riedrich Wilhelm I. of Brandenburg

born on February 16, 1620 in Cölln, today’s Berlin, Germany
died on April 29, 1688 in Potsdam, Germany

He was a descendant of the House of Hohenzollern and had been Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia since 1640. He was nicknamed “the Great Elector” because of his reform-minded attitude during the 30-year war.

Reference to the Goldener Adler

Friedrich Wilhelm I. was a guest at the Goldener Adler in 1638.


xcursion tip

The mother of Friedrich Wilhelm I. greatly influenced the Protestant religious consciousness of the later ruler, he pursued a tolerant religious policy.

Our today’s excursion tip takes you to one of the 9 districts of Innsbruck, probably one of the most beautiful of the city.

Take a walk through the villa district of Innsbruck. From the Claudia street you have a breath-taking view of the Serles, a mountain in the south of the city with a height of 2,717 meters.

Due to the imposing view, the Serles is also called the “High Altar of Tyrol”.

The district Saggen is also home to one of the city’s two Protestant churches, the Christ church that was completed in 1906. Previously, the Protestant congregation was in the old town, very close to the Goldener Adler, in the Kiebachgasse in the abandoned k.-und k. regular school, the worth seeing courtyard can still be visited today.

Life and facts

Friedrich Wilhelm was the son of Friedrich I. Elector of Brandenburg and Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate, a granddaughter of William I of Orange-Nassau.

He was born at the time of the Reformation and the Thirty Years’ War.

At the age of 14, he was sent to the safe Netherlands, which was then experiencing its Golden Age.

There he was to perfect his education, learn the local language and escape the threats of war. The connection to the Netherlands was always maintained, not least through his mother and her connection to Orange-Nassau; his first wife Louise Henriette of Orange was the daughter of a Dutch governor.

After his father’s death, he assumed the regency.

His pragmatic and reform-minded governmental policy paved the way for the later rise of Brandenburg-Prussia in the Peace of Westphalia to a major European power and the Hohenzollerns to one of the leading German ruling houses.

He focused his attention on building Brandenburg-Prussia as an independent military power, and he created a comprehensive state finance system with strict austerity measures.

Friedrich Wilhelm was King of Prussia and Margrave of Brandenburg until the day of his death; he died in the Potsdam City Palace.



data.cfm (innsbruck.gv.at) – Chronik von Innsbruck, zusammengestellt von Carl Unterkircher, Scriptor an der k.k. Universitäts-Bibliothek in Innsbruck. Druck und Verlag der Vereinsbuchhandlung. 1897. UB Innsbruck Separatabdruck der „Neuen Tiroler Stimmen“ 1892–1896.

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