Albert Frederick of Prussia, Duke of Prussia, Elector of Saxony, Holy Roman Empire, John George I of Saxony, John George II of Saxony, John George III of Saxony, Magdalene-Sibylle of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, Magdalene-Sybille of Prussia
Johann-Georg II (May 31, 1613 – August 22, 1680) was the Elector of Saxony from 1656 to 1680. He belonged to the Albertine line of the House of Wettin.
Johann-Georg II, Elector of Saxony
He was the third but eldest surviving son of the Elector Johann-Georg I of Saxony (1585-1656) and Magdalene-Sybille of Prussia (1586-1659) his second spouse, the daughter of Albrecht-Friedrich, Duke of Prussia (1553-1618) and Marie-Eleonore of Cleves (1550–1608).
Johann-Georg succeeded his father as Elector of Saxony when Johann-Georg I died on October 8, 1656. In 1657 Johann-Georg II made an arrangement with his three brothers with the object of preventing disputes over their separate territories, and in 1664 he entered into friendly relations with King Louis XIV of France and Navarre. He received money from the French king, but the existence of a strong anti-French party in Saxony induced him occasionally to respond to the overtures of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.
Johann-Georg I, Elector of Saxony (Father)
The Elector’s primary interests were not in politics, but in music and art. He adorned Dresden, which under him became the musical centre of Germany; welcoming foreign musicians and others he gathered around him a large and splendid court, and his capital was the constant scene of musical and other festivals. He commissioned the building of the first opera house, the Opernhaus am Taschenberg.
Magdalene-Sybille of Prussia (Mother)
In 1658 Johann-Georg II was accepted into the Fruitbearing Society, through the patronage of Duke Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar.
His enormous expenditure on the arts compelled Johann-Georg II in 1661 to grant greater control over monetary matters to the estates, a step which laid the foundation of the later system of finance in Saxony. Also, his government was less effective in establishing absolutist rule and a standing army than were Bohemia or Prussia.
Johann-Georg II’s reign saw the slow economic reconstruction of Saxony after the Thirty Years’ War. New trades and manufactures developed, such as textiles, hard coal and glass. Locally mined silver filled the Electorate’s empty treasury, and the Leipzig Trade Fair and the Bohemian Exulanten of 1654 also stimulated economic activity.
Elector Johann-Georg II of Saxony died in Freiberg on 22 August 22, 1680, aged 67.
In Dresden on November 13, 1638 Johann-Georg II married his first cousin Magdalene-Sibylle of Brandenburg-Bayreuth (1612-1687) daughter of Christian, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, and Marie of Prussia, she was by birth a Markgräfin, or Margravine, and a member of the Brandenburg-Bayreuth branch of the House of Hohenzollern. Her maternal grandparents were Albrecht-Friedrich, Duke of Prussia (1553-1618) and Marie-Eleonore of Cleves (1550–1608). Johann-Georg II’s mother and the mother of his spouse, Magdalene-Sibylle, were sisters.
They had three children:
1. Sibylle-Marie (September 16, 1642 – February 27, 1643)
2. Erdmuthe-Sophie (February 25, 1644 – June 22, 1670), married on 29 October 1662 to Christian Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
3. Johann-Georg III (June 20, 1647 – September 12, 1691), his successor as Elector.