Wednesday, 31 January 2018

A Little-Known Palace - Schloss Bruchsal

Princess Louise of Baden was born on January 13th 1779 (OS) in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg. At the time of her marriage in 1793 to the future Emperor Alexander I, she adopted the name Elizabeth Alexeievna on her conversion to Orthodoxy.

Photograph c1895 (below) of Karlsruhe Palace, Germany

Aerial view (below) of Karlsruhe and photograph of the palace today

With the marriages of their children from the 1860s, Queen Victoria has been called the grandmother of Europe and King Christian IX of Denmark the father-in-law. Many are unaware that from the 1700s the princesses from the small Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt were the ancestresses of the royal families.

A fascinating glimpse into the Russian and Hesse-Darmstadt relationship is through Empress Elizabeth’s mother Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt. Amalie was the sister of Wilhelmina, the first wife of the future Emperor Paul. Her youngest daughter Wilhelmina, wife of Grand Duke Ludwig II of Hesse-Darmstadt, was the mother of Empress Maria Alexandrovna, the wife of Alexander II.

From 1792 on her arrival in Saint Petersburg until her death in 1826, Empress Elizabeth wrote over three thousand letters to her mother. Many are unpublished, scattered across archives and libraries. In the reconstructed Karlsruhe Palace, the Badisches Landesmuseum exhibits the toilet set made by the Strasbourg jeweler Johan Harnish for Elizabeth. This service was a wedding present from her parents.

After the death of Elizabeth’s father Karl-Ludwig of Baden on December 16th 1801, her mother Amelie moved to Schloss Bruchsal located between Baden and Karlsruhe. Visiting Baden in 1814-1815 and 1818-1819 Elizabeth stayed at Bruchsal. Charles Edward Dodd had written in 1818 that the ladies of Amalie’s court complained bitterly of its magnificent dreariness. I am now interested to learn more, another research project!

Photograph c1871 (below) of Schloss Bruchsal

Aerial view (below) of Schloss Bruchsal and photographs of the Schloss today

Plans (below) of Schloss Bruchsal


1 comment:

  1. Another research project, you are going to be kept very very busy :)
    Ghostie x