Weissenfels is a place of considerable antiquity, and from 1656 till 1746 it was the capital of the small duchy of Saxe-Weissenfels, a branch of the electoral house of Saxony, founded by Augustus, second son of the elector John George I.
The support of Albert duke of Saxe-Lauenburg, and of Louis II.
Lauenburg, or Saxe-Lauenburg, as it is generally called, became a separate duchy ruled by his son John, and had its own lines of dukes for over 400 years, one of them, Magnus I.
The chief streams are the Werra, which traverses the south and east of the duchy, and various tributaries of the Main and the Saale, so that Saxe-Meiningen belongs to the basins of the three great rivers Weser, Rhine and Elbe.
Saxe-Meiningen is a limited monarchy, its constitution resting on a law of 1829, subsequently modified.