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Amalie von Krüdener, by Joseph Stieler, 1828.

Amalie Adlerberg (Russian: Амалия Максимилиановна Адлерберг, 1808-1888) was born as an out-of-wedlock child of Count Maximilian-Emmanuel Lerchenfeld (1772-1809) and Duchess Therese of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1773-1839), Princess consort of Thurn and Taxis. Teresa was the aunt of the Russian empress Alexandra Fyodorovna (Charlotte of Prussia), wife of Nicholas I of Russia. The husband of Teresa, Karl Alexander, 5th Prince of Thurn and Taxis (1770-1827) inherited Regensburg, the city of eternal Reichstag (since 1664). The prince was invited by Napoleon Bonaparte for his new projects, and lived in Paris for years. While he was absent, Princess Terese had a passionate affair with Bavarian diplomat, Count Maximilian-Emmanuel Lerchenfeld. The result of this relationship was the baby girl named Amalie born in 1808 in the city of Darmstadt.

After the death of her father, Count Maximilian on October 19, 1809, Amalie was in charge of Teresa's relatives von Sternfeld in Darmstadt, and the baby carried their family name after she was born. Later, she was brought to Regensburg, closer to princess Teresa and changed her last name to Stargard. She was finally taken care of by the family of Lerchenfeld and lived in their palace in Munich or at the family castle in Köfering near Regensburg. Finally, on August 1, 1823, the Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse gave the 15-year old Amalie the permission to carry the name of Lerchenfeld, but without rights to use the coat of arms and be listed in the family tree, which was the price for the love affair of her mother.


Youth years


Start of Relationship with Fyodor Tyutchev

In 1822, the 14-year old beauty, Amalie met with young Fyodor Tyutchev , supernumerary attaché of the Russian diplomatic mission who arrived from Saint Petersburg. Young 19-year old Tyutchev fell in love and the two young people shared tender romantic feelings. Tyutchev's poem Tears or Slezy (Люблю, друзья, ласкать очами …) coincides with one of their dates, and most likely dedicated to Amalie. Among other poems inspired by Amalie are K N., and Ia pomniu vremia zolotoe….

First Marriage

The blooming Amelia caught the attention of the first secretary of the Russian diplomatic representatives, Baron Alexander von Krüdener. The old diplomat was of German Baltic descent, and the young but pragmatic princess opted for a baron's noble title rather than the young man without title. The letters and diaries of Count Maximilian Joseph von Lerchenfeld, illuminate the first years of Tyutchev as a diplomat in Munich (1822–26), giving details of his frustrated love affair for Amalie, nearly involving a duel with his colleague (on January 19, 1825). On August 31, 1825 the 17-year old Amalie wed Baron Krüdener in Köfering.

The first child of Amalie was born on June 20 /July 2, 1826 and was christened Nikolai-Arthur.

Tyutchevs and Krüdeners

Tyutchevs and Krüdeners continue to frequent the same diplomatic society, they were nearly next-door neighbors with Tytchevs living at Karolinenplatz 1, and Krüdeners in a five-minute walk on Briennerstrasse 15. Fyodor Tyutchev continues to see Amelia, but in families. Prince Karl, brother of the King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and the king himself were spellbound by the beautiful Amalie. Ludwig I ordered an oil portrait of Amalie to the artist Joseph Stieler for his Gallery of Beauties. It was completed in 1828 and today can be viewed at the Nymphenburg palace in Munich.

In April 1836, Fyodor Tyutchev dedicated to Amalie his poem Ia pomniu vremia zolotoe… (I Remember the Golden Time...). This poem is not about love, but a reminiscence of love, of their past meetings on the hills of Regensburg. The poem was later interpreted by Mieczysław Weinberg, in Opus 25: Six Romances after F. Tutchev for singer and piano (1945) in the romance if the same name.

Amalie at High Society, Admirers

In April 1836, Baron von Krüdener received a promotion and left for Russia. Amalie brought to Saint Petersburg a bunch of Tyutchev's poems (more than a hundred). She gave dozens of them further to Prince Ivan Gagarin, former colleague of the poet. Gagarin wrote down several poems and gave them to read to Alexander Pushkin, publisher of Sovremennik, the most influential literary magazine in Russia. Pushkin was very excited and published them immediately. Thus, Amalie helped Tyutchev gain recognition at his home country.

Bibliographers of Pushkin like Alexander Shik state that Alexander Pushkin felt for Amalie and tried to court her at one of the balls. Natalia Pushkina, one of the most beautiful women in Russia, had to have a talk with her husband, after which the poet was joking that Madonna has a heavy hand... (The Married Pushkin by Alexander Shik, p. 68, 1936).

Count Alexander von Benckendorff was another passionate admirer of Baroness Amalie von Krüdener. Her influence was so great that he even secretly converted to Catholicism. In Imperial Russia, where Orhodoxy was the state religion, this action would be punished by years of katorga (the secret was revealed only after death of Benckendorff). He also helped to reinstate Fyodor Tyutchev at the Ministry after he was fired in 1843, and arranged the meeting of Tyutchev with Nicholas I of Russia and Minister Karl Nesselrode. His Majesty Nicholas I of Russia himself was not indifferent to Amalie. November 25, 1836 she received a luxurious fur coat as a gift from the Czar that she received on the rights of his cousine.

Marriage with Nikolay Adlerberg

Newfound Happiness

In 1848, the 40-year old Amalie gave birth to an out-of-wedlock child on March 17. The father of her newborn son Nikolo was the 29-year-old Count Nikolay Adlerberg. The child received the status of the adoptive son of Nikolai Veniavsky.

Baron von Krüdener was appointed Ambassador and Plenipotentiary Minister at the Court of the King of Sweden and Norway, but Amalie pretended to be ill and stayed in Saint Petersburg. They never met again. In 1852, Baron died of infarction in Stockholm. Amalie finally found love, peace and happiness with Nikolay Adlerberg. They officially married in 1855.

Building of the Adlerberg Orphan-asylum in Simferopol.

Orphan-asylum in Simferopol

During the Crimean War, Nikolay Adlerberg served as Governor-General of Simferopol and Taurida Governorate in 1854-1856. The war actions aggravated the situation of children in Crimea as many lost their parents and had no relatives or where to go. The children were brought to Simferopol during the Siege of Sevastopol (1854) along with wounded soldiers. Simferopol's city council tried to open an orphan-asylum since 1848, but there were always some problems due to lack of money or necessary documents. Taking into consideration the circumstances, Countess Adlerberg decided to avoid bureaucratic formalities and on December 31, 1854 opened an asylum for 14 orphans with her own money.

In 1857, the Committee of the Board of Guardians of Orphan-asylums (Комитет Главного Попечительства Детских Приютов) approved the transformation of the temporary orphan-asylem founded by Countess Adlerberg into the asylum working on regular basis. It was also named after Amelie Adlerberg. In 1869, the Amalie Adlerberg Orphan-asylem moved into a new building. In a letter to Governor of Simferopol Grigory Zhukovsky, the Empress Maria Alexandrovna insisted that the asylum retain the name of its founder, in contrast to other asylums across Russia, that were all named after Maria Alexandrovna. The building of the asylum is still there at the crossing of Pushkinskaya and Gogolevskaya streets and it now houses the Museum of Ethnography of Crimean Nations.

Years in Helsinki

In 1866-1881 Amelia lived in Helsinki, during Nikolay Adlerberg's service as Governor-General of Finland.

Amalie Adlerberg (1865)

In 1873, the countess managed to arrange her granddaughter (Helene de Fontenilliat, b 1855) to marry the widowed Constantin Linder, the wealthy lord of Kytäjä. He had recently lost his first wife, countess Marie Musin-Pushkin. Helene got a stepson, the later-notorious wastrel Jalmari Linder of Mustio. Soon, Helene gave birth to her own child too.

Last years in Munich

In 1881, after assassination of Alexander II of Russia, Count and Countess Adlerberg moved for permanent residence to Munich, Germany. They had no house and first stayed at Maximilian Lerchenfeld's house on Amalienstrasse 93. Later, Adlerbergs acquired a plot of land and built a home in the town of Tegernsee on Schwaighofstrasse 2.

Amalie died in Tegernsee on June 21, 1888. She was buried in the cemetery of the church of St. Laurentius in Rottach-Egern am Tegernsee. The church is situated on the shore of the lake opposite the Amalie's mansion known under the name of Haus Adlerberg am See.

See also

External links and references


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