Grand Duchy of Oldenburg

The Grand Duchy of Oldenburg (German: Großherzogtum Oldenburg) (also known as Holstein-Oldenburg) was a grand duchy within the German Confederation, North German Confederation and German Empire which consisted of three widely separated territories: Oldenburg, Eutin and Birkenfeld. It ranked tenth among the German states and had one vote in the Bundesrat and three members in the Reichstag.[1]

Its ruling family, the House of Oldenburg, also came to rule in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Greece and Russia.[2] The heirs of a junior line of the Greek branch are, through Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the line of succession to the thrones of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms after Queen Elizabeth II.

As common for German houses, the ruling branch of Oldenburg, which ruled as Dukes and later Grand Dukes, holds the headship by primogeniture of the entire House of Holstein-Oldenburg with all its cadet branches.

Grand Duchy of Oldenburg

Großherzogtum Oldenburg
Anthem: Heil dir, O Oldenburg
"Hail to thee, O Oldenburg"
Oldenburg within the German Empire
Oldenburg within the German Empire
StatusState of the German Confederation, the North German Confederation, and the German Empire
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oldenburg
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
Grand Duke 
• 1815–1823
Peter Friedrich Wilhelm
• 1823–1829
Peter I
• 1829–1853
• 1853–1900
Peter II
• 1900–1918
Frederick Augustus II
• 1814–1842
Karl von Brandenstein
• 1916–1918
Franz Friedrich Ruhstrat
9 November 1918
(until 1858)
German Goldmark,
German Papiermark
Preceded by
Succeeded by
First French Empire
Free State of Oldenburg
Today part of Germany


The first known count of Oldenburg was Elimar I (d. 1108). Elimar's descendants appear as vassals, though sometimes rebellious ones, of the dukes of Saxony; but they attained the dignity of princes of the empire when the emperor Frederick I dismembered the Saxon duchy in 1180. At this time, the county of Delmenhorst formed part of the dominions of the counts of Oldenburg, but afterwards it was on several occasions separated from them to form an appanage for younger branches of the family. This was the case between 1262 and 1447, between 1463 and 1547, and between 1577 and 1617.[2]

During the early part of the 13th century, the counts carried on a series of wars with independent, or semi-independent, Frisian princes to the north and west of the county, which resulted in a gradual expansion of the Oldenburgian territory. The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and the bishop of Münster were also frequently at war with the counts of Oldenburg.[2]

In 1440, Christian succeeded his father Dietrich, called Fortunatus, as Count of Oldenburg. In 1448 Christian was elected king of Denmark as Christian I, partly based on his maternal descent from previous Danish kings. Although far away from the Danish borders, Oldenburg was now a Danish exclave. The control over the town was left to the king's brothers, who established a short reign of tyranny.[2]

In 1450, Christian became king of Norway and in 1457, king of Sweden. In 1460, he inherited the Duchy of Schleswig and the County of Holstein, an event of high importance for the future history of Oldenburg. In 1454, he handed over Oldenburg to his brother Gerhard (about 1430–99), a wild prince, who was constantly at war with the prince-bishop of Bremen and other neighbors. In 1483, Gerhard was compelled to abdicate in favor of his sons, and he died while on pilgrimage in Spain.[2]

Early in the 16th century, Oldenburg was again enlarged at the expense of the Frisians. Lutheranism was introduced into the county by Anthony I (1505–73, r. from 1529), who also suppressed the monasteries; however, he remained loyal to Emperor Charles V during the Schmalkaldic War, and was able thus to increase his territories, obtaining Delmenhorst in 1547. One of Anthony's brothers, Christopher (about 1506–60), won some reputation as a soldier.[2]

Anthony's grandson, Anthony Günther (1583–1667), who succeeded in 1603, considered himself the wisest prince who had yet ruled Oldenburg. Jever had been acquired before he became count, but in 1624 he added Kniphausen and Varel to his lands, with which in 1647 Delmenhorst was finally united. By his neutrality during the Thirty Years' War and by donating valuable horses to the warlord, the Count of Tilly, Anthony Günther secured for his dominions an immunity from the terrible devastations to which nearly all the other states of Germany were exposed. He also obtained from the emperor the right to levy tolls on vessels passing along the Weser, a lucrative grant which soon formed a material addition to his resources. In 1607 he erected a Renaissance schloss.[2] After the death of Anthony Günther, Oldenburg fell again under Danish authority.

In 1773, Christian VII of Denmark surrendered Oldenburg to Catherine the Great in exchange for her son and heir Paul's share in the condominial royal-ducal government of the Duchy of Holstein and his claims to the ducal share in the government of the Duchy of Schleswig; Oldenburg went to Frederick August, Administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Lübeck, the representative of a younger branch of the family, and in 1777 the county was raised to the rank of a duchy. The duke's son William, who succeeded his father in 1785, was a man of weak intellect, and his cousin Peter, Administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Lübeck, acted as regent and eventually, in 1823, inherited the throne,[2] holding the Prince-Bishopric of Lübeck and Oldenburg in personal union.

By the German Mediatisation of 1803, Oldenburg acquired the Oldenburg Münsterland and the Prince-Bishopric of Lübeck. Between 1810 and 1814, Oldenburg was occupied by Napoleonic France. Its annexation into the French Empire, in 1810, was one of the causes for the diplomatic rift between former allies France and Russia, a dispute that would lead to war in 1812 and eventually to Napoleon's downfall.

The European Revolutions

Oldenburg did not entirely escape from the Revolutions of 1848 that swept across Europe, but no serious disturbances took place therein. In 1849 Augustus granted a constitution of a very liberal character to his subjects. Hitherto his country had been ruled in the spirit of enlightened despotism which had been strengthened by the absence of a privileged class of nobles, the comparative independence of the peasantry, and the importance of the towns; thus a certain amount of friction was inevitable. In 1852 some modifications were introduced into the constitution, yet it remained one of the most progressive in the German Confederation. Important alterations were made in the administrative system in 1855 and again in 1868, and government oversight on church affairs was ordered by a law of 1863. In 1863, Peter II, who had ruled since the death of his father Augustus in 1853, seemed inclined to press a claim to the vacant duchy of Schleswig and duchy of Holstein, but ultimately in 1867 he abandoned this in favor of the Kingdom of Prussia and received some slight compensation. In 1866 he had sided with this power against the Austrian Empire and had joined the North German Confederation, and in 1871 the grand duchy became a state of the German Empire.[2]


Blason Grand-duché d'Oldenbourg (Grandes armes)

Heraldic shield of the Grand Dukes

See also


  1. ^ Chisholm 1911, p. 71.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Chisholm 1911, p. 72.

Works cited

  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Oldenburg" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 71–72.

Abentheuer is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Birkenfeld district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It belongs to the Verbandsgemeinde of Birkenfeld, whose seat is in the like-named town.


Delmenhorst (German pronunciation: [dɛlmənˈhɔʁst]) is an urban district (Kreisfreie Stadt) in Lower Saxony, Germany. It has a population of 74,500 and is located 10 kilometres (6 miles) west of downtown Bremen with which it forms a contiguous urban area, whereas the city of Oldenburg is 25 kilometres (16 miles) to the northwest. The city has a total area of 62.36 square kilometres (24.08 square miles); and a population density of approx. 1200 inhabitants per km².

Since 2014 the mayor has been Axel Jahnz (SPD).

Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways

The Grand Duchy of Oldenburg Railway (Großherzoglich Oldenburgische Eisenbahn or GOE) was the railway company that was run as a state railway for the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg (Großherzogtum Oldenburg), part of the German Empire.

List of Oldenburg locomotives and railbuses

This list contains the locomotives and railbuses of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways (Großherzoglich Oldenburgische Eisenbahn orGOE).

Oldenburg B

The steam locomotives of Oldenburg Class B of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways were built in the early 1900s for working the metre gauge network on the German island of Wangerooge.

Initially one example was ordered in 1904 from Freudenstein & Co. in Berlin. This tank engine weighed only 9.4 t when empty and could carry 1.2 m³ of water and 0.35 tonnes of coal. It had a well tank and the coal bunkers were on the left and right hand side of the boiler. The engine drove the second axle and the locomotive had the number 3.

In 1910 a somewhat heavier and larger locomotive was ordered from Hanomag. It weighed in at 12.2 tonnes (service weight). Because this engine acquitted itself well, in 1913 another one was ordered. These two locomotives were given numbers 4 and 5.

After the formation of the Reichsbahn the engines were taken over, classified as DRG Class 99.02 and given the numbers 99 021–023. In 1942 locomotives 99 021 and 99 022 had to be handed over for wartime duties at the Eastern front where they disappeared without trace.

Number 99 023 remained on Wangerooge and underwent a minor rebuild. It was given larger water tanks, wooden window shutters and an electrically operated lantern. It was retired in 1957.

Oldenburg G 1

The Oldenburg Class G1s were German steam locomotives procured by the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways (Großherzoglich Oldenburgische Staatseisenbahnen) from 1867 to 1877. They were intended to work both as tank engines as well as with a tender.

Oldenburg G 4.2

The Oldenburg G 4.2 steam locomotives were goods train engines built for the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways (Großherzoglich Oldenburgische Staatseisenbahnen) between 1895 and 1909 in several series.

Oldenburg G 7

The Oldenburg G 7 steam locomotive was a German 0-8-0 locomotive produced for the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways (Großherzoglich Oldenburgische Eisenbahn). It was an eight-coupled engine, intended for heavy goods train duties, and was based on the Prussian G 7. It had a 1,660 mm diameter boiler located 2,820 mm above the top of the rails in the plate frame, and was equipped with a single Walschaerts valve gear as well as a Lentz valve gear. Thirteen were taken over by the Deutsche Reichsbahn, grouped into DRG Class 55.62 and given numbers 55 6201–55 6213.

Oldenburg P 4.1

The steam locomotives of Oldenburg Class P 4.1 (later DRG Class 36.12) were German locomotives built for the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways (Großherzoglich Oldenburgische Staatseisenbahnen) between 1896 and 1902. They were based on a Prussian P 4.1 prototype and a total of 19 engines were procured up to 1902. Overall the Oldenburg engine was less powerful than its Prussian counterpart, because the grate area was smaller and the steam dome was omitted. The regulators was housed in the smokebox. The Deutsche Reichsbahn took them over in 1920 and allocated them numbers 36 1201 to 36 1219. They were retired in the 1930s.

They were coupled with tenders of class 3 T 12.

Oldenburg P 4.2

The Oldenburg Class P 4.2 steam locomotives were German engines built for the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways (Großherzoglich Oldenburgische Staatseisenbahnen) between 1907 and 1909. They were based on the standard variant of the Prussian P 4.2, but there were a number of small differences such as a Ranafier steam dryer and, on three examples, a Lentz valve gear, a system widely used in Oldenburg. Production began in 1907 and eight engines were procured up to 1909.

The engines taken over by the Deutsche Reichsbahn were grouped as DRG Class 36.12 given numbers 36 1251 to 36 1258.

The locomotives used tenders of the 3 T 12 or 2'2' T 20 classes.

Oldenburg S 10

The express train locomotives of Oldenburg Class S 10 were built for the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways for duties on the Bremen–Oldenburg–Wilhelmshaven line, which was the most important express route in Oldenburg. They were amongst the few locomotives of this railway company that were not based on those of the Prussian state railways, because the light railway track dictated that they had to have an average axle load of no more than 15 t which was lower than that on comparable Prussian vehicles.

The three vehicles of this class were built by Hanomag from 1917 and had a 2-6-2 (Prairie) wheel arrangement which was rare for Germany. They had Lentz valve gear which was typical of Oldenburg. The engines had an uneven distribution of load, however, as well as poor riding qualities and were often bedevilled with boiler problems. In addition, an incorrect matching of the radiative and tube heating areas led to leaks in sides of the tubes.

The three S 10 engines were grouped by the Deutsche Reichsbahn into Class 16 with operating numbers 16 001–16 003. They were the only express train locomotives with a 2-6-2 wheel arrangement and therefore had their own class. After the lines were upgraded to 17 tonnes axle load, the temperamental S 10s were retired by 1926 and replaced by Prussian P 8s that had been employed in Oldenburg since 1921.

The locomotives were coupled with Oldenburg class 2'2' T 20 tenders.

Oldenburg S 5

The Oldenburg Class S 5 steam engine was a German locomotive built for the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways (Großherzoglich Oldenburgische Staatseisenbahnen) between 1909 and 1913. It was based on the Prussian S 5.2 and, like its predecessor, the Class S 3, it was procured for the route between Wilhelmshaven, Oldenburg and Bremen.

Eleven engines were manufactured by Hanomag between 1909 and 1913. They differed in several technical points from their Prussian cousins, for example they had a Lentz valve gear. Even the running plate was higher than the Prussian S 5.2 so that wheel arches could be omitted. They had Ranafier starting equipment.

The locomotives were given the names of German divinities. The Deutsche Reichsbahn took over all eleven engines, classifying them as DRG Class 13.18 and allocating them numbers 13 1851 to 13 1861. They were retired by 1927.

Oldenburg T 0

The Oldenburg Class T 0 (originally Class VIII) were goods train tank engines operated by the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways. They were built specifically for branch lines, because four-coupled engines had proved uneconomical. Their wheelbase of 7.70 m enabled them to travel at up to 60 km/h. They were considerably more economical than the four-couplers. In 1885 four were built and two more followed in 1891.

Oldenburg T 1

The Oldenburg Class T 1 was an early German locomotive operated by the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways. It was a four-coupled tank locomotive for shunting duties. There were two types, of which the later one entered the Deutsche Reichsbahn fleet and became Class 98.74.

Oldenburg T 2

The Oldenburg T 2 steam locomotives were German 0-4-0 tank engines built between 1896 and 1913 for the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways (Großherzoglich Oldenburgische Staatseisenbahnen). They were designed for use on branch lines (Lokal- and Nebenbahnen). A total of 38 units were produced, based on a Prussian T 2 prototype and differing only in the boiler fittings. Unlike their Prussian cousins, they had no steam dome and the regulator was located in the smokebox. Its permitted top speed of 50 km/h was also higher than the Prussian version.

The Deutsche Reichsbahn took over all of them, apart from number 113, designated them as DRG Class 98.1 and allocated them numbers 98 101 to 98 137. Most of the locomotives were retired in 1926 and 1927, however, and only a few were still working up to 1931. Several locomotives continued in service until 1953 as works engines in locomotive repair shops.

Oldenburg T 5.1

The Oldenburg Class T 5.1 was a German steam locomotive built for the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways as a tank engine for passenger train duties. Its design was based on that of the Prussian T 5.1.

The firm of Hanomag manufactured 20 units of the Oldenburg T 5.1 between 1907 and 1921. Like its Prussian sisters it had the defect of poor riding qualities at high speeds. As a result, during the delivery of these engines design changes were made to the running gear, for example the overall wheelbase was increased. But even these measures met with no success.

The Deutsche Reichsbahn took over all 20 locomotives in 1925 as DRG Class 71.4 and gave them numbers 71 401 to 71 420. They were retired by 1930.

Oldenburgische Landesbank

Oldenburgische Landesbank AG (OLB) is a German bank.

Headquartered in Oldenburg, it has 176 branches in the northwestern region of Germany, known as Weser-Ems (comprising Osnabrück Land, Emsland, County of Bentheim, East Frisia, Ammerland, Friesland, Oldenburg (Oldenburg), and Oldenburg Münsterland), as well as Bremen (since 1 July 2009), Bremerhaven (since 4 October 2010) and Verden (since 4 April 2011). Its first branch in North Rhine-Westphalia opened 7 November 2011 in Rheine.On 23 June 2017, Bremer Landesbank acquired a majority stake in OLB from Allianz. Bremer Landesbank is a portfolio company of the private equity firm Apollo.

Rudolf Heinze

Karl Rudolf Heinze (22 July 1865 – 26 May 1928) was a German jurist and politician. During the Weimar Republic, as a member of the right-of-centre German People's Party (DVP) he was Vice-Chancellor of Germany and Minister of Justice in 1920/21 in the cabinet of Konstantin Fehrenbach and from 1922 to 1923 again Minister of Justice under Wilhelm Cuno.


Varel ([ˈfaːʁəl]) is a town in the district of Friesland, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated near the Jade River and the Jade Bight, approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Wilhelmshaven and 30 kilometres (19 mi) north of Oldenburg.

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