Principality of Reuss-Greiz

The Principality of Reuss-Greiz (German: Fürstentum Reuß-Greiz), called the Principality of the Reuss Elder Line (German: Fürstentum Reuß älterer Linie) after 1848, was a sovereign state in modern Germany, ruled by members of the House of Reuss. The Counts Reuss of Greiz, Lower-Greiz and Upper-Greiz (German: Reuß zu Greiz, Untergreiz und Obergreiz) were elevated to princely status in 1778 and thereafter bore the title of Prince Reuss, Elder Line, or Prince Reuss of Greiz.

Principality of Reuss-Greiz

Fürstentum Reuß-Greiz
Coat of arms
Motto: Ich Bau Auf Gott
"I build on God"
Anthem: Gott, erhalt' in Deiner Gnaden Unsern Fürsten
"God, Save in Your Mercy Our Prince"
The Reuss Elder Line within the German Empire
The Reuss Elder Line within Thuringia
Heinrich XI
Heinrich XIII
Heinrich XIX
Heinrich XX
Heinrich XXII
Heinrich XXIV
Minister of State 
Franz von Grün
Ernst von Meding
12 May 1778
11 November 1918
1905316.7 km2 (122.3 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Imperial County of Reuss
People's State of Reuss

Similarly to the more numerous Reuss Junior Line, the male members of this house were all named "Heinrich", in honour of Emperor Heinrich VI, who had benefited the family. They were numbered sequentially by birth, rather than by reign, with the last series beginning with Heinrich I (born 1693) and ending with Heinrich XXIV (1878–1927).


The principality of the Reuss Elder Line had an area of 317 km² and a population of 71,000 (1905). Its capital was Greiz.

In 1919, in the aftermath of World War I, the territory of the Elder Line was merged with that of the Junior Line as the People's State of Reuss, which was incorporated into the new state of Thuringia in 1920. The Elder Line died out in 1927 with the death of the childless Heinrich XXIV, after which its claims were passed to the Junior Line.

Princes of Reuss-Greiz (1778–1918)

  • Heinrich XI, Count Reuss of Obergreiz from 1723, Untergreiz from 1768, 1st Prince 12 May 1778 – 1800 (1722–1800)

Princes post-monarchy

Heinrich XXIV, 6th Prince 1918–1927 (1878–1927)

To Reuss Junior Line on the death of Prince Heinrich XXIV

Notable figures

See also

  • Flag of Germany, whose modern colors match those of the Reuss-Greiz principality

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