Follow Me to the Beauty and Splendour of Germany's and the World's Castles and Palaces
CastleView: Lucy Worsley's Empire of the Tsars
Photo: BBC 4
So, I was sick the other weekend* and I watched some documentaries and I found "Lucy Worsley's Empire of the Tsars" by BBC. I only know little about Romanov history, or rather some parts of it, but am in now way anywhere near to knowledgable, so the three one-hour parts of the documentary gave a nice overview.
Age of Extremes
Road to Revolution
*Yep, I pretty much only get sick during the weekends, not the weeks - I'm every employer's dream.
The death of Richard Fürst zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg earlier this week saw a surge in interest in my take on the (in)famous will of inheritance looming over the family. One point about the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg inheritance that many seem to find especially curious is the fact that the late Prince Richard never actually owned his family's fortune but that it was instead passed from his father - who went missing during World War 2 - to a yet unborn grandson - who was born in 1969 - (or anyone else, really, who would inherit after Prince Richard). The German nobility, however, isn't short of interesting inheritance constructions - case in point: The Thurn und Taxis inheritance.
The Thurn und Taxis family isn't just famous for their fabulous wealth, estimated at around $ 2.5 billion today - even though Princess Gloria of Thurn und Taxis says it less than a billion - but also for their lifestyle to go along with it. In fact, Princess Gloria of Thurn und Taxis may si…
To say that Coburg has an abundance of castles and palaces may just be the understatement of the century, we have covered more than half a dozen of them on this blog alone in the past couple of months. One still missing? The one dubbed "the Crown of Franconia", the city's oldest castle, Veste Coburg. Towering high above the city and the surrounding land, the Veste was firstly mentioned in 1056 making its origins almost a thousand years old. It was in the year 1353, that Coburg fell to Margrave Friedrich of Meissen of the House of Wettin, who continued to own Veste Coburg until the end of the monarchy in 1918.
The oldest still-existing part of the Veste is the Blauer Turm, or Blue Tower, dating back to 1230. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. During the early 15th century, a triple contravallation was introduced to guard the fortress. Large parts of the castle's early structures were destroyed during two fires towards the end of the 15th an…
Few castles ever become legendary in themselves: Versailles, Neuschwanstein, maybe a handful more. Probably even fewer rooms of a castle share the same status and when German Baroque sculptor and architect Andreas Schlüter was commissioned to design a room made of amber for Schloss Charlottenburg in 1701, nobody knew what a legend it would become. Constructed by Gottfried Wolfram, master craftsman to the Danish court of King Frederik IV of Denmark, with the help of amber masters Ernst Schacht and Gottfried Turau from Danzig, the room wasn't even installed at its originally intended place but instead at the Stadtschloss in Berlin.
It was at the city palace where Tsar Peter the Great first lay eyes on the creation and liked it. Eager to please, King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia, gifted the room to his Russian counterpart. In return, he got a Russo-Prussian alliance against Sweden as well as a bunch of really tall guys, yes literally, for his army. Pretty good deal, eh? Peter'…