The former Duchess Luise Dorothea was born as the Princess of Saxe-Meiningen in Coburg. She married her cousin Frederick III in 1729 and therefore became the Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.
Luise Dorothea stood out early on due to her lively spirit and cheerful mood. The fact that she had an extremely educated and sensitive nature and was a strong support of enlightenment was mainly shown in her brisk exchange of letters with the French writers and philosophers Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot. But as the Duke’s consort she also provided Frederick III, who succeeded his father as the Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg in 1732, with support as a clever advisor. As a result, she had a major influence on her husband’s politics and as a promoter of the sciences, literature and theatre she made a significant contribution to the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg rising to become a cultural centre in Thuringia.
Luise Dorothea is still considered to be an outstandingly dynamic and modern woman of her time today. She received a worthy monument in 2017 on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of her death. The sculptor Bernd Göbel created an iconic bronze sculpture of the duchess, which towers over Gotha’s city centre in the water feature area now.