28 June 2016

25 years ago: Württemberg - Bavaria Wedding Part one

25 years ago the of Duke Philipp of Württemberg married Duchess Marie Caroline in Bavaria. Duke Philipp is the third son of Duke Carl of Württemberg, the Head of the Royal House of Württemberg and his wife Diane, née Princess of France. Duchess Marie Caroline is the second daughter of Duke Max in Bavaria, Prince of Bavaria, who is the younger son of the late Duke of Albrecht of Bavaria and his wife Elizabeth, née Countess Douglas. 
The civil marriage took place on 28.06.1991 at Althausen Castle the residence of the grooms parents.  The religious ceremony followed 1 month later at Tegernsee one of the residences of the bride's parents.

15 June 2016

Castle Tour in Thuringia

Already since some years i wanted to visit Thurngia to visit the many Castles there. As was it today  Thuringia a federal State of Germany was splitted in 8 small Sates among them 1 Grand Duchy, 3 Duchies and four Principalites until 1918  there are a lot of Castles from the Families who once reigned there to visit. As this year ther is a special exhibition Die Ernestiner about the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin this was a welcome reason to finally go with it. I went there together with a friend so we decided to go with the car which gave us the Possibilty also to visit some Castles wo can not or only very difficult reached with public transport.

Day 1

On the way to thrungina we made our first Stop at the Park Altenstein near bad Liebenstein. There is a Castle Altenstein whioh was build in 1736 in the baroque stlye. Duke Georg II. of Saxer-Meiningen led it renovate from 1888-1890. It now has the stly eof an english Countryhouse.  In a fire in 1982 a bit part of it6 Intereiur was destroyed.
In the Park the last reigning Duke of Saxe-Meiningen Duke Bernhard III. and his wife charlotte, née Princess of Prussia are buried.

We then drove to Eisenach where we visited the famous Wartburg. It is one the most famous Burg in Germany and has plaid an important Part in gernman History. Not only lived the the hjoly Landgravine Elisabveth of Thuringia, It also gave Asyl to Martine Luther who hide there and it was here we translated the Old and New Tesatment into german. In the 19th Century the Burg was rebuiold in the historical Style by Grand Duke Carl Alexander of Saxe-Weimar Eisenach.

Day 2 

We started in Rudolstadt where we visited the Castle Heidecksburg the former Residence of the Fürsten zu Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. When in 1571 Rudolstadt became Reisden a 3 wing Castle in the baroque Stlye was build. A big fire in 1735 destroyed much of the North and Westwings which where then rebuld int he modern baroque Style of the time. Until 1918 heidecksburg Castle was the reisdence of the Fürsten of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt since 1909 Fürsten of Schwarzburg

The nest Stop was Schwarzburg Castle the ancestral Castle of the Schwarzburg Family. It was frist mentioned in 1123 and since  1584 in gthe posession of the branch Schwarzbug-Rudolstadt. In fires in 1695 and 1710 parts of the Schwarzburg where destroyed. What remains to be seen today was build between 1710 and 1716 after the Countes of Schwarzburg where raied to orinces of the Empire (Reichsfürstenstand). In 1940 the Castle was takes over by the Nazis who wantred to made a State guesthouse out of the Castle. Because of this many parts of the Castle where demolished. A few yaears later the plans where stopped. Duering the time of thge DDR the part of the Castle which houses the Hall of Emperors was rebuild and opend to the poublic. At the moment the Castle and the Gate building are rebuild and in future it will house the historic arms collection of Schwarzburg Family.

We then drove to Hummelshain. There in a little Park is the New Hunting Castle Hummelshain. It was build in the 19th Century for Duke Ernst I. of Saxe-Altenburg.

Just a few miles away in Wolfersdorf the Castle Fröhliche Wiederkunft  It was build as a Hunting Castle for Elector Johann Friedrich oif Saxony. From about 1650 it used less and begann to fall apart. After his abdication in 1848 Duke Joseph of Saxe-Altenbrug led the Castle rebuild in the newgothic style. The last reigingin Duke of Saxe-Altenburg. Duke Ernst II. moved in 1922 to the Castle. In 1945 the Sovjets exopriated the Castle but the formr Duke and his second wive got the right to live there in a Sidebuilding. Duke Ernst II. died there in 1944 as the last of the former reigniong german Monarchs and as the only in the then DDR. 

Just a few miles  away in the so called Kräherwald Duke Ernst erected a small buirial place for himself and his second wive Baroness Maria of Riseneck, née Treibel. Also 2 of his sisters are buired there. Grand Duches Elisabeth Mavrikievna of Russia  and the Princess Luise the divorced wife of Duke Eduard of Anhalt.

On our way back me made another Stop at the Park Bevledere in Weimar. The Castle had alreadxy closed but whe made a walk around it and the connecting Gardens. The Castle was build frfom 1724-1744 for Duke Ernst I. of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and used mostly as hunting Castle. From 1806-1859 it was the Summerresidence of Grand Duke Carl Friedrich and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, née Grand Duchess of Russia. It was also for them the garden where transferred to an english Country Garden. For the Grand Duchess the russian Garden was created.

Day 3

On the next day Gotha was on the Programm. There we first visited the Castle Park and walked through it to Friedensstein Castle. In it is also a Part about the special  Ernestiner Exhibtion. When in 1640 Gotha became the capital of the new Duchy of Saxe-Gotha Duke Ernst I. the pius started to build a residence there from 1643. The huge size of the Castle is explained by the fact that Duke Ernst I wanted not only residential and state rooms, but also administrations, utility rooms, armory, mint and church under one roof. From 1640 to 1894 it was the residence and administrative center of the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha.
Afterwards we visited the Ducal Museum where also a part about the exhibition was on display. It was build by Duke Ernst II., of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 1864-1878 to house the ducal Coillections of Art.

  Day 4

On this day we made a visiti to  Altenburg There we visited the Residence Castle. The Altenburg was first mentioned 976 by Emperor Otto III.. Occasionally  the Emperor's Lothar III., Konrad III., Henry VI., Otto IV., Friedrich II. where presen. Under Emperor Friedrich II. (Barbarossa), the imperial palace was in the 12th century has been expanded, He spent 1165-1185 six times here. In 1180  Emperor Friedrich II. gave in  the Altenburger Kaiserpfalz the Palatine Otto of Wittelsbach  the Duchy of Bavaria as fief. In 1307, the Wettiner took over the reign  in Altenburg. A stir caused in 1455 the kidnapping of the Prince's Ernst and Albrecht by the knight Kunz von Kauffungen. In the 17th century Altenburg became the residence of the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. But as the Main rfesidence was in Gotha Altenburg a junor or Widows residence. Between 1706 and 1744 the castle was transferred by the Dukes Frederick II. and Friedrich III. into a castle. In 1826 Altgenburg became the Capital of the new Duchy of Saxde-Altenburg and Duke Friedrich and his Family took the Castle as their residence. In 1943 the former Duke Ernst II. gofted the Castle to the City Altenburg.

Day 5 

This day was spent in Weimar. There i visited first the Residence Castle where also a part of the Ernestiner exhibition is on display. The first Castle with the name Horburg ewas build from 1513 by Elector Johannh the steafeast of Saxony. From 1535 it was transferred in a Reanissance Casle on Order of Eelctor Friedrich I. In 1618 with the start of the 30 years war a big Psrt of the Castle burned down. The reconstruction started in 1619. In Order of Duke Wilhelm V. a 3 wing Ensemble was errected which olpens to a Park. In his honour it then called Wilhelmsburg. In a big fire on 08.05.1774 the entire Castle except for the Tower and the Gate building was destroyed. For the 1789 started reconstruction Duke Carl August convened a palace building commission headed by Johann Wolfgang Goethe. The reconstruction took place until 1803 with significant participation of Goethe. Successively created the architect Johann August Arens, Nicolaus Friedrich Thouret and Heinrich Gentz reusing the obtained enclosing the east and the north wing a new residence. From 1912-1914 the southwing was build in Order of Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst so the inner Court was not open to the Park anymore

Next i visited the Princely Crypt on the Historic burial ground. it was build from 1823-1828 in order of Grand Duke Carl August. In 1862 a russian orthox Chapel was build on the backside of the building for Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, née Grand Duchess of Russia.

I then visited the Wittumspalais. The building was build from 1767-1769 as Citiyplace. After the Wilhelmsburg had burned down in 1774 Duchess Anna Amalia usded the Palace as her Residenceu ntil her death in 1807.

Day 6

Time to travel home. We decided that now we could visit 2 Castles which can  not or only very difficult be reached with public Transport

Our first stop was Burgk Castle a former Residencde of the Princes Reuß older line. Castle and village Burgk are exposed on a rocky ridge above the hamlet Burgker Burgkhammer and the dam of the same name on a loop Saale. From 1595-1640 and 1668-1697 there was an own Territory Reuß-Burgk with Burgk as residence. From the 17th century, the plant was by Count Heinrich III. extensively modernized. The east tower was removed and renewed the front. The windows were widened and provided with new jambs. It ewas so transferred to a p,lasure Castle From 1768 it was onew of the residences of the Princes Reuß older line. 

The last place we visited was the Veste Heldburg.  The Veste Heldburg was a high medieval hilltop castle, which was rebuilt in the 16th century as a castle in the Renaissance style.After several conquests and lootings in the Thirty Years War the castle was repaved hero and was from 1776 temporarily residence of the Ernestine Dukes of Saxony-Hildburghausen. 1826 was the property of Meininger Dukes. Duke George II let them. Renew comprising 1874-1898 and occupied it in May 1877 temporarily with his third wife Baroness Helene von Heldburg. From 1926 to 1945   Duke Georg III. and his wife Klara Maria, born Countess von Korff, where the last owners of the Veste Heldburg. He and his family were expropriated without compensation in 1945. On 07.04.1982, a major fire damaged the French building strong and destroyed the entire hitherto largely preserved interiors of living rooms and the large ballroom. At a Bausicherung or reconstruction was due to lack of material and manpower not initially think. Instead, the building was damaged by the weather continues. Only in 1990 began under a Thuringian-Bavarian cooperation, the rescue of the French construction with the reconstruction of the roof and pulling in new ceilings.

When in 1940 Prince Anton Ulrich the oldest son of Duke Georg III. died in action in Russia the Ducal Family  made out of the rooms of the former Silverchamer a Crypt. After the Sovjets took over the Veste in 1951 the coffin was removed and buired at the local burial ground. There also Duchess Klaria Maria was buired in 1992. In 2005 the Crpyt on the Veste was restroed and the coffins of Prince Anton Ulirch and Duchess Klara Maria brought to the Crypt. In 2010 Archduchess Regina of Austria, nee Pricness of Saxe-Meiningen a daughter of Duke Georg III. was buried temporary in the Crypt-. After the death of her husband in 2011 the coffin with her remains where brought to Vienna and buried there together with him in the Imperail Crypt. The Urn with her heart remains at the Crypt-

12 June 2016

civil Weddinjg of the Hereditary Prince zu Oettingen-Spielberg

On Saturday 04.l June Hereditarya Franz Albrecht zu Oettingen-Oettingen and Oettingen-Spielberg marrid Baronnese Cleopatra von Adelsheim in a civil ceremony at the Family seat of the brides Family at Adelsheim. The bgroom is the only son of Fürst Albvrecht zu oettingen-Oettingen and oettingen-Spielberg and his wife Angela, née Jank. He is a recognized expert in the world of hunters. As a speaker he is in demand and as a hunter with his film production company worldwid. The bride is a daughter of the video Artist Louis von Adelsheim und Lillian-Elena Baettig-Rodriguez. studied at the American University of Paris Journalism and Communication, and then attended a drama school. Recently you could experience the actress at Christmas as "Princess Maleen" in the First television.

With 2 Helicopters the groom,. his father and friends landed at the Auwiese behind the Castle where they where greeted by the bride,.
After a welcome drink followed the ceremony at which Mayor Klaus Gramlich on the importance of Adelsheim family for the city pointed. As the mayor pointed out could also present during the ceremony 97-year-old grandmother of the bride, the Baroness Helga von Adelsheim, and whose late husband, Baron Joachim von Adelsheim, who was an honorary citizen of the city, done a lot for Adelsheim. The bride's father Louis von Adelsheim put that with his video art series "Adelsheim lights" continue, find the regional and national recognition. Among the guests were the parents of the groom, Fürstin Angela and Fürst Albrecht zu Oettingen-Spielberg, and Pierre Casiraghi, grandson of Prince Rainier of Monaco and Princess Grace, Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi and befriended couples from the European aristocracy.

The young couple will live in Castle Hirschbrunn in Oettingen and Görlsdorf in Uckermarck. The religious wedding is in July in Oettingen