeute der Ernestiner. Bücher sammeln im Dreißigjährigen Krieg

26. Jun 2024, 6.15 pm
Gotha Research Library, Herzog-Ernst-Kabinett (CG1 / Friedenstein Castle Gotha)
Gotha Library Talk
Gotha Research Library (FBG)
Dr Dietrich Hakelberg, Dr Markus Meumann
Event type
Event Language(s)

Gotha Library Talk with Dr Dietrich Hakelberg (Gotha Research Library) and Dr Markus Meumann (Gotha Research Centre).

Ein Kupferstich mit einer mittelalterlichen Burg auf einem Hügel
Eygentlicher Abriß der geschwinden Eroberung der Stadt Würtzburg/ von Ihrer Königl. Majest. in Schweden sampt dem vesten Schloß daselbsten/ geschehen den 8. Octob. 1631. FB Gotha, Pol 8° 03135-3138 (29)

The three brothers Wilhelm IV (1598–1662), Ernst I (the Pious, 1601–1675) and Bernhard (1604–1639) from the House of Saxe-Weimar fought in the Thirty Years' War as officers and commanders on the side of the Swedes. During the Swedish military operations in southern and western Germany between 1631 and 1635, they not only had their money's worth politically, but also as collectors. Their share of the Swedish spoils of war consisted of works of art, exquisite books and manuscripts from prominent collections of the enemy, such as the Kunstkammer and the court library of the Bavarian Elector in Munich, the prince-bishop's court library at Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg and the cathedral library in Mainz. After Bernhard's death in 1639 and the division of the land in 1640, the general's book estate was also distributed. In this way, captured books and manuscripts travelled from Weimar to Gotha and into the newly founded ducal library on the Friedenstein.

The Gotha Library Talk aims not only to show spectacular books and manuscripts, but also to place the spoils of war in their historical context. Who was involved in the confiscations and what was the legal background? Which route did the looted books take through which collections? Was there a loot scheme and what was the function and symbolic significance of the spoils of war?
Following the discussion, the Friends of the Gotha Research Library invite you to a small reception.

Due to limited capacity, please register by 1 July by email: or by phone 0361/737-5530.

Image credit: FB Gotha, Pol 8° 03135-3138 (29)