Nassau is principally the name of the German town Nassau, which has given its name to many other places and entities, notably including the royal House of Nassau, the former, sovereign Duchy of Nassau (in modern-day Germany), Nassau County, New York, and the city of Nassau, Bahamas.
Nassau may refer to:
Nassau /ˈnæsɔː/ is the capital, largest city, and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has a population of 248,948 (2010 census), 70 percent of the entire population of the Bahamas (353,658). Lynden Pindling International Airport, the major airport for the Bahamas, is located about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) west of Nassau city centre, and has daily flights to major cities in the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The city is located on the island of New Providence, which functions much like a business district. Nassau is the site of the House of Assembly and various judicial departments and was considered historically to be a stronghold of pirates. The city was named after Nassau, Germany in honour of William of Orange-Nassau.
Nassau's modern growth began in the late eighteenth century, with the influx of thousands of American Loyalists and their slaves to the Bahamas following the American Revolutionary War. Many of them settled in Nassau (then and still the commerce capital of the Bahamas) and eventually came to outnumber the original inhabitants.
The County of Nassau was a German state within the Holy Roman Empire and later part of the German Confederation. Its ruling dynasty, the male line of which is now extinct, was the House of Nassau.
Nassau, originally a county, developed on the lower Lahn river in what is known today as Rhineland-Palatinate. The town of Nassau was founded in 915. Dudo-Henry, Count of Laurenburg held Nassau as a fiefdom as granted by the Bishopric of Worms. His son, Robert, built the Nassau Castle there around 1125, declaring himself "Count of Nassau". This title was not officially acknowledged by the Bishop of Worms until 1159 under the rule of Robert's son, Walram.
The Nassauers held the territory between the Taunus and the Westerwald at the lower and middle Lahn. By 1128, they acquired the bailiwick of the Bishopric of Worms, which had numerous rights in the area, and thus created a link between their heritage at the lower Lahn and their possessions near Siegen. In the middle of the 12th century, this relationship was strengthened by the acquisition of parts of the Hesse-Thüringen feudal kingdom, namely the Herborner Mark, the Kalenberger Zent and the Court of Heimau (Löhnberg). Closely linked to this was the "Lordship of Westerwald", also in Nassau's possession at the time. At the end of the 12th century, the House acquired the Reichshof Wiesbaden, an important base in the southwest.