Bernhard I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen

Bernhard I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (Gotha, 10 September 1649 – Meiningen, 27 April 1706) was a duke of Saxe-Meiningen.

He was the sixth but third surviving son of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Altenburg and Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg.

After the death of his father, in 1675, the duchy was jointly governed by him and his brothers; but the duchy was divided five years later (in 1680); as a result of this divisionary treaty, Bernhard received Meiningen, Wasungen, Salzungen, Untermassfeld, Frauenbreitungen and Ichtershausen. Bernhard became the founder of the Saxe-Meiningen line.

The building of an official residence in Meiningen began immediately. The residence was finished in 1692 and was called Schloss Elisabethenburg, in honor of Bernhard's second wife. Like his brother Ernst, Bernhard's financial stability in his duchy was remarkable. The sales of chamber goods and the additional charge of taxes to the population were the result.

Bernhard's will ordered the indivisibility of the duchy, but not Primogeniture. This allowed his sons to govern the duchy jointly after his death.

He married in Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha, on 20 November 1671 Marie Hedwig of Hesse-Darmstadt. They had seven children:

He married secondly in Schöningen on 25 January 1681 Elisabeth Eleonore of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel daughter of Anthony Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. They had five children:


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