Wiesbaden is a city in central western Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. As of January 2018, it had 289,544 inhabitants, plus 19,000 United States citizens; the Wiesbaden urban area is home to approx. 560,000 people. The city, together with nearby Frankfurt am Main and Mainz, is part of the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region, a metropolitan area with a combined population of about 5.8 million people. Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe, its name translates to a reference to its famed hot springs. It is internationally famous for its architecture and climate—it is called the "Nice of the North" in reference to the city in France. At one time, Wiesbaden boasted 26 hot springs; as of 2008, fourteen of the springs are still flowing. In 1970, the town hosted the tenth Hessentag Landesfest; the city is considered the tenth richest in Germany boasting 110.3% of the national average gross domestic product in 2017. The average annual buying power per citizen is €24,783. Wiesbaden is situated on the right bank of the Rhine, below the confluence of the Main, where the Rhine's main direction changes from north to west.
The city is across the Rhine from Mainz, the capital of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Frankfurt am Main is located about 38 kilometres east. To the north of the city are the Taunus Mountains, which trend in a northeasterly direction; the city center, the Stadtmitte, is located in the north-easternmost part of the Upper Rhine Valley at the spurs of the Taunus mountains, about 5 kilometres from the Rhine. The landscape is formed by a wide lowland between the Taunus heights in the north, the Bierstadter Höhe and the Hainerberg in the east, the Mosbacher Mountain in the south, the Schiersteiner Mountain in the west, an offshoot of the Taunus range; the downtown is drained only by the narrow valley of the Salzbach, a tributary of the Rhine, on the eastern flanks of the Mosbacher Mountain. The city's main railway line and the Mainz road follow this valley. Several other streams drain into the Salzbach within the city center: the Wellritzbach, the Kesselbach, the Schwarzbach, the Dambach, the Tennelbach, as well as the outflow of many thermal and mineral springs in the Kurhaus district.
Above the city center, the Salzbach is better known as the Rambach. The highest point of the Wiesbaden municipality is located northwest of the city center near the summit of the Hohe Wurzel, with an elevation of 608 metres above sea level; the lowest point is the harbour entrance of Schierstein at 83 metres above sea level. The central square is at an elevation of 115 metres. Wiesbaden covers an area of 204 km2, it is 17.6 kilometres from north to 19.7 kilometres from west to east. In the north are vast forest areas, which cover 27.4% of the urban area. In the west and east are vineyards and agricultural land, which cover 31.1% of the area. Of the municipality's 79 kilometres -long border, the Rhine makes up 10.3 kilometres. Wiesbaden has a temperate-oceanic climate with cold winters and warm summers, its average annual temperature is 9.8 °C, with monthly mean temperatures ranging from 1.0 °C in January to 18.6 °C in July. While evidence of settlement at present-day Wiesbaden dates back to the Neolithic era, historical records document continuous occupancy after the erection of a Roman fort in 6 AD which housed an auxiliary cavalry unit.
The thermal springs of Wiesbaden are first mentioned in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia. They were famous for their recreation pools for Roman army horses and as the source of a mineral used for red hair dye; the Roman settlement is first mentioned using the name Aquae Mattiacorum in 121. The Mattiaci were a Germanic tribe a branch of the neighboring Chatti, who lived in the vicinity at that time; the town appears as Mattiacum in Ptolemy's Geographia. The line of Roman frontier fortifications, the Limes Germanicus, was constructed in the Taunus not far north of Wiesbaden; the capital of the province of Germania Superior, base of 2 Roman legions, was just over the Rhine and connected by a bridge at the present-day borough of Mainz-Kastel, a fortified bridgehead. The Alamanni, a coalition of Germanic tribes from beyond the Limes, captured the fort around 260. In the 370s, when the Romans and Alamanni were allied, the Alemanni gained control of the Wiesbaden area and were in charge of its defense against other Germanic tribes.
After the Franks under Clovis I defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac in 496, the Franks displaced the Alamanni in the Wiesbaden area over the course of the 6th century. In the 8th century, Wiesbaden became the site of a royal palace of the Frankish kingdom; the first documented use of the name Wiesbaden is by Einhard, the biographer of Charlemagne, whose writings mention "Wisabada" sometime between 828 and 830. When the Frankish Carolingian Empire broke up in 888, Wiesbaden was in the eastern half, called East Francia; the town was part of the heartland of East Francia. In the 1170s, the Count of Nassau, Walram I, received the area around Wiesbaden as a fiefdom; when Franconia fragmented in the early 13th century, Nassau emerged as an independent state as part of the Holy Roman Empir
Saint Petersburg Conservatory
The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory is a music school in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In 2004, the conservatory had around 275 faculty members and 1,400 students; the conservatory was founded in 1862 by a Russian pianist and composer. On his resignation in 1867, he was succeeded by Nikolai Zaremba. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was appointed as a professor in 1871, the conservatory has borne his name since 1944. In 1887, Rubinstein returned to the conservatory with the goal of improving overall standards, he revised the curriculum, expelled inferior students and demoted many professors, made entrance and examination requirements more stringent. In 1891, he resigned again over the Imperial demand of racial quotas; the current building was erected in the 1890s on the site of the old Bolshoi Theatre of Saint Petersburg, it still preserves its grand staircase and landing. As the city changed its name in the 20th century, the conservatory was duly renamed Petrograd Conservatory and Leningrad Conservatory.
The school alumni have included such notable composers as Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Artur Kapp, Rudolf Tobias and Dmitri Shostakovich, who taught at the conservatory during the 1960s, bringing it additional fame. Amongst his pupils were German Okunev and Boris Tishchenko. Composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov taught at the conservatory for forty years, his bronze monument is located outside the building in Theatre Square; the youngest musician admitted to the conservatory was four-year-old violinist Clara Rockmore, who became one of the world's foremost theremin players. Official website Documentary A Music Lesson on Saint Petersburg Conservatory
Prince Paul of Württemberg
Prince Paul of Württemberg was the fourth child and second son of King Frederick I and his wife, Duchess Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Paul was born in St. Petersburg during a period when his father, not yet the ruler of Württemberg, was made governor of Old Finland by Catherine the Great in Russia; the couple had traveled to Russia to visit Frederick's sister Sophie, married to the heir to the Russian throne, the Tsesarevich Paul. Prince Paul's parents separated shortly after his birth; the marriage was unhappy, there were allegations of abusive treatment of his mother. His mother was never returned to Württemberg, she died in exile in Koluvere, Estonia, in 1788. In 1797, Frederick married Charlotte, Princess Royal, eldest daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom, who supervised the education of Paul and his two surviving siblings and Catharina. Charlotte regarded Paul as "a comical boy and, in my partial eyes, his manners are like Adolphus."As Paul grew up, her opinion changed.
During the visit of the Allied sovereigns to London in 1814, along with many other princes, was taken to visit the Ascot races by the Prince Regent. He got the Prince of Orange blind drunk. "For thirteen years he has done nothing but offend his father with the improprieties of his conduct", his stepmother wrote. On 28 September 1805 in Ludwigsburg, Paul married Princess Charlotte of Saxe-Hildburghausen, second daughter of Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, they had five children: Friederike Charlotte Marie. Paul Friedrich Pauline Friederike Marie. Through Pauline, Paul is an ancestor of the present Belgian, Dutch, Luxembourg and Swedish royal families. August. In 1815 Paul moved from his home in Stuttgart to Paris, leaving his wife and two sons, but taking his daughters with him. There he led a modest life, but was in the company of intellectuals such as Georges Cuvier. Paul's family did not approve of this and ordered him to return to Württemberg. While in Paris, he fathered two illegitimate daughters by mistresses.
Shortly after the death of his wife in 1847, Paul went to England with his long-term mistress Magdalena Fausta Angela de Creus y Ximenes or Madeleine Creux, the widow of Sir Sandford Whittingham KCB, they were married in the Parish Church of St Nicholas, Sussex, on 26 April 1848. She died in Paris, 27 December 1852, their daughter Pauline Madeleine Ximenes, born in Paris 3 March 1825, was created Countess von Helfenstein in 1841. She married Count Gustave de Monttessuy in Paris on 24 August 1843 and died in Paris on 24 February 1905. Paul died in Paris aged 67. Shortly before his marriage, Paul had an actress named Friederike Margrethe Porth. Friederike was the daughter of his wife Caroline. Paul and Friederike had a daughter named Adhelaide Paulina, alias Karoline, von Rothenburg. On 16 February 1836, in Augsburg, Karoline married Karl, Baron von Pfeffel. Karoline and Karl had at least one son Hubert, Baron von Pfeffel, born in Munich on 8 December 1843, who married Hélène Arnous-Rivière, born on 14 January 1862.
Hubert and Hélène had one daughter, Marie Louise, Baroness von Pfeffel, born in Paris on 15 August 1882, married Stanley F. Williams of Bromley, Kent. Marie and Stanley's daughter Irene Williams married Osman Wilfred Kemal, alias Wilfred Johnson, born in 1909 at Bournemouth, Dorset. Osman was the son of Ali Kemal Bey, sometime Interior Minister of Turkey, by his first wife Winifred Brun. Irene and Wilfred's son, Stanley Patrick Johnson, married firstly Charlotte Fawcett, daughter of Sir James Fawcett, they had four children. Wilfred married Jennifer Kidd and had two further children. Charlotte married American academic Nicholas Wahl; the four children born to Stanley and Charlotte are: Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, former Mayor of London and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Rachel Johnson, a journalist, married to Ivo Dawnay, the communications director of the National Trust, has three children.
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with 17 million volunteers and staff worldwide, founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, to prevent and alleviate human suffering. The movement consists of several distinct organizations that are independent from each other, but are united within the movement through common basic principles, symbols and governing organisations; the movement's parts are: The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution founded in 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland, in particular by Henry Dunant and Gustave Moynier. Its 25-member committee has a unique authority under international humanitarian law to protect the life and dignity of the victims of international and internal armed conflicts; the ICRC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on three occasions. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was founded in 1919 and today it coordinates activities between the 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies within the Movement.
On an international level, the Federation leads and organizes, in close cooperation with the National Societies, relief assistance missions responding to large-scale emergencies. The International Federation Secretariat is based in Switzerland. In 1963, the Federation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the ICRC. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies exist in nearly every country in the world. 190 National Societies are recognized by the ICRC and admitted as full members of the Federation. Each entity works in its home country according to the principles of international humanitarian law and the statutes of the international Movement. Depending on their specific circumstances and capacities, National Societies can take on additional humanitarian tasks that are not directly defined by international humanitarian law or the mandates of the international Movement. In many countries, they are linked to the respective national health care system by providing emergency medical services.
Until the middle of the 19th century, there were no organized and/or well-established army nursing systems for casualties and no safe and protected institutions to accommodate and treat those who were wounded on the battlefield. A devout Reformed Christian, the Swiss businessman Jean-Henri Dunant, in June 1859, traveled to Italy to meet French emperor Napoléon III with the intention of discussing difficulties in conducting business in Algeria, at that time occupied by France, he arrived in the small town of Solferino on the evening of 24 June after the Battle of Solferino, an engagement in the Austro-Sardinian War. In a single day, about 40,000 soldiers on both sides were left wounded on the field. Jean-Henri Dunant was shocked by the terrible aftermath of the battle, the suffering of the wounded soldiers, the near-total lack of medical attendance and basic care, he abandoned the original intent of his trip and for several days he devoted himself to helping with the treatment and care for the wounded.
He took point in organizing an overwhelming level of relief assistance with the local villagers to aid without discrimination. Back in his home in Geneva, he decided to write a book entitled A Memory of Solferino which he published using his own money in 1862, he sent copies of the book to leading political and military figures throughout Europe, people he thought could help him make a change. In addition to penning a vivid description of his experiences in Solferino in 1859, he explicitly advocated the formation of national voluntary relief organizations to help nurse wounded soldiers in the case of war, an idea, inspired by Christian teaching regarding social responsibility, as well as his experience after the battlefield of Solferino. In addition, he called for the development of an international treaty to guarantee the protection of medics and field hospitals for soldiers wounded on the battlefield. In 1863, Gustave Moynier, a Geneva lawyer and president of the Geneva Society for Public Welfare, received a copy of Dunant's book and introduced it for discussion at a meeting of that society.
As a result of this initial discussion the society established an investigatory commission to examine the feasibility of Dunant's suggestions and to organize an international conference about their possible implementation. The members of this committee, which has subsequently been referred to as the "Committee of the Five," aside from Dunant and Moynier were physician Louis Appia, who had significant experience working as a field surgeon. Eight days the five men decided to rename the committee to the "International Committee for Relief to the Wounded". In October 1863, the international conference organized by the committee was held in Geneva to develop possible measures to improve medical services on the battlefield; the conference was attended by 36 individuals: eighteen official delegates from national governments, six delegates from other non-governmental organizations, seven non-official foreign delegates, the five members of the International Committee. The states and kingdoms represented by official delegates were: Austrian Empire, Grand Duchy of Baden, Kingdom of Bavaria, Second French Empire, Kingdom of Hanover, Grand Duchy of Hesse, Kingdom of Italy, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kingdom of Prussia, Russian Empire, Kingdom of Saxony, Spanish Empire, United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, United Kingdom
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million. An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject. Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703. During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, about 625 km to the south-east. Saint Petersburg is one of the most modern cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital; the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. An admirer of everything German, Peter the Great named the city, Sankt-Peterburg.
On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd, meaning "Peter's city", in order to expunge the German name Sankt and Burg. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad, meaning "Lenin's City". On 6 September 1991, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Today, in English the city is known as "Saint Petersburg". Local residents refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter; the city's traditional nicknames among Russians are the Window to Europe. Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was called Ingermanland, inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians; the small town of Nyen grew up around it. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with the rest of Europe, he needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter.
On 12 May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On 27 May 1703, closer to the estuary 5 km inland from the gulf), on Zayachy Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city; the city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city; the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals; the project is evident in the layout of the streets.
In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter died at the age of fifty-two, his endeavours to modernize Russia had met with opposition from the Russian nobility—resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow, but four years in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.
In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737; the city was divided into five boroughs, the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, situated on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka. It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now one street known as Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Prospekt. Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture. Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the
Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, its cultural and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union; until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC; the city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psychoanalyst – Sigmund Freud. The city's roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings and parks. Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first for the world's most liveable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne. In 2018, it replaced Melbourne as the number one spot. For ten consecutive years, the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Vienna first in its annual "Quality of Living" survey of hundreds of cities around the world.
Monocle's 2015 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within."The UN-Habitat classified Vienna as the most prosperous city in the world in 2012/2013. The city was ranked 1st globally for its culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, sixth globally in the 2014 Innovation Cities Index, which analyzed 162 indicators in covering three areas: culture and markets. Vienna hosts urban planning conferences and is used as a case study by urban planners. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world's number-one destination for international congresses and conventions, it attracts over 6.8 million tourists a year. The English name Vienna is borrowed from the homonymous Italian version of the city's name or the French Vienne; the etymology of the city's name is still subject to scholarly dispute. Some claim that the name comes from Vedunia, meaning "forest stream", which subsequently produced the Old High German Uuenia, the New High German Wien and its dialectal variant Wean.
Others believe that the name comes from the Roman settlement name of Celtic extraction Vindobona meaning "fair village, white settlement" from Celtic roots, vindo-, meaning "bright" or "fair" – as in the Irish fionn and the Welsh gwyn –, -bona "village, settlement". The Celtic word Vindos may reflect a widespread prehistorical cult of a Celtic God. A variant of this Celtic name could be preserved in the Czech and Polish names of the city and in that of the city's district Wieden; the name of the city in Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian and Ottoman Turkish has a different Slavonic origin, referred to an Avar fort in the area. Slovene-speakers call the city Dunaj, which in other Central European Slavic languages means the Danube River, on which the city stands. Evidence has been found of continuous habitation in the Vienna area since 500 BC, when Celts settled the site on the Danube River. In 15 BC the Romans fortified the frontier city they called Vindobona to guard the empire against Germanic tribes to the north.
Close ties with other Celtic peoples continued through the ages. The Irish monk Saint Colman is buried in Melk Abbey and Saint Fergil served as Bishop of Salzburg for forty years. Irish Benedictines founded twelfth-century monastic settlements. Evidence of these ties persists in the form of Vienna's great Schottenstift monastery, once home to many Irish monks. In 976 Leopold I of Babenberg became count of the Eastern March, a 60-mile district centering on the Danube on the eastern frontier of Bavaria; this initial district grew into the duchy of Austria. Each succeeding Babenberg ruler expanded the march east along the Danube encompassing Vienna and the lands east. In 1145 Duke Henry II Jasomirgott moved the Babenberg family residence from Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria to Vienna. From that time, Vienna remained the center of the Babenberg dynasty. In 1440 Vienna became the resident city of the Habsburg dynasty, it grew to become the de facto capital of the Holy Roman Empire in 1437 and a cultural centre for arts and science and fine cuisine.
Hungary occupied the city between 1485 and 1490. In the 16th and 1
Maria Alexandrovna (Marie of Hesse)
Maria Alexandrovna, born Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine was Empress of Russia as the first wife of Emperor Alexander II. She was the mother of Emperor Alexander III, she was a daughter of Ludwig II, Grand Duke of Hesse, Princess Wilhelmine of Baden. Marie was raised in austerity but was well educated by her mother, who took personal charge of her education but died when Marie was still young, she was only fourteen years old when the Tsarevich Alexander Nikolaevich Tsar Alexander II of Russia, fell in love with her while he was traveling to Western Europe. She arrived in Russia in September 1840, converted to the Orthodox Church, took the title of Grand Duchess of Russia and traded the name Marie for Maria Alexandrovna, she married Alexander on 16 April 1841. The couple had eight children: six sons. For fourteen years, she was the wife of the heir of the Russian throne, she became the Russian Empress consort after the death of her father-in-law, Tsar Nicholas I. Maria Alexandrovna learned the Russian language quickly.
She did not enjoy court life of the duties of representation as she was shy and of a withdrawn nature. As a consequence she was not popular, she took a more focused interest in charitable activities after the death of her mother-in-law the Dowager Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in 1860. Maria Alexandrovna was active in the field of female education, establishing Russia's first all female schools, she organized the Russian Red Cross and expanded its activities during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. She was affected by the death of her eldest son the Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich in 1865. By her fragile constitution was undermined by her numerous pregnancies and by tuberculosis which afflicted her since 1863. To avoid the harsh Russian winters, she spent long sojourns in southern Europe. During many summers she visited her family in Jugenheim, her marriage to Tsar Alexander II started as a love match and it was happy for some years, but Alexander II had many affairs and in 1866 he fell in love with Catherine Dolgorukova and had four children with his mistress.
Maria Alexandrovna was treated with respect by her philanderer husband and she was much loved by her surviving children. After a long illness, she died in 1880; the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, the city of Mariinsk in Kemerovo Oblast, the city of Mariehamn in Åland are named after her. Empress Maria Alexandrovna was born as Princess Maximiliane Wilhelmine Auguste Sophie Marie of Hesse and by Rhine, on 8 August 1824 in Darmstadt, she was known as Marie afterwards. Marie was the youngest child among the seven children of Ludwig II, Grand Duke of Hesse, Princess Wilhelmine of Baden, a sister of the Russian Empress consort, Elizabeth Alexeievna. Maria Alexandrovna's parents were first cousins. Ludwig hereditary Prince, was shy and withdrawn, while Wilhelmine, eleven years his junior, was pretty and charming. After the birth of three sons, the couple grew apart during the turbulent years of the Napoleonic Wars while Prince Ludwig was in the battle fields. However, after a gap of eleven years, Princess Wilhelmine went on to have four more children.
Court rumors attributed the biological paternity of the second set of children to Baron August von Senarclens de Grancy, the Grand Master of the stables of the Grand Duke of Hesse. Of those four children and her brother Alexander, a year older, lived to adulthood. Ludwig recognized the children as his. By 1827, Prince Ludwig of Hesse and his wife became estranged. While Prince Ludwig occupied the Grand Ducal Palace in Darmstadt, in 1828, his wife moved with their two younger children and her household to Heiligenberg, a mountainside estate nestled on a hill overlooking the village of Jugenheim that she purchased that same year In 1829, however Wilhelmine and Ludwig celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in apparent harmony. In 1830, Marie's paternal grandfather, Ludwig I, Grand Duke of Hesse and her father, Ludwig II, became the new reigning Grand Duke. Marie's parents reconciled. Heiligenberg was used in the summer months by Ludwig II as well as his wife. Marie was four years old when she moved to Heiligenberg with her brother Alexander.
It was there. Heiligenberg built in simple German patterns, had been a nunnery and it was located some 20 kilometers from Darmstadt. Princess Marie grew up under the care of her mother, responsible for her education. Wilhelmine had a preference for French culture and literature, evident in the way she educated her daughter, with a special emphasis on literature and history; when Marie was eleven years old, her mother died of tuberculosis. Marianne Grancy, a lady-in-waiting to Marie's mother, a sister of August von Senarclens de Grancy, took over the responsibility of Marie's education. After her mother's death Marie and her brother Alexander moved permanently to their father's court in Darmstadt; the two siblings would remain close throughout their lives. Marie was close to her two elder brothers Ludwig III, Grand Duke of Hesse and Prince Karl of Hesse; the cloud over the legitimacy of their birth continued to be cast upon Marie. On his part, their father, Ludwig II, was distant towards his children.
In the spring of 1839, the Tsarevich Alexander Nikolaevich, heir to the Russian throne, the son of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, traveled to western Europe to complete his education and to sea