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MEININGEN, a town of Germany, capital of the duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, romantically situated in forests on the right bank of the Werra, 40 m. S. of Eisenach by rail. Pop. (1905), 15,989. It consists of an old town and several handsome suburbs, but much of the former has been rebuilt since a fire in 1874. The chief building is the Elisabethenburg, or the old ducal palace, containing several collections; it was built mainly about 1680, although part of it is much older. Other buildings are the Henneberger Haus with a collection of antiquities, and the town church, with twin towers, built by the emperor Henry II. in the 11th century. The theatre enjoyed for many years (1875-1890) a European reputation for its actors and scenic effects. The English garden, a beautiful public park, contains the ducal mortuary chapel and several monuments, including busts of Brahms and Jean Paul Richter.

Meiningen, which was subject to the bishops of Wurzburg (1000-1542), came into the possession of the duke of Saxony in 1583, having in the meantime belonged to the counts of Henneberg. At the partition of 1660 it fell to the share of Saxe-Altenburg, and in 1680 became the capital of SaxeMeiningen.

See E. Dobner, Bausteine zu einer Geschichte der Stadt Meiningen (Meiningen, 1902).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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