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Messages - VN

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The New Palace is gone, but the building that used to be the Prince Karl Palace still exists. It's not open to the public, though. However, the Residential Palace, Old Mausoleum at the Rosenhöhe, Prinz Emil Garten, Orangerie and Herrengarten in Darmstadt are still there.
There's more outside Darmstadt, such as:

  • Schloss Seeheim - it's in very bad repair and will probably be renovated in the nearby future;

  • Schloss Heiligenberg at Jugenheim - now accommodating an educational institution, not open to the public;

Schloss Seeheim has been renovated, now privately owned. But you can still visit a part of the Schloss Park.  If you are interested, I know someone who offers tours through the park and around the Schloss.  

Here is a link to a current picture of Schloss Seeheim

Schloss Heiligenberg is managed by the 'Heiligenberg-Jugenheim Foundation' , I'm a member of the Advisory Board of the Foundation. We offer tours in german, english, french and russian.
Saturdays and Sundays our Infocenter 'Russenbau' is opend in the Afternoon. There is also a café , opend Thursday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended.  

Greetings Vanessa

I think the little girl could be Zwetana, looks like her. The Lady is probably her Nanny. She is definitely not Johanna.

I do not know for sure. But considering the facts that the translator has said that he used the original manuscript and that countess von Hartenau has donated more than 2, 000 personal  belongings of Alexander to the National Museum Of Military History in Bulgaria during the 1930's, it's very likely to be in Bulgaria.
Anyway, Sandro is not Leo Tolstoy when it comes to writing, he is a soldier and he is very laconic. Most of the entries are: I got up, I was invited to luncheon with grand duke X, then we had to advance to point Y.
There are a couple of interesting moments, if you allow me to share them:
1. He has been shocked by the cruelty of the war \massacres of civilians, etc\;
2. He has been through some bad illness. His regiment has been left to starve for almost 2 days, he has written that he was so hungry that he scavenged the backpack of a dead turkish soldier and ate his stale bread. The translator applies that his death may be a postponed result from the horrible privations during this war. \He died from peritonitis. \
3. This one is very indicative of his character. During his vacations he definitely enjoyed the pleasures of life. He writes something like: “At the evening I went to the opera with X and two gorgeous ladies. After that lady Y allow me to escort her home. I returned home at the morning.” Lucky girl, lol.
4. And there was one very awkward situation,  that made me laugh. It’s not a joke at all. He ….  went to relieve himself in the bushes around the camp, when an angry bull came out of nowhere and started chasing him to the tents with the pants open.  And he has written that, I am not making it up. 

Thank you for your information. I did a lot of research on Sandro. It is too bad, that I can't read bulgarian. Do post pictures here. He is a Battenberg :-).

She still looked very charming. I wonder if she ever visited Britain ?

Yes, a couple years after Sandro died she was in Britain. She also met with Queen Victoria. Maybe Johanna was invited by her Sister in Law Beatrice?

Just wrote a pm to you, but this didn't work. Could you send me a pm, so I can reply! Thanks

This is great! Thank you. I actually only need pictures of the Uniforms the cossacks wore. Or at least one, that comes quite close. I will send you a pm for more information.

I need information about the Bodyguards (Leibgarde in german) of Alexander II. I'm a member of the Board of the 'Schloss-Heiligenberg-Foundation' and we are looking for a picture of the Uniform the Soldiers wore (Cossacks). Especially the Cossacks that accompanied him and his wife Marie Alexanderowna to Jugenheim in the 1860 - 1880s.

The Schloss Heiligenberg Foundation in Jugenheim is planing to open a little museum in 2013. Currently the Russen-Bau, located directly next to the Main-Schloss is under construction. We would like to add an Uniform to the Exhibition and need this information for the production of the uniform.

Hope someone out there is specialized in russian uniforms! Thanks

Assen Hartenau was in touch with his Battenberg Family. I have 2 Pictures of him visiting Schloss Heiligenberg, one in the courtyard and one with his cousin George Battenberg - around 1907. His Aunt Marie zu Erbach also visited him for his Confirmation, that still must have been in Graz, not sure. I read this in one of her Diaries in the Staatsarchiv.

Marielies Hartenau, Wilhelms Wife, was very fond of her Father in law. Assen seemed to have been a very nice person. I had 2 very nice phone conversations with Frau Hartenau. She was over 90 years old at that time. She send me very nice pictures (copies) of Assen & Zwetana as children and as young adults. Assen looking very cool, smoking and very charming. Zwetana looking very much like Sandro. The pictures where shown at the Sandro Exhibition a few years ago at Schloss Heiligenberg. Since they are private Photos from her family-albums, she gave me the permission to show the pictures at the exhibition and asked me not to used them for anything else. So I wont post them here. But If anyone visits Darmstadt or Schloss Heiligenberg, feel free to contact me. In 2013 the Infocenter at Schloss Heiligenberg will be opened. At the moment The Schloss Heiligenberg Foundation, is very busy working on this project. We are trying to get material and objects for the Center.

Frau Hartenau's daughter also told me, that she still remembers very vividly Lord Mountbatten visiting them with Princess Anne. I think this was in the 60's ?! Not sure on the time.


The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« on: November 21, 2012, 03:36:16 AM »
Thanks Helen !
Hope it is not out of print.
Will try Germany.
Appreciate it !

The book 'Erinnertes' is out of print . Just resently I asked the Lady at the Schlapp-Bookstore in DA. The book is very interesting, more to read than pictures.

The Straßenbahn goes directly from Darmstadt - Luisenplatz. You have to take Nr. 6, 7, or 8 in the direction to Alsbach and get out in Jugenheim, Ludwigstraße. From Ludwigstraße it is quite a walk up to Schloss Heiligenberg, approximitly 20 min - 30 Min, depending in what shape your in :-).

Important! Please let us know some time in advance if you are planing a tour. But as I mentioned earlier on, the Schloss-Park is open to the public. You just walk up there (or drive) and have a walk around. As soon as the new website of the Fondation is finished and online, i will post it for more information.

The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Schloss Heiligenberg
« on: July 23, 2012, 11:16:11 AM »
The current contact address for those of you who plan to visit Schloss Heiligenberg in Jugenheim is the following link below. It is not possible to visit the inside of Schloss Heiligenberg. But you can ask for a guided tour around the Schloss, the garden and the memorial chapel and the grave of Prince Alexander von Hessen & bei Rhein and his wife Princess Julie Battenberg.  

The Website of the Schloss Heiligenberg Foundation is not online yet. The Foundation, founded in 2008, took over the management of Schloss Heiligenberg and is the actual responsible party for the whole Schloss and its organisation. Currently the former janitors house behind the Schloss is under construction to create a little museum/info-centre. Opening is planed for summer/fall 2013.

Tours are offered in german, english and russian and have to be booked in advance (see above link of the Verkehrs,-und Verschönerungsverein Jugenheim). But generally you are able to walk around the grounds of the Schloss without tour, it is open to everybody.  



Hi Ilana, thank you for your Information!
I started out doing a lot of research on Sandro and his wife Johanna and found a lot of new information and pictures. I've been to Soton already 4 years ago and since I live in DA also visited the Staatsarchiv. Since VHM's Recollection are in DA, I will have a look there. Somehow I always thought that these particular papers are kept at the Broadlands Archives.
Now my research field has grown, I research all the siblings. Pictures and lectures are shown/held at Schloß Heiligenberg that either the Verkehrs-and verschönerungs verein Jugenheim (historical society) arrange or the Stiftung Heiligenberg.

 A new Info Center is planned, a sort of little museum. Therefore the 'Russenbau' exactly behind the Garten Saal will be renovated.

If you want more Info you can send me a PM. I will be off to England, so it could take some time till I awnser.

Grüße aus DA


Has anybody ever read the 'recollections' of Ludwid & Victoria Battenberg. Richard Hough mentioned them in his book. I will be in Southampton in July and will do some resarch at the Broadlands Archives. Are they (the recolletions) part of the collections?

Thanks for coming and the compliment. It was a very exciting weekend with a lot of visitors, even more on Sunday. We are very happy. Would be nice to stay in touch.

There are 2 pictures of the interiors and one drawing of the court yard of Schloss Heiligenberg around 1840 before renovated, drawn by Alexander von Hessen. I guess also a few other maps of the grounds of Heiligenberg. If you need more info then pm me. But be patient with me :-).

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