Adelheid Amalie Gallitzin

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Adelheid Amalie Gallitzin.

Princess Adelheid Amalie Gallitzin (also known as Amaliia Samuilovna Golitsyna or in Russian as Амалия Самуиловна Голицына; 28 August 1748 – 17 April 1806) was the daughter of the Prussian Field Marshal Count Samuel von Schmettau and the mother of Prince Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin.

Early life[edit]

She was born in Berlin on 28 August 1748, the daughter of Prussian Field Marshall Samuel von Schmettau. Her father died when she was very young, and at the age of four or five, her mother placed her in a convent school in Breslau. At the age of nine, she was brought back home to Berlin and taught by private tutors. At the age of fourteen or fifteen she attended a French finishing academy in the city for two years.[1]

After leaving finishing school, Amalie was introduced into society and invited to become one of the maids of honor to Princess Ferdinand, wife of Prince Ferdinand, brother of Frederick the Great. It was while on an excursion with Princess Ferdinand and other ladies of court to the spa at Aachen, that she met Prince Dimitri Gallitzin. Prince Gallitzin was returning to Saint Petersburg, having completed fourteen years serving as Catherine the Great's ambassador to France.[1]

Princess Gallitzin[edit]

On 28 August 1768, her twentieth birthday, she married the Prince in a chapel at Aix-la-Chapelle. The couple proceeded to Saint Petersburg, where her husband was given a posting as Imperial Ambassador to Holland. On the way to The Hague, they stopped in Berlin, where her daughter Princess Marianna was born on 7 December 1769. The family stayed there some time before continuing to The Hague, where on 22 December 1770, her son Prince Demetri was born.[1]

At the age of 24 she forsook society suddenly and devoted herself to the education of her children. She applied herself to the study of mathematics, classical philology, and philosophy under Franz Hemsterhuis, who kindled her enthusiasm for Socratic-Platonic idealism, and later under the name of "Diokles" dedicated to her the "Diotima", his Lettres sur l'atheisme.[2]

The educational reform introduced by Franz Friedrich Wilhelm von Fürstenberg, Vicar-General of Münster, induced her to take up her residence in the Westphalian capital. Here she soon became the centre of a set of intellectual men led by Fürstenberg. This circle also included the gymnasial teachers (whom she incited to the deeper study of Plato), Bernhard Heinrich Overberg, the reformer of popular school education, Clemens August von Droste-Vischering, Count Leopold zu Stolberg, and the philosopher Johann Georg Hamann, who was interred in her garden. The poet Matthias Claudius of the "Wandsbecker Bote" was also a familiar visitor, and Johann Wolfgang Goethe said that his hours in this circle were among his most pleasant recollections.[2]

A severe illness in 1786 led her to the reading of Sacred Scripture, and her return to religion. On 28 August 1786, at the insistence of Overberg, she approached the confessional for the first time in many years. Soon afterwards, she made Overberg her chaplain. Under his influence, she underwent a complete change which affected all her surroundings. Her religious life took on a larger importance. She became the centre of Roman Catholic activity in Münster. In those revolutionary times, she provided for the spread of religious writings, proved a support for the religious faith of many of her friends, and induced others, among them Count Stolberg, to make their peace with the Church.[2]

She was known for gentle charity and as a model for religious life. Portions of her correspondence and diaries were published by Scheuter (Münster, 1874–76) in three parts. She was the mother of the well-known American missionary Prince Demetrius Gallitzin. She died in Angelmodde.



Further reading[edit]

  • Villa, V.M. Títol= Gallitzin, Amalia Adelheid von.. Pàg. 20. González Porto-Bompiani (coord.). Diccionario de autores, vol II. Montaner y Simón,S.A. 1963. Nº Registre:M 3843-63. Dipòsit Legal:B 20872-63 (I). Barcelona.
  • Di Carlo Seregni, E. Títol=Diario y Epistolario de la princesa Gallitzin. Pàg. 79. González Porto-Bompiani (coord.). González Porto-Bompiani (coord.). Diccionario literario, vol IV. Montaner y Simón,S.A. 1959. Dipòsit Legal:B 1.352-1959. Barcelona.
  • González Porto-Bompiani (coord.). Diccionario de autores, vol II. Montaner y Simón,S.A. 1963. Nº Registre: M 3843-63. Dipòsit Legal:B 20872-63 (I). Barcelona.
  • González Porto-Bompiani (coord.). Diccionario literario, vol IV. Montaner y Simón,S.A. 1959. Dipòsit Legal: B 1.352-1959. Barcelona.
  • Fürsten Amalia von Galitzyn Briefwechsel und Tagebücher, Münster, 1874-1876.
  • Galland, Die Fürsten Amalia von Galitzyn und ihre Freunde, Cologne, 1880, traduit en français à Lille en 1884, La princesse Amélie Galizine et ses amis.
  • Hanny Brentano Amalie Duchess of Gallitzin . Herder publishing firm, Freiburg im Breisgau 1910.
  • Siegfried Sudhoff: The circle of Munster . In: Lexicon of German literature History II 1961 pp. 439ff.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz: Amalie of Gallitzin. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 2, Bautz, Hamm, 1990, ISBN 3-88309-032-8, 170-172 Sp.
  • Petra Schulz: Amalie Duchess of Gallitzin (1748-1806): "My soul is on the tip of my pen", 1998 (accompanying the exhibition catalog of the Regional Association of Westphalia).
  • Mathilda Koehler, Princess Amalie of Gallitzin, 1993.
  • Markus von Hänsel Hohenhausen: Amalie Princess of Gallitzin, meaning and effect, notes the 200th Date of Death., having contributed about Frans Hemsterhuis and Princess of Marcel F. Fresco and with a literary miniature of Prince Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin drawn by Ilse Pohl, 2005.
  • Joseph Bernard Nordhoff: Gallitzin, Adelheid Princess Amalia of. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 8, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig, 1878, pp. 338–345.

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