Zofia Potocka

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Zofia Potocka
Zofia Clavone.jpg
Father Constantine Clavone
Mother Maria Clavone
Born 12 January 1760
Bursa, Anatolia, Ottoman Empire
Died 24 November 1822(1822-11-24) (aged 62)
Berlin, Prussia

Compatriots her time wrote: "She was beautiful as a dream, a child far southern countries. Admire the beauty of all those who have only seen her, igniting a fire in the hearts of men and women in the eyes of envy."

Sophia was born in 1760 January 1 (January 11, New Style) in the Turkish city of Bursa and was the daughter of a poor merchant cattle Greek Constantine. In 1772, when Sophia was 12 years old, Constantine and his wife Maria and two daughters moved to Constantinople and the family settled in the Greek district Phanar. Around 1775, when Sophia was 15 years old, her father Konstantin leaves them dying under mysterious circumstances surrounding. Mary soon marries an Armenian, who also dies. During the great fire in Constantinople, their house burns down. In this difficult time for them, under pressure secret fatal events, mother Mary seeking support from foreign embassies. In May 1777 Maria brought her two daughters to the Polish Ambassador-Boskamp Lyasopolskomu. Sofia younger than 17 years old, learning about its Greek origin (noble aristocratic family Pantalisa Mavrokordato stemming from the royal family of Greek and related by blood to the rulers of Byzantium ...) mind and seeing the beauty of the girls, he agrees to help. Boskamp-Lyasopolsky daughters settled in his palace and hired for their French teacher thereby taking on the duties of a guardian. After some time, the eldest daughter married off to the Turkish Pasha. Sofia same Boskamp-Lyasopolsky promised her mother to arrange in Europe presumably to the king. But on the way to Sophia meets Major DeWitt learning purpose of the trip girl and her ancient kind, DeWitt makes her an offer and in 1779 Sofia marries the son of the commandant of the fortress Kamenetska Count Joseph de Witte. The young couple had lived a year in Kamenetz-Podolsk, in 1781 went abroad. Sophia shone at receptions in the palaces of Berlin and Hamburg, Paris and Vienna, Rome and Venice. Her unusual beauty, and ability to navigate the various aspects of critical issues, let her start adulterous connection with the most rich and powerful men and women in Europe at that time.

Bowed their heads in front of her kings and ministers, it is the best decoration for any prom or social events.

At the beginning of the couple visited Warsaw. In early March 1781 she was presented to King Stanislas Augustus. Sofia is called came to the court, and since that time, Major Josef Witt became a glorious husband of Sofia. After Warsaw wife visited Berlin, where Sofia was presented to the King of Prussia Frederick II. In the resort town of Spa Sofia was presented to the Austrian Emperor Joseph II, who was so fascinated that impressed by Sophia orders from the genius of Mozart's music on the Turkish-harem theme. Joseph II in one of his letters to his sister, the French queen Marie Antoinette, recommended: "When in Paris Witte will accept it with dignity," and the sounds of Mozart Sophia take in Paris Marie Antoinette at her residence Petit Trianon, which at that time rebuilt in a landscaped park, and perhaps for the first time there Sofia wanted to build a similar park. In Paris to Sofia noticed Count of Provence, later King Louis XVIII, and the young Comte d'Artois, the future French king Charles X. Spouse Major success wife was shocked at European courts. November 17, 1781 in Sofia was born in Paris, the son of Yang. When this news reached the Polish king, who personally visited Kamenetz and congratulated his father Josef Witt with the birth of a grandson. The confused grandfather, who was a Major General, he immediately promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general, and Stanislaw August volunteered to be the godfather of the newborn. In 1782 the couple returned to the road Kamyanets visiting Vienna, Moravia, Slovakia and Galicia. In 1785, Father Josef Witt died and a new commandant Kamenetz was appointed General Josef Witt already.

Although Joseph Witte after his father became commandant of Kamenetz-Podolsk, but by this time already ambitions Sophia went far beyond the status of this city and the first lady of Podolia. She plunged into the circle of political intrigue, became a confidant of Catherine II, and a little later Prince Potemkin. For some time Sofia meets Stanislav Schensny Potocki, who was married to Zhezofine. In February 1796 Sofia arrived in Uman and was soon decorated her divorce from Jozef De Witte. Potocki divorce his wife was only after the death of Catherine II. Wedding Szczęsny Sophia happened April 17, 1798 in Tulchin, with the participation of the Orthodox priest and Catholic priest in the Orthodox Church, which after joining Bank Ukraine to Russia in 1793 replaced the Uniate church. From marriage to Sofia Potocki had three sons (Alexander (born in 1798), Mieczyslaw (born in 1800), Boleslaw (born in 1805) and two daughters beauties, of which the Countess Sophia was married to Count PD Kiselev and Countess Olga (1802-1861) - for LA Naryshkin. Stanislav Felix Potocki-Szczęsny indulged in mysticism, and came under the influence of Polish "Illuminati" and the March 15, 1805 died. Dying, Szczęsny did not have time to say goodbye to his wife.

Since 1810 Sofia Potocki mainly engaged in charitable activities, and child-rearing. secular life, passing away. Sofia recalls Potemkin, which until the end of "sorry, like a brother."

In the early 20-ies Sofia seriously ill mistitsyzm Polish Illuminati had an impact on her health. Hoping for German doctors, Sofia goes to Berlin. But late in 1822, she died, bequeathed to bury himself in Uman. Sofia embalmed body, dressed in a beautiful dress and put him in the carriage, by investing in one hand bouquet, another fan, and transported in such a way across the border. Uman mourned her as last years she was engaged in charity. When carried the coffin of Sofia, at the distance of 10 miles along the road were placed barrels of resin, which dipped and lighted torches, lighting the way as the procession passed the night before a huge crowd. Sophia was buried in the crypt under the Basilian church. In 1877, the body perehoronili as church was badly damaged by the earthquake. Sofia remains her youngest daughter Olga reburied in Talnoe, where they still rest in the crypt of the church.


Zofia Potocka died in Berlin on 24 November 1822, aged 62.




  • Simon Sebag Montefiore (2006). Potemkin och Katarina den stora – en kejserliga förbindelse (Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner) (in Swedish). prisma. ISBN 97891518440978. 
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