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Duchy of Nassau 1806-1866 (Prussia, Germany)

Herzogtum Nassau

Last modified: 2019-07-30 by german editorial team
Keywords: nassau | dietz | ubingen | weilburg | hesse | hessen | coat of arms (lion: yellow) | coat of arms (billety: yellow) | coat of arms: manteaux |
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[Nassau 1815-1866 (Germany)]
by Santiago Dotor

See also:


Nassau region, formerly a duchy, now in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, main town Wiesbaden. And it has got a website with a coat-of-arms. There is plenty of literature, as it was the origin of the Dutch royal house (Orange-Nassau), though most is about the duchy.

Jarig Bakker, 28 October 1999

Concerning the old Duchy of Nassau, I checked some sources at our library. Nassau was a small German state from about the 12th century or sometime later. In 1806 (during the reorganization under the influence of Napoleon I) it was enlarged, became a duchy and joined Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine. In 1815 it became a member of the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund). In 1866 Nassau sided with Austria against Prussia in the Seven Weeks' War (or Austro-Prussian War of 1866). As a result it was annexed by Prussia and became part of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. The capital of the duchy was Wiesbaden.

Jamie Woods, 29 October 1999

Checking on a modern-day political map of Germany, the territory of Nassau must be the territory east of the Rhine, with it as the southwestern border. The northern border must be the border of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the eastern border is Hesse, but part of the Main territory (up to Frankfurt am Main) still belongs to that. (...) The largest city was indeed Wiesbaden, but other than that, this territory was largely unsettled, probably because of two major forests, Westerwald and Taunus. (...) The territory is pretty much that between Frankfurt and Bonn.

Nassau was one of the larger powers in the Rhineland. Other large powers which were present here were only Prussia and Bavaria. In 1815, the other powers along the Rhine were the Netherlands, France, Grand Duchy of Baden, Switzerland and, well, Liechtenstein.

In a larger map ca.1806 with a detailed presentation of Nassau, this is interrupted in the south by the state of Katzenbogen (?). The north was controlled by two smaller states, which were still Nassauan: Sayn and Wied. Nassau loses it's shape the further you go into history. I can date it back to 1237, and the city of Wiesbaden until Roman times, when it was a Roman castle called Augusta Mattiacorum.

Stefan Härtel, 29 October 1999

Former sovereign Duchy Herzogtum of the Deutsche Bund [German Confederation], 4708 km² with 465,639 inhabitants (in 1865). Since 1866 main part of the Regierungs-Bezirk Wiesbaden of the Prussian province Hessen-Nassau. After the line Nassau-Usingen became extinct in 1816 Duke Wilhelm von Nassau-Weilburg united all lands of the Walramic line. His son joined the Austrians in 1866 in their war against Prussia, after which it was easy for Prussia to annex Nassau. Source: Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon 1914.

In 1806 Napoleon took all German possessions from the Dutch Nassaus and divided it among the Ottonic and Walramic Nassaus, so factually Nassau was a sovereign Duchy from 1806-1866. Duke Wilhelm von Nassau-Weilburg made the finishing touch.

Jarig Bakker, 27 July 2000

During 1816-1866 all Nassau lands were a single Duchy, except of course the Netherlands, who are ruled by another branch of the Nassau family.

Norman Martin, 27 July 2000


Horizontal orange, blue, orange. Probably variants were used in the differents dinastic territories. Informations based mainly in communications by Lucien Philippe.

Jaume Ollé, August 1998

Ducal Standard

[Ducal Standard until 1866 (Nassau, Germany)] 2:3
Flag abolished 1866
by Theo van der Zalm modified by Santiago Dotor

This is the standard of the Duke of Nassau. In the middle are what you could call middle arms of the duchy. Note the resemblence to the arms of the Netherlands. Duke Adolf lost his duchy to Prussia in 1866 but inherited Luxemburg in 1890 when king William III of the Netherlands died and the throne of the Netherlands went to his daughter Wilhelmina. Source: Steenbergen 1862.

Theo van der Zalm, 16 June 2001

Nassau-Dietz, hypothetical flag

[Nassau-Dietz, hypothetical flag (Germany)]
by Santiago Dotor

Supposed flag. Blue over orange.

Jaume Ollé, August 1998

What does supposed flag mean in the context of Nassau-Dietz, Nassau-Usingen and Nassau-Weilburg — is there any source for this information or is it just wishful thinking?

Santiago Dotor, 27 July 2000

Dietz is a city, near Wiesbaden on the Lahn river. The Grafschaft (County) Dietz (or Diez) became part of Nassau-Dietz, which was elevated to the rank of Fürstenland under the name of Nassau-Oranien in 1388; since 1747 the family Nassau-Dietz reigns in the Netherlands. (Willem III died childless in 1702. His next of kin was Johan Willem Friso von Nassau-Dietz, hereditary Stadhouder of Friesland. He died in 1711, without being recognized as stadhouder of the Netherlands, also without offspring. His son Willem IV became stadhouder of the Netherlands in 1747.) Source: Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon 1914.

Jarig Bakker, 27 July 2000

After the death of King William III of the Netherlands in 1890, Duke Adolf of Nassau became Grand Duke of Luxembourg (and his descendents still are).

Norman Martin, 27 July 2000

According [to] Phillippe [Lucien?] colors are based in cockardes, military regiments banners, or uniforms colors, but [it] is unsure if [they] were used like clas[s]ical national flags in [a] modern sense.

Jaume Ollé, 3 August 2000

Nassau-Usingen, hypothetical flag

[Nassau-Usingen, hypothetical flag (Germany)]
by Santiago Dotor

Supposed flag. Blue, orange, blue horizontal.

Jaume Ollé, August 1998

Usingen is a city in [the former] Regierungs-Bezirk Wiesbaden; from 1659-1774 residence of the line Nassau-Usingen, extinct in 1816. Nassau-Usingen got, after Nassau joined the Rheinbund [Rhine Confederation] in 1806, its sovereignty and the ducal title; in 1815 by a treaty of exchange with Prussia it got all possessions of the Ottonic line. Source: Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon 1914.

Jarig Bakker, 27 July 2000

Nassau-Weilburg, hypothetical flag

[Nassau-Weilburg, hypothetical flag (Germany)]
by Santiago Dotor

Supposed flag, orange over blue.

Jaume Ollé, August 1998

Weilburg is a city in [the former] Regierungs-Bezirk Wiesbaden; former residence of the line Nassau-Weilburg, which ruled Nassau 1816-1866. Source: Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon 1914.

Jarig Bakker, 27 July 2000