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Sophie Hedwig, Herzogin von Pommern-Wolgast


Dr. Albrecht Classen, University of Arizona, hymn text


Sophia Hedwig was the eldest child of the Duke Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel from his marriage to Hedwig the daughter of Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg. Her parents provided her with a comprehensive and thorough edcudation and started marriage negotiations when she was young. She married as a 16-year-old on 20 October 1577 in Wolgast to Duke Ernst Ludwig of Pommern-Wolgast. Ernst Ludwig ordered structural changes to Wolgast Castle, replacing the medieval northeast wing by a new residential wing. Like her mother, Sophia Hedwig was described as high spirited. She took care of the poor and the needy and was not deterred by a plague epidemic.

Ernst Ludwig died in 1592, after 15 years of marriage. In addition to her jointure, the castle and district of Loitz, he left her Ludwigsburg estate near Greifswald, which he had already given to her in 1586, and the Jamitsow estate at the Peenestrom. She wrote a hymn to commemorate her husband's death. It was published by Ambrosius Lobwasser. During her husband's lifetime, Sophia Hedwig had rebuilt the castle at Loitz as a renaissance château. After his death, she embellished it further. She also remodeled and extended the St. Mary's Church in Loitz.

Sophia Hedwig was described as interested in economic processes, but also as wasteful and overbearing. She is considered one of the more influential duchesses in Pomerania.

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