Principality of Leyen

The Principality of Leyen was a Napoleonic German state which existed 1806–14 in Hohengeroldseck, in the west of modern Baden-Württemberg. The House of Leyen had acquired many districts in western Germany, and eventually these were inherited by the Leyen line of counts at Adendorf. In 1797, France defeated the Holy Roman Empire and all lands west of the Rhine were lost. Following the defeat of Austria in December 1805, most of the smaller German princely states were mediatized, with the glaring exception of Leyen, which was spared by virtue of the fact that the Count was nephew to Archchancellor Karl Theodor von Dalberg,[1] a close collaborator of Napoleon's.

Principality of Leyen

Fürstentum Leyen
Coat of arms
The Principality of Leyen, as shown within the Grand Duchy of Baden
StatusClient state of the French Empire
Member of the Confederation of the Rhine
Historical eraNapoleonic Wars
 Granted to Baden
Preceded by
Succeeded by
County of Adendorf
Austrian Empire

In 1806, Count Philip Francis of Adendorf was raised to a Prince, and his lands were renamed to the 'Principality of Leyen'. The territory formed an enclave surrounded by Baden. Prince Philip Francis, like many other members of the Confederation of the Rhine became largely a French puppet, so following Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, the Congress of Vienna opted to mediatize his realm and give it to Austria. In 1819, Austria traded it to Baden.

Prince of Leyen

Heads of the House after Mediatization[2]

  • Philip Franz, 1st Prince 1806-1829 (1766-1829)
    • Erwein, 2nd Prince 1829-1879 (1798-1879)
      • Philip, 3rd Prince 1879-1882 (1819-1882)
        • Erwein, 4th Prince 1895-1938 (1863-1938)
          • Erwein, 5th Prince 1938-1970 (1894-1970)
            • Wolfram Erwein, Hereditary Prince of Leyen and zu Hohengeroldseck (1924-1945)
            • Princess Marie-Adelheid (1932-2015)
              • Philipp Erwein, 7th Prince 1971–present (b.1967)
                • Wolfram, Hereditary Prince of Leyen and zu Hohengeroldseck (b.1990)
                  • Prince Roch (b.2018)
                • Prince Georg (b.1992)
                  • Prince Leo (b.2016)
                  • Prince Antonius (b.2018)
          • Ferdinand, 6th Prince 1970-1971 (1898-1971)


  1. Heinrich von Treitschke, History of Germany in the Nineteenth Century, Volume 1, page 270.
  2. Online Gotha - Leyen
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