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Landgraviate of Hesse-Homburg
Landgrafschaft Hessen-Homburg
Flag of Hesse-Homburg
Coat of arms of Hesse-Homburg
Coat of arms
Map of Hesse-Homburg (two parts, beige, with Homburg and Meisenheim) and the Middle Rhine
Map of Hesse-Homburg (two parts, beige, with Homburg and Meisenheim) and the Middle Rhine
CapitalBad Homburg
Common languagesGerman
• 1622–1638
Frederick I (first)
• 1848–1866
Ferdinand (last)
• Established
• Ceded by Darmstadt
• Ceded to Darmstadt
• Inherited by Grand Duchy of Hesse1
• Total
430 km2 (170 sq mi)
• 1848
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt
Grand Duchy of Hesse
Province of Hesse-Nassau

Hesse-Homburg was a state of the Holy Roman Empire and a sovereign member of the German Confederation. It was formed into a separate landgraviate in 1622 by the landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt; it was to be ruled by his son, although it did not become independent of Hesse-Darmstadt until 1668. It was briefly divided into Hesse-Homburg and Hesse-Homburg-Bingenheim; but these parts were reunited in 1681.


Bad Homburg in 1851

In 1806, Hesse-Homburg was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Hesse (Hesse-Darmstadt); but in 1815, by the Congress of Vienna, the latter state was compelled to recognize the independence of Hesse-Homburg, which was increased by the addition of Meisenheim. The Landgraviate of Hesse-Homburg consisted of two parts, the district of Homburg on the right side of the Rhine, and the district of Meisenheim, added in 1815, on the left side of the same river. Hesse-Homburg joined the German Confederation as a sovereign state on July 7, 1817. The landgraviate was the only principality that was not one of the founding members of the Confederation, apart from the Duchy of Limburg ruled by the King of the Netherlands (added in 1839) and the Duchy of Schleswig (1848-1851) ruled by the Danish king. In 1848, the landgraviate had a population of 22,800 and a total land area of 166 square miles, thus making it one of the smallest states in the German Confederation.[1] Hesse-Homburg was represented by the Grand Duchy of Hesse in the Inner Council of the Confederate Diet, but had a seat of its own on the Plenary Council. The state joined the Zollverein in 1835.[2]

In 1833, baths were opened in Homburg, which brought unexpected wealth and attention to the landgraviate. A casino and gambling saloons soon opened, which also contributed greatly to the state's burgeoning economy. Several legal overtures were made by the diet in an attempt to end gambling, but all attempts failed until after Hesse-Homburg passed into Prussian hands.[2]

On 24 March 1866, Hesse-Homburg was inherited by the Grand Duke of Hesse, while Meisenheim fell to Prussia. On 20 September of that same year, these territories were taken from Hesse-Darmstadt again, and the former landgraviate was combined with the Electorate of Hesse, Duchy of Nassau, the Free City of Frankfurt and some former parts of the Kingdom of Bavaria to form the Prussian Province of Hesse-Nassau.[3]

Today, the former Homburg district forms part of the German state of Hesse while Meisenheim forms part of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Government and administration[edit]

Homburg Castle

The most important administrative body in Hesse-Homburg was the Privy Council (Geheimrat), the members of which were appointed by the landgrave. On 18 February 1818, Frederick V founded the State Government, which combined all formerly independent state colleges (consistories, chamber, forestry college, college medicum, and court) into a central authority, divided into three deputations. Hesse-Homburg did not adopt a constitution until 1850, in the wake of the 1848 Revolutions.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A Pictorial Geography of the World: Comprising a System of Universal Geography, Popular and Scientific. Boston: C.D. Strong. 1848. p. 762.
  2. ^ a b The International Cyclopaedia: A Compendium of Human Knowledge, Volume 7. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company. 1900. p. 515.
  3. ^ Patrick, David; Geddie, William (1924). Chambers's Encyclopaedia: A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge, Volume 5. London: W. & R. Chambers, Limited. p. 698.
  4. ^ "Hessen-Homburg: Landesregierung (Bestand)" [Hesse-Homburg: State government (stock)]. Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (in German). Hessian Main State Archives. 1988. Retrieved 12 November 2022.