Friedrich August II – Name Mixups à la Saxony
You find the statue of King Friedrich August II in front of the Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe on Neumarkt. And read on, so you do not get confused with all the Friedrichs and Augusts and Friedrich Augusts of Saxony… ;-)
The Friedrich August II you see here was the son of Prince Maximilian of Saxony (1759–1838) and Karoline von Bourbon-Parma (1770–1806), and reigned from 1836 until his death on 9 August 1854 in Tyrol, caused in an accident of his horse-drawn cart near Brennbichl.
He was born in Pillnitz Castle (Schloss Pillnitz) on 18 May 1797, and got the world-record-like name Friedrich August II. Albert Maria Clemens Joseph Vincenz Aloys Nepomuk Johann Baptista Nikolaus Raphael Peter Xaver Franz de Paula Venantius Felix of Saxony.
He was married twice but had no children.
In his hand he holds the charter of Saxony’s Constitution from 1831 when he administered the state together with his uncle Anton. In 1836 he took office as the sole sovereign. Friedrich August II’s most important achievements were liberation of the peasants from compulsory labour and subservience in 1832, and a penal law for the whole state in 1836. He appointed liberal ministers into the government in 1848/49, abolished censorship and passed a liberal election law. However, later he obviously thought he had gone too far with his liberal attitude and dissolved Parliament.
The statue was created by Ernst Julius Hähnel in 1867.
August(us) the Strong was Friedrich August I, he was Saxony’s Elector and King of Poland and lived from 1670 to 1733. His son was Friedrich August II – but this guy was another Friedrich August II than King Friedrich August II… The Stong’s son was called “The Fat”, the King of the same name had no byname and was extremely slim ;-)
The problem with those names arises from the conversion of Saxony into a kingdom in 1806, and they seemed to suffer from a lack of imagination, obviously the title Elector and King in front of the names would be good enough for distinction.
To make this mix-up complete, Elector Friedrich August III became King Friedrich August I (the Righteous) in 1806…