Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst (1545–1574)

Elisabeth of Anhalt (15 October 1545, Dessau – 26 September 1574, Barby) was abbess of the secular abbeys at Gernrode and Frose as Elisabeth III of Anhalt. After she left the convent, she became Countess of Barby by marriage.

Elizabeth of Anhalt
Born(1545-10-15)15 October 1545
Died26 September 1574(1574-09-26) (aged 28)
Noble familyAscania
Spouse(s)Wolfgang II of Barby and Mühlingen
FatherJohn V, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst
MotherMargaret of Brandenburg


Elisabeth was a daughter of the prince John V of Anhalt (1504–1551) from his marriage to Margaret (1511–1577), the daughter of Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg.

In 1565, Elisabeth was elected abbess of the imperial abbey of St. Cyriac in Gernrode. Her attempts to improve the financial situationof the heavily indebted met with little success. In 1570, she resigned from her post as abbess and married. She was succeeded as abbess by her niece Anna Maria of Anhalt.

She married on 19 July 1570 in Bernburg with Count Wolfgang II of Barby and Mühlingen (1531–1615). A dispute arose between Elisabeth and her brother Prince Joachim Ernest about the Abbey and her claim on Anlat. The dispute was resolved shortly before her death and she was compensated with a sum of 76000talers.[1]

From her marriage with Wolfgang, Elisabeth had a son named Christopher. He died young. Elisabeth died of "consumption" in 1574 and was buried in Barby.


  • Philipp Ernst Bertram, Johann C. Krause: Geschichte des Hauses und Fürstenthums Anhalt: Fortsetzung, vol. 2, Curt, 1782, p. 207
  • Johann Samuel Ersch: Allgemeine Encyclopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste in alphabetischer Folge, J. f. Gleditsch, 1842, p. 367 (Online)


  1. ^ August Benedict Michaelis: Einleitung zu einer volständigen geschichte der chur- und fürstlichen häuser in Teutschland, vol. 3, 1785, p. 600