The Most Famous

NOBLEMEN from Germany

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This page contains a list of the greatest German Noblemen. The pantheon dataset contains 843 Noblemen, 180 of which were born in Germany. This makes Germany the birth place of the most number of Noblemen.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary German Noblemen of all time. This list of famous German Noblemen is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of German Noblemen.

Photo of Albert, Prince Consort

1. Albert, Prince Consort (1819 - 1861)

With an HPI of 80.87, Albert, Prince Consort is the most famous German Nobleman.  His biography has been translated into 55 different languages on wikipedia.

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel; 26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861) was the consort of Queen Victoria from their marriage on 10 February 1840 until his death in 1861. Albert was born in the Saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld to a family connected to many of Europe's ruling monarchs. At the age of twenty, he married his first cousin Victoria; they had nine children. Initially he felt constrained by his role as consort, which did not afford him power or responsibilities. He gradually developed a reputation for supporting public causes, such as educational reform and the abolition of slavery worldwide, and was entrusted with running the Queen's household, office, and estates. He was heavily involved with the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851, which was a resounding success. Victoria came to depend more and more on Albert's support and guidance. He aided the development of Britain's constitutional monarchy by persuading his wife to be less partisan in her dealings with Parliament—although he actively disagreed with the interventionist foreign policy pursued during Lord Palmerston's tenure as Foreign Secretary. Albert died at the relatively young age of 42. Victoria was so devastated at the loss of her husband that she entered into a deep state of mourning and wore black for the rest of her life. On her death in 1901, their eldest son succeeded as Edward VII, the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, named after the ducal house to which Albert belonged.

Photo of Elizabeth Charlotte, Madame Palatine

2. Elizabeth Charlotte, Madame Palatine (1652 - 1722)

With an HPI of 78.18, Elizabeth Charlotte, Madame Palatine is the 2nd most famous German Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Princess Elisabeth Charlotte (German: Prinzessin Elisabeth Charlotte von der Pfalz; known as Liselotte von der Pfalz, 27 May 1652 – 8 December 1722) was a German member of the House of Wittelsbach and, as Madame (Duchesse d'Orléans), the second wife of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans (younger brother of Louis XIV of France), and mother of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, France's ruler during the Regency. She gained literary and historical importance primarily through preservation of her correspondence, which is of great cultural and historical value due to her sometimes very blunt descriptions of French court life and is today one of the best-known German-language texts of the Baroque period. Although she had only two surviving children, she not only became the ancestress of the House of Orléans, which came to the French throne with Louis Philippe I, the so-called "Citizen King" from 1830 to 1848, but also became the ancestress of numerous European royal families, so she was also called the "Grandmother of Europe". Through her daughter she was the grandmother of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, the husband of Maria Theresa, and great-grandmother of Joseph II and Leopold II (both Holy Roman Emperors) and Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France before the French Revolution.

Photo of Maria Alexandrovna

3. Maria Alexandrovna (1824 - 1880)

With an HPI of 75.36, Maria Alexandrovna is the 3rd most famous German Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Maria Alexandrovna (Russian: Мария Александровна), born Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine (8 August 1824 – 3 June 1880), was Empress of Russia as the first wife and political adviser of Emperor Alexander II. She was one of the founders of the Russian Red Cross. The legal daughter of Grand Duke Ludwig II of Hesse and Princess Wilhelmine of Baden, Wilhelmine Marie was raised in austerity but was well educated by her mother, who died when her daughter was very young. She was only 14 years old when the Tsesarevich Alexander Nikolaevich (later Tsar Alexander II of Russia) fell in love with her while he was traveling to Western Europe. She arrived in Russia in September 1840, converted to the Orthodox Church, changed the name Wilhelmine Marie for Maria Alexandrovna, and took the title of Grand Duchess. For fourteen years (1840–1855), she was Tsesarevna, the wife of the heir of the Russian throne. Although she did not enjoy court life because of her withdrawn nature, she identified with her adopted country. After the death of Nicholas I, Maria Alexandrovna became the Russian Empress consort and was known for her intellect. She organized and expanded the funds of the Russian Red Cross, established Russia's first all-female schools, and helped Alexander II to end serfdom. However, she suffered from tuberculosis from 1863 and spent long stays in southern Europe to avoid harsh winters, which worsened after the death of her eldest son Nicholas Alexandrovich. Although she and her husband were unofficially separated shortly afterwards, Maria was treated with respect and love by her surviving family. The Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and Mariinskyi Palace were built with her help and named after her.

Photo of Maria Josepha of Saxony, Dauphine of France

4. Maria Josepha of Saxony, Dauphine of France (1731 - 1767)

With an HPI of 74.83, Maria Josepha of Saxony, Dauphine of France is the 4th most famous German Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Maria Josepha Karolina Eleonore Franziska Xaveria of Saxony (4 November 1731 – 13 March 1767) was Dauphine of France through her marriage to Louis, the son and heir of Louis XV. Marie Josèphe was the mother of three kings of France, including Louis XVI, as well as Madame Élisabeth.

Photo of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

5. Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1786 - 1861)

With an HPI of 74.57, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld is the 5th most famous German Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (17 August 1786 – 16 March 1861), later Princess of Leiningen and subsequently Duchess of Kent and Strathearn, was a German princess and the mother of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. As the widow of Charles, Prince of Leiningen (1763–1814), from 1814 she served as regent of the Principality during the minority of her son from her first marriage, Carl, until her second wedding in 1818 to Prince Edward, fourth son of King George III of the United Kingdom.

Photo of Duchess Helene in Bavaria

6. Duchess Helene in Bavaria (1834 - 1890)

With an HPI of 74.46, Duchess Helene in Bavaria is the 6th most famous German Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Helene "Néné" Caroline Therese, Duchess in Bavaria (4 April 1834 – 16 May 1890) of the House of Wittelsbach was a Bavarian princess and, through marriage, temporarily the head of the Thurn and Taxis family.

Photo of Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine

7. Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine (1864 - 1918)

With an HPI of 74.42, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine is the 7th most famous German Nobleman.  Her biography has been translated into 34 different languages.

Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine, later Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia (Russian: Елизавета Фёдоровна Романова, romanized: Yelizaveta Fyodorovna Romanova, Elizabeth Feodorovna Romanova; canonised as Holy Martyr Elizabeth Feodorovna; 1 November 1864 – 18 July 1918), was a German Hessian and Rhenish princess of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt, and the wife of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, the fifth son of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine. She was also a maternal great-aunt of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the consort of Queen Elizabeth II. A granddaughter of Queen Victoria and an older sister of Alexandra, the last Russian Empress, Elisabeth became famous in Russian society for her beauty and charitable works among the poor. After the Socialist Revolutionary Party's Combat Organization assassinated her husband with a bomb in 1905, Elisabeth publicly forgave Sergei's murderer, Ivan Kalyayev, and campaigned without success for him to be pardoned. She then departed the Imperial Court and became a nun, founding the Marfo-Mariinsky Convent dedicated to helping the downtrodden of Moscow. In 1918 she was arrested and ultimately murdered by the Bolsheviks. In 1981 Elisabeth was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, and in 1992 by the Moscow Patriarchate.

Photo of Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria

8. Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria (1808 - 1888)

With an HPI of 74.33, Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria is the 8th most famous German Nobleman.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria (4 December 1808 – 15 November 1888), known informally as Max in Bayern, was a member of a junior branch of the royal House of Wittelsbach who were Kings of Bavaria, and a promoter of Bavarian folk-music. He is most famous today as the father of Empress Elisabeth of Austria ("Sisi") and great-grandfather of King Leopold III of Belgium.

Photo of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria

9. Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria (1573 - 1651)

With an HPI of 74.08, Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria is the 9th most famous German Nobleman.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Maximilian I (17 April 1573 – 27 September 1651), occasionally called "the Great", a member of the House of Wittelsbach, ruled as Duke of Bavaria from 1597. His reign was marked by the Thirty Years' War during which he obtained the title of a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire at the 1623 Diet of Regensburg. Maximilian was a capable monarch who, by overcoming the feudal rights of the local estates (Landstände), laid the foundations for absolutist rule in Bavaria. A devout Catholic, he was one of the leading proponents of the Counter-Reformation and founder of the Catholic League of Imperial Princes. In the Thirty Years' War, he was able to conquer the Upper Palatinate region, as well as the Electoral Palatinate affiliated with the electoral dignity of his Wittelsbach cousin, the "Winter King" Frederick V. The 1648 Peace of Westphalia affirmed his possession of Upper Palatinate and the hereditary electoral title, though it returned Electoral Palatinate to Frederick's heir and created an eighth electoral dignity for them.

Photo of Albert, Duke of Prussia

10. Albert, Duke of Prussia (1490 - 1568)

With an HPI of 73.64, Albert, Duke of Prussia is the 10th most famous German Nobleman.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Albert of Prussia (German: Albrecht von Preussen; 17 May 1490 – 20 March 1568) was a German nobleman who was the 37th Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, who after converting to Lutheranism, became the first ruler of the Duchy of Prussia, the secularized state that emerged from the former Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights. Albert was the first European ruler to establish Lutheranism, and thus Protestantism, as the official state religion of his lands. He proved instrumental in the political spread of Protestantism in its early stage, ruling the Prussian lands for nearly six decades (1510–1568). A member of the Brandenburg-Ansbach branch of the House of Hohenzollern, Albert became Grand Master, where his skill in political administration and leadership ultimately succeeded in reversing the decline of the Teutonic Order. But Albert, who was sympathetic to the demands of Martin Luther, rebelled against the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire by converting the Teutonic state into a Protestant and hereditary realm, the Duchy of Prussia, for which he paid homage to his uncle, Sigismund I, King of Poland. That arrangement was confirmed by the Treaty of Kraków in 1525. Albert pledged a personal oath to the King and in return was invested with the duchy for himself and his heirs. Albert's rule in Prussia was fairly prosperous. Although he had some trouble with the peasantry, the confiscation of the lands and treasures of the Catholic Church enabled him to propitiate the nobles and provide for the expenses of the newly established Prussian court. He was active in imperial politics, joining the League of Torgau in 1526, and acted in unison with the Protestants in plotting to overthrow Emperor Charles V after the issue of the Augsburg Interim in May 1548. Albert established schools in every town and founded Königsberg University in 1544. He promoted culture and arts, patronising the works of Erasmus Reinhold and Caspar Hennenberger. During the final years of his rule, Albert was forced to raise taxes instead of further confiscating now-depleted church lands, causing peasant rebellion. The intrigues of the court favourites Johann Funck and Paul Skalić also led to various religious and political disputes. Albert spent his final years virtually deprived of power and died at Tapiau on 20 March 1568. His son, Albert Frederick, succeeded him as Duke of Prussia. Albert's dissolution of the Teutonic State caused the founding of the Duchy of Prussia, paving the way for the rise of the House of Hohenzollern.

Pantheon has 180 people classified as noblemen born between 925 and 1983. Of these 180, 2 (1.11%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living noblemen include Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria and Albert, 12th Prince of Thurn and Taxis. The most famous deceased noblemen include Albert, Prince Consort, Elizabeth Charlotte, Madame Palatine, and Maria Alexandrovna. As of October 2020, 70 new noblemen have been added to Pantheon including Princess Auguste of Bavaria, Duke Maximilian Emanuel in Bavaria, and Johann II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar.

Living Noblemen

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Which Noblemen were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Noblemen since 1700.