Vechelde is a municipality in the district of Peine, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated 12 km southeast of Peine, 10 km west of Braunschweig. Vechelde is twinned with: Valkeakoski, Finland since 1976 Biederitz in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany since 1990 Niemodlin, Poland since 2006 Official website
Zerbst Castle in the town of Zerbst, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany was the residence of the Princes of Anhalt-Zerbst from the late 17th century until the line died out in 1793. It served as a museum and archive; the building was damaged by bombs during the last weeks of World War II and demolished afterwards. A Verein is working to maintain and reconstruct the remaining eastern wing; the first castle in Zerbst was a Slavic water castle constructed in the 12th century. This structure was first mentioned in a document dated 1196 and consisted of a front castle and a main castle, both surrounded by a wall and a moat; the free-standing bell tower, which today is considered part of the adjacent St. Bartholomew church, was part of this castle. Over the centuries, the castle was renovated. By the 16th century, the complex consisted of a number of individual residences for the various family branches, surrounded by a common castle wall. In 1603, an expensive repair project was initiated, because the castle was in an derelict state.
The high castle tower was demolished in 1618. The caste survived the Thirty Years' War undamaged. However, during the next century maintenance of the building was neglected and by the end of the 17th century the building was uninhabitable. Prince Charles William decided to build a modern building as his residence and commissioned the Dutch architect Cornelis Ryckwaert to design this palace. To make room, the northern parts of the old castle were demolished, the resulting debris was used as backfill in the foundation of the new palace; the southern parts of the old castle were integrated into the new palace. The plan was to create a typical Baroque three-wing complex with a cour d'honneur in the center, based stylistically on Dutch models; the foundation were laid on 31 May 1681. The shell of the corps de logis was completed in 1689; the main building of the castle was inaugurated on 23 June 1696. The cost for the project were estimated at this time at 57000taler. Between 1703 and 1706, Ryckwaert's successor Giovanni Simonetti built the west wing, which included the castle chapel.
Construction work on the chapel continued until 1719. In 1721, the central avant-corps was expanded into a castle tower with a Baroque dome. In 1743, the last parts of the old castle were demolished and in 1744, construction of the east wing was begun in the space thus freed. With the completion of the shell of the east wing in 1746, the palace arrived at its intended three-wing from; the new wing was decorated in Frederician Rococo style. It was a childhood home of Catherine the Great prior to being selected to marry the heir of the Russian Imperial throne in 1744. Construction was halted when in 1758, the ruling Prince Frederick Augustus, Catherine the Great's younger brother, had to flee to Basel due to a dispute with Frederick the Great. At this time, the outside of the east wing had been completed, but the second floor had not been decorated, it would remain in that state until the Castle Museum moved in 1921. After the Anhalt-Zerbst line of the princely family died out in 1793, the castle stood empty.
In 1872, the State Archives and the Ducal House Archive were housed in the corps de logis. In 1881, the tower was destroyed by fire, it was subsequently restored in its old form. In 1921, the Castle Museum was opened in the castle, some municipal offices, including the town's tax offices, were housed in the empty rooms. On 16 April 1945, the castle was burned out completely; the valuable interior was destroyed, as well as the exhibits on display in the museum and the documents held in the State Archives. Reconstructing the walls of the castle on the existing foundations would have been possible, but this option was rejected for political reasons by the Communist rulers of post-War Eastern Germany; the corps de logis and the west wing were demolished and only the ruins of the east wing were left standing. Several reminders of the size and appearance of the castle are still present in the castle grounds. Adjacent to the castle is the former riding school, a Baroque building constructed in 1724, that once served as an indoor arena and is now an indoor event space.
Parts of the castle park and some outbuildings remain. The park was created around 1798 as a French formal garden and was transformed into a landscaped park; the reason for this transformation was that the old Baroque structural elements and lawns were long left to fend for themselves and the original structure was no longer visible. Of the Schloss itself, only the eastern wing and part of the corps de logis remain today. In 2006, the friends of Zerbst Castle began reconstructing the ruins, their goal is to faithfully restore the appearance of the eastern wing of the castle. Dirk Herrmann: Schloss Zerbst in Anhalt, Verlag Schnell & Steiner, 2005 Friends of Zerbst Castle Former riding school, now indoor arena Zerbst 3D model using SketchUp
Frederick the Great
Frederick II ruled the Kingdom of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, the longest reign of any Hohenzollern king. His most significant accomplishments during his reign included his military victories, his reorganization of Prussian armies, his patronage of the arts and the Enlightenment and his final success against great odds in the Seven Years' War. Frederick was the last Hohenzollern monarch titled King in Prussia and declared himself King of Prussia after achieving sovereignty over most Prussian lands in 1772. Prussia had increased its territories and became a leading military power in Europe under his rule, he became known as Frederick the Great and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz by the Prussian people and the rest of Germany. In his youth, Frederick was more interested in philosophy than the art of war. Nonetheless, upon ascending to the Prussian throne he attacked Austria and claimed Silesia during the Silesian Wars, winning military acclaim for himself and Prussia. Toward the end of his reign, Frederick physically connected most of his realm by acquiring Polish territories in the First Partition of Poland.
He was an influential military theorist whose analysis emerged from his extensive personal battlefield experience and covered issues of strategy, tactics and logistics. Considering himself "the first servant of the state", Frederick was a proponent of enlightened absolutism, he modernized the Prussian bureaucracy and civil service and pursued religious policies throughout his realm that ranged from tolerance to segregation. He reformed the judicial system and made it possible for men not of noble status to become judges and senior bureaucrats. Frederick encouraged immigrants of various nationalities and faiths to come to Prussia, although he enacted oppressive measures against Polish Catholic subjects in West Prussia. Frederick supported arts and philosophers he favored as well as allowing complete freedom of the press and literature. Frederick is buried at Sanssouci in Potsdam; because he died childless, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew, Frederick William II, son of his brother, Augustus William.
Nearly all 19th-century German historians made Frederick into a romantic model of a glorified warrior, praising his leadership, administrative efficiency, devotion to duty and success in building up Prussia to a great power in Europe. Historian Leopold von Ranke was unstinting in his praise of Frederick's "heroic life, inspired by great ideas, filled with feats of arms... immortalized by the raising of the Prussian state to the rank of a power". Johann Gustav Droysen was more extolling. Frederick remained an admired historical figure through the German Empire's defeat in World War I; the Nazis glorified him as a great German leader pre-figuring Adolf Hitler, who idolized him. Associations with him became far less favorable after the fall of the Nazis due to his status as one of their symbols. However, by the 21st century a re-evaluation of his legacy as a great general and enlightened monarch returned opinion of him to favour. Frederick, the son of Frederick William I and his wife, Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, was born in Berlin on 24 January 1712.
He was baptised with only one name and was not given any other names. The birth of Frederick was welcomed by his grandfather, Frederick I, with more than usual pleasure, as his two previous grandsons had both died in infancy. With the death of his father in 1713, Frederick William became King in Prussia, thus making young Frederick the crown prince; the new king wished for his daughters to be educated not as royalty, but as simple folk. He had been educated by a Frenchwoman, Madame de Montbail, who became Madame de Rocoulle, he wished that she educate his children. Frederick William I, popularly dubbed as the Soldier-King, had created a large and powerful army led by his famous "Potsdam Giants" managed his treasury finances and developed a strong, centralized government. However, he possessed a violent temper and ruled Brandenburg-Prussia with absolute authority; as Frederick grew, his preference for music and French culture clashed with his father's militarism, resulting in Frederick William beating and humiliating him.
In contrast, Frederick's mother Sophia was polite and learned. Her father, George Louis of Brunswick-Lüneburg, succeeded to the British throne as King George I in 1714. Frederick was brought up by Huguenot governesses and tutors and learned French and German simultaneously. In spite of his father's desire that his education be religious and pragmatic, the young Frederick, with the help of his tutor Jacques Duhan, procured for himself a three thousand volume secret library of poetry and Roman classics, French philosophy to supplement his official lessons. Although Frederick William I was raised a Calvinist, he feared. To avoid the possibility of Frederick being motivated by the same concerns, the king ordered that his heir not be taught about predestination. Although Frederick was irreligious, he to some extent appeared to adopt this tenet of Calvinism; some scholars have speculated. In the mid-1720s, a double marriage was proposed. Queen Sophia Dorothea attempted to arrange Frederick and his sister Wilhelmine with Amelia and Frederick, the children of her brother, King George II of Great Britain.
Fearing an alliance between Prussia and Great Britain, Field Marshal von Seckendorff, the Austrian ambassador in Berlin, bribed the Prussian Minister of War, Field Marshal von Grumbkow, the Prussian ambassador in Lon
Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin
Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp-Eutin was a cadet of the reigning ducal House of Holstein-Gottorp who became prince of Eutin, prince-bishop of Lübeck and regent of the Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp. He was the father of Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden, the maternal grandfather of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, he was a younger son of Christian Albert, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp and Princess Frederica Amalia of Denmark, daughter of King Frederick III of Denmark. His elder brother, Frederick IV, succeeded their father as ruler of the duchy, Christian August being given the small fiefdom of Eutin in 1695, whereupon he took the title Duke of Holstein-Eutin. Additionally, he was appointed coadjutor of Lübeck, a Lutheran Imperial state within the Holy Roman Empire, in 1701, his family managed to have him elected as the bishop on 26 April 1706, his eldest brother died in 1702, leaving only an underage son, Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, as his heir. From 1702 to 1708 Christian August was co-regent with his widowed sister-in-law, Hedvig Sophia of Sweden, for Charles Frederick, having been first installed as administrator under her authority.
Upon her death in 1708, Christian August became sole regent of Holstein-Gottorp, which duchy was ravaged by the violence of the Great Northern War. Christian August married Margravine Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach, on 2 September 1704, with whom he had ten children: Hedwig Sophie Auguste of Holstein-Gottorp, Abbess of Herford, 1750–1764 Charles Augustus of Holstein-Gottorp, engaged to marry the future Elizabeth of Russia, but died before the wedding Frederica Amalia of Holstein-Gottorp, a nun at Quedlinburg Anne of Holstein-Gottorp, wed Prince Wilhelm of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, no issue, he was a brother of Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, mother of George III of Great Britain Adolf Frederick of Eutin, King of Sweden. He was named crown prince of Sweden in 1743 and ascended the throne in 1751 as Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden. Frederick August of Eutin, Duke of Oldenburg, he was bishop of Lübeck, after his brother moved to Sweden, he inherited Eutin as well. In 1773, as part of a family agreement involving Denmark and Holstein-Gottorp, he received a new duchy, consisting of the counties of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.
Joanna Elisabeth, wed Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, became the mother of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. William Christian of Holstein-Gottorp, died in infancy Frederick Conrad of Holstein-Gottorp, died in infancy Georg Ludwig of Holstein-Gottorp, his son Peter inherited the Duchy of Oldenburg from his childless cousin, the son of Frederick AugustChristian August was succeeded by his eldest son Charles Augustus, who died before taking up the office, by his second son, Adolf Frederick
Frederick William I of Prussia
Frederick William I, known as the "Soldier King", was the King in Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg from 1713 until his death in 1740, as well as Prince of Neuchâtel. He was succeeded by Frederick the Great, he was born in Berlin to Sophia Charlotte of Hanover. During his first years, he was raised by the Huguenot governess Marthe de Roucoulle, his father had acquired the title King for the margraves of Brandenburg. On ascending the throne in 1713 the new King sold most of his fathers' horses and furniture. Throughout his reign, Frederick William was characterized by his frugal and militaristic lifestyle, as well as his devout Calvinist faith, he practiced rigid management of the treasury, never started a war, led a simple and austere lifestyle, in contrast to the lavish court his father had presided over. At his death, Prussia had a sound exchequer and a full treasury, in contrast to the other German states. Frederick William I did much to improve Prussia economically and militarily, he replaced mandatory military service among the middle class with an annual tax, he established schools and hospitals.
The king encouraged reclaimed marshes, stored grain in good times and sold it in bad times. He dictated the manual of Regulations for State Officials, containing 35 chapters and 297 paragraphs in which every public servant in Prussia could find his duties set out: a minister or councillor failing to attend a committee meeting, for example, would lose six months' pay. In short, Frederick William I concerned himself with every aspect of his small country, ruling an absolute monarchy with great energy and skill. In 1732, the king invited the Salzburg Protestants to settle in East Prussia, depopulated by plague in 1709. Under the terms of the Peace of Augsburg, the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg could require his subjects to practice the Catholic faith, but Protestants had the right to emigrate to a Protestant state. Prussian commissioners accompanied 20,000 Protestants to their new homes on the other side of Germany. Frederick William I welcomed the first group of migrants and sang Protestant hymns with them.
Frederick William intervened in the Great Northern War, allied with Peter the Great of Russia, in order to gain a small portion of Swedish Pomerania. More aided by his close friend Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau, the "Soldier-King" made considerable reforms to the Prussian army's training and conscription program—introducing the canton system, increasing the Prussian infantry's rate of fire through the introduction of the iron ramrod. Frederick William's reforms left his son Frederick with the most formidable army in Europe, which Frederick used to increase Prussia's power; the observation that "the pen is mightier than the sword" has sometimes been attributed to him. Although a effective ruler, Frederick William had a perpetually short temper which sometimes drove him to physically attack servants with a cane at the slightest provocation, his violent, harsh nature was further exacerbated by his inherited porphyritic disease, which gave him gout and frequent crippling stomach pains. He had a notable contempt for France, would sometimes fly into a rage at the mere mention of that country, although this did not stop him from encouraging the immigration of French Huguenot refugees to Prussia.
Frederick William was interred at the Garrison Church in Potsdam. During World War II, in order to protect it from advancing allied forces, Hitler ordered the king's coffin, as well as those of Frederick the Great and Paul von Hindenburg, into hiding, first to Berlin and to a salt mine outside of Bernterode; the coffins were discovered by occupying American Forces, who re-interred the bodies in St. Elisabeth's Church in Marburg in 1946. In 1953 the coffin was moved to Burg Hohenzollern, where it remained until 1991, when it was laid to rest on the steps of the altar in the Kaiser Friedrich Mausoleum in the Church of Peace on the palace grounds of Sanssouci; the original black marble sarcophagus collapsed at Burg Hohenzollern—the current one is a copper copy. His eldest surviving son was Frederick II, born in 1712. Frederick William wanted him to become a fine soldier; as a small child, Fritz was awakened each morning by the firing of a cannon. At the age of 6, he was given his own regiment of children to drill as cadets, a year he was given a miniature arsenal.
The love and affection Frederick William had for his heir was soon destroyed due to their different personalities. Frederick William ordered Fritz to undergo a minimal education, live a simple Protestant lifestyle, focus on the Army and statesmanship as he had. However, the intellectual Fritz was more interested in music and French culture, which were forbidden by his father as decadent and unmanly; as Fritz's defiance for his father's rules increased, Frederick William would beat or humiliate Fritz. Fritz was beaten for wearing gloves in cold weather. After the prince attempted to flee to England with his tutor, Hans Hermann von Katte, the enraged King had Katte beheaded before the eyes of the prince, who himself was court-ma
John Adolf, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp
Johann Adolf of Holstein-Gottorp was a Duke of Holstein-Gottorp. He was a third son of his wife Christine of Hesse-Kassel, he became the first Lutheran Administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Lübeck and the Administrator of the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen. He became the Duke after the deaths of his two elder brothers. After succeeding in 1590 his father as ruling Duke the Bremian Chapter enforced his resignation in favour of his younger brother John Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince-Bishop, he was married on 30 August 1596 to Princess Augusta of Denmark, daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark. They had the following children: Frederick III of Holstein-Gottorp. Elisabeth Sofie, married on 5 March 1621 to Duke Augustus of Saxe-Lauenburg. Adolf. Dorothea Auguste, married in 1633 to Joachim Ernest, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön. Hedwig, married on 15 July 1620 to Augustus, Count Palatine of Sulzbach. Anna. John. Christian, died young in 1609. History of Schleswig-Holstein
Prince Georg Ludwig of Holstein-Gottorp
Prince Georg Ludwig of Holstein-Gottorp was a Prussian lieutenant-general and an Imperial Russian field marshal. He was the youngest son of Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin and his wife Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach, he joined the Prussian army in 1741 and was appointed major general in 1744. In the Seven Years' War, he served under the command of Field Marshal Johann von Lehwaldt where he was promoted to lieutenant-general. In 1760 he fought in the Battle of Torgau after which he was dismissed by Frederick the Great for not being fast enough, he served for Peter III of Russia, his second cousin once removed, became field marshal on 21 February 1762. Due to the revolution on 4 June 1762, headed by his niece, Catherine the Great, he lost his position and returned to Kiel where he died soon after. Georg Ludwig married Princess Sophie Charlotte of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck in 1750, she was the daughter of Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck. They had three children: Friedrich, died in infancy.
Sophie died on 7 August 1763 one month before her husband