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Messages - Riedesel

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Hello po3a,
one of the fine things Alice did in Darmstadt was to found an order of nursing sisters which eventually became the Alice Hospital.
I am currently lying in bed in this fine hospital waiting for a minor surgery. Everywhere one can see reminders of the Princess and her good works here.


There is also a Mathildenplatz (square) in Darmstadt.
However, against ones expectation, there is no memorial to Mathilde there.
Like the memorial on the Luisenplatz is for Ludewig and the memorial on the Ludwigsplatz is for Bismarck.

I think the 'Heiners' find this amusing.

A wonderfully put together exhibition with a thoroughly interesting and personal presentation of Alexander's life by VN.
So good to have met you.

Thank you very much.

(I would love to have included some photos of Heiligenberg and the exhibition but I forgot my camera :-(  )

The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Schlossmuseum
« on: April 07, 2010, 04:54:35 AM »
Unfortunately - as with most things - it is not just a lack of finances which has caused the problem (although that was the excuse given).
The museum was financed and supported by an 'association' comprising the city of Darmstadt, the state of Hesse and the foundation of the royal house of Hesse.
The state of Hesse was basically just the money giver and have no problem continuing to be just that.
The house of Hesse own most of the objects on display (and a many which are not on display). They also have many other ventures besides their involvement in the Darmstadt Schlossmuseum ( & Theoretically they could remove all the exhibits to the museum in Schloss Fasanerie (Hessen-Kassel line)
The city of Darmstadt is represented by the city's cultural committee which is headed by the very Mayor who wished to close the museum in the first place.
Just to complicate matters even more, the castle which contains the museum is actually owned by the University who have no dealings with the Schlossmuseum 'association'.
Currently the University are performing a much needed renovation of the whole castle and the museum is closed because of this and is taking the opportunity to perform an inventory for the house of Hesse.

The Action Group's task at the moment is to keep the town council and the Mayor aware that they are being monitored and cannot quietly leave the museum closed and forgotten; that they must produce the promised new concept for the museum and reopen it asap!

The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Schlossmuseum
« on: April 01, 2010, 05:08:50 PM »
The petition page is in German, as is the rest of the web site for the Citizens' Initiative for the Preservation of the Schlossmuseum in Darmstadt.
For those of you who do not speak/read German below is my (very poor) translation of the web sites Home Page delaration of intent

"For financial reasons - at the end of 2008 - the city of Darmstadt quit their membership in the association which supported and governed the Schlossmuseum. The museum stood on the brink of closure.

A group of citizens from Darmstadt and the surrounding area refused to accept this situation and, on the 26. March 2009, founded the Citizens' Initiative for the Preservation of the Schlossmuseum in Darmstadt.

Without the Schlossmuseum an important aspect of Darmstadts museum culture would be missing : namely the portrayal of the royal history of Darmstadt. Without the museum the Castle would also lose the relationship to its own past.

The Citizens' Initiative for the Preservation of the Schlossmuseum followed attentively, committedly, but also critically, the development of a new conception for the museum and continually appeals to the public for support.

The action group will support and fight for the Schlossmuseum in the coming years and accompany it on its way into the 21. Century.

In the interest of the citizens of Darmstadt, as well as the visitors from near and far, we demand the continuance of the Schlossmuseum, so that…
* Darmstadts museum landscape remains rich and varied.
* Darmstadts history as a royal residence, civil city, center of Landgraviate and Grand Duchy of Hessen - as well as a center of the European high nobility does not fall into oblivion.
* the unique flair of the exhibition rooms in the Schloss are preserved.
* the many exhibits continue to be presented by the committed guides who are experts in explaining the  history of the collections.
* School classes can use the museum as an extra-curriculum learning place in such a way as to be able to pass on the knowledge of
  Darmstadts history to the next generation.

So please do follow Thomas' plea and sign the petition!

Ribentrop was the Ambassador to Great Britain at the time. Prinz Ludwig was a member of the Diplomatic Staff in London. It is only logical that Ribentrop would have been at the wedding. I hope this won't start a discussion on the ethics of the House of Hesse in the mid 20th century..... :-(
It reminds one of the recent fuss about Prince Philip attending a "Nazi" funeral, for goodness sake!

There is a book (in German) in memory of Princess Margaret.

Margaret Prinzessin von Hessen und bei Rhein von Eckhart G. Franz und Karl-Eugen Schlapp von Schlapp (Gebundene Ausgabe - 1997) ISBN 3-87704-039-X

apparently available from :

They are in VERY limited numbers. The Schlapp book shop in Darmstadt still has about 10 left which they are selling for the ridiculous price of 4.95 euros. :-)

The Hohenzollern / Re: Kaiser Wilhelm II
« on: December 29, 2009, 12:29:35 PM »
Possibly not exactly what you want, but you might try "Der Teufelspakt" Die deutsch-russischen Beziehungen vom Ersten zum Zweiten Weltkrieg. Written by Sebastian Haffner. isbn 3-7175-4028-9.
I received a copy unexpectedly through the post this morning, so I haven't read it. It does deal in the beginning with your subject, though.

best wishes


Herrengarten could loosely be translated as 'the lords garden' (Lord as in ruler not the religious meaning) or garden of the masters/rulers. It certainly doesn't mean gentlemen's garden or garden of the men.

Here is a photo of the information board next to the Prinzesschen's Memorial in the garden

The monument to elasabeth was erected in a park, very close to the Residential palace. I wonder if this park was open for visitors before 1918. Was the garden the integral part of the Residential palace? After 1918, when ernst ludwig abdicated th epalace became the property of hesse, obviously. 
I know this is 'off topic', sorry.
The Herrengarten is not really an integral part of the residential palace complex. Between the Schloß and Garten is the old court/state theater and the state Museum (previously the military exercise square). As far as I know the garden was always publicly accessible since its founding in the middle of the 18th century.

I don't believe Ernst Ludwig ever abdicated. He lost his throne in the revolution of 1918, but he was one of the few (if not the only) monarchs who never officially abdicated.

just my 2 euro cents

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alexandra's childhood homes
« on: August 27, 2009, 08:27:42 AM »
I shall have to go back and try again, then. May i can find some-one there who can throw some light on the E.W. signature.
It will probably mean having to sneak past the "grumpy" red-headed museums clerk though........  ;) ;)

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alexandra's childhood homes
« on: August 21, 2009, 03:13:23 PM »
The pictures I posted above are somewhat abstract. They don't look like scratchings in glass. To give a better idea of how these 'window scratches' look, I am posting 2 of my failed attempts to capture the Alix' signature so you can see more of the window - and the garden because the focus was wrong - which may give a better idea of how they look.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alexandra's childhood homes
« on: August 21, 2009, 02:02:14 PM »
Here are a few of the signatures scratched into the windows at Kranichstein which Thomas Hesse was talking about.
The quality is not good (I am no photographer and was under considerable time constraints :-) ) but it might give the general idea of what one can see......

This one just says "Kranichstein"

I think this is the "E" for Ella

and here the "Alix" signature

The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Schlossmuseum
« on: July 06, 2009, 04:45:00 PM »
Hi Violetta,

the new, agreed, opening times are not shown on the museum's web page. As far as I understand it the Museum is closed throughout July. From August until the end of the year it will be open only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. (This is a slight improvement on just Saturdays and Sundays as it will allow the all important school classes to visit).
Therefore only Saturday the 8th would be good for you. The museum can only be visited as a guided tour. The tours are at 10:00, 11:00 and 12:00 on Saturdays. I will check this, though, as the times may also have changed as a result of the recent 'upheavals'.


The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Schlossmuseum
« on: May 25, 2009, 03:23:37 PM »
It seems local politicans of various political parties have asked the city council to keep the Schloss Museum open as usual during the weekends till the end of this year. And Dr. Engels' group is expected to present an interim report before the end of June. (

Unfortunately, because the City of Darmstadt effectively left the association which supported and ran the museum (City of Darmstadt, State of Hesse and House of Hesse) they no longer - legally - have any say in the matter. Apparently very little is forthcoming from the other members of the group.

I don't think Thomas was at the meeting so I shall try to précis a little report tomorrow. I am away on business so it may be later.
For the German speakers here the Darmstaedter Echo (Local newspaper) is supposed to be bringing a large report on the subject tomorrow .
The citizens' initiative (? Bürgerinitiative ?) has finally created a web site but it is still 'under construction'.

Let's hope this is not too little - too late.


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