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The Huguenots

The Origins of the Word “Hugenotte“

The origins of the word Huguenot are not absolutely clear. In all likelihood, it was first used by the French Catholic majority as a term of abuse and ridicule for French Protestants and originally referred to the Swiss “Eidgenosse“ (“Eidgenosse”: the Alemannic word “ydtgenos“ was transformed in the French pronunciation to “Huguenot“. [more]

The Hugeunot Wars and St. Bartholomew’s Night

Since the Reformation in the 16th century, there were very few people in France – titled Frenchmen among them – who supported the Protestantism that was practiced in Switzerland in the reformed form advocated by Johannes Calvin. [more]

The Edict of Nantes

The Edict of Nantes (1598) was the provisional happy end to a conflict that had assumed civil-war-like proportions. [more]

The Edict of Fontainebleau

Under the Edict of Fontainebleau, the Huguenots were banned for good from practising their “supposedly reformed religion” – as the king saw it – by King Louis XIV in 1658 (*1638, †1715; king since 1643). [more]

The Great Elector and the Edict of Potsdam

The Brandenburg elector, Frederick William (*1620, †1688; Elector from 1640 on; also known as the Great Elector) responded swiftly to the oppression of his fellow Protestants in France. [more]

Religious Policy in Mark Brandenburg

From 1 November 1539 on, Mark Brandenburg was a Lutheran state, although this was due more to pressure exerted by the landed gentry and the population than from inner conviction. [more]

Electoral Economic Policy

Ever since the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) the Margraviate of Brandenburg had been languishing. [more]

The Settlement of the Huguenots

Following the Potsdam Edict, which, for the Huguenots, was tantamount to a Green Card to Brandenburg, some 20,000 religious refugees emigrated to Mark Brandenburg. [more]

Theodor Fontane and other famous Huguenots

In 1774, the Französische Kirche and the Französische Komödientheater were erected on the Gendarmenmarkt. [more]

French Berlin – The Economy and Science

The economic and cultural contributions which the Huguenots made to Mark Brandenburg not only earned them recognition, but also frequently aroused suspicion and envy among the old-established population. [more]

Education and Social Questions

The Huguenots’ social and welfare activities focused mainly on taking care of the poor. In addition to charitable institutions, it was mainly through their educational institutions that the Prussian Huguenots gradually gained respect and recognition in their new home. [more]

Johannes Calvin

Even though he was not its sole founder, Johannes Calvin was nevertheless the true “church father” of the reformed church. Johannes (Jean) Calvin (*1509, †1564), a contemporary of Martin Luther (*1483, †1546), came from France (he was born in Noyon, not far from Paris) and taught jurisprudence at the Sorbonne in Paris. [more]

The Reformed Church and the Lutheran Church

Unlike the Lutheran doctrine, and occasionally in opposition to it, Calvin and his followers – sometimes strictly and with regard to outward things – visibly rejected and dismissed Roman Catholicism with its “worldly” conception of the Last Supper and its wealth of imagery and altars. [more]